The new 2010 census numbers don’t come out until March, but we thought we’d give you a little insight into who we are, and how we live. We’ve scoured the Internet on a quest to hunt down and harvest the most accurate information a string of Google searches can produce. Admittedly, these numbers may not exactly match current levels to the tenth decimal place, but they should be close enough to give one a general idea.
We all know Sarasota’s retirement home reputation good and well, but a gander at our population’s age distribution revels just how ancient our citizenry actually is. According to the American Community Survey’s estimation, Sarasota County has a population of roughly 368,000, about 48% boys and 52% girls. This handy chart provided by the ACS breaks our youth deficiency down in detail.
With a bit of arithmetic, some interesting observations can be made. If you’ll notice, there are more people in the two-decade lifespan between ages 65 and 85 (92,403) than there are in the quarter-century of life between ages 20 and 45 (88,304). You’ll also find there are more seniors age 85 and older than there are children age 5 and younger. The two largest portions of Sarasota’s people pie consist of age groups 35 to 55 and 65 to 85. For some reason, there’s a sharp drop in the 55 to 65ers, which we assume is due to the different migrations of retirees. The bottom line is, seniors ages 65 and up account for roughly a third of all Sarasotans.
Zillow.com estimates the current population within the Sarasota city limits to be 54,879, with a median age of 41. That’s a full decade lower than the countywide median age of 51, but both stats look awfully high up against the national average of 36. Oddly, Zillow’s age distribution graph also shows a crystal clear drop in the city’s population between ages 55 and 65.
The 2000 census even shows a nearly identical split between testosterone and estrogen. Like city, like county, I guess. Similarities aside, the 2000 numbers present a stark difference in age distribution among city dwellers, with almost twice as many 20 to 45ers (18,204) as there are 65 to 85ers (9,548). How much that data has shifted in a decade, we’re not real sure. But here’s the city’s census chart from 2000.
As you can see, the 25 to 55’ers dominate the population within the city limits. However a quarter of city residents are still over six decades old. Overall, the most important thing to take from these demographics is that there is a profound generational divide in this town. And the conflicting ideas and lifestyles between these groups is something that’s more frequently beginning to play out in real time.
The U.S. census also provides figures on same sex couples. As of 2000, with a score of 100 being the national average, it turns out Sarasota scored a 97 on the lesbian chart and a 223 in the men’s department. That gives Sarasota a combined gay rate of 161 — that’s 61% more than the national average.
With our large gay population and the fact that we are basically a dstination for snowbirds and empty nesters, their aren’t a whole lot of children here in Sarasota. In fact, as Zillow points, almost half of our population is married, but only 18% of Sarasota homes have youngsters in them.
That might be one reason we don’t bother to spend as much on public education ($5,549 per student) as the average U.S. city does ($5,678 per student).
Finally, we’re right on par with the rest of Florida when it comes to the unemployment rate. Sarasota is currently sitting at 11.6% , that’s above the U.S. average of 10.2%. One piece of good news, our cost of living is 3.4% lower than the U.S. average.