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Tampa Bay’s Rapid Expansion: Three Cities Among Fastest Growing in US



Tampa Bay Fastest Growing Cities

U.S. News and World Report has ranked three Tampa Bay cities as the fastest growing in the nation. The factors analyzed for these rankings include net migration, job market, affordable housing, and location.

“With a vibrant arts scene, burgeoning food-and-drink culture and miles of beautiful beaches, it’s no surprise that people are flocking to Sarasota,” the report wrote.

With a median age of 52, Sarasota has become an attractive destination for retirees, landing at No. 18 on the Best Places to Retire ranking for 2024-25. The city also grew by an impressive 3.96% between 2021 and 2022 due to net migration.

Here’s how Sarasota breaks down:

  • Best Places 2024-25 rank: 11
  • Population: 82,472
  • Median age: 52
  • Median home price: $430,652
  • Median household income: $80,922
  • Net migration: 3.96%

Tampa’s diverse communities, nightlife and proximity to the beach are key factors to why, between 2021 and 2022, the city’s population increased by 3.58% due to net migration.

See how Tampa breaks down:

  • Best Places 2024-25 rank: 35
  • Population: 515,872
  • Median age: 37
  • Median home price: $358,489
  • Median household income: $81,303
  • Net migration: 3.58%

Lakeland rounds out the Tampa Bay cities on the list, making the top 20 in the 18th spot this year.

“Lakeland is a family-friendly small town where neighbors know one another, and there’s plenty of hiking and outdoor adventures in its parks and preserves,” the report wrote. 

The city has risen in popularity over the past few years, as its population increased by 3.19% due to net migration between 2021 and 2022.

Here’s how Lakeland breaks down:

  • Best Places 2024-25 rank: 80
  • Population: 163,774
  • Median age: 41
  • Median home price: $204,765
  • Median household income: $65,531
  • Net migration: 3.19%

Sarasota ranked No. 10 on this year’s list, an increase from last year, followed by Tampa at the 13th spot and Lakeland at No. 18. U.S. News said it categorized data into four indexes: Quality of Life Index (32%), Value Index (27%), Job Market Index (22%), and Desirability Index (19%). Data is sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau, FBI, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sharecare, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. News’ internal resources.

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