University, Florida

University is an unincorporated census-designated place in Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. The population was 30,736 at the 2000 census. However, as of the 2003 estimate by Rand McNally, the community population is approximately 33,200. It is the home of University of South Florida located just east of the community. The community is also known as University West, mainly due to its location in relation to the university. The community is often notoriously referred to by locals as Suitcase City due to very high eviction rates in the area during the late 1980s and early 1990s.


University is bounded by Interstate 275 to the west, Tampa city limits to the south, University of South Florida to the east, and Bearss Avenue to the north. Its historical boundaries stretch as far east as Morris Bridge Road; however, the boundaries were scaled back owing to annexations by Tampa and Temple Terrace during the 1980s. The community is one of the most diverse in the county; however, the Hispanic (mostly Mexican and Central American) population is growing very rapidly and now represents an estimate 20-25% of University's population.


University Mall, a shopping center located at the southern end of the community, was the main source of economic development within the community during the 1970s-1980's. The businesses that were concentrated in the mall have been replaced by many stand alone shops along Fowler and Fletcher Avenues, such as Wal-Mart and dozens of fast food establishments. There is a county bus transportation center operated by HARTline and a county health department located in the area. Fletcher east has become a hub of medical and dental groups adjacent to University Community Hospital.


University is located at (28.069644, -82.437091).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the community has a total area of 3.9 square miles (10.0 km²), of which, 3.9 square miles (10.0 km²) of it is land and 0.26% is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 31,736 people, 13,623 households, and 5,748 families residing in the community. The population density was 7,941.3 people per square mile (3,066.5/km²). There were 15,494 housing units at an average density of 4,003.2/sq mi (1,545.8/km²). The racial composition of the community is 51.30% White, 34.06% Black, 0.41% Native American, 3.61% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 6.37% from other races, and 4.17% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.3% of the population.

There were 13,623 households out of which 24.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 18.1% were married couples living together, 18.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 57.8% were non-families. 41.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.12 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the community the population was spread out with 22.8% under the age of 18, 22.1% from 18 to 24, 32.5% from 25 to 44, 12.1% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.8 males.

The median income for a household in the community was $22,090, and the median income for a family was $24,094. Males had a median income of $22,419 versus $20,219 for females. The per capita income for the community was $13,417. About 24.8% of families and 31.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.6% of those under age 18 and 14.0% of those age 65 or over.

University's Population History from the U.S. Census Bureau

  • 1970....10,039
  • 1980....24,514
  • 1990....23,760 (Z)
  • 2000....30,736

(Z): Area reported as University West in the 1990 census.


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