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Fastest-growing U.S. community? A retirement home

By Devon M. Sayers, CNN
March 27, 2014 -- Updated 1951 GMT (0351 HKT)
Politicians have long known what the Census has confirmed: The Villages in Florida has votes.
Politicians have long known what the Census has confirmed: The Villages in Florida has votes.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Census data shows fastest growing community, percentagewise, is for retirees
  • Community has 101,000 residents and grew by 5.2% between July 2012 and 2013
  • Midland and Odessa, Texas, and Fargo and Bismarck, North Dakota round out the Top 5

(CNN) -- The fastest-growing metro area in the United States may surprise you.

While many of the communities in the Top 10 list released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday were in the oil- and gas-rich Great Plains region, the fastest-growing community was a retirement development near Ocala, Florida.

The Villages in central Florida has more than 101,000 residents. Rules there require that at least one person in a household be older than 55.

"The Villages active life style continues to draw people from all over the county," Gary Lester, vice president for community relations at The Villages, told CNN.

He points to its theaters, hotels, golf courses and nightly entertainment as big draws for new residents.

Data from the U.S. government shows that the community added 5.2% to its population from July 2012 to July 2013, making it the fastest-growing community in the United States, percentagewise.

Homes range from just over $100,000 to more than $1 million, and the average age at purchase is 62, Lester said.

Odessa and Midland, Texas, and Fargo and Bismarck, North Dakota, rounded out the Top 5, the Census Bureau reported.

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