As seen in the Tampa Bay Times on Jan 1, 2013.
So what is the biggest challenge facing Florida in this century? There are many possible answers, including: global warming, drinking water, economic growth and opportunity, immigration. And the list goes on.
The state's major challenge, in my view, is building a strong and healthy Florida and creating "one out of the many" who choose to live here.
For the first half of the 20th century, Floridians had a clear sense of themselves and their state. But it was not a society we would want to replicate — Floridians were racially polarized and the state struggled to provide a future for its residents.
Since World War II, Florida has changed dramatically, first being discovered by Northerners and then by Hispanics. For the past 40 years, people have arrived in extraordinary numbers, but they have also departed for other places in very large numbers. From 2000 to 2010 alone, 2.8 million people moved into Florida, despite the Great Recession. But an estimated 900,000 also departed during that time.
Today, as a result of this demographic upheaval, 48 percent of Floridians were born in another state, 19 percent in a foreign country, and 33 percent in Florida. The percentage of native-born is the lowest in the nation, while the percentage of foreign-born among the highest. Read more.