ORLANDO (/ɔːrˈlændoʊ/ ) is a city in the
U.S. state of Florida
and the county seat of Orange County . Located in Central
Florida , it
is the center of the Orlando metropolitan area , which had a
population of 2,387,138, according to
U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Census Bureau figures
released in March 2016, making it the 24th-largest metropolitan area
in the United States, the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the
Southern United States
Southern United States , and the third-largest metropolitan area in
Florida. As of 2015, Orlando had an estimated city-proper population
of 270,934, making it the 73rd-largest city in the United States, the
fourth-largest city in Florida, and the state's largest inland city.
City of Orlando is nicknamed "The
City Beautiful," and its symbol
is the fountain at
Lake Eola . Orlando is also known as "The Theme
Park Capital of the World" and in 2014 its tourist attractions and
events drew more than 62 million visitors. The Orlando International
Airport (MCO) is the thirteenth-busiest airport in the United States
and the 29th-busiest in the world.
Buddy Dyer is Orlando's mayor.
As one of the world's most visited tourist destinations, Orlando's
famous attractions form the backbone of its tourism industry: Walt
Disney World , located approximately 21 miles (34 km) southwest of
Downtown Orlando in Bay Lake , opened by the
Walt Disney Company
Walt Disney Company in
Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort , opened in 1999 as a major
Universal Studios Florida . With the exception of Walt
Disney World, most major attractions are located along International
Drive . The city is also one of the busiest American cities for
conferences and conventions; the
Orange County Convention Center
Orange County Convention Center is
the second-largest convention facility in the United States.
Like other major cities in the
Sun Belt , Orlando grew rapidly during
the 1980s and into the first decade of the 21st century, mostly due to
the success of
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World , which opened on October 1, 1971.
Orlando is home to the University of Central
Florida , which is the
largest university campus in the United States in terms of enrollment
as of 2015 . In 2010, Orlando was listed as a "Gamma−" level of
world-city in the World Cities Study Group's inventory. Orlando ranks
as the fourth-most popular American city based on where people want to
live according to a 2009
Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center study.
* 1 Etymology
Orlando (As You Like It)
* 2 History
* 2.1 Pre-European history
* 2.2 Incorporation
* 2.3 Post-Industrial Revolution
* 2.4 Tourism in history
* 2.5 21st century
* 2.5.1 2016 mass shooting
* 3 Geography and cityscape
* 3.1 Skyscrapers
* 3.1.2 Outside
* 3.2 Climate
* 4 Demographics
* 4.1 Languages
* 4.2 Metropolitan statistical area
* 5 Economy
* 5.1 Industry
* 5.2 Film, television, and entertainment
* 5.3 Healthcare
* 5.4 Housing and employment
* 5.5 Tourism
* 5.5.1 Golf
* 6 Culture
* 6.1 Entertainment and performing arts
* 6.2 Local culture
* 6.3 Shopping malls
* 6.4 In popular culture
* 7 Sports
* 8 Government
* 9 Education
* 9.1 Area institutions of higher education
* 9.1.1 State universities
* 9.1.2 State colleges
* 9.1.3 Private universities, colleges, and others
* 9.1.4 Supplementary schools
* 10 Media
* 10.1 Television
* 10.2 Radio
* 10.3 Newspapers
* 11 Transport
* 11.1 Airports
* 11.2 Roads
* 11.2.1 Major highways
* 11.3 Rail
* 11.3.2 High-speed rail
* 11.4 Bus
* 11.5 Taxi
* 11.6 Airport shuttles
* 12 Notable people
* 13 Sister cities
* 13.1 Foreign consulates
* 14 See also
* 15 Notes
* 16 References
* 17 Bibliography
* 18 External links
Fort Gatlin, as the Orlando area was once known, was established at
what is now just south of the city limits by the 4th U.S. Artillery
under the command of Ltc. Alexander C. W. Fanning on November 9, 1838
during the construction of a series of fortified encampments across
Florida during the
Second Seminole War
Second Seminole War . The fort and surrounding
area were named for Dr. John S. Gatlin, an Army physician who was
killed in Dade\'s Massacre on Dec. 28, 1835. The site of construction
for Fort Gatlin, a defensible position with fresh water between three
small lakes, was likely chosen because the location was on a main
trail and is less than 250 yards from a nearby Council Oak tree where
Native Americans had traditionally met. King Phillip and Coacoochee
frequented this area and the tree was alleged to be the place where
the previous 1835 ambush that had killed over 100 soldiers had been
planned. When the U.S. military abandoned the fort in 1839 the
surrounding community was built up by settlers.
