The Villages retirement community in central Florida most famous for its souped-up golf carts is once again the nation's fastest growing metro area, according to figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
This is the third year in a row that the community of 119,000 residents has received the title of "fastest-growing" with a growth rate of 4.3 percent from July 2014 to July 2015.
Most of the growth came from retirees moving to the community located northwest of Orlando, and 99 percent of the migration was from people who already live in the United States, according to the Census figures.
Two other Florida metro areas were among the 10 fastest-growing cities in the United States in the past year. Cape Coral-Fort Myers had a growth rate of 3.3 percent, and Punta Gorda grew by 2.8 percent.
More than an eighth of the growth from migration in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area came from outside the United States, and the rest came from domestic migration. The metro area now stands at 702,000 residents.
Ninety-five percent of the migration growth in Punta Gorda in the past year came from domestic residents, and the rest came from people living outside the United States. Its population now stands at 173,000 residents.
Two Florida metro areas had among the nation's the largest population gains in pure numbers, not rates. South Florida grew by more than 75,000 residents, and metro Orlando gained an extra 60,000 residents. They were respectfully the 7th and 10th biggest gains in the nation. In Orlando, more than a third of the migration growth came from outside the United States. In South Florida, all the migration growth came from outside the United States since the metro area actually lost U.S.-born residents.
Census figures show that South Florida surpassed 6 million residents for the first time. It's the nation's eighth largest metro area.
Since The Villages is known for their golf carts, it is important to highlight that with more people comes an increase in the number of accidents. Golf carts should be used with the same care as any other type of motor vehicle. There is never an excuse for reckless driving, so always make sure you are alert and focused when you are behind the wheel of a car or golf cart.
When you are sharing the roadways with other motor vehicles, you will face the same hazards including, dangerous road conditions, drunk drivers, distracted drivers and even aggressive drivers. Non Villages residents may have less patience with golf cart drivers and could exhibit road rage towards slower moving carts. Regardless, other drivers must respect your rights as a golf cart driver.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a golf cart accident in Sumter County, a Villages Golf Cart Accident Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help you understand how to proceed with an injury claim. During a free consultation, we will explain all of your rights and any options you have towards obtaining compensation for your losses. To find out more, call us today at 352-369-5334 or contact us online.
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