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Vol 5 No. 41 - June 29, 2005

Almost everyone is from somewhere else

By Louise Bolger

Did you ever notice that practically no one living in Florida is a native Floridian?

Well maybe there are a few homegrown folks, but the majority of people you meet are from somewhere else. I’m always surprised to meet someone who grew up and went to school here, almost like finding a Mayflower descendent in the Bronx.

Because of this, I decided to do a very brief and very unscientific analysis of where people who are moving to the Island are from. I took residential transactions during the month of March and analyzed 48 sales in the three Island cities with some very interesting results.

It appears that most of the people moving to the Island already live in Florida. Fifteen of the 48 transactions were either residents of one of the other Island cities, Bradenton or somewhere else in the state. Lakeland was formerly home to three of our new residents, but they also came from Zolfo Springs, Tampa, Parrish, Tarpon Springs, St. Petersburg, Longboat Key and Sarasota. I guess you know a good thing when you see it, so what’s the point of leaving the state?

The Midwest imported 10 new residents to the Island; this was no surprise based on all the Illinois and Michigan license plates visible during season. Illinois was the winner with four, followed closely by Michigan with three, Ohio with two and Indiana with one.

Usually transplants from the Northeast are not as numerous as the Midwest, but during this time frame, they were neck and neck. Nine families followed I-95 to our Island paradise — three from New Jersey, two from New York, two from Pennsylvania, one from New Hampshire, and one from Connecticut.

One of the more interesting numbers came out of the state of Washington which sent four families to the Island. Could this be the beginning of Washington challenging the Midwestern states for control of Florida? Our neighbor Georgia accounted for three moves and Minnesota for two. (Is there anyone left in Minnesota?) The balance of intra-state moves was made up of one each for Arizona, Tennessee and Arkansas.

As anyone who shops in Publix knows, the Island attracts many people from out of the country. One of our new residents is from the United Kingdom and one from the Virgin Islands. Based on what I read weekly in the Manatee County tax records, the United Kingdom imports more residents than any other foreign country. However, I was surprised to see that Canada was not represented in my sample group.

I guess what this all boils down to is that those of us already living in Florida like it enough to stay. The Northeast is starting to give up on the east coast of Florida and appreciate the West. We’ll keep seeing the Illinois and Michigan plates for a long time to come. And England is still trying to take over the United States. To sum it up, practically everyone in Florida is from somewhere else – and they keep coming.

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