How Sarasota County’s Population Is Growing, Aging and Changing
Sarasota County’s population grew by approximately 100 residents a week — and a total of 33,500 new housing units — from 2000-2010, according to demographic reports the county compiled based on the recent census and other demographic data. Among Florida’s 67 counties, Sarasota has the highest percentage of residents age 85 and over, the second-highest percentage age 75 and older and the third-highest age 65 and over.
The last decennial census placed the county’s population at 379,448 as of April 2010, an increase of 16.4% over the 2000 census count, and making it the 14th most populous county in Florida. Within the county, the city of North Port had the highest growth – 152% between 2000-2010 – while the city of Sarasota decreased by 2%. The population of the city of Venice grew by 17%, and the town of Longboat Key (Sarasota County portion only) decreased by 10% over the same period.
Statistics show that the county’s population growth is dependent solely on in-migration. There were more deaths than births in the county every year from 2000-2010. Among other interesting data contained in the county’s six demographic reports:
• The percentage of the population under 18 years of age declined from 16.2% in 2000 to 15.7% in 2010. By 2030, those under 18 are projected to be only 14% of the total.
• The median age increased from 39.2 in 1970 to 52.5 in 2010. The median age is predicted to continue to increase, with a projected 56.7 years in 2030.
• The percentage of residents ages 65 and over is projected to increase from 30% to 40% by 2030, while the percentage of working-age population (ages 18-64) is expected to decrease to less than 50% by 2025.
While nationally the education levels of the population decrease with age, it is the opposite in Sarasota County, where the percentage of population over 65 is more educated than those under 45 years of age. Less than 20% of those ages 25-35 years have a bachelor’s degree in the county, compared to one-third of the nationwide population. By 2010, county females ages 25-44 earned 60% of the bachelor’s degrees, compared to 54% in 2000.
The number of county residents living at or below the poverty level jumped from 7.6% in 2000 to 12.8% in 2010, with one out of every five children (under 18) and 15.2% of residents between 18-64 living in poverty. Meanwhile, the poverty level for the population 65 years and older remained flat over the decade.
While Sarasota County’s unemployment rate was low during the boom years of the 1990s and early 2000s, it began to rise in 2007, and was reported as 11.9% in 2010, higher than both Florida (11.3%) and the nation (9.6%), according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, statistics from the American Community Survey placed Sarasota County’s self-reported unemployment rate even higher — at 13.7% in 2010.
Almost 20% of workers in the county are self-employed. Unemployment in the county is highest for those ages 16-24 (24%).
More than 75% of households in Sarasota County have two people or fewer. Sarasota County’s average household size of 2.13 remained unchanged from 2000 to 2010 and is the second-smallest in the state, behind Sumter County at 2.08.
In 2010, less than 20% percent of the households in Sarasota County had one or more children, compared to 30% for the state and 33% for the nation. For those county households with children, the majority (65%) are headed by a husband and wife; 25% are female-headed (no husband) and 10% are male-headed (no wife).
To view the reports, go to www.scgov.net.