Tampa Bay Area

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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.
Tampa Bay Area
Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater MSA
A simulated-color satellite image of the Tampa Bay Area. Taken November 3, 2015 with NASA's Landsat 8 satellite.
A simulated-color satellite image of the Tampa Bay Area. Taken November 3, 2015 with NASA's Landsat 8 satellite.
Location in Florida
Location in Florida
Coordinates: 28°00′N 82°18′W / 28°N 82.3°W / 28; -82.3Coordinates: 28°00′N 82°18′W / 28°N 82.3°W / 28; -82.3
Country United States
State Florida
Largest city Tampa
Counties (in the MSA) Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas
 • MSA 2,554.5 sq mi (6,616 km2)
 • Urban 2,077.9 sq mi (5,382 km2)
Highest elevation 301 ft (92 m)
Lowest elevation 0 ft (0 m)
Population (2015, MSA)[1]
 • MSA 2,975,225
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 813, 863, 727, 352, 941[2]

The Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area (or MSA) defined by the United States Census Bureau is Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties.[3]

The largest cities in the Tampa Bay Area are Tampa in Hillsborough County, and the cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater in Pinellas County.

The population of the Tampa Bay Area is estimated at 2,975,225 people as of 2015 and between 2010 and 2015 the population is estimated to have grown 6.9%.[1] For 2014 to 2015 the U.S. Census data estimated an annual growth of 2.0 percent or 54,412 people.[4]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1950 436,365
1960 820,443 88.0%
1970 1,105,553 34.8%
1980 1,613,603 46.0%
1990 2,067,959 28.2%
2000 2,395,997 15.9%
2010 2,917,813 21.8%

The following is a list of important cities and unincorporated communities located in both the core Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater MSA.

Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater MSA[edit]

Principal cities[edit]

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

Downtown Tampa
St. Petersburg
Westfield Shopping Center in Brandon

More than 10,000 inhabitants

Ref: 2010 Census[11]


According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the Tampa–St. Petersburg–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%


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

Age Tampa Bay area Percentage
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 72.3%
Hispanic or Latino 479,936 11.0%
African American 411,157 9.5%
Asian 77,296 1.8%
Other 149,948 3.5%
Two or more races 83,861 1.9%

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 to 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.


See also: Tampa Bay

The Tampa Bay area is located along Tampa Bay which it is named for. Pinellas County and St. Petersburg, Florida lies on a peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, and much of the city of Tampa, Florida lies on a smaller peninsula jutting out into Tampa Bay.


Tampa Bay Area from space

The Tampa Bay area has a humid subtropical climate (Koppen Cfa), with hot, humid summers, with daily thunderstorms, and dry, often sunny winters. There is annually 2 frosts per year in the Tampa Bay area, however, hard freezes (low temperatures below 28 F/-3.5 C) are very rare, occurring only a few times in the last 75 years. The area is listed by the United States Department of Agriculture as being in hardiness zone 9b, 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).[12]

Royal Palms in front of St. Petersburg's city hall

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.

Climate data for Tampa, Florida (Tampa Int'l), 1981−2010 normals,[a] extremes 1890−present[b]
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 86
Mean maximum °F (°C) 81.1
Average high °F (°C) 69.9
Average low °F (°C) 51.6
Mean minimum °F (°C) 32.6
Record low °F (°C) 21
Average rainfall inches (mm) 2.23
Average rainy days (≥ 0.01 inch) 6.8 6.6 6.6 4.9 5.5 12.7 15.9 16.0 12.2 6.5 5.1 5.8 104.6
Average relative humidity (%) 74.9 73.0 71.8 69.0 69.8 74.4 76.6 78.4 77.6 74.2 75.0 75.0 74.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 199.9 202.7 267.5 299.1 314.5 277.8 265.3 249.5 223.0 233.9 201.7 191.6 2,926.5
Percent possible sunshine 61 65 72 78 75 67 62 61 60 66 62 60 66
Source: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961−1990)[13][14][15] Weather Channel[16]


Largest employers in the Tampa Bay area (2014)[17]
Employer Employees Industry
BayCare Health System 22,900 Healthcare
Home Shopping Network 10,550 Retail
University of South Florida 9,000 Education
Tech Data 6,900 Distribution/Technology
WellCare 6,700 Healthcare
Tampa General Hospital 6,400 Healthcare
Verizon 6,000 Telecommunications
JP Morgan Chase 5,100 Finance
Citi 4,300 Finance


Nearly one in four of the state's business and information services firms resides in Tampa Bay.[citation needed] 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.

Financial services firms:

Health care[edit]

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.

Tampa Bay ranks in the top 20 nationwide for medical device manufacturing clusters.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

Information technology[edit]

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.

Higher education and research[edit]

Downtown Tampa, FL
University of Tampa view on Hillsborough River in Downtown Tampa.

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.

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. University of Tampa is located in Downtown Tampa, FL on the Hillsborough River and is a historic university linked back to Teddy Roosevelt.


