Venice Florida - New Residents

Venice Florida - New Resident Information

"Venice Florida New Resident
Information Center"

Venice Area Chamber of Commerce

About Venice
Area Communities
A Place to Call Home
Becoming a New Resident
Brief History of Venice

Business Incentives
Nearby Attractions

Restaurant Listing
Shopping and Dining
Telephone Numbers

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[About Venice] [Area Communities] [A Place to Call Home] [Beaches] [Becoming a New Resident] [Brief History of Venice] [Business Incentives] [Culture] [Education] [Healthcare] [Nearby Attractions] [Parks] [Restaurant Listing] [Shopping and Dining] [Statistics] [Telephone Numbers] [Tennis] [YMCA ] [Other Florida Cities ] [Other Florida Internet Sites]

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As with any community the best source for New Resident Information is the Chamber of Commerce
You can reach the Venice Chamber at:

The Venice Area Chamber of Commerce
257 Tamiami Trail North
Venice, Florida 34285

941-488-2236 - FAX 941-484-5903

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The City on the Gulf

Venice, South Venice, Nokomis, Laurel, and Osprey are five communities that are nestled along Florida's southwestern coast. The waters of the Gulf of Mexico moderate the temperatures of summer and winter for a perfect year-round climate. The scenic stretch of Sarasota County coast line basks in the sun most of the year and temperatures seldom drop below 70 degrees.

From Osprey, which is the northernmost community to Manasota Key, below South Venice, fourteen miles of white sand beaches lure sun worshippers and searchers for sea shells and the prehistoric shark teeth which have earned Venice the title of Sharks Tooth Capital of the world. Every August, Venice draws thousands of visitors to its superb waterfront with the community-wide Sharks Tooth and Seafood Festival. Venice, a water wonderland, enjoys the Gulf , bays, and other waterways that offer opportunities for swimming, surfing, fishing, and boating - a constant source of recreation for residents and visitors alike.

In 1994, the population of the City of Venice, was estimated at about 19,000; that of greater Venice are at 87000. The five communities cover a total of 80.3 square miles. Thirty-five miles of beaches line Sarasota County's coast. At the heart of Venice is the Downtown Historic District combining the best of past and present while enjoying a modern outlook.

Venice is one of the few cities on Florida's west coast that is not separated from the Gulf by a barrier island. Construction of the Intracoastal Waterway in 1963 made an island of the Venice municipal and commercial district and helped maintain the pattern of growth that continues today. Preserving the original character of Venice, the city created the Historic Venice District and an Architectural Review Board to ensure that new construction or modification of existing buildings conform to the northern Italian Renaissance style of the city's original architecture. Designation as a Florida Main Street City by the State further assures the city's heritage will be preserved.

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Just beyond the Venice city limits, South Venice with 18,000 residents, is conveniently located on U.S. 41, also known was the Tamiami Trail. It is a center for shopping and light manufacturing, as well as the site of Manatee Community College's South Campus and the new Venice Health Park.

A fishing village with elegant residential neighbor hoods, shopping, and all the amenities of today's lifestyles, Nokomis lies north of Venice and stretches east from Casey Key to I-75. The many miles of shoreline along the Gulf, the Intracoastal Waterway, Lyons, Dona, and Roberts Bays and several creeks make this is a water-oriented community.

Taking its name from the trees that once grew abundantly in the area, Laurel is a small, largely residential community between Nokomis and Osprey. With its own post office, a number of churches and small businesses, Laurel is an attractive place to call home.

Northernmost of the Venice area communities, Osprey is the oldest. History can be traced from Historic Spanish Point, through pioneer home stead buildings of the late 1800s, to the early 20th century gardens of Mrs. Potter Palmer. Several small businesses serve residents of comfortable older neighborhoods as well as an elegant golf club community. This is also the home of the Oscar Scherer State Recreational Center.

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Every year, more and more people choose the greater Venice area as the place they want to call home. The area's friendly, welcoming atmosphere makes settling in easy. With a wide variety of housing styles and prices, there is sure to be a home to suit every taste and budget. From the Italian-style architecture of downtown Venice to luxurious contemporaries, comfortable and affordable starter homes, waterfront condominiums, and villas along the fairways in a golf course community, the choices are many.

