More Hispanics and Latinos are moving to St. Lucia County, census data shows
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — When it comes to choosing which county to live in, an increasing number of Hispanics and Latinos are moving to St. Lucie County. In fact, according to preliminary 2020 census data, over the past 10 years, St. Lucia County has seen the largest percentage increase in the population of Hispanics and Latinos among the viewing area of the five counties. .
Carla Figueroa, originally from Bolivia, said two years ago that she and her husband decided to move from West Palm Beach to St. Lucie County.
“We bought a house to come and live here, and the house was much bigger and more adequate for raising young children,” Carla Figueroa said in Spanish of finding homes in St. Lucie County.
According to 2020 census dataSt. Lucie County saw a 44.2% increase in Hispanic and Latino population over 2010. It ranks first among five counties in growth and 31st among 67 counties from Florida.
“We have noticed that there has been an increase in the number of Spanish-speaking families,” said Maureen Gallagher, senior librarian at the Paula A. Lewis Branch Library.
The Paula A. Lewis Branch Library of St. Lucie County in Port St. Lucie is about to launch a new program – a bilingual story hour at 10:30 a.m. on the third Friday of each month.
“We really felt it was a need the community was looking for,” Gallagher said.
Why are more Hispanics and Latinos moving to St. Lucie County? County communications director Erick Gill has several reasons.
“I think they’re moving here like everyone else,” Gill said. “St. Lucie County has affordable housing. We’ve had a lot of job growth over the last few years. There’s a lot more (jobs). We’ve diversified our economy.”
According to the 2020 Census results, St. Lucie County has seen an overall percentage increase in population over the past 10 years compared to Palm Beach, Martin, Indian River, and Okeechobee counties.
The average sale price of a single-family home is up nearly 26% since 2020, according to the August Beaches MLS Market Report, but it’s still $162,000 less than the median sale price of a single-family home. Palm Beach County and $177,000 less than Martin County. average sale price of a detached house.
“When we moved here, there were fewer Hispanics,” Figueroa said. “You notice because now when you go to parks, supermarkets, you hear more people speaking Spanish, and two years ago it wasn’t as common.”
Here’s how other percentage increases in the Hispanic/Latino population compare across counties in the viewing area: Palm Beach County saw an increase of nearly 40%, the increase of 35 .3% in Martin County and nearly 35% in Indian River County. Okeechobee County saw the smallest increase in the region at 3.1%, but the county also saw a 0.08% decrease in overall population from 2010, and 2010 census records show that its percentage increase in the Hispanic/Latino population over 10 years was 24%.
St. Lucie County now translates its emergency briefings into Spanish and Creole. The county has also created an internal diversity and inclusion committee.
At the Paula A. Lewis Branch Library, there are over 500 children’s books, reading materials, and tablet launch pads, all in Spanish, and each month the library increases this collection to serve the growing Hispanic population.
The first bilingual story hour at the Paula A. Lewis Branch Library, 2950 Rosser Blvd., will take place on Friday at 10:30 a.m. No registration is necessary.
The next census reports presenting data on the demographic components of population changes nationally and by state are expected to be released in December.