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The Tampa Bay Area, or Tampa Baymarker, after the body of water it surrounds, is the second most populated metropolitan region in the state of Floridamarker, the 19th-largest metro area in the United States, the fourth largest in the Southeast behind only Miamimarker, Atlanta and Washington, and second largest on the Gulf Coast behind Houston. The population for the Tampa-St. Petersburg MSA currently stands at 2,723,949, as of a July 1, 2007 estimate, and the Greater Tampa Bay Region contains 4 million residents when including immediately adjacent urban and suburban counties to the official MSA. The Tampa Bay Partnership and U.S. Census data showed an average annual growth of 2.47 percent, or a gain of approximately 97,000 residents per year between 2000 and 2006. The combined Greater Tampa Bay region experienced a combined growth rate of 14.8 percent, growing from 3.4 million to 3.9 million and hitting the 4 million mark on April 1, 2007 in the continuous Tampa Bay urban area. In 2008 the area's construction based boom was brought to a sudden halt by the financial crisis of 2007–2009, and by 2009 it was ranked as the fourth worst performing housing market in the United States.[83241]


The following counties constitute the Tampa-St. Pete-Clearwater MSA:

Other counties are sometimes included in the Tampa Bay Area, depending on how the region is defined. For example, included in the jurisdiction of TBARTA are the above counties, plus the following:

Polk County, Floridamarker is also frequently included in definitions of the Tampa Bay Area.


The following is a list of important cities and unincorporated communities located in the Tampa Bay Area. Most of these locations are in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater MSA. Also frequently included in the Tampa Bay Area are cities in other Metropolitan Statistical Areas; among these are two of the primary cities in the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. Those that are not in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater MSA are indicated by a ★.

Primary cities

These cities are the primary cities of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater MSA. Each has a population in excess of 100,000 inhabitants.
Downtown Tampa
St. Petersburg


Between 50,000 to 100,000 inhabitants

Between 10,000 to 50,000 inhabitants


According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the Tampa-St. Pete-Clearwater MSA consists of the following ethnic demographics:
  • White (Non-Hispanic/Latino)- 1,821,955 76.0%
  • Black - 248,058 10.4%
  • Hispanic - 248,642 10.4%
  • Asian/Pacific Islander - 57,235 2.4%

Population and age

Tampa Bay's expanding population has grown more than 11 percent in the past six years and is projected to grow an additional 9 percent by 2011. The Tampa Bay region's population is projected to increase from the current 3.8 million to more than 4.2 million in 2011. That translates to over 70,000 new people a year, mostly through migration.

Population changes due to migration (click to enlarge)
Population Tampa Bay
2011 Projection 4,207,447
2006 Estimate 3,863,811
2000 Census 3,469,880
1990 Census 2,962,824

Regional Counties 2006 2011 Estimate
Hernandomarker 154,045 171,593
Hillsboroughmarker 1,139,830 1,264, 811
Manateemarker 306,512 342,712
Pascomarker 418,075 473,053
Pinellas 937,182 959,546
Polkmarker 541,006 591,742
Sarasotamarker 367,161 403,990

Nearly 20% of Tampa Bay's population is in the 18-34 age group.

Age Tampa Baymarker Percentage
0-17 852,600 22.03%
18-34 757,808 19.62%
35-54 1,066,684 27.32%
55-64 447,581 11.58%
65 and over 750,138 19.42%
MEDIAN AGE 41.39 years old


Ethnicity Tampa Bay Percentage
Caucasian 3,141,549 81.31%
Hispanic or Latino 479,936 12.42%
African American 411,157 10.64%
Asian 77,296 2.00%
Other 149,948 3.89%
Two or more races 83,861 2.17%

Hispanic or Latino by Origin
Ethnicity Tampa Bay Percentage
Mexicanmarker 145,685 30.36%
Puerto Rican 135,133 28.16%
Cuban 63,728 13.28%
All Others 135,390 28.21%


From 2000-2004, total net migration for the Tampa Bay region was 262,961 or an average of 65,740 per year. During this time Tampa Bay accounted for nearly 20% of Florida's total net migration. The annual migration totals grew steadily since 2000 until 200 people a day moved to Tampa Bay in 2004. Two Tampa Bay region counties are among the top counties in the country for net in-migration. Pasco County ranks 8th in the nation for net migration and Hillsborough Countymarker ranks 13th out of more than 3,000 counties.


