Cape Coral is a city in Lee County, Florida, United States. With over 400 miles of navigable waterways, Cape Coral has more miles of canals than any other city on earth. The population was 102,286 at the 2000 census. According to estimates as of April 2008, the city had a population of 165,774, making it the largest city in Southwest Florida. The population estimate for the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metropolitan area 623,725 as of April 2008.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , making it the second largest in Florida. of it is land and of it (8.61%) is water.
Cape Coral Florida has over 400 miles of canals. Cape Coral's canal system is so extensive that local ecology and tides have been affected.
The Cape Coral Bridge connects Cape Coral Parkway to College Parkway in Fort Myers. The Midpoint Memorial Bridge connects Veterans Parkway to Colonial Boulevard, also in Fort Myers. Hancock Bridge Parkway, after intersecting Santa Barbara Boulevard, sweeps north to its approximate terminus on Pine Island Road, with the east end of Hancock Bridge Parkway terminating at U.S. Highway 41.
There were 40,768 households out of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.2% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.9% were non-families. 19.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.85.
In the city the population was spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 19.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $43,410, and the median income for a family was $47,503. Males had a median income of $32,320 versus $25,068 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,021. About 5.3% of families and 7.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.2% of those under age 18 and 5.6% of those age 65 or over.
Through the rest of the 1950s and early 1960s, development moved quickly, mostly on Redfish Point, south of Cape Coral Parkway. By 1963, the population was 2,850; 1,300 buildings had been finished or were under construction; of road had been built, and of canals had been dug. The yacht club, a golf course, medical clinic, and shopping center were up and running. A major addition for Cape Coral was the construction of the Cape Coral Bridge, which opened in early 1964. Before the bridge, a trip to Fort Myers was more than , following the long haul up Del Prado, then over to the Edison Bridge to cross the river.
Since its inception Cape Coral had been known as a "sleepy" community with its large retirement population. This all changed with the population boom of the 1990s that brought with it young working class families. There is still a larger than normal retirement population. While some of the community still has to cross the river to Fort Myers for work and entertainment, this has become less of a requirement with new stores, restaurants and nightclubs opening up every year. Today, Cape Coral offers a lively strip of restaurants and stores along Cape Coral Parkway, Del Prado Blvd. and Pine Island Road.