10 Fastest Growing Cities in Florida – 2021 New Update w/ Top Picks

Today, we will talk about the top 10 fastest growing cities in Florida in 2021, a state which itself is the 5th fastest growing state in the U.S. Over 300,000 people have moved to Florida within the last year, and there are plenty of reasons why it has become so popular recently:

  • Affordability – there are numerous cities across the state where the median cost for a house is under $150,000 (check out our article on the 12 most affordable cities in Florida) while there is also no state income tax in Florida
  • Job Opportunities – Florida has the fastest employment growth rate among all large states and is constantly above the national average
  • Warm ClimateFlorida is the warmest state in the U.S. and also has the mildest winters in the nation
  • Beach Life – some of Florida’s best cities are located right on the beachfront and even cities in the middle of the state are never really more than 1 hour away from a beach
  • Entertainment – you will never get bored in Florida as it is home to 12 major league sports teams, amusement parks like Disney World and Universal Studios, numerous golf courses, and is always a stop for the biggest concert tours

We wanted to figure out where everyone was moving to, so we analyzed the latest Census data for 2021 and put together this summary of the 10 fastest growing cities in Florida.

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10. Winter Haven

Winter Haven Florida

Downtown Winter Haven, Florida by Ultrahip licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0


2010 Population:
34,624
2020 Population: 44,955
Population Growth: +30%
Location: See in Google Maps

Winter Haven is located in Polk County and is about 1 hour away from Tampa and Orlando. Its nickname, the “Chain of Lakes City, ” refers to the 50 lakes that are within its city limits.

Winter Haven’s historic downtown district provides a wide range of shops, bars, and dining options to keep its residents entertained and has also been noted as a great place to raise a family. It even captured the American Planning Association’s award as the top choice for Florida’s “Great Places,”  making it easy to see why it is one of the fastest growing cities in Florida.

Fun fact – the first Publix was opened in Winter Haven in 1930.

9. West Melbourne

2010 Population: 18,314
2020 Population: 24,259
Population Growth: +33%
Location: See in Google Maps

West Melbourne is the smallest city on our list, but don’t let its size fool you – it is certainly one of the most popular up and coming cities in Florida. Located in Brevard County on the east coast of Florida, West Melbourne is situated near the coastline alongside the neighboring cities of Melbourne and Melbourne Beach.

It has earned a reputation for being a great place to raise a family while providing a small town feel for its residents.

8. Winter Garden

Winter-Garden Florida Downtown

Winter Garden Florida Downtown by Ebyabe licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

2010 Population: 34,754
2020 Population: 46,051
Population Growth: +33%
Location: See in Google Maps

Winter Garden is a city in Orange County and is one of the fastest growing suburbs of Orlando. Its steady growth can be linked to the fact that the Orlando metro area led the whole nation in job growth for 4 straight years through 2019.

Winter Garden also boasts a strong local economy with a vibrant downtown that is supported by many young families alongside an excellent school system. These elements led to Winter Garden being ranked as the best place to raise a family in all of Florida by SmartAsset.

7. Clermont

2010 Population: 28,823
2020 Population: 38,654
Population Growth: +34%
Location: See in Google Maps

Clermont is located in Lake County, Florida and is just west of Orlando. It is known for its rolling hills and numerous lakes. The city’s distinct geography has even earned it a strong reputation among triathletes since it meets all of their training requirements.

Non-athletes can still stay active with the numerous hiking and biking trails, world-class golf courses, and lake activities that Clermont has to offer. There is also a historic downtown right on Lake Minneola that features bars, restaurants, and shopping options, making it a great option for a well-balanced life in Florida.

6. Ocoee

2010 Population: 35,734
2020 Population: 48,263
Population Growth: +35%
Location: See in Google Maps

Ocoee is located in Orange County, Florida and features some of the hottest up and coming suburban neighborhoods of Orlando.

Ocoee offers relatively affordable housing for the area with easy access to all of the major attractions in Orlando. The airport is less than 30 minutes away while Disneyworld is just a 20 minute drive away.

