Whether it's for the beach, the climate, the sunsets, or all three, people flock to the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (or the "Tampa Bay area") area each year for summers and winters alike. A large number of tourist attractions, from beaches to theme parks to resort hotels and golf courses provide the Tampa Bay area most of its activity.
Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg are Florida's third and fourth largest cities, with populations of 317,647 and 247,610, respectively. Jacksonville is the state's largest city, with a population of 773,781, followed by Miami, at 376,815.
Called "The Big Guava" (Tampa Bay) and the "Suncoast," the Tampa Bay area is home to over 1.5 million residents. The average income per capita in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area is $31,677, just below the national average, and its unemployment rate is significantly lower than the same average (2.9%).
The Tampa-Saint Petersburg-Clearwater area has a highly focused economy:
- Tourism is the foundation of the Tampa Bay area. More than $2 billion in revenue is generated directly by tourism each year.
- Banking, medical technology, and manufacturing industries also provide economic stability to the Tampa Bay area.
- Research and marine science thrive in the Tampa Bay area, given its location on the Gulf of Mexico.
Several universities and research labs make it the largest marine science research center in the southeast. These research centers have spurred on the growth of medical technologies as well, such as digital image and record keeping for hospitals.
For more information on colleges and universities in Florida, explore our Florida state page.