The “Sarasota Herald-Tribune” recently reported that during the last 10 years, the foreign-born population of Sarasota and Manatee counties increased by 57%.
One source mentioned on the article states,
“I’m pretty sure that when Florida comes out of this recession, it’s going to be a very different place,” according to Brad Edmondson, a demographic consultant who has studied Sarasota County. “Basically, the migration streams are changing, and have been changing for a while,” he adds.
The article points out that the influx of immigrants is not due to any single predominant source.
It states that demographers say this represents an economic development opportunity, because unlike other U.S. communities relying on a dominant industry, Southwest Florida has no single feeder country funneling immigrants to jobs. These new residents are largely coming by choice, and creating change with each arrival.
In Sarasota County, the migration from Mexico since 2000 has been 3,708 people, with South America and Europe virtually tied for second at 2,290 and 2,286, respectively.
Some nationalities have seen relatively dramatic increases. According to the article, the number of Bangladeshis has increased from 7 to 90.
Sarasota County has also seen significant growth in the number of its French-speaking residents.
Based on Census data, the Haiti-born population tripled in the city over the decade and the France-born population more than doubled. There are now 487 Haitians and 221 French living in the city.
Here is a graphic provided by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that illustrates the new migration patterns.