Florida, also known as “The Sunshine State,” is home to incredible beaches, fantastic nightlife, and world-class amusement parks. It’s no surprise that over 21 million people choose to call it home. If you are thinking of living in Florida, you may wonder where most people live in the state. To figure this out, we compiled a list of the fastest-growing cities in Florida that saw the most significant population increase over five years, from 2017 to 2021. Read below to see what cities people are moving to.
#1: Doral, FL
First on our list is Doral, FL, which is well known for its shopping and entertainment complexes, beautiful parks, and world-class golf courses. The city has a population of about 75,900, an increase of 26% from 2017.
Many people call Doral home because of the many things to do throughout the city. Doral has many great parks, including Doral Central Park, Downtown Doral Park, and Morgan Levy Park. It also has a bustling art and entertainment scene with museums like Doral Contemporary Art Museum and entertainment venues such as The Doral Yard and Pandora Box Entertainment. You can also try several great restaurants, such as Divieto Ristorante, Bulla Gastrobar, and Bocas House.
#2: North Port, FL
Known for its rich archeological history and beautiful natural springs, North Port, FL, is number two on the list of the fastest-growing cities in Florida. North Port saw a 21% increase in population to its current population of around 80,000.
If you decide to move to North Port, know there are plenty of great things to do in and around the city. Residents can read a book or throw a frisbee at Blue Ridge Park, Atwater Community Park, or McKibben Park, savor a bite at Alvaro’s Family Restaurant and Olde World Restaurant or check out the artwork at North Port Art Center.
#3: St. Cloud, FL
St. Cloud, FL is located on the shore of East Lake Tohopekaliga and is home to the Reptile World Serpentarium. There are numerous activities to check out in the city that are sure to keep you entertained. If you want to try a favorite local restaurant, check out The Catfish Place, Chimento’s Spaghetti House, or Jimmy Bear’s BBQ. Afterward, you can stroll through one of the many parks like Lakefront Park, O.P. Johnson Park, and Veteran’s Memorial Park. Lastly, be sure to catch a show at Brews ‘N’ Blues.
St. Cloud saw a 20% increase in population and has a population of around 62,000.
#4: Homestead, FL
A small city that is filled with charm located around 30 minutes from Miami, Homestead, FL, clocks in at number four on our list of fastest growing cities in Florida. Homestead’s current population is about 80,500, a 17% increase since 2017.
Homestead has many fun activities, from checking out Harris Field Park, James Archer Smith Park, or Mayor Roscoe Warren Park to grabbing a bite to eat at La Cruzada Restaurant, Havana Spice, and Casita Tejas Mexican Restaurant. If you decide to move to Homestead and love arts and entertainment, pay a visit to Coral Castle and Seminole Theatre.
#5: Fort Myers, FL
Looking for a new city to call home? Then consider living in Fort Myers, FL. The city is best known for its beaches, fishing, and shopping and is the fifth fastest growing city in Florida. Fort Myers saw a 15% increase in population since 2017 and currently has close to 92,200 residents.
If you’re curious about what’s there to do in Fort Myers, check out these fun activities: watching the sunrise at Lakes Regional Park and Centennial Park; visiting the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, Imaginarium Science Center, or Southwest Florida Museum of History; watching a show at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall or Florida Repertory Theatre; or eating delicious food at Izzy’s Fish & Oyster, The Standard Restaurant Downtown, or King’s Kitchen & Bar.
#6: Port St. Lucie, FL
Sixth on our list is Port St. Lucie, FL, which is a charming town on Florida’s Treasure Coast. There are many wonderful things to do in Port St. Lucie, such as eating at a local restaurant at Thirsty Turtle Seagrill, Ristorante Corleone, and Hokkaido Hibachi and Sushi, visiting a museum such as the Treasure Coast Model Railroad Club or strolling through Lyngate Park, Jessica Clinton Park, and Oak Hammock Park.
The city grew 15% since 2017 to its current population of around 217,500.
#7: Cape Coral, FL
Want to move to Cape Coral, FL? Known for its 400 miles of canals, Cape Coral has a population of around 204,500, an 11% increase since 2017.
You may be surprised by how many activities there are to do in Cape Coral. Many things can keep you occupied, such as spending a day at Edison & Ford Winter Estates, IMAG History & Science Center, or the Railroad Museum of South Florida. Make sure to grab a quick bite at Cork Soakers Deck & Wine Bar, Fish Tale Grill, or Two Meatballs in the Kitchen, and afterward, catch a show at Cape Cabaret or Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall.
#8: Kissimmee, FL
Kissimmee, FL comes in at eight and is best known for Kissimmee Lakefront Park, its easy access to recreational water sports, and its rich military history. The city saw an increase of 11% to its current population of nearly 79,500.
If you’re curious about what activities you can do while living in Kissimmee, FL, look no further than the city’s many great parks. Spend an afternoon at Kissimmee Lakefront Park; go for a morning run at Brinson Park; or watch the sunset and have a picnic at Shingle Creek Regional Park. You can also check out a show at The Osceola Performing Arts Center if you’re into live performances. Be sure to swing by local favorite restaurants, The All Italian Restaurant, El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant, and 3 Sisters Speakeasy, for a taste of what the city offers.
#9: Orlando, FL
Known for being home to Disney World and Universal Studios, Orlando, FL, comes in at ninth place on our list. The city is home to around 309,100 residents, a 9.71% increase since 2017.
Aside from the obvious tourist attractions, what else is there to do for those living in Orlando? You can take a walk at Lake Eola Park, Blue Jacket Park, or Cypress Grove Park. If you are a foodie, check out Reyes Mezcaleria, Santiago’s Bodega, and Maxine’s On Shine. If you love the arts and entertainment, pay a visit to Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Bob Carr Theater, and The Plaza Live. If museums are more your thing, visit the Orlando Science Center, Orlando Museum of Art, and the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art.
#10: Palm Bay, FL
Closing out our list at number ten is Palm Bay, FL. The city is best known for being a hidden gem rich in natural resources. The population of Palm Bay is about 123,000, which is a 9.56% increase.
You’ll find there is a lot to check out in Palm Bay. From parks like Fred Poppe Regional Park, Castaway Point Park, and Inspiration Park to restaurants like The Broken Barrel Tavern, Dottie’s Restaurant, and Rooney’s.
Methodology: Population growth was calculated over a 5-year span (2017 vs. 2021). Only cities with a population of over 50,000 were used, as anything smaller is considered a town. Population data sourced from the United States Census Bureau. Median home sale price data from the Redfin Data Center during July 2022. Average rental data from Rent.com during July 2022.