Prior to being known by its current name, Orlando was once known as
Jernigan. This name originates from the first permanent settlers,
Aaron Jernigan , cattlemen who acquired land two miles
northwest of Fort Gatlin along the west end of Lake Holden in July
1843 by the terms of the
Armed Occupation Act . Aarron Jernigan
became Orange County's first State Representative in 1845 but his
pleas for additional military protection went unanswered. Fort Gatlin
was briefly reoccupied by the military for a few weeks during October
and November 1849 and subsequently a volunteer militia was left to
defend the settlement. A historical marker indicates that by 1850 the
Jernigan homestead (or Fort Gatlin in some sources) served as the
nucleus of a village named Jernigan. According to an account written
years later by his daughter, at that time, about 80 settlers were
forced to shelter for about a year in "a stockade that Aaron Jernigan
built on the north side of Lake Conway". One of the county's first
records, a grand jury 's report, mentions a stockade where it states
homesteaders were ``driven from their homes and forced to huddle
together in hasty defences ."
Aaron Jernigan led a local volunteer
militia during 1852.
Jernigan appears on an 1855 map of
Florida and by 1856 the area had
become the county seat of Orange County . It is known for certain
that the area was renamed Orlando in 1857. The move is believed to be
sparked, in part, by Aaron Jernigan's fall from grace after he was
relieved of his militia command by military officials in 1856. His
behavior was so notorious that Secretary of War
Jefferson Davis wrote,
"It is said they are more dreadful than the Indians." In 1859,
Jernigan and his sons were accused of committing a murder at the towns
post office. They were then transported to
Ocala but escaped.
There are at least five stories as to how Orlando got its name. The
most common stories are that the name Orlando originated from the tale
of a man who died in 1835 during a attack by Native Americans in the
area during the
Second Seminole War
Second Seminole War . Several of the stories relay an
oral history of the marker for a person named Orlando, and the double
entendre , "Here lies Orlando." One variant includes a man named
Orlando who was passing by on his way to
Tampa with a herd of ox,
died, and was buried in a marked grave. At a meeting in 1857, debate
had grown concerning the name of the town. Pioneer William B. Hull
recalled how James Speer (a local resident, and prominent figure in
the stories behind the naming of Orlando) rose in the heat of the
argument and said, "This place is often spoken of as 'Orlando's
Grave.' Let's drop the word 'grave' and let the county seat be
Through a retelling of history, it is believed that a marker of some
sort was indeed found by one of the original pioneers. However, others
claim Speer simply used the
Orlando Reeves legend to help push his
plan for naming the settlement after the Shakespearean character.
Historians agree that there was likely not a soldier named Orlando
Folklore is that Reeves was acting as a sentinel for an
company of soldiers that had set up camp for the night on the banks of
Sandy Beach Lake . Several different lakes are mentioned in the
various versions as no soldiers were in what is now downtown during
The legend grew throughout the early 1900s, particularly with local
historian Olive Brumbaugh (or Kena Fries ) retelling in various
writings and on local radio station WDBO in 1929. Another historian,
Eldon H. Gore, promoted the Reeves legend in History of Orlando
published in 1949. A memorial beside
Lake Eola – originally placed
by students of Orlando's Cherokee Junior School in 1939 and updated in
1990 – designates the spot where the city's supposed namesake fell.
