The Greater Tampa Bay Area is the region of west central Florida adjacent to Tampa Bay. It is often considered equivalent to the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area defined by the United States Census Bureau.
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.
Greater Tampa Bay consists mainly of the following three counties: Pinellas County, Hillsborough County and Pasco County, and is the second most populated metro-area in Florida. Other counties that make up this area are Hernando county, Polk county, Citrus county, Manatee county, and Sarasota county.
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
Each of these cities has a population in excess of 100,000 inhabitants.
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 flavored Ybor City, Old Northeast in St. Petersburg, and Palma Ceia and Hyde Park in Tampa contain historic architecture. Florida Southern College in Lakeland is home of the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.
Fresh seafood and locally grown produce are available in many restaurants and in weekly farmer’s 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. Sports attractions 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.
The area is highly noted for its beaches, with the warm, blue gulf waters and nearly 70 miles of barriers islands from North Pinellascounty 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)
Sarasota’s Siesta Key (2011)
have been named by Dr. Beach as America’s Top Beach.
Greater Tampa Financial Services
GreaterTampa 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.