The economic downturn had forced several leaders on both the state and local levels to rebrand Florida as some sort of tech- and business-friendly state perfect for young, entrepreneurial professionals. That might give you the impression that Florida is turning into some hip, youth-friendly state. It's not. It's still America's retirement home, now more than ever.
Already by far the oldest state population in America, data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau today shows that not only did the average age of Floridians increase somewhat significantly between 2012 and 2013, so did the percentage of the population 65 years of age or older.
18.7 percent of Floridians are now 65 years or older. Compare that to the state next in line, Maine, which only has an elderly population of just 17.7 percent. Only 13.7 percent of the entire U.S. population is 65 or older.
Florida's rate jumped half a percent from 18.2 percent in 2012, continuing a trend over the past 30 years of Florida's average population graying. In 2000, just 17.6 of the population was 65 or older.
Florida is also home to the county with the single largest percentage of elderly people in the entire country. 51.6 percent of residents of Sumter County are 65 or older.
Florida's average age also continues to rise. It was up to 41.5 in 2013 from 40.8 in 2012. That's up from 38 in 2000.
This is in part to natural aging and more elderly people moving to Florida, and perhaps more younger people moving out.
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Overall, Florida's population increased 232,000 between July 2012 and July 2013. However, that's not returned to the heights of Florida's pre-recession population boom, it's quite a big improvement over 2009 when Florida's population shrunk.
Because the numbers are from July 2013, Florida has still not overtaken New York as the third most populated state in the nation, but it now officially trails by less than 150,000 residents. Some demographers (including amateur ones like Senator Bill Nelson) have theorized that Florida may have already overtaken New York.