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Smaller Florida cities get bigger in latest demographic trends

Sarasota leads the way in population growth.


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  • | 8:34 a.m. June 5, 2021
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While Tampa, Orlando and Miami get the majority of the national attention when talking about Florida’s population boom, several mid-size cities in the Sunshine State are edging into the conversation.

That’s a big takeaway from a new study produced by moving cost analytics firm moveBuddah on the mid-size cities nationally with the highest net-migration moves into town. Out of the top 100 cities on the list, 18 are in Florida. Nearly half of the top 25, 11 cities, are also in Florida. And the No. 1 city on the list? Sarasota.  Four other cities on the list — Fort Myers, Bradenton, Bonita Springs and Largo — are on the west coast of Florida.    

The study analyzed more than 400,000 moves the company assisted with in 2020, defining mid-size cities as populations of 50,000 to 100,000 people. The population surge in smaller urban areas is part of a national trend coming out of the pandemic, where people are fleeing large metropolises. At the peak of the pandemic, for example, a Harris Poll survey reported 39% of Americans in big cities were considering moving to less densely populated areas, the moveBuddah report shows. That trend was most pronounced among people aged 18-34.

Other states with a high ratio of popular mid-size cities include Texas, with 15 of the top 100, and North Carolina, with eight.

 

 

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