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Central Florida Growth

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n 2009, the estimated total population of the Central Florida region was 3.3 million people[1]. This includes the populations of Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Volusia, and Lake Counties. If the populations of Polk, Flagler, and Sumter counties were included, the estimated population would be 3.369 million people. Explosive growth has fueled Central Florida for the past thirty years, but this trend plateaued in 2009.

Central Florida is the central region of the United States state of Florida, on the East Coast. It is the third largest region in Florida, after South Florida and Tampa Bay, respectively. Central Florida is also an important distribution center and transportation hub.

Although the exact boundaries can be disputed, Central Florida is the area around metropolitan Orlando, including Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Brevard, and Volusia counties. Polk, Flagler, and Sumter counties are often included in Central Florida demographics and are primarily served by Orlando media outlets. This area is part of the I-4 corridor.

The west central coast, including Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, and Hernando counties, is the Tampa Bay Area or the Suncoast. These counties are not included in Central Florida demographics and are considered the border of southern Florida.

Central Florida is a culturally unique region. The traditional Southern feel found in states such as Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama is found primarily in the northern, rural sections of Central Florida; mainly Polk County, Volusia County, and Lake County, and pockets of Orange County. The perceived "typical Florida" culture dominated by urban living and national and international migration is primarily in Orlando. Visitors often notice a stark contrast between the tourist areas of Central Florida and North Florida.

Cultural attractions in Central Florida include The Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando Science Center, Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre and Orange County Regional History Center; all of which are located in downtown Orlando. The Cornell Fine Arts Museum and Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art are located in Winter Park, just north of downtown Orlando. The Museum of Arts and Sciences and the Daytona International Speedway, home to NASCAR, are located in Daytona Beach.

Orlando is also a major entertainment center and is home to several recording studios and television & film production facilities. Numerous major motion pictures have been filmed in Orlando and the area is a major producer of independent films. In addition, many recording artists and musical groups are from Orlando.

Tourism is a large contributor to Central Florida's economy. However, the area has economically diversified in the past decade. As a high-tech industrial hub, Metro Orlando has the seventh largest research park in the U.S., Central Florida Research



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