The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro makes up 14.4% of the total 20.6 million Floridians, with 2.98 million residents throughout Hillsborough, Hernando, Pasco, and Pinellas Counties. The Lakeland-Winter Haven MSA has 3.2% of the total Floridians, with just over 650,000 residents throughout Polk County. The Tampa Bay Region has expected growth of 1.4% annually.
The Tampa Bay Region is connected by five main highways: I-75 (north and south), I-4 (east and west), and I-275, which runs through the center and downtown Tampa. The Veteran’s Expressway (FL 589) is a toll expressway that runs north to south along West Tampa. Leroy Semon Cross Expressway (FL 618) is another toll expressway that runs across South Tampa.
Tampa Bay’s economic prosperity resides not only in its tourism destinations, but through diverse economic sectors. The MSA’s top industries include education and health, professional business services, retail trade, and leisure and hospitality.
Hillsborough County’s top industries including defense/security, agribusiness, medical/life sciences, financial/professional services, and manufacturing. Pinellas’ include healthcare, retail, finance/insurance, hospitality, and manufacturing. The leading Polk County is agriculture and natural resources, with farmland absorbing 45% of the county’s total land area.
Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties see a combined 27.6 million annual visitors each year. Some of the most notable destinations include Busch Gardens, Lowry Park Zoo, The Florida Aquarium, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL), Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL), Tampa Bay Rays (MLB), Dali Museum and much more. Pasco and Hernando Counties are known for their natural and historical attractions.