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Dec 21,2007
Florida less of a draw for retirees
by UPI

TAMPA, Fla. -- Fewer retirees are being drawn to Florida, which was in fourth place last year in the net migration of people above the age of 55.

Paul Wheat, president of the Sun City Center Community Association, told The Tampa Tribune that northerners he talks to now associate Florida with hurricanes, not sunshine and golf. They also mention sinkholes, expensive housing and high property taxes.

Florida has been losing ground since 1980, the newspaper said. But the decline has sped up since 2000, when 19 percent of retirees who changed states moved to Florida. In 2005, the percentage was down to 16 percent, and it dropped to 13 percent in 2006.

In 2006, Texas had the highest net migration of older residents -- newcomers minus those moving out. It was followed by Georgia and North Carolina.

Florida still has a lot of older residents, about 4.1 million or 23 percent of the population. That percentage is likely to increase as the baby boomers age.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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