Why a Retirement Community in Florida Was the Fastest-Growing Metro Area
MIAMI – Amid a slowdown in overall population growth in the United States, a Florida retirement community continued its rise to the top of the population charts: The Villages, a sprawling planned community in central Florida, was the fastest growing metropolitan area over the past decade, according to census data released Thursday.
About a 45-minute drive from Orlando, the area’s population has jumped 39% since 2010, from around 93,000 to around 130,000. Growth has been fueled in large part by a constant flow of attracted retirees. by Florida’s year-round balmy weather, beaches and endless golf. The community, a collection of houses and villages, has been on the list of the fastest growing metropolitan cities for several decades.
Its most recent growth spurt has helped fuel Florida’s overall population increase, earning it an additional seat in Congress.
Built in the 1960s as a mail-order collection of flyers, The Villages gained popularity in the 1980s and 1990s as it expanded to include large-scale restaurants, shops, and other activities. recreation, becoming a palm-fringed, freestanding home for the elderly starting their next chapter.
The villages span three counties, but are mostly found in Sumter County. It includes three postal codes, as well as several public places, cinemas, grocery stores and libraries.
The villages are predominantly white and conservative, and over the years have become a familiar campaign stop for Republican candidates.
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