The Tampa Bay Area, or Tampa Bay, after the body of water it surrounds, is the second most populated metropolitan region in the state of Florida, the 19th-largest metro area in the United States, and the third largest in the Southeast behind only Miami and Atlanta. The population for the Tampa MSA currently stands at 2,723,949, as of a July 1, 2007 estimate, and the Greater Tampa Bay Region contains 4 million residents when including immediately adjacent urban and suburban counties to the official MSA. 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.
Other counties are sometimes included in the Tampa Bay Area, depending on how the region is defined. For example, included in the jurisdiction of TBARTA are the above counties, plus the following:
Polk County, Florida is also frequently included in definitions of the Tampa Bay Area.
|Regional Counties||2006||2011 Estimate|
Nearly 20% of Tampa Bay’s population is in the 18-34 age group.
|65 and over||750,138||19.42%|
|MEDIAN AGE||41.39 years old|
|Hispanic or Latino||479,936||12.42%|
|Two or more races||83,861||2.17%|
Long established communities, particularly those near the bay such as Cuban flavored Ybor City, contain historic architecture. Fresh seafood and locally grown produce are available in many restaurants. Sports attractions include many professional quality golf courses, tennis courts, and pools. The area is highly noted for its beaches and nightlife as well. Other attractions include Busch Gardens, the Salvador Dalí Museum, the Florida Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, the Florida Holocaust Museum, Lowry Park Zoo and Weeki Wachee Springs.
The Tampa Bay Area is home to three major professional sports teams and a number of minor-league and college teams.
Also playing in the Grapefruit League in the Tampa Bay Area are the Cincinnati Reds, in Sarasota; the Pittsburgh Pirates, in Bradenton; the Cleveland Indians, in Winter Haven; the Detroit Tigers, in Lakeland; and the Boston Red Sox, in Fort Myers.
Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport has experienced a 19.2 percent increase in passenger traffic during the first quarter of 2005, mainly due to the addition of AirTran airways and expanded service to destinations.
St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport provides excellent access to commercial airliners, and smaller charter craft. The airport is currently planning an expansion which will include new terminal facilities and runway extension. Dotting the landscape throughout the area, are many general aviation airports for the aircraft enthusiast and smaller corporate jets.
On July 1, 2007, an intermodal transportation authority was created to serve the seven county Tampa Bay area. The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) was formed to develop bus, rapid transit, and other transportation options for the region.
Hillsborough County is also served by other roadways such as the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway (SR 618) which commutes workers from Brandon into downtown Tampa and the Veterans Expressway/Suncoast Parkway (Toll 589) which serves traffic from the Citrus/Hernando County border southward into Tampa.
In Pinellas County, US 19 is the main north-south route through the county, and is being upgraded to freeway standards complete with frontage roads to ease congestion through the north part of the county. Also, the Bayside Bridge allows traffic to go from Clearwater into St. Petersburg without having to use US 19. In the southern part of the county, Interstate 175 and Interstate 375 provide easier access into downtown St. Petersburg.
The Courtney Campbell Causeway (SR 60) is one of the 3 roads that connect Pinellas County to Hillsborough County across the bay. The other two are the Howard Frankland Bridge (I-275) and Gandy Bridge (US 92). The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is part of I-275 and connects Bradenton and other Manatee County and Sarasota County commuters into Pinellas County.
Tampa Bay Area Health Care Leaders Partner with National ePrescribing Patient Safety Initiative to Deliver Free Electronic Prescribing to Area Physicians.
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Tampa Bay Area, Fla., Gets Low Grades in Fortune Business Survey.(Originated from St. Petersburg Times, Fla.)
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