ORLANDO — Working-age adults made up Florida's fastest-growing age group in the past decade, according to census data released Thursday, helping push the Sunshine State down several rungs in the ranking of states with the nation's oldest population.
The figures show that residents ages 18 to 64 propelled Florida's growth in boom counties on the periphery of major metro areas — places such as Osceola County outside Orlando, St. Johns and Flagler counties near Jacksonville and Pasco County — at least until the boom ended in a housing bust at the end of the decade.
At the same time, traditional retiree havens such as Broward and Pinellas counties lost seniors and gained working-age adults.
Gulf Coast counties with large numbers of retirees, such as Hernando and Pasco counties, saw their concentration of seniors diluted.
"There have been a lot more young people moving in," said Jeff Johnson, AARP Florida interim state director.
"Some of the big Broward condos, which are sort of stereotypical of Broward County, a lot of those condos have had a pretty good piece of turnover in the last 10 years, Johnson said.
"There are a lot of people who are younger who are living in places that before you would have expected not to see anybody under the age of 75."
The influx of working-age adults helped push Florida down the rankings of states with the oldest population. Florida now has the fifth-highest median age, 40.7, trailing Maine, Vermont, West Virginia and New Hampshire.
It had the second-highest a decade ago, and two decades ago it had the highest median age.
Florida's seniors flocked to new retiree destinations in the state, such as the Villages.
For female retirees in Florida, the dating pool improved over the past decade. The average number of males for every 100 females over age 65 in Florida went from 76.5 to 80.2.