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October 6, 2015


North Central Florida

Lilly Rockwell | 4/9/2013

Sumter County

» The Villages, the top-selling master planned community in the country, continues to dominate Sumter's economy. Construction in The Villages has increased 21%, with over 3,000 building permits issued last year.

» The new western-themed Brownwood Downtown Center in Wildwood broke ground last year and will be the third downtown district for The Villages.

» This year, at least two new assisted living facilities are slated for development, which will bring more than 300 beds and nearly 100 independent living units. The county is also working to develop a 2,000-acre site for industrial use.

Sumter Population: 106,089
Population Growth Rate (2009-13): 4.01%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
6.89% 2.36% 12.79% 27.67% 50.29%
Per Capita Income: $26,237


Bradford/Union Counties

» The rural counties between Gainesville and Jacksonville lost more than 280 jobs last year when the state Department of Corrections closed the New River Correctional Institute. They have tried to recover by adding jobs in the service industry and emphasizing entrepreneurship. In the last year, Beall's Outlet has expanded, and Goody's department store and Dickey's Barbecue Pit opened new locations, adding nearly 50 jobs, says Pam Whittle, president and CEO of the North Florida Regional Chamber of Commerce.

»  The counties also started a business incubation program that gives advice to those interested in starting their own businesses. “If you can't find a job, create a job — that's our motto,” Whittle says.

Bradford Population: 29,134
Population Growth Rate (2009-13): 0.13%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
17.03% 4362% 28.27% 34.69% 15.39%
Per Capita Income: $31,541

Union Population: 15,608
Population Growth Rate (2009-13): 0.43%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
15.74% 5.45% 30.00% 37.15% 11.94%
Per Capita Income: $20,365

Tags: North Central, Economic Yearbook

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