If you’d like to live in a charming and thriving location, consider moving to Lakeland, Florida. The historic downtown contains beautiful shopping centers, restaurants and businesses. When you want to connect with nature, you can explore the area’s 100 acres of parks, trails and lakes.
With many excellent schools and employment opportunities across industries, this is the perfect place to settle down. You can flourish in your career or decide to retire here. Learn everything you need to know about this beloved and fantastic location below.
Is Lakeland, Florida, a Good Place to Live?
Lakeland is a popular and thriving place to live. Located in Polk County and just a quick drive down to Interstate 4, the area covers over 75 square miles. There are 38 gorgeous lakes in the community, where residents can feel at peace in nature and enjoy scenic views. You’ll spot different kinds of wildlife, including swans at some recreational sites.
You’ll see historic and eclectic architecture throughout Lakeland, including some famous buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright. Though you’ll find everything you need here, including shops, restaurants, schools and businesses, the Tampa Bay area and Orlando are about 40 minutes away for even more amenities.
Residents love visiting the family-friendly Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Theme Parks and SeaWorld Orlando to ride roller coasters, enjoy live entertainment and eat tasty food. Other attractions by these areas include arenas where you can watch sports teams play football, hockey or baseball. The venues host many festivals and events, including concerts where you can see your favorite musicians perform.
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Demographics and Population
According to the latest data, there are around 121,300 residents in Lakeland. There’s a population density of about 1,835 people per square mile, and the city continues to grow at a rate of 2.55% annually.
The total population consists of 89,000 adults, including about 24,500 senior citizens. The remainder of about 32,300 residents consists of children and teenagers. While there’s a wide range of ages in the area, the median age is listed at 41 years old.
There are slightly more females than males here, with nearly 52% of residents identifying as female and around 48% identifying as male. Altogether, the racial composition consists of 71% white, 19% Black or African American and the remaining population identifying as two or more races, Asian, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or Other.
Cost of Living in Lakeland, Florida
The cost of living in Lakeland is fairly affordable compared to other locations in the state. The median household income averages $47,500, and individuals make around $31,400 annually. A median home price is almost $300,000 or about $180 per square foot. Renters can expect to pay a cost-effective price of around $1,000 monthly.
If you’d like to research how much housing, utilities, groceries, health and transportation will cost here, you can use a cost calculator tool online. While each person’s and family’s expenses vary, you can customize different factors to estimate an overall cost when budgeting.
Sunny Weather and Warm Climate
Locals experience a humid subtropical climate almost all year round. The area averages 240 sunny days, which is higher than the nation’s average of 205 per year. The comfortable temperatures average a high of 92 degrees Fahrenheit in summer and a low of 50 degrees during the mild winters.
Plenty of moisture keeps the grass, plants and trees beautiful. About 53 inches of rainfall occur annually, and you’ll find precipitation on the ground about 115 days yearly. If you want to come to the area and scout out your dream home, the best times to visit are March, April and November.
Best Places to Live in Lakeland, FL
If you’re looking for the perfect home, consider checking out some of these of the top-rated communities in the area:
- Dixieland: This historic community includes unique homes along South Florida Avenue, where there are lots of art galleries, boutiques and restaurants.
- Beacon Hill: This family-friendly neighborhood features one-of-a-kind homes with residents who host many backyard events, including the annual Holiday Walkabout, a cherished tradition that began decades ago.
- Cumberland: This smaller neighborhood in a suburban area gives you quick access to a botanical garden and a park featuring playgrounds and soccer and baseball fields.
- Crystal Lake: This neighborhood of single-family homes offers beautiful views with blooming tabebuia trees and has five Little Free Libraries nearby.
- Highland City: This community of small to medium-sized homes features scenic views of Lake Hancock and has close proximity to Marshall Hampton Preserve, where you can feel at peace in nature at the dog-friendly trails.
