The U.S. Census Bureau has announced that The Villages metro area was the fastest-growing U.S. metro area between 2021 and 2022, increasing by 7.5 percent.
It’s confirmation of what everyone already knows living here in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.
Growth brings new restaurants, a new Hobby Lobby and a certain amount of prestige. Growth also creates more traffic, more apartment buildings and less of the hometown feel that The Villages founder Harold Schwartz believed was essential to Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.
Earlier this week, Wildwood Mayor Ed Wolf pointed out that at this time next year, Wildwood will have two high schools – Wildwood Middle High School and the new Villages High School at Middleton. More people, including young people, are crucial to fueling the growth of The Villages. Meanwhile, Wildwood is racing to expand its wastewater treatment plant to accommodate the monstrous growth.
Growth is not limited to south of State Road 44. New housing is being shoehorned in at the site of the former Hacienda Hills Country Club. Longtime residents inconvenienced daily when they pick up their mail at the temporary postal facility at Hacienda Hills are reminded daily that growth is not simply a “down south” occurrence.
More and more Americans are moving to southern states. Florida is gaining 1,000 new residents each and every day. Floridians living on the coast are tired of battling hurricanes, can’t get insurance and are moving inland. Thus many are drawn to Sumter, Marion and Lake counties and The Villages is a major attraction.
How do you feel about growth in The Villages? Share your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org