5. Bonita Springs

2010 Population: 43,930
2020 Population: 49,637
Population Growth: +36%
Location: See in Google Maps

Located just south of Fort Myers, Bonita Spring is a Gulf Coast beach city that has experienced tremendous growth over the last 10 years. It is also a great city for retirees, landing on Money Magazine’s 8 Best Places to Retire list, and featuring  57% of its residents aged 50 or older.

If you are looking for a warm and sunny location, then consider Bonita Springs with its 249 days of sun per year and its January weather that never usually dips below 65 degrees.

4. Fort Myers

Fort-Myers-Beach-Florida

Fort Myers Beach, Florida by Timothyvail licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

2010 Population: 62,305
2020 Population: 87,103
Population Growth: +40%
Location: Check on Google Maps

Fort Myers is the largest city on our list of the fastest growing cities in Florida. Its popularity has really exploded in the last few years, as it has added the most number of new residents within the state. It’s easy to see why – Fort Myers is located near the beachfront and contains a charming downtown with numerous shops and restaurants.

With its proximity to Fort Myers Beach, Cape Coral and Sanibel Island along with its great amenities, U.S. News and World Report named it the 2nd best place to retire in the U.S. For those who are still working, Fort Myers is expected to enjoy above average growth rates in its job market over the next 10 years, at an expansion of 44% vs. the U.S. average of 35%.

All of these facts make Fort Myers one of the hottest up and coming cities in Florida to move to.

 

3. Doral

Downtown Doral Park Florida

Downtown Doral Park, Florida by Tamanoeconomico licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

2010 Population: 45,712
2020 Population: 66,741
Population Growth: +43%
Location: See in Google Maps

The city of Doral is located in Miami-Dade County and is the fastest growing suburb of Miami. It also landed #22 on Money Magazine’s list of 50 best places to live in America.

As its population continues to rise, the city has been investing in new mixed-use living and entertainment complexes, such as Downtown Doral and CityPlace. The city has also attracted several large companies, such as Univision, the Miami Herald, and Carnival Corporation, which help contribute to its booming job market as well.

Doral also boasts 249 sunny days per year and is only 30 minutes from Miami Beach, making it an ideal place to live in southern Florida.

2. St. Cloud

2010 Population: 37,787
2020 Population: 54,579
Population Growth: +44%
Location: See in Google Maps

St. Cloud is a quiet city just south of Orlando and Kissimmee within Osceola County in central Florida. It is located only 30 minutes away from Orlando International Airport, making it a very convenient, yet calmer choice than its larger sister cities.

St. Cloud is surrounded by 3 large lakes and also has a quaint historic district.

Despite its fast growth, St. Cloud has stuck to its motto of “Celebrating Small Town Life” and continues to deliver the charming feeling of a more intimate community.

1. Parkland

2010 Population: 22,513
2020 Population: 34,170
Population Growth: +52%
Location: See in Google Maps

Parkland is a small upscale community in Broward County near Fort Lauderdale and Miami in southern Florida. It is probably best known for its efforts to maintain a park-like atmosphere around the city by prohibiting stores or traffic lights until the early 2000s.

Many out of state residents have been flocking to Parkland to take advantage of its quiet and safe neighborhoods and high quality school system while still being close to the large cities and the beach. Of course, as its name indicates, there are also multiple parks and golf courses in Parkland, making it the fastest growing city in Florida over the last 10 years.

Top Picks – Fastest Growing Cities in Florida in 2021

Overall, all of these cities have been growing for a reason – they have developed a safe community with a good education system, strong job opportunities, and plenty of things to do. We think that Fort Myers and Winter Garden offer the best balance of affordability and livability among all of the cities on this list.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the fastest growing city in Florida?

Parkland, Florida has been the fastest growing city in Florida over the last 10 years, with 52% growth that has pushed their population to over 30,000 people.

What are the best up and coming cities in Florida?

Fort Myers, Winter Garden, and West Melbourne are experiencing strong, sustained growth in the last few years and should certainly be considered as the top up and coming cities in Florida.

If you want to know what are the best places to live in Florida, then check out our article of the 16 best cities.