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.[18]

Changes in house prices for the area are publicly tracked on a regular basis using the Case–Shiller index; the statistic is published by Standard & Poor's and is also a component of S&P's 20-city composite index of the value of the U.S. residential real estate market.

Avionics, defense, and marine electronics[edit]

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 three major military installations, MacDill Air Force Base, Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater and Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg. MacDill AFB is home to the 6th Air Mobility Wing (6 AMW) of the Air Mobility Command (AMC) and the 927th Air Refueling Wing (927 ARW) of the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC). Both wings share flight operations of a fleet of KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft and the 6 AMW also operates a fleet of C-37A Gulfstream V aircraft. MacDill AFB 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 U.S. Armed Forces. CGAS Clearwater is located at the St. Petersburg–Clearwater International Airport. It is the largest air station in the United States Coast Guard, operating HC-130H Hercules aircraft and MH-60T Jayhawk helicopters with principal missions focused on search and rescue, counternarcotics interdiction, and homeland security. The HC-130 aircraft are slated to be replaced by new HC-27J Spartan aircraft beginning in 2017. Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg is located on the site of the former Coast Guard Air Station St. Petersburg at Albert Whitted Airport. It is home to Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg[19] and is homeport for the USCGC Resolute (WMEC 620), USCGC Venturous (WMEC 625), and numerous smaller cutters and patrol boats.[20]


USF Tampa main library

Primary and secondary education is provided by the school districts of the individual counties making up the region.

The area is home to several institutions of higher learning, including the main campus of the University of South Florida in Tampa and the satellite campuses of USF St. Petersburg. Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, the University of Tampa, Clearwater Christian College, Florida College in Temple Terrace, Trinity College (Florida) in New Port Richey, are all four-year institutions located in the area. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Troy University also maintain satellite education centers at MacDill AFB.

There are two law schools in the area, Stetson University College of Law and Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Stetson University has campuses in Gulfport and Tampa. The newly built (May 2012) Thomas M. Cooley Law school is located in Riverview.

Hillsborough Community College, St. Petersburg College, and Pasco-Hernando State College are community colleges serving the area.


The Tampa Bay area is home to a high concentration of quality art museums. Long established communities, particularly those near the bay such as Cuban influenced Ybor City, Old Northeast in St. Petersburg, and Palma Ceia and Hyde Park in Tampa contain historic architecture. Fresh seafood and locally grown produce are available in many restaurants and in weekly farmers' markets in multiple urban centers in the area. Yuengling, the largest American-owned brewer, operates a brewery in Tampa, as does the highly regarded craft brewer Cigar City Brewing.

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.


Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg

Performing Arts Halls[edit]

  • Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa
  • Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater
  • Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg

Cultural events[edit]

  • Gasparilla Pirate Festival held every January in Tampa
  • Florida Strawberry Festival held every March in Plant City
  • Clearwater Jazz Holiday held every October in Coachman Park in downtown Clearwater; in its 32nd year
  • Guavaween, a Latin-flavored Halloween celebration held every October in the Ybor City section of Tampa
  • Festa Italiana, annual festival of Italian heritage held every April in Ybor City, Tampa's Latin Quarter


Clearwater Beach at Pier 60

The Tampa Bay area is highly noted for its beaches, with the warm, blue gulf waters and nearly 70 miles of barriers islands from North Pinellas south to Venice, attracting tourists from all over the world. Three of the beaches in this area, Fort De Soto's North Beach (2005), Caladesi Island (2008), and Sarasota's Siesta Key (2011) have been named by Dr. Beach as America's Top Beach.[21] The 15th IIFA Awards would be held at Tampa Bay Area in April 2014.[22]

Sports attractions, in addition to the teams listed below, include many professional quality golf courses, tennis courts, and pools. Ybor and the Channel District in Tampa, downtown St. Petersburg, and the beaches all along the coast all attract a vibrant nightlife.

Theme parks[edit]

Florida Aquarium

Zoos and Aquariums[edit]

Botanical gardens[edit]

  • Florida Botanical Gardens, part of the Pinewood Cultural Park in Largo
  • Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg, a former tourist attraction now run by the City of St. Petersburg
  • USF Botanical Gardens in Tampa

Notable public parks and recreation areas[edit]

The Tampa Bay area is home to an extensive system of state, county, and city parks. Hillsborough River State Park in Thonotosassa is one of Florida's original eight state parks and Honeymoon Island State Park, near Dunedin, is Florida's most visited state park. Pinellas County is home to the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail, a 37-mile running and cycling trail over a former railroad bed connecting Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg. Skyway Fishing Pier State Park, the remnants of the approaches to the original Sunshine Skyway Bridge forms the world's largest fishing pier in Pinellas and Manatee counties. The shallow waters and many mangrove islands of the bay and gulf make the area popular with kayakers. The gulf is also home to a large number of natural and artificial coral reefs that are popular for fishing and scuba diving.


Sports teams[edit]

Main article: Sports in Tampa Bay
Amalie Arena, formerly the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

The Tampa Bay Area is home to three major professional sports teams — the Buccaneers (NFL), Rays (MLB), and Lightning (NHL).[23] The Tampa Bay area also hosts 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.