- Camphor Heights: This close-knit neighborhood features a charming canopy of trees and many midcentury modern homes, including one shown on HGTV in 2019.
- South Lake Morton: Historic homes in this neighborhood were built from 1920 to 1926 with bungalow or Mediterranean styles. These residences are within walking distance of shops, bistros and bars.
- Lake Hollingsworth: Homes in this neighborhood range from $250,000 to $1.5 million. This location features views of Lake Hollingsworth near 350 acres of parks, where you can bird-watch and picnic with your family.
- Lakeland Highlands: This suburban community near a private lake and the softball fields at Christina Park contains everything you need. Visit nearby grocery stores, restaurants, banks and a post office.
Schools and Education
If you’re looking to find the best school for your children in Lakeland, there are plenty of excellent options. The top-ranked Lakeland Montessori School House offers education for Grades K-8. It’s a high-performing charter school with a curriculum that teaches students to use the tools and opportunities they have to reach their potential.
As another well-favored charter school, the Mckeel Academy of Technology serves students in Grades 7-12. The school uses an innovative curriculum with technology integration to prepare students for their future college or career paths. The school offers many extracurricular activities to pursue, including over 30 clubs and organizations and 20 athletic teams.
There are occupations across many industries in Lakeland. The most common job fields here include office and administrative support at around 14%, sales at 10% and management near 8% of the population. Some other jobs include food preparation and service, education or library support, construction and health industry roles.
A few top employers in the area include Lakeland Regional Health for those in the medical industry, GEICO for those wanting to work at an insurance company and Saddle Creek Logistics Services in the fulfillment and transportation field.
Safe Neighborhoods and Communities
Locals say Lakeland is a pleasant and comfortable place to live. The area is 12% safer than most cities in the United States and has a lower crime rate than the state’s average. The area contains many family-friendly neighborhoods, including gated communities. However, you should always practice the best safety measures anywhere you plan to travel or live.
Fun Things to Do in Lakeland, Florida
Make memories with friends and family at these popular sites and attractions:
- Throw axes: A coffee house and restaurant called Ax-Calibar provides a fun environment where you can throw axes to your heart’s content while sipping coffee, wine or beer.
- Discover wildlife: The Circle B Bar Reserve includes 1,267 acres of ecosystems — see if you can spot wildlife like otters, bald eagles, bobcats and alligators.
- Pick berries at a farm: The safe and relaxed environment at Shady Oak Farm offers a place to pick five different types of blueberries and see other types of produce, including strawberries, potatoes, carrots, squash, corn, onions and cabbage.
- Tour a botanical garden: The gorgeous, 1.2-acre land at Hollis Garden features a neo-classical theme with its fountains and pathways. It boasts over 10,000 types of trees, plants and flowers by Lake Mirror.
- Adventure on a safari ride: A vehicle with a shade canopy can take you for a ride through 260 acres of pristine wilderness at Safari Wilderness Ranch, where you can see over 450 types of animals, including ring-tailed lemurs, zebras, ostriches and African Watusi.
- Shop for antique treasures: The eccentric Lakeland Antique Mall is filled with many vintage collectibles and elegant furniture from over 250 dealers.
- Go to a drive-in movie theater: A unique experience at The Silver Moon Drive-In, built in 1948, includes watching movies on a big screen while eating snacks and drinking soda from the comfort of your car any night of the week.
- See Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture: The famous Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center at the Florida Southern College is a National Historic Landmark and showcases the most extensive on-site collection of the artist’s work worldwide.
Plan Your Move With David McCarthy Moving
If you plan on moving to Lakeland, hire the experts at David McCarthy Moving to help. Our highly trained and skilled professionals make life transitions easier by moving your items safely and efficiently. We offer residential moving services and commercial moving assistance for all your needs.
Our team makes the process as simple and smooth as possible with additional services, including packing your items and storing them at our facilities if needed. To learn more about our capabilities or schedule your move with us, contact our team today!