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Bancroft Blvd, Orlando, Florida 32833 Orange 47,000.00
Starry St, Orlando Orange 34,000 1707
18354 17th Ave, Orlando, Florida 32833 Orange 11,900 1503
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Section St, Mt Dora, Florida 32757 Orange Make an offer
 2nd St, Orlando, Florida 32810 Orange 20,000.00 1873
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SW 76th Terrace, Lake Butler, Florida 32054 Alachua 20,000
 

Florida became the first state to welcome more than 100 million out-of-state and international tourists.

Gov. Rick Scott said more than 105 million people came to the Sunshine State in 2015. The record-breaking number was announced Thursday morning at Epcot.

“We have a great tourism industry all across our state,” said Scott.

State and tourism officials said it took time to crack the 100 million mark, a goal set by Scott several years ago.

Florida missed the mark in 2014 by recording nearly 99 million tourists that year.
Now that the state has comfortably surpassed its goal, Scott set a new goal of 115 million visitors.

Will Seccombe, president and chief executive officer of Visit Florida, the state’s tourism authority, does not consider the new target unattainable.

“The momentum is extraordinary,” he said. “And one of the most important things we have is strengths in markets like the U.K. and Latin America. We have growth in overseas visitors.”

Thursday’s announcement was forecasted as early as last August when Scott and Visit Florida leaders announced the state was on track to hit the the record number.

Between January and June, Florida recorded 54.1 million tourists.

At the time, Scott said that was the largest number of tourists to come to the Florida in the first half of a year. Last year also had the largest second quarter ever. 

About 25.8 million visitors came to Florida during the second quarter of 2015, an increase of 5.5 percent over 2014's second quarter.

New attractions and an ever-changing tourist landscape in Florida is being credited for the increased number of visitors.

“Florida’s a great place to invest and growing our business,” said Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. “And we’re continuing to do that with a lot of new initiatives.”

Chapek took a moment to describe the lenghty list of changes and updates coming to Disney’s parks in Orlando, including lands for Star Wars, Toy Story and Avatar.

Seccombe said Orlando’s success is critical for the state’s overall success.

“Orlando is the most visited destination in the United States. It’s the most visited city,” he said. “And certainly the home of the theme park capital of the world, right? No place else on earth can compare to that.”

In 2014, Orlando recorded 62 million visitors, which includes in-state, out-of-state and international visitors. Even though the two tourism agencies track tourists differently, Seccombe said Orlando accounts for the “lion’s share” of Florida’s traffic.

George Aguel, Visit Orlando’s chief executive officer and president, said Orlando surpassed 2014’s record, but would not say by how much.

That figure is expected to be released in April, similar to when 2014’s record was announced last year.

Aguel said the state’s traffic count aligns with the blockbuster year Central Florida had in 2015.

He said Scott’s new goal should be viewed as motivational rather than unrealistic.

“I see that as kind of throwing that out there for everyone to get excited about and keep pushing as any of us can,” he said.