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Modern Venice is shaped by a rich heritage. The area of Venice is the home of the Calusas, Native Americans who have lived here for more than 12,000. Although Florida was occupied by the Spanish in the 16th century and became a state in 1845, much of its south western coast remained a wilderness. Homesteaders began settling in the region in the 1860s, founding Osprey in 1867 and a year later, Dona Bay, which is now Nokomis. A distinctive tree formation along the gulf shore earned the name Horse and Chaise for the town that became Venice in 1888. The suggestion to rename it after Italy's famous city of canals was made by Frank Higel. Around 1916, the climate and the natural beauty of the area captivated Dr. Fred Albee, a New York physician who purchased the entire village of Nokomis on Dona and Roberts Bay after just an eight-day visit. The area, which encompasses the city of Venice, became increasingly accessible in the 1920s with the coming of the Seaboard Railroad and the two-lane Tamiami Trail, which put Venice on the main route linking Tampa and Miami. Venice developed rapidly after the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers selected it as their retirement area in 1925. Working with citizens like Dr. Albee, who had a dream of making a model city of this gulf coast paradise, the union engaged John Nolen, a well-known Massachusetts city planner, to develop a plan for the city of Venice. Specifications that all construction be of the Italian style gave the city a unique character. Economic boosts occurred in 1932 when the Kentucky Military Institute moved into the San Marco Hotel and Orange Blossom Garage buildings, and again in 1941 with the creation of a U.S. Army base. Population grew from 863 in 1950 to nearly 10,000 in 1957. Following the arrival of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which made Venice its winter headquarters in 1960, the Venice area's population took another leap to 27,000 in 1962.

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Caspersen Beach, the longest beach in Sarasota County, is located south of Venice Airport on Harbor Drive. It has been left in its natural state, uncultivated, windswept, and secluded. This is an exceptionally good area to look for and find pre-historic sharks teeth as well as enjoyable shelling. It is also site of the annual Sharks Tooth and Seafood Festival.

Venice Municipal Beach is an excellent place to find sharks teeth and other fossilized material and attracts divers to its coral reef about one quarter mile offshore.

Nokomis Beach, a quiet, family-oriented beach, a good place for fishing, strolling, or launching a boat.

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Myakka River State Park, (941-365-0100), 28,865-acres with woodland trails, and boardwalk along 1,500-acre Lake Myakka.

South Creek in the Oscar Scherer State Recreation Center (941-483-5956), 462 acres offers swimming, both fresh- and saltwater fishing, canoeing, boating, bicycling, and hiking.

County Parks and Recreation Department (941-951-5572) operates several parks in the Venice area with swimming, baseball, basketball, volleyball, softball, shuffleboard, football, and soccer facilities.

North Jetty Park, one of the best surfing beaches on Florida's Gulf Coast, (south end of Casey Key) is popular for fishing and volleyball too.

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The South County Family YMCA (941-493-6130) has indoor and outdoor activities, including fitness and aerobics classes, preschool and after-school child care, and a summer camp, and includes a gymnasium and Nautilus exercise equipment. Outdoors are Olympic-sized heated pool, softball and soccer fields, and courts for handball, racquetball, squash, and tennis.

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The City of Venice operates six public tennis courts well lit for evening play in downtown Venice and two at the Pinebrook Recreation Center. The new Shamrock Parkis a county public tennis location while Courtside Tennis Club (941-485-2000) is an attractive private facility. Tennis is also played at area country club communities.

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Florida Residency

To become a legal resident, file a Declaration of Domicile form with the County Clerk of the Court, South County Administration Center, 4000 S. Tamiami Trail, South Venice, 492 3020, or register to vote.

Driver's Licenses

New residents must apply for a Florida driver's license within 30 days of moving to the state. A driving test and an eye exam are required. Provide identification in the form of a Social Security card, birth certificate, valid out-of-state driver's license, voter registration card, or vehicle registration. Examination Office, 1212 Jacaranda Blvd., Venice Pines Shopping Center, 483-5997.

