Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas' population shrinks while rest of Tampa Bay grows

For the fifth consecutive year, Pinellas County has declined in population.

While Pinellas shrinks, other Tampa Bay counties — particularly Pasco — continue to grow, according to figures released Thursday by the Census Bureau.

The population figures, which cover from July 2007 to July 2008, show that Pinellas County lost 4,184 people in that time, bringing its population to 910,260.

Hillsborough, which gained 10,266 residents, has a population of 1,180,784. It was the county's eighth straight year of growth.

Hillsborough ranks as the 32nd-largest county in the country. Pinellas is 47th.

Pasco County, which grew by almost 10,000 people last year, was listed as the 59th-fastest-growing county in the nation since 2000. With 471,028 residents, it showed a 36.6 percent population increase over that period.

And Hernando County was 96th-fastest growing in that time, up 31.3 percent to 171,689 since the last census in 2000.

Some in Pinellas reacted skeptically to the news of the population drop.

"It's called PFA: plucked from air," Nikki Ubaldini, a broker with Keller Williams Realty in Palm Harbor, said of the report. "I'm serious. We're not seeing that trend at all."

First-time home buyers and relocating families continue to move into Pinellas, which has the region's lowest foreclosure rate, Ubaldini said.

"It's not like in Hillsborough County, with row after row of empty houses," said Realtor Nancy Riley with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate.

Riley speculated that some of the departures could be attributed to renters who no longer want to stick it out in Florida's troubled economy or snowbirds who no longer declare Florida their home state.

Pinellas County remains the state's most densely populated county, with about 3,250 people per square mile. The county is about 97 percent built out.

Population estimates are based on several factors, including births, deaths and migration. Historically, more people die in Pinellas than are born, said county Planning Department director Brian Smith, meaning that the county depends on people moving in to keep population levels steady.

Smith said he suspects that housing costs kept people from moving to Pinellas when the real estate market was booming three years ago.

Now that the economy is in tatters, he said, fewer people are willing to bear the risks and costs of relocation.

Pinellas County's population was 921,482 during the last official census in 2000. (The next begins in April 2010). It grew slightly each year and crested at 923,543 in 2002.

The county lost just a few hundred residents a year until the 2006 report, then dropped by almost 4,000 to 920,533 in 2006. The exodus began from there, with the county shedding 10,273 people over the next two years.

During this latest studied period, Pinellas County had 910,260 residents, down from 914,444 the previous year. That works out to only a 0.5 percent decrease.

Smith cautioned that the federal government's latest numbers are just guesses (although they are based on things such as birth certificates, death records and tax returns), and he and his staff are eager to see the results of the next official census.

"In the long term, we may have more natural growth as the county gets younger," Smith said.

Times staff writers Jim Thorner, Donna Winchester, Brant James and Will Van Sant contributed to this report. Kameel Stanley can be reached at (727) 893-8643 or kstanley@sptimes.com.

Pinellas' population shrinks while rest of Tampa Bay grows 03/19/09 [Last modified: Monday, March 23, 2009 9:33am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays waste repeated opportunities in 5-3 loss to Blue Jays

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Rays manager Kevin Cash made a case for urgency before Thursday's game, in both actions and words, making significant changes to the structure of the lineup and sincere comments about time running short.

    Trevor Plouffe of the Rays reacts as he pops out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. [Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]
  2. Spanish PM voices solidarity with Barcelona

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says his country is mourning in solidarity with the city of Barcelona and other cities in Europe that have been hit by deadly extremist attacks.

    An injured person is treated in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. [Associated Press]
  3. Confederate statue: Why Bucs, Lightning, Rays took a stand

    Bucs

    They didn't want another Charlottesville.

    Marc Rodriguez, a member of the "Florida Fight for $15" organization, stands in protest along with other activists demanding the Confederate  monument be removed from the old Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  4. Rep. Larry Ahern gets roughed up by Clearwater City Council

    State Roundup

    It seemed innocuous enough: an "end of session report" from state Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, to the Clearwater City Council.

    Then Ahern got taken to the woodshed.

    Rep. Larry Ahern is vying for a seat on the Pinellas commission.
  5. Hillsborough County erects wooden barrier to protect Confederate monument from vandalism

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Hillsborough County workers began constructing a wooden barrier around the base of the Confederate monument by the old county courthouse Thursday evening.

    A Hillsborough County construction crew erects a wooden barrier around the Confederate monument at the old county courthouse Thursday, out of concern about potential vandalism. [Courtesy of WTSP]