Explanation of Indicator
This indicator describes the percentage of the population living in urban areas and the percentage of the population living in rural areas within the 35 coastal counties. An urban population is defined as all persons living in urbanized areas and in plac es of 2,500 or more persons outside urbanized areas. An urbanized area is comprised of an incorporated place and an adjacent densely settled surrounding area that together have a minimum population of 50,000. Population not classified as urban constitut es the rural population. Rural classification need not imply farm residence or a sparsely settled area, because a small city is rural as long as it is outside an urbanized area and has fewer than 2,500 persons. This indicator is useful in that it docume nts a major change in the character of the demographics of Florida's coastal areas - the shift from a predominantly rural Florida to an urbanized Florida. It is also useful in that it is associated with changing land use patterns brought on by increased development.
This information is located in the Florida Statistical Abstract which is produced on an annual basis by the Bureau of Economic and Business Research, College of Business Administration, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611-2017, or at (904) 3 92-0171. The Abstract is available at most major libraries. It may also be purchased from the publisher, University Press of Florida, 15 N.W. 15th Street, Gainesville, Florida 32611, or at (904) 392-1351.
The data are available in hard copy format. There are no costs associated with obtaining the data from a public or university library; however, the Abstract costs $29.95 to purchase.
This information is estimated annually, statewide by county.
These data are the best available for this indicator. The limitations associated with the data are the same limitations inherent in census data. The collection methodologies and analysis of the population figures may lead to some double counting, underc ounting, or misrepresentation.
The shift from a rural to a predominantly urban state was fairly steady until the 1960s, when growth rapidly increased in urban centers. This shift may have been a result of increased economic activity partially aided by a growing influx of tourists and seasonal residents.
Two factors are thought to affect this pattern of population movement. First, there was a significant immigration of persons to Florida from outside the state. Most of these people located in urban areas where employment is found. A second factor conce rns an increase of size in the urban areas of Florida's coastal counties. This accounts for an increase in the population size of these areas as well.
Population in rural coastal areas has continued to increase as well, but at much slower rates. The greatest rate of population growth in rural areas occurred between 1950 and 1960, when this population increased by 46.8 percent. From 1960 to 1980 the pop ulation remained relatively stable, changing by roughly five percent each decade.
The shift of the population from rural to urban areas has been more gradual. The largest shift in population occurred from 1920 to 1930 when 13 percent of the population moved from urban to rural areas. The population shift began again in the 1940s and continued until the 1980s. The overall shift in population from 1940 to 1980 was 25 percent Between 1980 and 1990 the shift appeared to have slowed, shifting by only one percent during this time period.
Year Rural Percent Urban Percent Total Population Rural Population Urban Population 1920 280,100 49 291,415 51 571,515 1930 344,176 36 603,357 64 947,533 1940 460,776 35 846,921 65 1,307,697 1950 524,027 26 1,492,899 74 2,016,926 1960 769,098 20 3,067,013 80 3,836,111 1970 734,789 14 4,653,506 86 5,388,295 1980 786,053 10 6,878,675 90 7,664,728 1990 981,228 10 9,084,975 90 10,066,203