The Orlando metro is comprised of Osceola, Orange, Seminole and Lake counties. The metro is the third largest in Florida with a population of 2.2 million and is expected to grow 1.6 percent annually for the next five years. Orlando is the area’s largest city, containing 248,200 inhabitants.
Orlando is a top vacation destination and home to Walt Disney World. It has also become a popular site for business meetings, with one of the nation’s largest convention centers. Over 55 million visitors traveled to Orlando last year, driving the hospitality employment sector to account for 21 percent of all area jobs.
Key industries in the region include aerospace and defense systems, modeling, simulation and training, digital media, and biotechnology. Orlando is quickly transforming into a center for digital media, fueled by an expanding number of software, simulation and entertainment companies. Today, hundreds of digital media companies are located in the metro.
The local life sciences, biotech and medical technology industries also are strengthening. Orlando has invested billions in its life sciences industry, with community leaders actively pursuing initiatives to further grow this vital sector.
University of Central Florida (UCF) offers top-ranked programs for engineering and computer sciences, and its Technology Incubator helps emerging technology companies, further enhancing the climate for high-tech growth. Adjacent to UCF are the Central Florida Research Park and the Quadrangle Office Park, the latter of which is recognized as one of the top research parks in the world.
The Orlando metro encompasses 4,012 square miles near the center of Florida. There are numerous lakes scattered across the Orlando region, and the topography is generally flat with few impediments to development. Citrus, melons and strawberries are some of the agricultural products grown in the metro.