Team League Sport Stadium Location Attendance
Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL American football Raymond James Stadium Tampa 58,818
USF Bulls football NCAA, DI American football Raymond James Stadium Tampa 34,702
Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Ice hockey Amalie Arena Tampa 18,626
Tampa Bay Rays MLB Baseball Tropicana Field St. Petersburg 17,857
Tampa Bay Storm AFL Arena football Amalie Arena Tampa 11,402
Tampa Bay Rowdies NASL (D2) Soccer Al Lang Stadium St. Petersburg 4,998
USF Bulls basketball NCAA, DI Basketball USF Sun Dome Tampa 4,406

MLB spring training teams[edit]

Major League Baseball teams have come to the Tampa Bay area for spring training since the Chicago Cubs played in Tampa 1913 and the St. Louis Browns played in St. Petersburg in 1914.[24] Grapefruit League games are still a favorite pastime for both residents and tourists alike every March. The following six Major League Baseball teams play spring training games in the Tampa Bay area:

Minor League teams[edit]

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

Sporting events[edit]

Major League sports

NCAA sports


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."[citation needed] It has won high recognition in the international J.D. Power and Associates Global Airport Passenger Satisfaction Study for three consecutive years. The Condé Nast Traveler 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.

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.

Tampa International Airport panorama
Tampa International Airport panorama


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.

Transit systems[edit]

MetroRapid bus in Tampa
Streetcar in Ybor City
Sunshine Skyway over Tampa Bay

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. In 2013 HART also began operating a Bus rapid transit system called MetroRapid that runs from downtown Tampa to the University of South Florida.

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.

Roads and freeways[edit]

The Tampa Bay Area is served by these interstate highways.

Hillsborough County is also served by other roadways such as the Lee Roy Selmon 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, U.S. 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 U.S. 19.

The Courtney Campbell Causeway (SR 60) is one of the three roads that connect Pinellas County to Hillsborough County across the bay. The other two are the Howard Frankland Bridge (I-275) and Gandy Bridge (U.S. 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 also[edit]


  1. ^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the highest and lowest temperature readings during an entire month or year) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
  2. ^ Official records for Tampa were kept at downtown from April 1890 to December 1940, Peter O. Knight Airport from January 1941 to 5 June 1946, and at Tampa Int'l since 7 June 1946. For more information, see ThreadEx


  1. ^ a b "Cumulative Estimates of Resident Population Change and Rankings: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Census.gov. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved October 4, 2016. 
  2. ^ http://www.psc.state.fl.us/utilities/telecomm/areacode/
  3. ^ "List of Counties Within MSAs". Census.gov. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Estimates of Resident Population Change and Rankings: July 1, 2014 to July 1, 2015". Census.gov. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved October 4, 2016. 
  5. ^ "1950 Vol. I. Number of Inhabitants". Census.gov. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  6. ^ "1960 Vol. I. Characteristics of the Population, Part A, Number of Inhabitants - 11 Florida". Census.gov. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  7. ^ "1970 Vol. I. Characteristics of the Population, Part A, Number of Inhabitants - 11 Florida, Section 1". Census.gov. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  8. ^ "1980 Vol. I. Characteristics of the Population, Part A, Number of Inhabitants - 11 Florida, Section 1". Census.gov. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  9. ^ "1990 1990 Census of Population: General Population Characteristics Report Number: CP-1 General Population Characteristics Florida Section 1" (PDF). Census.gov. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  10. ^ "2000 PHC-1. Summary Population and Housing Characteristics, General Population Characteristics Florida Section 1" (PDF). Census.gov. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  11. ^ a b "2010 CPH-1. Summary of Population and Housing Characteristics, Florida: 2010 Summary Population and Housing Characteristics" (PDF). Census.gov. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved October 8, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Tampa Weather Forecasts" Yahoo! Weather. Retrieved on 2009-02-06.
  13. ^ "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  14. ^ "Station Name: FL TAMPA INTL AP". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2014-06-11. 
  15. ^ "WMO Climate Normals for TAMPA/INT'L ARPT FL 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  16. ^ "Average Weather for Tampa, FL - Temperature and Precipitation". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  17. ^ Major Employers, Tampa Bay Partnership.
  18. ^ "Is Florida the Sunset State?". Time. July 10, 2008. 
  19. ^ https://www.uscg.mil/d7/sectStPetersburg/
  20. ^ https://www.uscg.mil/datasheet/210wmec.asp
  21. ^ Dr. Beach: America's Foremost Beach Expert
  22. ^ "Florida hopes a rise in Indian Tourists after hosting IIFA 2014". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  23. ^ "How high can the value of the Bucs, Rays and Lightning go?", Tampa Bay Times, Robert Trigaux, December 1, 2014.
  24. ^ Baseball in Tampa Bay, A.M. de Quesada, Arcadia Publishing, 2000.

External links[edit]

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