East Central Region


East Central FloridaPopulation:
   3,307,486
Labor Force: 1,680,274
Households:  1,281,826

Airports:
• Orlando International
• Daytona Beach International
• Melbourne International
• Orlando -Sanford International

Dominant Cities:
• Orlando
• Daytona Beach
• Melbourne
• Leesburg

College Highlights:
• University of Central Florida
• Stetson University
• Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
• Bethune-Cookman University
• Rollins College

Cultural Features:
• Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts (Orlando)
• Cornell Fine Arts Museum (Winter Park)
• Orlando Museum of Art
• The Mennello Museum of American Art (Orlando)
• Peabody Auditorium  (Daytona Beach)
• Arts Centre Melbourne
• Foosaner Art Museum (Melbourne)
• Kennedy Space Center (Cape Canaveral)

 

With population hubs that line the Atlantic and reach to the interior of the state, East Central ranks as Florida’s 3rd most populated region.

Along the Atlantic Ocean in the north reaches of the region you find the beachfront vacation haven of Daytona Beach.  Acclaimed the “world’s most famous beach” this hotel rich area running along the ocean and Halifax River is noted for a string of winter and spring grand scale events and summertime destination for sun worshippers.  Its most popular annual events include Bike Week, College Spring Break and NASCAR races at the famed Daytona International Speedway, including the coveted Daytona 500. Area beaches, which stretch 23 miles, are highlighted by the ability to drive your car on the white compacted sand which first attracted car and motorcycles racers in the early 1900′s.

Slipping south we find the cities of Titusville, Cape Canaveral and Melbourne, an area that is affectionately known as the Space Coast.  Starting with the opening launch at Cape Canaveral in 1950 this attractive stretch of coastline has become closely associated with aviation and aerospace.  In addition to the influence of the NASA Kennedy Space Center related firms operating in the region includes Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Raytheon.

Unquestionably, the heartbeat of the East Central region lies in the metro center of Orlando.  What was once a tranquil small city began its epic explosion with the opening of Disney World and its Magic Kingdom in 1971.  Today the market which spreads in all directions from the core of Orlando has become one of the nation’s most widely visited tourist destination catering to over 55 millions visitors annually.

This hub of fun and sun with its smorgasbord of attractions spearheaded by Disney, Sea World and Universal Studios, has earned the region its “king” of Florida tourism reputation.

Further to the west you find Leesburg conveniently located between Orlando and Ocala.  This traditional southern town surrounded by Lake Griffin and Lake Harris has experienced a burst of popularity among Florida retirees.  Much of the attention to the area is a result of the development of the famous retirement community called The Villages. This massive haven for retirees boasts a population of over 100,000 that spreads into three contiguous counties.

As increasing emphasis in growth weighs to the central band of Florida, from coast to coast, the momentum of the Orlando area and its nearby Atlantic Coast cities will continue to be a big draw among new residents.

Sources: US Census Bureau; Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation; Enterprise Florida Inc.