Longboat Key’s population is inching upward.
The island’s population grew by 1.04% between 2011 and 2012, according to the Annual Estimates of the Resident Population data the U.S. Census Bureau released last week.
That’s a larger increase than the Key experienced between 2010 and 2011, when the population increased from 6,896 residents to 6,921 residents, an increase of just 0.36%.
Populations in other Sarasota and Manatee County cities and towns experienced increases ranging from 0.92% for the city of Sarasota to 1.8% in Holmes Beach between 2011 and 2012. Those municipalities also experienced slower growth between 2010 and 2011, with only the cities of Anna Maria and Holmes Beach increasing their population by more than 1% during that period.
In the decade between 2000 and 2010, however, the Key lost 9.4% of its permanent residents, according to decennial Census figures, falling from 7,603 permanent residents April 1, 2000, to 6,888 April 1, 2010.
Vice Mayor David Brenner said the Key’s increase in population might be attributed to “more dumb luck than skill.”
“I think what it demonstrates to us is that we have got to do whatever we have to do to begin to attract the next generation,” he said.