Auto Registration

Register automobiles within 30 days of establishing residence in Florida. Proof of ownership must be shown.

No-fault insurance (P.I.P.) is required on all private passenger vehicles licensed in Florida and on those of non-residents in the state for more than 90 days.

Filing for a Homestead Exemption

Permanent Florida residents (as of January 1) are eligible for a $25,000 homestead exemption on their primary residence. Taxpayers must file between January 2 and March 1 with the County Property Appraiser at 4000 S. Tamiami Trail, 492-3030.

Florida Taxes

Florida does not tax personal income, salary, dividends, interest, or capital gains. Tangible personal business property is appraised on machinery, equipment and certain rental units. An Intangible Personal Property Tax is levied on stocks, bonds, and other securities with the first $20,000 being exempt. Estate taxes for Florida residents are deducted from the amount claimed by the Federal Government. Real Estate (ad valorem) taxes are levied on 100% of assessed real estate valuation, minus Homestead Exemption, if applicable. Residents living within the corporate limits of the City of Venice pay both city and county taxes on real estate; homeowners in the unincorporated areas pay only the county tax (1993 Millage rates were 13.8277 for County residents; plus 3.8060 if residing in the city.)

The State Sales Tax is 6%, plus Sarasota County collects 1% sales tax for capital improvements. (The County also collects a 2% Tourism Tax on accommodations). Tax Collector's Office, 4000 Tamiami Tr. S., 492-3000.

Voter Registration

Must be 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, and a permanent resident of Sarasota County. Register at the Supervisor of Elections office, 4000 S. Tamiami Trail, 492-3060.

Inheritance Taxes

There are advantages to transferring securities and personal property to Florida as there is no State inheritance tax. Contact an attorney to see if you need to change your will to comply with Florida law.

Boating License

All motor boats used in Florida must be registered at the Tax Collector's Office. Boats with out-of-state registration need not register in Florida if they are here for 90 days or less.

Fishing License

Purchase license at the Tax Collector's Office (492-3000) or at nearly any bait or sporting goods store. Fees vary. If over age 65, hunting and fishing licenses are free.

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The culture of the Venice area can be traced through the exhibits and buildings of Historic Spanish Point (941-966-5214). The 30-acre site, on Little Sarasota Bay in Osprey, features archaeological exhibits of 4,000 year-old Native American artifacts, a pioneer home, chapel and cemetery, and the classic gardens of Mrs. Potter Palmer.

Pelican Man's Bird Sanctuary on City Island is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of pelicans and other wild birds. A similar sanctuary in Venice is under construction.

The Venice Symphony (941-488-1010) concert season runs from January through April.

The Venice Opera Guild (941-484-7446) brings opera and musical theater to the area with fall, winter, and spring concerts, and an annual Grand Opera Gala in the Venice Community Center.

The Venice Little Theater (941-488-1115), recognized as one of the most successful, non-profit community theaters in the country, entertains with full-scale musicals, one-act plays, other stage productions, and a summer children's theater.

The Golden Apple Dinner Theater (941-485-5411) touts professional performances in the Best Western Venice Resort Inn.

The Venice Art Center (485-7136) is open year-round for exhibitions, classes and the sale of original artwork.

The Venice Community Center (485-6196), seating more than 700, is the venue for cultural, civic, and business activities during the year.

The Venice Public Library (492 3100) is a National Literary Land mark, housing an exhibit honoring Walter Farley, author of "The Black Stallion."

The Jacaranda Public Library (483 5960) is situated in an environmentally protected area set aside for nature study. A butterfly garden overlooks the neighboring lake and fountain.

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Nearby Attractions

The John and Mable Ringling Museum, Sarasota.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and the Museum of Botany and the Arts, Sarasota.

The Mote Marine Aquarium, City Island, Sarasota.

The Sarasota Jungle Gardens, Sarasota.

The South Florida Museum and Bishop Planetarium, Bradenton.

Busch Gardens, Tampa.

