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Recovery Continues with Population Growth in Sarasota

Siesta-KeyGrowth in Sarasota - Sarasota County's population increased 1.7% to about 390,000 in 2014, while the cities of Venice and North Port continue rapid growth as the economy rebounds from the Great Recession.

The city of Sarasota added more than 900 residents and doubled its growth rate to 1.8% last year, echoing the upswing in population seen in other local cities and outpacing the state, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday.

The city of Venice unseated North Port as the fastest growing city in Sarasota County with a 2.13% population increase in 2014. The south county municipality came in as the 61st fastest growing city out of the 282 in Florida -- one place ahead of Miami, while North Port was one place behind it at 63rd.

Population in the unincorporated areas in Sarasota County increased by its widest margin since 2010, with a 1.6% growth rate and more than 4,000 additional residents. Developers have cited the growth trends in permitting and planning documents for major residential projects, such as the Villages of Lakewood Ranch South.

But, Manatee County still had the edge over Sarasota by adding more than 9,300 residents to its total population, which comes out to a 2.7% growth rate. That's a full percentage point over Sarasota County's increase in the same timeframe.

Both Manatee and the city of Bradenton have grown in population by at least 2% in each of the last two years.

Longboat Key's population increased by 1.08% to 7,143 residents, which is the biggest jump since 2010.

Observer May 2015