updated 8/17/2009 6:10:08 PM ET 2009-08-17T22:10:08

Researchers say Florida's population has declined for the first time in 63 years and economists are blaming — what else? — the recession.

The head of the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research says Monday that the state's total population dropped by 58,000 in the past year. It's the first decline since large numbers of military personnel left the state in 1946 after World War II.

Bureau director Stan Smith says not as many people are moving to the Sunshine State and it has seen jobs leave. Would-be Floridians also are finding themselves stuck in homes that they can't sell, so they can't afford the move.

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