Tampa is a major city on the Gulf Coast of the U.S. state of Florida. The city sits on Tampa Bay as the largest city in the Tampa Bay area, and is the seat of Hillsborough County. With an estimated population of 399,700 in 2019, Tampa is the third-most populated city in Florida after Jacksonville and Miami, and the 47th most populated city in the United States.
Tampa functioned as a military center during the 19th century with the establishment of Fort Brooke. The cigar industry was also brought to the city by Vincente Martinez Ybor, after whom Ybor City is named. Tampa was formally reincorporated as a city in 1887, following the Civil War. Today, Tampa’s economy is driven by tourism, health care, finance, insurance, technology, construction, and the maritime industry. The bay’s port is the largest in the state, responsible for over $15 billion in economic impact.
The city is part of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area which is a four-county area composed of roughly 3.1 million residents, making it the second largest metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in the state and the fourth largest in the Southeastern United States, behind Washington, D.C., Miami, and Atlanta. The Greater Tampa Bay area has over 4 million residents and generally includes the Tampa and Sarasota metro areas. As of 2018, Tampa’s annual growth rate is 1.63%.
Finance, retail, healthcare, insurance, shipping by air and sea, national defense, professional sports, tourism, and real estate all play vital roles in the area’s economy. Hillsborough County alone has an estimated 740,000 employees, a figure which is projected to increase to 922,000 by 2015. Several large corporations, such as banks and telecommunications companies, maintain regional offices in Tampa.
Downtown Tampa is undergoing significant development and redevelopment in line with a general national trend toward urban residential development. In April 2007, the Tampa Downtown Partnership noted development proceeding on 20 residential, hotel, and mixed-use projects. Many of the new downtown developments were nearing completion in the midst of a housing market slump, which caused numerous projects to be delayed or revamped, and some of the 20 projects TDP lists have not broken ground and are being refinanced. Nonetheless several developments were completed, making downtown into a 24-hour neighborhood instead of a 9 to 5 business district. As of 2010, Tampa residents faced a decline in rent of 2%. Nationally rent had decreased 4%. The Tampa Business Journal found Tampa to be the number two city for real estate investment in 2014.
Port Tampa Bay is now the seventh largest in the nation and Florida’s largest tonnage port, handling nearly half of all seaborne commerce that passes through the state. Tampa ranks second in the state behind Miami in terms of cruise ship travel. Besides smaller regional cruise ships such as Yacht Starship and SunCruz Casino, Tampa also serves as a port of call for three cruise lines: Holland America’s MS Ryndam, Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas, and Carnival’s Inspiration and Legend.