Disney World, Magic Kingdom, and EPCOT, Universal Studios and Sea World, Orlando.

Thomas A. Edison Winter Home, Fort Myers.

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Public & Private

The Sarasota County public school system at all levels is committed to preparing young people for lives and careers that will keep pace with today's rapidly changing world. Seven schools serve the greater Venice area, four elementary (kindergarten through 5th grade), two middle schools (grades 6 through 8), and Venice High School (grades 9 through 12). The Pine View Program for the Gifted, which enrolled 1,400 students in 1994.

Students may also enroll in the public schools' gifted programs and the exceptional student education (ESE) program. The Ideal School offers a work oriented course with on the job training.

Private schools and day care facilities include the Epiphany Catholic School (pre-kindergarten and kindergarten through 8); Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota; and the Venice Christian School.

The South County Vocational Adult and Community Education Center, 485 5481, offers GED testing, career and educational counseling, and job training, as well as English as a second language. High school and adult students receive technical training at the Sarasota County Technical Institute ,12 miles north of Venice.


Manatee Community College, 493-3504, is a fully accredited, multi-campus institution dedicated to the educational needs of this rapidly growing region. Its 100-acre South Campus, which serves the communities

of the greater Venice area, is located 8 miles east of Venice. The college enrolls over 1,500 full- and part-time students in more than 90 fields of study. Emphasis at the South Campus is on high-tech and computer skills including laser technology, robotics, and telemetry. Graduates from MCC rank at the top among Florida's 28 community colleges.

Also offering Venice area residents opportunities in higher education are the University of South Florida's Sarasota Cam pus, Nova University extension programs, and the Ringling School of Art and Design.

Public Schools

Sarasota County Board of Education.(941) 927-8811
Epiphany Cathedral School (Private).(941) 488-2215
Gardell Elementary School.............(941) 486-2110
Ideal High School.......................(941) 486-2131
Laurel Middle School...................(941) 486-2171
Nokomis Elementary School...........(941) 486-2277
Taylor Ranch School....................(941) 486-2000
Venice Elementary School..............(941) 486-2111
Venice Area Middle School.............(941) 486-2100
Venice High School.....................(941) 488-6726

School Board of
Sarasota County

Five Members elected countywide to staggered terms.

Registration Requirements

To enter school or transfer from out of state, you will need: Previous school records, birth certificate; proof of residence; health certificate and proof of immunization against rubella, mumps, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough. For forms, call or write the
County Health Department, 4000 S. Tamiami Trail, (941) 492-3120.

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Quality Healthcare

Residents of the Greater Venice Area have three hospitals which provide state of the art medical, surgical, and specialized care.

Venice Hospital

At the heart of the area's health care community is Venice Hospital which has served the region since 1951. The 342-bed hospital has developed an extensive system of facilities and services encompassing Venice, Englewood, and North Port. A modern, acute care facility, it offers some of the most advanced medical technology available and is the only community-owned, not-for-profit, locally managed hospital in the Venice area. All of the hospital's medical staff are required to be board certified in their specialty assuring the highest standards of quality.

The Venice Hospital Healthcare System also includes: the Venice Pines Nursing Home; Health Park, a freestanding outpatient services center; Venice Hospital Home

Health Services; Venice Hospital Personal Care Services; Venice Hospital Life Counseling Center; the Venice Heart Institute; the Center for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; the Gulf Area Regional Blood Bank; the North Port Family Practice and Clinic; and the Englewood Healthcare Center.

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From quaint boutiques to modern department stores, the Greater Venice Area has what it takes to make shopping a pleasure.

When visiting historic downtown Venice, shoppers will find a rich variety in the colorful shops along Venice, Tampa and Miami Avenues, housed in restored buildings of 1920s vintage now on the National Register of Historic Buildings.

The many shopping centers along Tamiami Trail are a buyer's and bargain hunter's dream. Bird Bay Plaza, at US. 41 Bypass North, has a number of professional services.

Offering a good mix of products and services are several centers at the Brick yard Center; the Venice Isles Plaza; the Wal-Mart Plaza at US 41 Bypass South; the Jacaranda Plaza; and the Venetian Plaza Shopping Center.

