Population down about 20% from 2010
The median age of a Siesta Key resident is 67.2, compared to 42.2 statewide, and the median household income on the barrier island is $105,457, plus or minus $9,109, the U.S. Census Bureau says.
The median household income in Florida is $57,703, plus or minus $269, the Census Bureau says.
Since May 2011, when Stephen Leatherman of Florida International University — known as Dr. Beach — named Siesta Public Beach the best in the United States, the barrier island has remained in a brighter proverbial spotlight. Given that fact, The Sarasota News Leader this week reviewed U.S. Census Bureau statistics to learn about the Key’s demographics.
The most recent data available are from both the 2020 U.S. Census and the Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey, which covers five years.
As the Census Bureau explains, “The American Community Survey (ACS) helps local officials, community leaders, and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities. It is the premier source for detailed population and housing information about our nation.”
The latest Community Demographic Profile for Siesta Key also notes that 54.9% of the island’s residents are 65 and older, with 91.7% age 18 and up.
The total population on Siesta is 5,454, with 2,915 households noted, the report says.
The 2010 Census recorded 6,565 residents on the Key, with almost 52% of them age 62 or older. That report also noted that the population had declined by 8.18% from 2000 to 2010.
The drop from 2010 to 2020 is approximately 20%.
Only 4.7% of the Key’s residents are living in poverty, the 2020 ACS estimate shows — plus or minus 1.4%. That compares to 13.3% statewide.
The majority of Siesta residents who are classified as living in poverty are ages 18 to 64, the report says: 7.5%. The figure for those age 65 and older is 2.7%.
Only 4% of residents lack health care coverage, the report says.
Altogether, the island has 7,792 housing units, the Census Bureau notes. Of those, 2,814 are occupied, the report says.
In 2010, the U.S. Census put the total number of housing units at 8,146.
A more detailed breakdown says that married couples live in 1,552 of Siesta homes, based on 2020 estimates. Further, 82 males are alone in households, compared to 73 females. Again, the 2020 ACS data was used for those figures.
The Census data also show that 67.2% of residents on the Key are married, except separated, and 10.5% are widowed. Only 12.2% never have been married, the report adds.
The median gross rent on Siesta Key, as reported in the 2020 ACS data, was $1,920, plus or minus $291. The report puts the median gross rent in the state at $1,218, plus or minus $3.
In a more detailed breakdown, that section of the report says that 26.3% of Siesta residents paying rent are in the $1,500 to $1,999 per month category. Those paying $1,000 to $1,499 make up 25.3% of the island’s renters, and residents with rent ranging from $2,000 to $2,499 a month represent 17.5% of the total.
However, those paying $3,000 or more each month combine for 25.3% of all renters, the report adds.
Another table in the report points out that 4.7% of the island residents reported moving within Sarasota County within the year prior, according to the 2020 ACS estimates. Additionally, 7.2% had moved from a different state to Siesta in the previous year, and 4.3% had relocated to the Key from a different county in Florida.
Education and employment
In regard to education and employment, the 2020 ACS data show that 64.3% of the residents hold a bachelor’s degree or have attained a higher level of education.
The 2020 ACS data also note that 29.6% of island residents age 25 and older have a graduate or professional degree, with another 18.8% having attended college without earning a degree.
Statewide the 2020 ACS data point out, only 30.5% of individuals 25 or older have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education.
The employment rate for Siesta residents is only 36.5% — plus or minus 4.9% — but the median age likely explains that.
The report notes that 59.5% of the people who are employed work for private companies. Another 22% are self-employed in their own incorporated businesses, while 4.8% work for a local, state or federal government.
One other chart shows that the usual mean number of hours a Siesta resident works each week is 39, plus or minus 2.1. For the state, the figure is 38.8, plus or minus 0.1.
Yet another section of the report focuses on commuting to work. That says the average travel time for a Siesta resident is 30 minutes, plus or minus 8.1 minutes. Statewide, the figure is 27.9 minutes, plus or minus 0.1 minute. The chart accompanying that section shows that 59.9% of Siesta residents drive alone, while 4.3% are in carpools.
Another 2.9% walk to work.
Ancestry, languages spoken at home and veterans
As for a breakdown by ancestry: The 2020 ACS report shows that 20.4% of the population has a German background; 14.7%, Irish; 12.7%, English; 9.4%, Italian; and 3.8%, French, “except Basque.”
Further, 91.8% of the residents speak English only at home; 6.5% speak other “Indo-European languages”; and 0.9% speak Asian and Pacific Islander languages.
Additionally, 56.4% of the residents are naturalized U.S. citizens, the Census Bureau report notes. Only 11.3% of the Siesta population — plus or minus 3.1% — was born outside the United States. The latter statistic compares to 20.8% for the population statewide, plus or minus only 0.1%.
Additionally, 12.1% of the island’s residents are veterans — plus or minus 2.2% — and 89.1% of those are males. Statewide, veterans make up 8.4% of the population, plus or minus 0.1%, the data show.