By Steve Plunkett
Without any fanfare, Gulf Stream has leapt from being a three-digit hamlet, population-wise, to a robust four-digit seaside burb.
The latest figures from the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research, for 2017, show the town has 1,001 residents. A year earlier it said Gulf Stream residents numbered 998.
“We’re just taking off,” Town Manager Greg Dunham joked.
The town’s official website still broadcasts the 2013 population estimate: 974. Since the 2010 census Gulf Stream’s populace has swelled by 215 new folks, or 27 percent, UF said.
The bulk of the growth, about 150 people, came with the 2011 annexation of 16.6 acres on the north side of town. Since then, the 43-unit 4001 North Ocean condominium and accompanying villas west of State Road A1A have been built, and the former Spence estate was subdivided into six-home Harbor View Estates.
Dunham said revenue sharing and grants are based on road miles and per-capita income levels, not population, so being in the four digits was not particularly momentous.
“It didn’t raise my attention,” Dunham said.
Other South County population figures for April 1, 2017, were South Palm Beach with 1,400 residents (up 42 since 2010), Manalapan with 421 (up 15), Ocean Ridge with 1,812 (up 26), Briny Breezes with 422 (down 179), and Highland Beach with 3,609 (up 70).
After the figures were released, Briny Breezes Town Manager Dale Sugerman persuaded the UF bureau to go with the higher 2010 census count of 601 residents.
Among larger South County municipalities, Lantana tallied 10,797 residents (up 374 since 2010), Boynton Beach had 73,992 (up 5,775), Delray Beach had 65,804 (up 5,282), and Boca Raton had 91,797 (up 7,405).
Palm Beach County’s total population was 1,414,144 people, up 94,010 or 7.1 percent from 2010.
Estimates for April 2018 will be released at the end of the year.