Continuing southward, one of the largest shopping areas is the Venice Village Shoppes, an array of popular stores, and just to the east, the Jacaranda and Holiday shopping centers.

In Osprey is the Southbay Fashion Center, also north of Venice is Nokomis Village. North of Osprey is Sarasota Square Mall, a regional indoor mall of more than 85 stores.


From the seafood bounty for which the sunshine state is famous to the best in international cuisine, the range of dining experiences in the Greater Venice Area is vast.

Steaks, seafood, barbecue, Mexican, Italian, German, English, Cuban, Indian, Chinese, deli, and down home, whatever the fare, expect the best in your dining experience.

Entertainment is also on the bill of fare at several Venice area lounges and restaurants.


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Emergency: 911



South County Ambulance Service  (941) 492-3136
Venice Ambulance Service (941) 485-8111

Florida Highway Patrol          (941) 483-5911
Venice Police Department (941) 488-6711

Sarasota-South County           (941) 492-3111
Hearing & Speech Impaired (941) 366-0727

Venice (941) 492-3196
Nokomis (941) 488-8855
Osprey (941) 951-4211
South Venice (941) 493-2301


Venice Area Board
of Realtors (941) 484-0614

Venice Area Chamber of Commerce (941) 488-2236
Better Business Dept (941) 488-2236

Library Services

Venice Public Library           (941) 492-3100
Jacaranda Public Library (941) 483-5960


Manatee Community College,
South Campus            (941) 493-3504
Sarasota County Technical Institute (941) 924-1365
University of South Florida, Sarasota Campus (941) 359-4200

Cultural Centers

Historic Spanish Point  (941) 966-5214
Venice Art Center (941) 485-7136
Venice Little Theater (941) 488-1115


City of Venice
City Hall       (941) 485-3311

Sarasota County

Animal Control                  (941) 951-5550
Auto Tags (941) 951-5600
Building & Zoning (941) 492-3070
Clerk of the Circuit Court (941) 492-3020
County Commission (941) 951-5344
Driver's License (941) 483-5997
Environmental Services (941) 378-6137

Hunting & Fishing Licenses (941) 492-3000

Mosquito Control                (941) 951-5556
Property Appraiser (941) 492-3030
Supervisor of Elections (941) 492-3060
Tax Collector (941) 492-3000

Health Care

Englewood Community             (941) 475-6571
Sarasota Memorial (941) 917-2498
Venice Hospital (941) 485-7711


Sarasota Herald-Tribune (941) 484-9561
Venice Gondolier (941) 484-2611

Parks & Recreation

Sarasota County
Parks & Recreation                      (941) 951-5572
Myakka River State Park (941) 365-6511
Oscar Scherer State Recreation Area (941) 483-5956

South County Family

YMCA                            (941) 493-6130
Venice Community Center (941) 485-6196
Venice Recreation Center (941) 483-5963

Post Offices

Laurel Road                     (941) 488-1414
Nokomis (941) 488-1135
Osprey, U.S. 41 (941) 966-3336
Venice, 350 W. Venice Ave. (941) 485-2881

Public Schools

Sarasota County
Board of Education              (941) 927-8811
Garden Elementary School (941) 486-2110
Ideal High School (941) 486-2131
Laurel Middle School (941) 486-2171


Elementary School               (941) 486-2277
Taylor Ranch School (941) 486-2000
Venice Elementary School (941) 486-2111
Venice Area Middle School (941) 486-2100
Venice High School (941) 488-6726

Public Utilities

Venice City Utilities   (941) 485-3311
Florida Power & Light (941) 379-1424
General Telephone (800) 483-7762
Englewood Disposal (941) 493-4100
Venice Garden Utilities (941) 493-6118


WWSB Channel 40         (941) 923-8840
WFTX-TV (Fox) (941) 627-1980
Comcast Cable TV (941) 484-0602
WAMR/WCTQ Radio (941) 484-2636
WDW Radio (941) 749-1420
WENG Radio (941) 474-3231
WKIIAM & WEEJ-FM (941) 639-1112

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A Great Place for a Business

A game of tennis or eighteen holes of golf; dinner and a glorious sunset served up at a restaurant overlooking the Gulf; a stroll among the shopping centers - this is home to the 87,000 residents of the Greater Venice Area and the place where they do business.