cdineen@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5414

Copyright © 2016, Sun Sentinel

Orlando beat New York City as the first city to top 50 million visitors.  And now this: Florida is bigger than New York.  Census figures released Tuesday show Florida passed New York as the nation's third largest state with an estimated population of 19.9 million. New York, now fourth, has 19.7 million.  "There  are a lot of benchmarks, but this is the biggest one. This puts an exclamation point on it," said William H. Frey, a demographer with The Brookings Institution in Washington DC.Frey says the milestone caps a decades-long trend of northern migration to the South. In 1950, Florida was a fifth the size of New York. In 1980, New York was about twice as big as Florida. "It's a symbol of a half-century of Snowbelt to Sunbelt growth," Frey said. Florida has passed New York as the nation's third largest state, according to population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Among other Southern states, North Carolina passed Michigan as the ninth largest state and Georgia, ranked eighth, passed the 10 million mark. But the numbers are more than just bragging rights. It's also money and politics. Population determines federal funding and congressional seats. In 2010, Florida gained two seats in the House of Representatives while New York lost two. Florida's population growth is also the result of an improving economy. Top five US states' population growth: 2004-14"The financial crisis and the housing crisis really ground migration to Florida to a halt," said Sean Snaith, an University of Central Florida economist. "Florida's economy has recovered at a faster pace than the national economy. There are more opportunities for economic migrants coming to Florida and finding work, whereas four years ago that wasn't the case. "The  real estate recovery allowed those in other states to sell their homes and move to Florida. The improvement in the stock and bond markets restored some of the wealth and retirement savings of Baby Boomers looking to retire in Florida, Snaith said." Since the low point, we've seen a tremendous rebound in the financial assets and wealth by U.S. households," he said. Florida also benefits from so many residents of New York moving to the Sunshine State, Snaith said. It's like a two-point turnaround: take one from New York, add one to Florida. "That's  one in the loss column for New York and one in the plus column for Florida, "Snaith  said. In fact, more people from New York move to Florida than any other state-to-state migration in the country, Frey said. "In  a way, it's just New York moving to Florida," he said. That long, continuing exodus of New York transplants to Florida includes Eddie Cruz, a 43-year-old pizza maker who moved down from the Bronx about 20 years ago. Now employed at a New York-style pizza restaurant in Orlando, Cruz and his girlfriend followed her parents to Florida and was followed himself by friends." They all came down, but they spread out — Oak Ridge, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa," said Cruz. "Visually, Orlando looks the opposite of New York. It's picturesque. There's no trash. The people are nice. I wasn't used to strangers being so nice." The population exchange between New York and Florida doesn't mean New York is shrinking — only that Florida is growing bigger and faster. Last year, New York narrowly edged Florida by 98,267 people — forestalling what demographers, and many New Yorkers, knew was inevitable." Even though it was inevitable, this is an important milestone and one that will probably continue," Frey said.  Between July 1, 2013 and July 1, 2014, Florida gained 293,000 people — about the population of the city of Orlando — while New York increased by 51,000, according to Census estimates. In that one year, Florida grew at the rate of 803 people a day. The   Sultani  family is part of that migration, moving to Orlando five months ago from Iowa. Originally from Iraq, they left the cold and quiet of the Midwest for the climate and theme-park culture of Orlando. "The  main thing is the weather," said L uma  Sultani, 33, whose husband is an engineer. "But there are also more activities for the kids. "In their short time here, the family has frequented Disney World, Sea World and Universal Studios. Nothing like that in West Des Moines. California remains the country's largest state with 38.8 million residents. Texas is second with 27 million. Both are safe, for awhile at least, with Texas growing right along with Florida and California gaining population primarily through immigration.  

Bloomberg June 19, 2015 For the past few years, oil towns have dominated the ranks of the fastest-growing economies in America. Now that the energy boom is fading, a new leader is emerging: Retirement communities in Florida that are buoyed by a surge in baby boomers.  Naples, Florida, topped the list of metropolitan areas that are expected to see the most economic growth next year, according to an analysis of data in a new report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors prepared by IHS Global Insight. The economy there will grow 4.9 percent in 2016, according to the forecasts. The Villages, a sprawling senior community that has already been the fastest-growing city by population for two straight years, ranked third.   The map below shows how metro areas in Florida made up half of the top 18 performers. 


In 2014, the front runners consisted of mostly energy patch areas, many of which will probably end up as some of the worst-performing economies next year. Nowhere is the shift clearer than in Midland, Texas, which saw the best economic growth in the country in 2014 (11.9 percent) according to the report's data.  The expectation is that it will rank dead last (3.2 percent contraction) in forecasts for 2016. Other areas that are also expected to struggle include Midland's neighbor Odessa and Casper, Wyoming.  With these previous oil and gas hubs tumbling down the ranks, it makes room for Florida's metro economies to take their places at the top of the list in 2016.  


11:20 AM, December 22, 2015Updated: 2:19 PM, December 22, 2015 ORLANDO, Fla. - Florida had the second-biggest population gain of any state in the nation. Florida population now over 20 million Texas only state with bigger gain in past year .

