Fort Pierce, FL – Brace yourself for a lot of numbers, but they are interesting. According to the 2010 census, Florida is growing faster than the U.S. as a whole, and the Treasure Coast is growing faster than Florida. From 2000 to 2010, the U.S. population passed 300 million, but the rate of growth was a relatively low 10 percent. Florida's population grew 18 percent to almost 19 million. The Treasure Coast's population grew 23 percent, to to 562,000. More than half the Treasure Coast's population is in St. Lucie County, which shot up 44 percent. The population increase in Port St. Lucie was 46 percent. It is now the largest city on the Treasure Coast and the ninth largest in the state. Martin County's population grew 14 percent to 146,000. The growth of the Palm City unincorporated area there was 15 percent to 23,000. Indian River County grew 22 percent to 138,000. Sebastian, with 22,000 residents passed Vero Beach, which actually lost population and now has 15,000. The Treasure Coast's mushrooming population brings growing pains. We need more classrooms and more police. Roads are crowded. But that's far better than shrinking pains. Just ask anyone in Detroit. For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.
Treasure Coast essayist Paul Janensch was a newspaper editor and taught journalism at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.