This article is about the region. For the body of water, see Tampa Bay. For the city at the hub of the area, see Tampa, Florida.

Coordinates: 28°00′N 82°18′W / 28, -82.3

Tampa Bay Area
Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater MSA
—  MSA  —
TampaBay ETM 2000nov3.jpg
A simulated-color satellite image of the Tampa Bay Area. Taken on NASA's Landsat 7 satellite.
Location in Florida
Country United States
State Florida
Largest city Tampa
 • Urban 2,077.9 sq mi (5,382 km2)
 • MSA 2,554.5 sq mi (6,616 km2)
Elevation 0–301 ft (0–91.74 m)
Population (2010)[1] Some population information contained in this document are based off 2008 estimates due to the fact the Census Bureau is currently releasing 2010 information that includes major Tampa region changes.
 • Urban 2,783,243 (19th as of 2,008)
 • MSA 4,228,855 (18th in 2,008)
  MSA = 2010, Urban = 2010
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 813, 727, 352

The Tampa Bay Area is the region of west central Florida adjacent to Tampa Bay. Definitions of the region vary. It is often considered equivalent to the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area (or MSA) defined by the United States Census Bureau. The Census Bureau currently estimates the population for the CMSA at 4,228,855 as of 2010 during consolidation.[2] as of July 1, 2008, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Florida and the 19th-largest in the United States.

A wider definition is adopted by the Tampa Bay Partnership, a not for profit organization created to promote economic growth in the region.[3] According to the Tampa Bay Partnership the Greater Tampa Bay Region contains 4 million residents.[4] 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.[4] In 2008 the area's construction based boom was brought to a sudden halt by the financial crisis of 2007–2010, and by 2009 it was ranked as the fourth worst performing housing market in the United States.[1]


Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas are the four counties constituting the Tampa-St. Pete-Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area.[2]

The Tampa Bay region promoted by the Tampa Bay Partnership also includes the Bradenton–Sarasota–Venice, Florida MSA (consisting of Manatee and Sarasota counties) to the south, Citrus County to the north and the Lakeland – Winter Haven, Florida MSA (consisting of Polk County) to the east.

The Tampa Bay media market includes the wider region promoted by the Tampa Bay Partnership. Polk County is served by media outlets from both Tampa[4] and Orlando,[5] although the east of the county has closer economic ties to Orlando.

The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) includes the four core counties plus Citrus, Manatee, and Sarasota counties.[6]

The counties north of Polk County, including Osceola County and Lake County are part of the Central Florida region and are not included in Tampa Bay demographics.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1950 409,143
1960 772,453 88.8%
1970 1,013,594 31.2%
1980 1,613,600 59.2%
1990 2,067,959 28.2%
2000 2,395,997 15.9%
2010 2,783,237 16.2%

The following is a list of important cities and unincorporated communities located in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater MSA, and other locations sometimes considered to be in the Tampa Bay region.

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater MSA Edit

Primary citiesEdit

Each of these cities has a population in excess of 100,000 inhabitants.


Downtown Tampa

St Pete Skyline from Pier

St. Petersburg



Between 50,000 and 100,000 inhabitants Edit

Between 10,000 and 50,000 inhabitants Edit

Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice MSA Edit

File:Sarasota Florida - 83d40m - from mainland across bay front to Gulf of Mexico - new bridge.JPG

Between 50,000 and 100,000 inhabitants Edit

Between 10,000 and 50,000 inhabitants Edit

Citrus County Edit

Between 10,000 and 50,000 inhabitants Edit

Polk County Edit

Between 50,000 and 100,000 inhabitants Edit

Between 10,000 and 50,000 inhabitants Edit


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 ageEdit

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 wider 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.

File:Migration Chart for Tampa Bay.jpg
Population Wider

Tampa Bay region

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
Hernando 154,045 171,593
Hillsborough 1,139,830 1,264, 811
Pasco 418,075 473,053
Pinellas 937,182 959,546
Manatee 306,512 342,712
Sarasota 367,161 403,990
Polk 541,006 591,742

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

Age Wider

Tampa Bay region

0-17 852,600 22.0%
18-34 757,808 19.6%
35-54 1,066,684 27.3%
55-64 447,581 11.6%
65 and over 750,138 19.4%
MEDIAN AGE 41.39 years old


Ethnicity Tampa Bay Percentage
Caucasian 3,141,549 81.3%
Hispanic or Latino 479,936 12.4%
African American 411,157 10.6%
Asian 77,296 2.0%
Other 149,948 3.9%
Two or more races 83,861 2.2%

Hispanic or Latino by Origin

Ethnicity Tampa Bay Percentage
Mexican 145,685 30.4%
Puerto Rican 135,133 28.2%
Cuban 63,728 13.3%
All Others 135,390 28.2%


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 County ranks 13th out of more than 3,000 counties.