By:  MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press Posted: 11:20 AM
December 22, 2015 Updated: 2:19 PM, 
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - Florida had the second biggest population gain of any state in the nation.  New figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau shows Florida gained more than 365,000 people from July 2014 to July 2015.  Only Texas had a bigger gain in pure numbers, and the Lone Star State added 490,000 residents.  Florida added more people in the past year than California did.  Florida's population now stands at 20.2 million residents, making it only the third state after California and Texas to exceed 20 million people.  The bulk of Florida's population increase in the past year came from migration, rather than natural increase.  Census figures also show that 80 percent of Florida's population, or 16.1 million people, are 18 years or older and eligible to vote in the 2016 presidential election.  Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014 Florida Passes New York to Become the Nation’s Third Most Populous State, Census Bureau Reports TweetShare on Facebook RSS Email SMS The Villages ranked as the nation's fastest-growing metro area  (posted March 26, (2015) The beautiful weather in Florida seems to be drawing more and more Americans, with the Sunshine State climbing the ranks of most populous states and fastest-growing cities. New data released from t he U.S. Census Bureau showed that The Villages, Florida, ranked as the nation's fastest-growing metro area last year, with the city west of Orlando boasting a 5.4 percent increase in population between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014. This comes as Florida became the nation's third most-populous state in December, taking over the spot once held by New York. The iconic retirement community, the Villages, is becoming the place to be for those no longer bound by an office. "Down here we just play. Up there, all we do is work," said a resident who moved from Buffalo. "The weather's great. We had eight feet of snow in three days before Thanksgiving in Buffalo. You probably heard of it. Over my head." But it's not just The Villages, which grew to a population of about 114,000, the Census Bureau said. "We're from New York, wanted to retire, retire in a warm climate," said Tom Curry. The growth is driven by increases in the state's metroplexes in areas such as central and southern Florida, Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson said. Six Florida metro areas were among the 20 fastest-growing: The Villages, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton and Panama City. "We think it's a lovely place to live. Small metro area, growing rapidly, but has that hometown feel that doesn't just appeal to seniors," said The Villages resident Joyce Colvin. PDF: U.S. Census List of Fastest Growing Cities Florida has been long known for retirees, beaches and vacationers. The influx of new residents was enough to offset the fact that there were more deaths than births in about half of the state's counties, the Census Bureau said. Florida averaged 803 new residents each day between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2014, growing by 293,000 to reach 19.9 million during that time period, census data released in December showed. New York went up by 51,000 to 19.7 million during that same period. A few more beach towns and cities in the West make up most of the top five fastest-growing cities by percent growth: Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach metroplex in South Carolina and North Carolina at 3.2 percent; the Austin-Round Rock area in Texas at 3 percent; Odessa, Texas, at 2.9 percent; and St. George, Utah, at 2.9 percent. Texas snagged the top spots in both numerical increase by person for counties and metro areas. Harris County, Texas, leads the nation in population growth by person, with the county surrounding Houston adding 89,000 people between July 2013 and 2014, followed by Maricopa County, Arizona, with 74,000 and Los Angeles County with 63,000. The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metro area was also the top in metro area numerical increase with 156,371 people added between 2013 and 2014, followed by the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area with a 131,217-person increase and the New York-Newark-Jersey City-Pennsylvania area with a 90,797-person increase. By percentage, Williams County, North Dakota, remained the nation's fastest-growing county with a population of more than 10,000 people. It increased by 8.7 percent from 2013 to 2014, followed by Stark County, North Dakota, at 7 percent; Sumter County, Florida, at 5.4 percent; Pickens County, Alabama, at 5.1 percent; and Hays County, Texas, at 4.8 percent. The Census Bureau also said: —California was the nation's most populous state in 2014, with 38.8 million residents. Texas came in second at 27 million. —Los Angeles County had the nation's largest population with more than 10.1 million people. —New York was the nation's largest metro area, with about 20.1 million people. —Detroit was still losing people. Wayne County, Michigan, has the nation's largest numerical decline at just less than 11,000. The next closest county? Cuyahoga County, Ohio; the county including Cleveland lost slightly more than 4,000 people. The Associated Press contributed to this report Florida expected to surpass NY in population, Sunshine State embodies 21st century America Published January 03, 2014 Associated Press In this Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013 photo, in Orlando, Fla., Adam Mayfield explains he moved to Florida because he knew he could easily find a job in Orlando after he was laid off in Atlanta last year. Sometime in 2014, Florida will surpass New York in population and become the nation’s third-most populous state. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (The Associated Press) In this Monday, Dec. 30, 2013 photo, swimmers enjoy the clear waters of Wekiva Springs at the Wekiva Springs State Park in Apopka, Fla. Sometime in 2014 Florida will surpass New York in population and the state’s primary source of water from the Florida Aquifer is becoming smaller due to the growth in population. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (The Associated Press) In this Monday, Dec. 30, 2013 photo, the clear waters of Wekiva Springs are seen at the Wekiva Spring State Park in Apopka, Fla. Sometime in 2014, Florida will surpass New York in population and the state’s primary source of water from the Florida Aquifer is becoming smaller due to the growth in population. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (The Associated Press) In this Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 photo, Bruce Stephenson, an environmental studies professor at Rollins College Winter Park, Fla., talks about Florida's growth. Sometime in 2014, Florida will surpass New York in population and become the nation’s third-most populous state.(AP Photo/John Raoux) (The Associated Press) ORLANDO, Fla. –  Sometime this year, Florida will surpass New York State in population, becoming the nation's third-most populous state, and sun-seeking seniors are not driving the growth. Census figures released earlier this week showed New York State had just a 98,000-person lead over Florida last July, as both states near having 20 million residents. An Associated Press analysis shows it isn't seniors driving the growth in migration to Florida. Seniors accounted for less than 10 percent of new residents over the last several years. Instead, more than half of the new arrivals were between 25 and 64, and almost two-fifths of them were under age 25. Ex-New Yorkers are the biggest domestic source of new Floridians, and migrants from Latin America dominated the newly-arrived Floridians from outside the United States. Toll Free 1(800)994-2644 Local 407-507-7000 Fax 407-507-7011 3160 Vineland Rd., Suite 5A, Kissimmee, FL 34746