There are conflicting legends. One legend has Reeves killed during an
extended battle with the Seminoles after being field promoted after
his platoon commander fell. However, an in-depth review of military
records in the 1970s and 1980s turned up no record of Orlando Reeves
ever existing. Some versions attempt to account for Reeves having
no military records by using the name of other people named 'Orlando'
that exist in some written records – Orlando Acosta; however, not
much is known about Acosta or whether he even existed. Another version
of the story has Orlando Reed, supposedly an Englishman and mail
carrier between Fort Gatlin and
Fort Mellon allegedly killed while
camping with his friends in Orlando.
A second variation also places the story in 1835 during the Second
Seminole War . This name is taken from a
South Carolinian cattle
rancher named Orlando Savage Rees. Rees owned a
Volusia County sugar
mill and plantation as well as several large estates in
Mississippi . Rees' sugar farms in the area were burned out in the
Seminole attacks of 1835 (the year
Orlando Reeves supposedly died).
Subsequently, Rees led an expedition to recover stolen slaves and
cattle. In 1837, Rees also attempted to stop a peace treaty with the
Seminoles because it did not reimburse him for the loss of slaves and
It is believed Rees could have left a pine-bough marker with his name
next to the trail; later residents misread "Rees" as "Reeves" and also
mistook it as a grave maker. In subsequent years this story has
merged with the
Orlando Reeves story (which may have originally
incorporated part of Dr. Gatlin's story).
On two separate occasions, relatives of Rees claimed their ancestor
was the namesake of the city. F.K. Bull of South Carolina (Rees'
great-grandson) told an Orlando reporter of a story in 1955; years
later, Charles M. Bull Jr. of Orlando (Rees' great-great-grandson)
offered local historians similar information. Unlike Orlando Reeves
who cannot be traced to any historical record, there is considerable
record that Orlando Rees did exist and was in
Florida during that time
period. For example, in 1832
John James Audubon
John James Audubon met with Rees in his
large estate at Spring Garden, about 45 minutes away from Orlando.
ORLANDO (AS YOU LIKE IT)
The final variation has the city named after the protagonist in the
As You Like It
As You Like It .
In 1975, Judge Donald A. Cheney put forth a new version of the story
Orlando Sentinel article. Cheney (a local historian and then
chairman of the county historical commission) recounted a story told
to him by his father, Judge
John Moses Cheney (a major figure in
Orlando's history who arrived in Orlando in 1885).
The elder Cheney recounted that another gentleman at that time, James
Speer, proposed the name Orlando after the character in As You Like
It. According to Cheney, Speer, "was a gentleman of culture and an
admirer of William Shakespeare... Quoting a letter that Speer wrote,
"Orlando was a veritable Forest of Arden , the locale of As You Like
It." Speer's descendants have also confirmed this version of the
naming and the legend has continued to grow.
This account also has some validity in that, as mentioned above,
Speer was instrumental in changing the name of the settlement from
Jernigan to Orlando, though he may have used the
Orlando Reeves legend
in lieu of his true intent to use the Shakespearean character.
According to yet another version of the story Orlando may have been
the name of one of his employees. It should also be noted that one
of downtown Orlando 's major streets is named Rosalind Avenue;
Rosalind is the heroine of As You Like It.
Lake Lucerne c. 1905 See also: Timeline of Orlando,
Before European settlers arrived in 1536, Orlando was sparsely
populated by the Seminole tribe. There are very few archaeological
sites in the area today, except for the former site of Fort Gatlin
along the shores of modern-day Lake Gatlin south of downtown Orlando .
Mosquito County was divided in 1845, Fort Gatlin became the
county seat of the new Orange County in 1856. It remained a rural
backwater during the Civil War and suffered greatly during the Union
blockade . The
Reconstruction Era brought on a population explosion,
resulting in the incorporation of the
Town of Orlando on July 31, 1875
with 85 residents (22 voters), and subsequently as a city in 1885.