TampaBay ETM 2000nov3

The Tampa Bay area 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. However, large freezes only occur in the area about every 10–15 years, and the area shows some characteristics of a tropical monsoon climate. The area is listed by the USDA 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's official high has never reached 100 °F (38 °C) - the all-time record high temperature is 99 °F (37 °C). St. Petersburg's all-time record high is exactly 100 °F (38 °C).[8]

Pinellas County lies on a peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, 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 farthest from the coast have more extreme temperature differences, both during a single day and throughout the seasons of the year. Template:Tampa, Florida weatherbox


Avionics, defense and marine electronicsEdit

The University of South Florida’s Center for Ocean Technology, which has been a leader in Microelectromechanical systems 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 also the location of two major military installations, MacDill Air Force Base and Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater. MacDill AFB is home to the 6th Air Mobility Wing of the Air Mobility Command (AMC) and the 927th Air Refueling Wing of the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC). Both wings share flight operations of a fleet of KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft. MacDill also hosts multiple tenant organizations, to include two major combatant commands: United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), which directs military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and the middle East; and United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), which has responsibility for all special operations forces in the US Armed Forces. CGAS Clearwater is loacted at the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport. It is the largest air station in the United States Coast Guard, operating HC-130 Hercules aircraft and HH-60 Jayhawk helicopters with principal missions focused on search and rescue, counternarcotics interdiction and homeland security.

Business and information servicesEdit

Nearly one in four of the state's business and information services firms resides in Tampa Bay. These firms range from financial services firms to information technology providers 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 SouthEdit

Tampa Bay's financial services cluster is the largest in the state of Florida 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 servicesEdit

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 Florida, University of Central Florida and now including the University of Florida, the Florida High Tech Corridor promotes the growth of the high tech industry across Central Florida.


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 careEdit

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-technology industryEdit

Medical device manufacturingEdit

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.

Microelectronics and nanotechonologyEdit

Researchers at the University of South Florida'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.


The Tampa Bay media market also includes Citrus, Manatee, Sarasota and Polk counties, which are outside the Tampa Bay metropolitan area.[4]


The University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida College in Temple Terrace, Clearwater Christian College, Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, and the University of Tampa are all four-year institutions located in the area. Hillsborough Community College, Manatee Community College, Pasco-Hernando Community College, and St. Petersburg College are community colleges in the area. Stetson University College of Law is the area's only law school and has campuses in Gulfport and Tampa.

Culture, recreation, and sportsEdit

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 PricewaterhouseCoopers 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 Cuban flavored Ybor City, 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 Gardens, the Salvador Dalí Museum, the Florida Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, the Florida Holocaust Museum, Lowry Park Zoo and Weeki Wachee Springs.

Sports teamsEdit


St. Pete Times Forum


Tropicana Field


Raymond James Stadium

The Tampa Bay Area is home to three major professional sports teams and a number of minor-league and college teams. Regardless of the specific city where they play their games, all of the major pro teams use "Tampa Bay" in their name to signify that they represent the entire area.

Major League Baseball spring training teams in the areaEdit

Major League Baseball teams have come to the Tampa Bay area for spring training since 1913. Grapefruit League games are still a favorite pastime for both residents and tourists alike every March.

Nearby Teams in the area:

Minor League teamsEdit

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

Sporting eventsEdit


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


Tampa International Airport 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 Airport 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 Airport 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.


Amtrak provides passenger rail service from Union Station in Tampa.

CSX provides freight rail service for the entire Tampa Bay region. The railroad serves every major population and industrial center east of the Mississippi including Ontario and Montreal. 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.

Public transportEdit

Bus service is provided in Hillsborough County by Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART), in Pinellas County by Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), in Pasco County by Pasco County Public Transportation and in Hernando County by THE Bus. HART and PSTA provide express services between Tampa and Pinellas County, and PSTA provides connections to Pasco County.

HART also operates the TECO streetcar between downtown Tampa and Ybor City.

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 Bradenton and other Manatee County and Sarasota County commuters into Pinellas County.

See alsoEdit

United States metropolitan area


External linksEdit

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