Tampa Metro

Tampa

Tampa, Florida

Serving as the county seat and largest city in Hillsborough County, Tampa is the third most populous city in Florida with 346,037 residents in 2011. The Greater Tampa Bay area has over 4 million residents. Tampa is the economic center of west central Florida with economic engines in tourism, agriculture, construction, finance, healthcare, technology, and maritime industries. In 2008, Forbes Magazine ranked Tampa the 5th best outdoor city. The NYU newspaper Washington Square News cited Tampa as a top city for “twenty-somethings” in 2004. According to a 2009 Pew Research Center study, Tampa also ranks as the fifth most popular American city, based on where people want to live.  Tampa is now ranked as a “Gamma+”world city by Loughborough University. Tampa has experienced significant population growth in the past decade.  The Tampa Chamber of Commerce claims that real estate values and growth have remained more stable than many other areas of the US during the uproar of 2008 and harbor many growth opportunities in the next decade.  Compared to the rest of the country, Tampa’s cost of living is 12.30%  lower than the U.S. average.

Economy

Although the Tampa area shared economic stress during the national downturn of 2008, some industries grew and continue to thrive because of the geographical location, diverse population, and resources.  According to the Tampa Chamber of Commerce, a recent survey revealed that the percentage of companies locating a national or regional headquarters in Tampa rose 133%.  Stakeholders in the Tampa area have implemented tax exemptions to attract businesses. In addition to incentives like the ad valorem tax exemption program, leaders have installed a small business job creation program to stimulate economic growth.  Future job growth over the next ten years is predicted to be 30.30%. Median household income is just over $43,000 annually.

Housing

Tampa maintains a population diverse in culture, financial status, and housing options. Local leaders have instituted housing improvement incentive programs like the CRA Façade Improvement Program that provides grants to property owners for improving properties. The median home value in Tampa, FL, is $173,000. Home appreciation is 0.87% over the last year. The median age of Tampa, FL, real estate is 38 years. Renters make up 41.75% of the Tampa, FL, population. 13.48% of houses and apartments in Tampa, FL, are unoccupied (vacancy rate).

History

The first civilian residents were pioneers who settled near the fort for protection from the nearby Seminole population. The town grew slowly until the 1880s, when railroad links, the discovery of phosphate, and the arrival of the cigar industry jump-started its development and helped it to grow into an important city by the early 1900s. Today, Tampa is a part of the metropolitan area most commonly referred to as the Tampa Bay Area

Culture

Many locals and tourists are drawn to the beautiful weather and maritime activities available in the area.  The area is rich in diverse culture and ethnicity but offer desirable modern living and entertainment venues. Tampa has a number of sports teams, such as the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the NHL Tampa Bay Lightning, the AFL Tampa Bay Storm,  the MLB Tampa Bay Rays, and the North American Soccer League Tampa Bay Rowdies. The median age is 34.6. The US median is 37.3. 35.08% of people in Tampa, FL, are married. 14.21% are divorced. The average household size is 2.38 people. 25.74% of people are married, with children. 21.22% have children, but are single. 62.92% of people are white, 26.18% are black, 3.44% are asian, 0.37% are native american, and 7.09% claim ‘Other’. 2.14% of the people in Tampa, FL, claim hispanic ethnicity (meaning 97.86% are non-hispanic).