Avionics, Defense & Marine Electronics

The University of South Floridamarker’s Center for Ocean Technology, which has been a leader in MEMS research and development and has been using the technology to collect biological and chemical data to monitor water quality, provided underwater technology for port security at the 2004 Republican National Convention. USF’s Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue used its miniature robots to assist rescue teams at Ground Zero following the September 11 terrorist attacks. Tampa Bay is home to United States Central Command which directs military operations in Afghanistanmarker, Iraqmarker and the middle East.

Business and Information Services

Nearly one in four of the state's business and information services firms resides in Tampa Bay. These firms range from financial services firms toinformation technologyproviders to professional services organizations such as law firms, accounting firms, engineering firms, consulting and more. As a gateway to the Florida High Tech Corridor, Tampa Bay is home to many information technology firms along with many business services providers.

Wall Street South

Tampa Bay's financial services cluster is the largest in the state of Floridamarker and ranks 20th in the nation in terms of domestic employment. The size and scope of this sector has drawn many service vendors to the region to support the financial services industry.

Financial Service Firms:

Information Services

Tampa Bay serves as the gateway to the Florida High Tech Corridor which spans 23 counties. Created as a partnership between the University of South Floridamarker, University of Central Floridamarker and now including the University of Floridamarker, the Florida High Tech Corridor promotes the growth of the high tech industry across Central Floridamarker.


Academic research is a key component of high-tech growth and a powerful economic engine. The presence of cutting-edge research in the region is vital to technology transfer, which enables innovative ideas discovered in academia to achieve commercialization in the marketplace. Tampa Bay has several powerhouse research centers that are engaged in both pure scientific research and aggressively pursuing technology transfer to enrich people’s lives.

Health Care

With more than 50 hospitals, dozens of clinics and ambulatory care centers, the Tampa Bay has an abundance of top-rated health care facilities for children and adults. The region also has a wealth of well-trained medical professionals – nearly 53,000 nurses and more than 9,200 physicians (including physician assistants) – provide care to Tampa Bay residents and visitors every year.

High-Tech Industry

Medical Device Manufacturing

Tampa Bay ranks in the top 20 nationwide for medical device manufacturing clusters. The industry employs more than 10,000 people with an average wage in excess of $49,000 and produces over $2 billion worth of goods and services for an economic impact of more than 51,000 jobs and $5 billion.Tampa Bay's history of manufacturing for the defense industry has created a workforce skilled in high-precision fabrication of electronic parts and assemblies and experience in dealing with government relations, easing the transition to the highly regulated medical manufacturing industry.


Researchers at the University of South Floridamarker's Nanomaterials and Nanomanufacturing Research Center (NNRC), H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and the Center for Ocean Technogy at USF's College of Marine Science are researching how to use nanotechnology for a myriad of targeted uses including drug delivery, mechanized microsurgery, customized laser microchips, ways to turn sunlight into electricity, purifying water, storing hydrogen in small nanotubes, designing and developing marine sensors using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and curing cancer.


University of South Floridamarker in Tampamarker, Florida College in Temple Terracemarker, Clearwater Christian College, Eckerd Collegemarker in St. Petersburgmarker, and the University of Tampamarker are all four-year institutions located in the area. St. Petersburg College and Hillsborough Community College, Manatee Community College are community colleges in the area. Stetson University College of Lawmarker is the area's only law school and has campuses in Gulfportmarker and Tampamarker.

Culture and recreation

Arts and culture make a big impact in Tampa Bay. In a single year, the economic impact of the cultural institutions in the Tampa Bay area was $521.3 million, according to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopersmarker study. In 2004, 5.6 million people attended plays, musical performances, museum exhibits and other cultural institutions in Tampa Bay, supporting 7,800 jobs.

Long established communities, particularly those near the bay such as Cubanmarker flavored Ybor Citymarker, contain historic architecture. Fresh seafood and locally grown produce are available in many restaurants. Sports attractions include many professional quality golf courses, tennis courts, and pools. The area is highly noted for its beaches and nightlife as well. Other attractions include Busch Gardensmarker, the Salvador Dalí Museummarker, the Florida Aquariummarker, Museum of Science and Industrymarker, the Florida Holocaust Museummarker, Lowry Park Zoomarker and Weeki Wachee Springs.