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ORLANDO -Hispanic residents made up almost half of Florida's population growth last year, and the age gap between Florida's white and minority residents continued to widen, according to figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

 

3 Months Ago

 

Florida grew by more than 290,000 residents from July 2013 to July 2014, and more than 141,000 of those  new residents  were Hispanic.

 

"It's a continuation of a trend in terms of growth," said Stefan Rayer, population program director at the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research. "The Hispanic population  is increasing  the most of any racial  or ethnic  group."

 

Florida's growth last year by almost 300,000 residents, a 1.5 percent increase, was close to the historical average that has added about 3 million residents to the Sunshine State each decade, Rayer said.

 

The share of non-Hispanic whites in Florida dropped to 55 percent of the population last year from 56 percent of the population  in  2013.

 

Florida's minority populations were younger than the white population. The median age for non­ Hispanic whi tes was 44 years, compared with 35 years for Hispanics and 32 years for black residents. Mixed-race Floridians had the youngest median age of all racial groups at 20 years.

 

Non-Hispanic white residents made up almost 90 percent of Florida's residents over age 65. But they made up less than three-quarters of the working age population and less than two-thirds of Florida's minors under age 18.

 

The share of Florida's residents over age 65 grew to 19.1 percent, from 18.6 percent, giving Florida once again the nation's highest percentage of residents who are senior citizens. Sumter County was the nation's only county where seniors made up a majority of the population.

Situated northwest of Orlando, it is home to the retirement haven the Villages.

 

"The net increase tends to be at the retirement  age, and that is non-Hispanic  white," Rayer    said.

 

Hispanics last year made up 24 percent of Florida residents, slightly higher than in 2013. Black residents made up about 16.8 percent of Florida's population, barely changed from 2013, and Asians  accounted  2.8  percent  ofresidents,  also hardly changed.

 

St. Johns County had the biggest percentage growth in Hispanics, with a rate of about 9 percent,  but the Hispanic population  was small to start with at just  under  14,000  residents.

 

In pure numbers, the biggest Hispanic growth was in Miami-Dade,  Broward  and Orange  counties. Miami-Dade added 27,000 new Hispanic residents, Broward added more than 17,000 Hispanics and Orange  grew by almost  15,000 Hispanic  residents.


In the Tampa Bay area, Hillsborough County added 11,643 Hispanic residents and 26 percent  of  the total population  is Hispanic. Pinellas County, where  8.6 percent  of the population  is  Hispanic, grew by 2,633 Hispanic residents. Pasco County added  3,325 new Hispanic residents. The total population there is 13 percent Hispanic. Hernando  County, where  11.1 percent  of the total population  is Hispanic,  840 Hispanic residents  were  added.

 

New Census data shows Florida growth last year was driven by Hispanics 06/25/15 / Last modified:  Thursday. June  25, 211 /5 -l:07pmf