The period from 1875 to 1895 is remembered as Orlando's Golden Era,
when it became the hub of Florida's citrus industry. But the Great
Freeze of 1894–95 forced many owners to give up their independent
groves , thus consolidating holdings in the hands of a few "citrus
barons" who shifted operations south, primarily around Lake Wales in
Polk County . The Wyoming Hotel c. 1905
Notable homesteaders in the area included the Curry family. Through
their property in east Orlando flowed the
Econlockhatchee River ,
which travelers crossed by fording . This would be commemorated by the
street's name, Curry Ford Road. Also, just south of the airport in the
Boggy Creek area was 150 acres (0.61 km2) of property homesteaded in
the late 19th century by the Ward family. This property is still owned
by the Ward family, and can be seen from flights out of Orlando
International Airport southbound immediately on the south side of SR
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Orlando, as Florida's largest inland city, became a popular resort
during the years between the
Spanish–American War and World War I.
In the 1920s, Orlando experienced extensive housing development during
Florida Land Boom . Land prices soared. During this period several
neighborhoods in downtown were constructed, endowing it with many
bungalows . The boom ended when several hurricanes hit
Florida in the
late 1920s, along with the
Great Depression .
During World War II, a number of Army personnel were stationed at the
Orlando Army Air Base and nearby Pinecastle Army Air Field . Some of
these servicemen stayed in Orlando to settle and raise families. In
1956 the aerospace and defense company
Martin Marietta (now Lockheed
Martin ) established a plant in the city. Orlando AAB and Pinecastle
AAF were transferred to the
United States Air Force
United States Air Force in 1947 when it
became a separate service and were re-designated as air force bases
(AFB). In 1958, Pinecastle AFB was renamed
McCoy Air Force Base after
Colonel Michael N. W. McCoy, a former commander of the 320th
Bombardment Wing at the installation, killed in the crash of a B-47
Stratojet bomber north of Orlando. In the 1960s, the base subsequently
became home to the 306th Bombardment Wing of the Strategic Air Command
B-52 Stratofortress and
KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft,
in addition to detachment operations by
EC-121 and U-2 aircraft.
In 1968, Orlando AFB was transferred to the
United States Navy
United States Navy and
became Naval Training Center Orlando. In addition to boot camp
facilities, NTC Orlando was home of one of two Navy Nuclear Power
Schools, and home of the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems
Division . When McCoy AFB closed in 1975, its runways and territory to
its south and east were imparted to the city to become Orlando
International Airport , while a small portion to the northwest was
transferred to the Navy as McCoy NTC Annex. That closed in 1996, and
became housing, though the former McCoy AFB still hosts a Navy
Exchange, as well as National Guard and Reserve units for several
branches of service. NTC Orlando was closed in 1993 by the Base
Realignment and Closure Commission , and converted into the Baldwin
Park neighborhood. The Naval Air Warfare Center had moved to Central
Florida Research Park near UCF in 1988. Lucerne Circle c. 1905
TOURISM IN HISTORY
Perhaps the most critical event for Orlando's economy occurred in
Walt Disney announced plans to build
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World .
Although Disney had considered the regions of
Tampa for his
park, one of the major reasons behind his decision not to locate there
was due to hurricanes – Orlando's inland location, although not free
from hurricane damage, exposed it to less threat than coastal regions.
The vacation resort opened in October 1971, ushering in an explosive
population and economic growth for the Orlando metropolitan area,
which now encompasses Orange , Seminole , Osceola , and Lake counties.
As a result, tourism became the centerpiece of the area's economy.
Orlando now has more theme parks and entertainment attractions than
anywhere else in the world.
Another major factor in Orlando's growth occurred in 1962, when the
new Orlando Jetport, the precursor of the present day Orlando
International Airport , was built from a portion of the McCoy Air
Force Base . By 1970, four major airlines (
Delta Air Lines , National
Eastern Airlines and
Southern Airways ) were providing
McCoy Air Force Base officially closed in 1975, and
most of it is now part of the airport. The airport still retains the
former Air Force Base airport code (MCO).
Downtown Orlando (center) and periphery to Lake Apopka
(upper-right); January 2011
Today, the historic core of "Old Orlando" resides in Downtown Orlando
along Church Street, between Orange Avenue and Garland Avenue. Urban
development and the Central Business District of downtown have rapidly
shaped the downtown skyline during recent history. The present-day
historic district is primarily associated with the neighborhoods
Lake Eola where century-old oaks line brick streets. These
neighborhoods, known as "
Lake Eola Heights" and "Thornton Park",
contain some of the oldest homes in Orlando.
