- Associated Press - Thursday, June 26, 2014

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Florida’s population continued to get older last year from a combination of natural aging and new residents, and the state had the highest rate of residents older than 65 years old.

New estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau showed that Florida grew by 1.2 percent from 2012 to 2013, and the state now has about 19.5 million residents.

The 230,000 new residents last year are still less than the numbers at the height of Florida’s last boom in the middle of the last decade.

But University of Florida demographer Stefan Rayer says it marks a return to decent growth following stagnant population change during the recession.

Sumter County had the nation’s highest percentage of seniors with more than half of its residents older than 65.

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