The Real Deal Miami

Real estate collapse fuels population slump

November 17, 2009 05:15PM

Personal bankruptcies, high unemployment and a ravaged real estate market have pushed at least 500,000 people out of Florida, and the population is actually expected to shrink. Demographers expect to lose 60,000 residents, the first time that’s happened since World War II. A study by the Pew Center on the States identified Florida as one of the states at risk of fiscal calamity and cited its reliance on population growth as contributing to its economic woes. William Frey, a demographer with The Brookings Institution in Washington, said Florida’s growth moving forward will likely be slower than in the past. He said the slowdown could give leaders — and residents — the opportunity to rethink the state’s economic diversity and tax structure, preserve more of its environment, change its patterns of development, improve its schools and enhance the quality of life. [Orlando Sentinel]