The Villages community can take a bow. For four decades, its residents have propelled it to the top spot across society’s spectrum. Today marks another big first as The Villages becomes home to the first commercial press of its kind installed in America in a decade. The Daily Sun’s new 100,000-square-foot facility is the latest to open at the massive Rick Scott Industrial Park, which continues to expand into a regional powerhouse. It’s just one more way Villagers have made our hometown No. 1.
No. 1 in New Residents
People moved to The Villages metropolitan statistical area at a faster rate during the past decade than anywhere else in America, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. We grew by 40.5% to 132,420 residents as of April 1, 2019.
No. 1 in Senior Living
The median age in The Villages metropolitan statistical area is the nation’s highest — 67.4 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
No. 1 in Public Safety
We have the lowest crime rate in Florida at 1,044 crimes per 100,000 people, according to the FBI. We’re also home to the highest number of automated external defibrillators per capita in the U.S., which saves lives from cardiac arrests.
No. 1 in Veterans
We have the largest percentage of veterans in a community not attached to a military base — 1 in 6 of our residents have worn an Armed Forces uniform. American Legion Post 347 in Lady Lake has the largest membership in the world.
No. 1 in Voting
For the 2020 election, 80.4% of Sumter County’s registered voters flooded six early voting sites in the county to cast their ballots in advance of Election Day, leading the state in early turnout.
No. 1 in Income Growth
Total real personal income grew by 73% here during the past decade — faster than anywhere else in Florida, according to the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. That makes us the fifth-fastest growing market in the country.
No. 1 in Home Sales
The Villages is the nation’s top-selling master-planned community for the year ended Dec. 31, 2020. It sold 2,452 new homes.
— Compiled by Daily Sun Specialty Editors David R. Corder, Bill Zimmerman, Leah Schwarting and Mackenzie Raetz