This paradise on the Gulf supports a diverse, broad based economy, which includes a variety of hospitality, health care, and other services, as well as light manufacturing. Home to an increasing number of clean, responsible industries, the Venice area is a strong contributor to the economic growth of Sarasota County where competitive tax and utility rates have encouraged the opening of several new business parks.

Sarasota County government is active in fostering the growth of business. In 1993, the county implemented a wide-range economic development plan for growth in the years ahead. One far reaching goal of the plan is to "foster the development of infrastructure needed to support business and industry growth, including education, investment incentives, public works projects, and environmental conservation to encourage the establishment of public/ private economic development partnerships."

The city of Venice is also a pro-active force in the business community. Its new Economic Development Council has under taken a comprehensive strategic plan for economic development that dove tails with the county plan. The community-wide 20/ 20 Visions of Venice Task Force is hard at work on plans for 1995 and 1996 that will focus on the renovation and use of the Historic Train Station and a linear park along the Intracoastal Waterway.

One of the few cities in the United States initially designed according to a comprehensive plan, Venice's historic downtown has been designated a Florida Main Street City. Venice Avenue, with its artistic landscaping, stately palms, silver trumpet trees, pines, and flowers, is at the heart of a revitalized downtown commercial district.

The Venice Area Chamber of Commerce and its Economic Development Committee are an important source of support and guidance in doing business in the area. Throughout the area are several industrial parks. Prime industrial land is available in a business climate that encourages well-planned employment centers.

Business Incentives

-No personal income tax

-No state-level ad valorem taxes

-No state inheritance tax

-No stable inventory tax

-Corporations pay a modest 5.54% state income tax

-$25,000 homestead tax exemption

-Retail sales tax - 7% (with food, medicine, and professional services exempt)

Financial & Other Incentives

-Financial assistance available for road construction

-State toll-free business assistance phone number:800-342-0771

-Right to work state

-4th fastest growing county in the state

-State of the art telecommunications

-Sarasota County Technical Institute

-University of South Florida

-University of Sarasota

-Ringling School of Art & Design

-Manatee Community College - South Campus

-Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport

Commitment to Business

The Greater Venice Area is a place where business wants to be and where business is welcomed. An active new public\private partnership, which provides information and assistance to interested companies, makes it easier than ever to establish or relocate a business in the county.

Sarasota County is an ideal home for businesses of all types.

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Venice Statistics

The Venice area is 80 square miles within Sarasota County with an annual population average of 87,000.

Sarasota County is the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)

City of Venice

1994....18,093 (estimated)
2000....29,144 (projected)

Sarasota County Total

1995....306,896 (estimate)
2000....336,203 (projected)

Sarasota County
Per Capita Personal
Income (In Dollars)


1992 Median Household
EBI $30,058
Source: Sales & Marketing Management
1993 Survey of Buying Power

Owner & Renter
Occupied Units
(Percentage of total
units in state)

Owner Occupied
Renter Occupied

Source: 1993 University of Florida,
Bureau of Economic & Business Research

Labor Force

Sarasota County by are and sex
Age, Population Percent, Sex, Population, Percent


Sarasota County...............Sarasota County
Total Personal Income.......Effective Buying Power
(In Millions)..................1992

1996....$10,289.8 (projected).....1988....$3,578,392,000
2001....$14,475.1 (projected).....1990....$4,433,744,000
............................................1996....$10,289.8 (projected)
.............................................2001....$14,475.1 (projected)
Source: University of Florida,
Bureau of Economic & Business Research

Median Value of
Housing Units


Contract Rentals

Total Units With Cash Rent 28,027

Mobile Homes

Total Owner & Renter Occupied 20,827

1993 Average

5.1 Percent

Source: Florida Department of Labor

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