FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

In Trend's Time: 55 years of Florida business history


The founding of Florida Trend by Tampa businessman Harris Mullen wasn’t the only Florida milestone in 1958. That year, a decision by the Florida Supreme Court limited the practice of real estate to persons licensed and registered in accordance with Florida law. In addition, the first mile of Florida interstate highways was paved, the first FHA-insured co-op went up in Fort Lauderdale and the first satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral.

The Way We Are ... And Were


» In 1950, Florida ranked 20th in population. It now ranks fourth and is expected to overtake New York for third.

» In 1960, the rate of homeownership in Florida was 67.5%. In 2011, it was 69.0%.

» The percentage of Floridians below the poverty line was 16.4% in 1969. In 2011, it was 14.7%

» Median household income in 1969 was $8,261 ($32,368 in 1999 dollars). In 2011, median household income was $47,827.

Migration and Diversity
» Between 1955-60, 85,302 foreign immigrants moved to Florida. Between 1995-2000, that number was 652,606 — 26% of all people who moved to Florida in that period.

» The Hispanic portion of Florida’s population has grown from about 6% in 1970 to close to 22% today. The African-American portion has grown in recent decades from 14% to about 16%.

» Most people who move to Florida are young, but so are most people who move out. New York has been the leading source of in-migrants to Florida for more than four decades.

» The 2010 Census was the first to tally same-sex couples and their children; 2012 Census data revealed that Fort Lauderdale boasts the highest concentration of same-sex couples in the U.S. — 2.8% of all households, according to the website Florida Agenda.


Price Points
» $518.40: Price for a full year of undergraduate education at the University of Florida in 1978-79 ($1,799 in 2012 dollars).

» $6,263.10: Price for a full year of undergraduate education at the University of Florida in 2013-14 ($1,804 in 1978 dollars.)

» Since 1992-93, the number of bachelor’s degrees in psychology has grown by 174%, while the number of bachelor’s degrees in engineering grew at half that rate — 87%. Overall, the number of bachelor’s degrees has grown by 95% since 1992-93. In the 2011-12 academic year, state universities awarded 4,583 bachelor’s degrees in psychology and 3,215 in engineering.

Bargain and Basement
» Tuition and fees at the University of Florida have risen 1,109% in the past 35 years — four times the rate of inflation. UF still charges less in tuition than schools like the University of South Carolina, the University of North Dakota and the University of Mississippi.

» Between 2003 and 2012, undergraduate enrollment at state colleges and universities grew by 24%. During that period, the number of Hispanic undergrads grew by 87%, from 33,159 in 2003 to 62,012 in 2012.

» The number of non-Florida residents enrolled in state universities has grown from 19,237 in 1993 — 9.9% of all Florida university students that year — to 31,359 in 2012 — 9.4% of the total. State law caps the percentage of out-of-state students who can attend Florida state colleges and universities at 10%.

Tourism... Then and Now

Heads in Beds
» In 1961, 12.8 million visitors came to Florida and stayed an average of more than two weeks — 15.6 days. More than a quarter of them had never been to the state before, and only 4% came from abroad. That year the top five reasons for visiting Florida (in order) were: Beaches/swimming, atmosphere of relaxation and fun, fishing, commercial attraction, picnicking.

» In 2012, 91.5 million visitors came to Florida. Only 5% were first-time visitors, and their average length of stay was five days. Some 15% came from overseas. Last year, the No. 1 country of origin for overseas visitors was Brazil, compared to the U.K. in 1983. Tourists’ top five reasons for coming? Beach/waterfront, shopping, culinary/dining, visit friends/relatives, touring/sightseeing.

» Orlando has 450 hotels and 115,200 rooms, second nationally only to Las Vegas’ 150,481. The Orlando Visitors Bureau says there are also more than 26,000 vacation home rentals and more than 20,000 vacation ownership units.

The Seminoles and Miccosukees Thank You
» The Seminole Tribe of Florida opened its first high-stakes bingo hall and casino in the U.S. in Hollywood in 1979, after winning a court challenge. Today, the Seminoles operate seven casinos in Florida, including the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, the Seminole Classic Casino in Hollywood and the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa, which is their biggest moneymaker. In 2012, the gaming venues generated $1.96 billion in gross revenue. The Seminole tribe no longer officially releases the amount of its dividend, but in 2008, every man, woman and child in the 3,700-member tribe received $126,000 in annual dividends, according to filings in a lawsuit.

The Arisons Thank You, Too
» Between 1989 and 2011, the number of cruise ship passengers embarking from Florida’s ports nearly doubled, from 6.7 million to 12.7 million.

Rack Rates
» The average daily room rate in Florida in 1986 was $58.47 ($120.50 in 2012 dollars). The average daily room rate in Florida in 2012 was $113.14.

» In 1987, 28 counties collected the local option tourist development tax. In 2012, 62 counties collected it. Only Calhoun, Hardee, Lafayette, Liberty and Union counties don’t collect the tax.

Built It and They Came
» Three Florida shopping centers are on the International Council of Shopping Center’s Shopping Center Today list of the world’s highest grossing by sales per square foot. The Whitman family’s Bal Harbour Shops in north Miami-Dade is No. 1 on the globe at $2,555 per square foot. Forbes’ Mall at Millenia in Orlando is 10th at $1,250 per square foot. Turnberry’s Aventura in Aventura is tied for 15th at $1,100 per square foot.

The Mouse That Roared ...

Kingdom Come
» When Walt Disney World opened in 1971, it was more than 16 miles from the nearest urban development. Today, the nearest urban development is less than a mile away.

» In 1971, general admission for adults was $3.50. An “Adventure Book” sold separately for $4.50, contained tickets for seven attractions. Today, a one-day ticket to the Magic Kingdom for a Florida resident is $101.18, including tax.


» In 1960, Florida had seven deepwater ports. Today it has 15.

China Syndrome
» China has become Florida’s largest non-Latin trading partner, but like the U.S., the state imports more from China than it exports there, running a $7.2- billion trade deficit.

Shifting Balance
» In 2002, 54% of Florida’s international trade was imports and 46% was exports. That flipped by 2012, when 44% of trade was imports and 56% was exports. The value of Florida’s international trade grew from $73.2 billion in 2003 to $162 billion in 2012.

» In 2003, 63.4% of Florida’s international trade came from waterborne goods. Thanks to increase airline cargo, the percentage of trade coming from waterborne goods had fallen to 54% in 2012.

Top Five Trading Partners in 2002:

1. Brazil

2. Japan

3. Dominican Republic

4. Germany

5. Honduras

Top Five Trading Partners in 2012:

1. Brazil

2. Colombia

3. Switzerland

4. China

5. Costa Rica

» Aircraft and spacecraft parts is one of Florida’s top five exports. Ten years ago it was one of our top five imports.


Read All about It!
» In 1958, circulation of the St. Petersburg Times was 93,566 daily and 97,403 on Sunday. Circulation topped 100,000 for the first time in 1959. Now called the Tampa Bay Times, the newspaper sells 340,260 copies daily and 402,422 on Sunday, making it the state’s largest newspaper. In 1960, the population of the Tampa Bay area — Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties — was 820,443. In 2010, it was 2.8 million.