Sports teams

The Tampa Bay Area is home to three major professional sports teams and a number of minor-league and college teams.

Major League Baseball Spring training teams in the area

Spring training in Tampa Bay is a favorite pastime of both residents and tourists alike.

Also playing in the Grapefruit League in the Tampa Bay Area are the Cincinnati Reds in Sarasota (The Reds now do Spring Training in Fort Myers), the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, and the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland.

Minor League teams

Minor League baseball teams in the area include:Florida State League (Single-A baseball)

Sporting events


Transportation in the Tampa Bay Area is heavily affected by its position around Tampa Baymarker. For more about marine transportation in the area, including the many bridges over Tampa Bay, see Tampa Bay#Transportation.


Tampa International Airportmarker is the largest airport in the region with 21 carriers and more than 17 million passengers served last year. In addition to the recent opening of a new terminal, improvements are being planned to handle 25 million passengers by 2020. Traveler satisfaction has always been a top priority for "America's Favorite Airport." It has won high recognition in the international J.D. Power and Associates Global Airport Passenger Satisfaction Study for three consecutive years. Condé Nast Traveler Magazine recognized TIA as the third best airport in the world and IATA Skytrax 2003 survey named TIA as the No. 2 airport in North America.

Sarasota-Bradenton International Airportmarker has experienced a 19.2 percent increase in passenger traffic during the first quarter of 2005, mainly due to the addition of AirTran Airways and expanded service to destinations.

St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airportmarker provides access to commercial airliners, and smaller charter craft. The airport is currently planning an expansion which will include new terminal facilities and runway extension. Dotting the landscape throughout the area, are many general aviation airports for the aircraft enthusiast and smaller corporate jets.

Rail and intermodal

CSX provides rail service for the entire Tampa Bay region. The railroad serves every major population and industrial center east of the Mississippimarker including Ontariomarker and Montrealmarker. CSX also connects with more than 166 bulk intermodal distribution terminals and rail-to-truck bulk transloading facilities throughout its service area, linking it to all of North America.

On July 1, 2007, an intermodal transportation authority was created to serve the seven county Tampa Bay area. The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) was formed to develop bus, rapid transit, and other transportation options for the region.


The Tampa Bay Area is served by these interstate highways. Hillsborough County is also served by other roadways such as the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway (SR 618) which commutes workers from Brandon into downtown Tampa and the Veterans Expressway/Suncoast Parkway (Toll 589) which serves traffic from the Citrus/Hernando County border southward into Tampa.

In Pinellas County, US 19 is the main north-south route through the county, and is being upgraded to freeway standards complete with frontage roads to ease congestion through the north part of the county. Also, the Bayside Bridge allows traffic to go from Clearwater into St. Petersburg without having to use US 19.

The Courtney Campbell Causeway (SR 60) is one of the 3 roads that connect Pinellas County to Hillsborough County across the bay. The other two are the Howard Frankland Bridge (I-275) and Gandy Bridge (US 92). The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is part of I-275 and connects Bradentonmarker and other Manatee County and Sarasota County commuters into Pinellas County.


The Tampa Bay areamarker has a humid subtropical climate (Koppen Cfa), with warm temperatures and the threat of thunderstorms during the summer and the winter frost about every 2–3 years. The area is listed by the USDAmarker as being in hardiness zone 10, which is about the northern limit of where coconut palms and royal palms can be grown. Highs usually range between 65 and 95 °F (18 and 35 °C) year round. Surprisingly to some, Tampa'smarker official high has never reached 100 °F (38 °C) - the all-time record high temperature is 99 °F (37 °C). St. Petersburg'smarker all-time record high is exactly 100 °F (38 °C).

Pinellas Countymarker lies on a peninsula between Tampa Baymarker and the Gulf of Mexicomarker, and much of the city of Tampa lies on a smaller peninsula jutting out into Tampa Bay. This proximity to large bodies of water both moderates local temperatures and introduces large amounts of humidity into the atmosphere. In general, the communities furthest from the coast have more extreme temperature differences, both during a single day and throughout the seasons of the year.

External links

  • Tampa Bay 365 Daily photo stories of people, events, and places in the Tampa Bay area

See also

United States metropolitan area


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