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With numbers, Census data captures snapshot of Longboat Key life

Population increase in last 10 years might be connected to conversion of some part-time residents to full time.

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  • | 2:10 p.m. August 26, 2021
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If the town feels a little more crowded — oh, by about 617 people — consider yourself 100% correct, at least as far as the 2020 census goes.

Longboat Key’s population grew in the past 10 years from 6,888 full-time residents to 7,505, according to the most recent count.

But Town Manager Tom Harmer isn’t worried about the rumble of moving van after moving van rolling down Gulf of Mexico Drive.

“Some of that can be people who own a property on the island and are just changing from a part-time resident to a full-time residence,” Harmer said. “We know we’re generally built-out, so it’s not like we’re adding a bunch of new residential units.”

Data from the 2020 census was released earlier this month, capturing a snapshot of Longboat Key life that might otherwise be hard to measure.

Basically, what makes Longboat, well, Longboat.

Longboat Key’s median home values are nearly triple compared to Sarasota County as a whole.

And the town’s median household income is nearly double Sarasota County as a whole.

“I think part of it kind of describes in a way what Longboat Key is,” Harmer said.

“We are somewhat of a residential-based retirement area, and it’s also a very high quality of life area with some amenities that draw people from all over the country and even the world.”

Harmer’s sentiments are reflected in the town’s annual survey of town attitudes and views. Nearly 99% of the households that completed the town’s 2021 citizen survey described the overall quality of life on the island as either “excellent” or “good.”

The town’s levels of higher education are also higher than that of Sarasota County and the U.S.

“Since I’ve been on the commission, I’ve had the opportunity to attend a number of Florida League of Cities conventions like this and training programs,” Mayor Ken Schneier said.

“The opportunity to listen to some of the issues that other communities face, and just to know how lucky we are to not have to face at least within Longboat Key itself some of the problems, poverty and homelessness and what have you.”

Schneier called Longboat Key “a beautiful island.”

“We have a well-off, successful population on average compared to many other places,” he said. “We have many fewer problems than other towns have.”



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