Florida is the state located at the South eastern part of the United States. It borders Mexico, Cuba and the Atlantic Ocean. The economic backbone of Florida is mainly hinged on the sectors of Agriculture and Tourism (Hart & Chang, 2007). In 2014, its tourism sector boasted of ninety-seven million tourists which was a four percent increase from the previous year. Likewise, its agricultural sector employed two million people and contributed $104 billion to the states economy. The main challenge to Floridas economy is a very high population growth rate that is churning out a high percentage of non-skilled labor force. The 2015 census recorded a 7% increase of population growth from the previous census. This can be attributed first by the fact that it is one of the most favorite destinations for retires, who form part of the non-productive segments of the population.
With the increase of population, the residents of Florida find it difficult to economically allocate the limited resources amongst themselves. This has consequently led to a very huge gap between the rich and the poor. The poor being unskilled and uneducated, have been pushed into the inner cities. This has had a domino effect on the two major economic sectors; agriculture and tourism. The tourism sector has been hit by the insecurity that has in turn been caused by poverty. The agricultural sector has on the other hand been hit by the low productivity owing to a large populace of non-skilled laborers.
The states authorities have cited this problem and come up with various ways to ensure this challenge is looked into. The first is the mass education of Floridians on the importance of family planning. This is in a bid to control the population growth. It has been done through various mass communication platforms such as advertisements and civic education.
The state of Florida has also taken stern measures to control foreign migration. The state ranks at number one in immigration and fourth in illegal immigrants (Hollis, 2008). These stern measures are in a bid to ease the strain on Floridas resources by illegal immigrants.
Critically looking at the state of Florida, it should be noted that besides attracting a big chunk of foreign immigrants, it also tops in domestic migration. Retirees end up settling in Florida whilst the young people from Florida emigrate to major commercial states like New York and California. This brain drain has also contributed to the low skilled work force in Florida. The authorities should devise incentives to make Florida attractive to youthful skilled people. Brain circulation rather than brain drain should be the objective.
The state also boasts of a vibrant service sector owing to the big tourist attraction it is (Florida, 2008). Usually, the service sector has a huge labor force but with low salaries. Perhaps this works as a disincentive to potential high skilled laborers to settle in the state. To improve this, the authorities should encourage that employees be paid high salaries. This will increase productivity as well competitiveness thus further driving the economy.
Conclusively, the challenge of population growth rate facing Florida is a challenge that can be best handled at the federal level rather than at the state level. It encompasses many things such as education, security at our borders, cultural tolerance and diversity and encouragement of entrepreneurship.
Florida, R. (2008). Who's your city? New York: Basic Books.
Hart, J. & Chang, P. (2007). Florida. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark.
Hollis, T. (2008). Selling the Sunshine State. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.
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