Census figures show Port St. Lucie is 9th largest city in state

City grew 84% in the ten years between 2000-2010

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Andrew Maxwell wanted to move from Ireland to the United States.

He did some research and found that Port St. Lucie would be the perfect place for an Irish pub.

Three years later, Maxwell is seeing green.

"This last year has been phenomenal," says Maxwell.  "We get busier month to month and I think it's only going to get better. There's a lot of good people now moving to Port St. Lucie and it's amazing how many Irish people actually live on the Treasure Coast."

The latest numbers from the census bureau show how much St. Lucie County and the city of Port St. Lucie have changed in the last ten years.

The population exploded here between 2000 and 2010.

Port St. Lucie became the fastest growing city in the nation in 2004.

It's now the 9th largest city in the state of Florida, trailing Ft. Lauderdale by 1,000 people.

"It's affordable housing," says Councilman Jack Kelly.  "You can get a better home here and a better lifestyle, a quality of life I think than anybody else around on the entire east coast of Florida."

The number of people moving here has slowed in the last couple of years, in part because of the downturn in the housing market.

In 2009, Port St. Lucie found itself near the top of another list, cities with the most foreclosures.

Despite the downturn, Maxwell says his business has continued to grow.  

And the weather here sure beats back home.

That's something to celebrate, especially on St. Patrick's Day.

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