2016 Mass Shooting
2016 Orlando nightclub shooting
2016 Orlando nightclub shooting
On June 12, 2016, more than 100 people were shot at Pulse , a gay
nightclub in Orlando. Fifty (including the gunman) were killed and 58
were wounded. The gunman, whom the police
SWAT team shot to death, was
identified as 29-year-old Omar Mir Seddique Mateen , an American
security guard of
Afghan descent. The act of terrorism was both the
deadliest mass shooting in modern United States history and one of the
deadliest mass shootings perpetrated by a single person in recorded
world history. Mateen pledged allegiance to the Islamic State during
his unsuccessful negotiations with police. After this terrible
tragedy, the city held many vigils. One of the most prominent
citizen-created vigils was the one outside the front of the new Dr.
Phillips Center for the Performing Arts . In November 2016, Orlando
Buddy Dyer announced city's intention to acquire of the Pulse
Nightclub to build a permanent memorial for the 49 victims of the
shooting. The city offered to buy it for $2.25 million, but the club's
owner, Barbara Poma, declined to sell. Many tourists to the city have
been visiting the sight of the shooting to pay their respect for the
lives lost that night.
GEOGRAPHY AND CITYSCAPE
Lake Eola in 1911
The geography of Orlando is mostly wetlands , consisting of many
lakes and swamps. The terrain is generally flat, making the land
fairly low and wet. The area is dotted with hundreds of lakes, the
largest of which is
Lake Apopka . Central Florida's bedrock is mostly
limestone and very porous; the Orlando area is susceptible to
sinkholes . Probably the most famous incident involving a sinkhole
happened in 1981 in Winter Park, a city immediately north of downtown
Orlando, dubbed "The Winter Park Sinkhole ". See also: List of
neighborhoods in Orlando,
There are 115 neighborhoods within the city limits and many
unincorporated communities. Orlando's city limits resemble a
checkerboard, with pockets of unincorporated Orange County surrounded
by city limits. Such an arrangement can be cumbersome as some areas
are served by both Orange County and the
City of Orlando. This also
explains Orlando's relatively low city population when compared to its
metropolitan population. The city and county are working together in
an effort to "round-out" the city limits with Orlando annexing
portions of land already bordering the city limits.
Metro Orlando has a total of 19 completed skyscrapers. The majority
are located in
Downtown Orlando and the rest are located in the
tourist district southwest of downtown. Skyscrapers built in downtown
Orlando have not exceeded 441 ft (134 m), since 1988 when SunTrust
Center was completed. The main reason for this is the Orlando
Executive Airport, just under 2 miles from the city center, which does
not allow buildings to exceed a certain height.
List of tallest buildings in Orlando Night view
of the Orlando skyline in 2010
SunTrust Center , 1988, 441 ft (134 m), is the tallest
skyscraper in Central Florida.
* The Vue at
Lake Eola , 2008, 426 ft (130 m) tall, but with 35
stories it has more stories than the SunTrust Center.
* The Orange County Courthouse , 1997, 416 ft (127 m).
* The Bank of America Center (formerly Barnett Plaza), 1988, 409 ft
55 West on the Esplanade , 2009, 377 ft (115 m)
Solaire at the Plaza , 2006, 359 ft (109 m)
* Dynetech Center, 2009, 357 ft (109 m)
Citrus Center, 1971, 281 ft (86 m)
* Premier Trade Plaza Orlando, 2006, 256 ft (78 m)
CNL Center City Commons , 1999, 250 ft (76 m)
Downtown Orlando Information Center, 2008
Outside Downtown Orlando
Orlando International Airport ATC Tower, 2002, 346 ft (105 m)
SeaWorld SkyTower , 400 ft (122 m), was the tallest tower in
Orange County outside Orlando's city limits until surpassed by the
Hyatt Regency Orlando Expansion Tower, Winter 2010, 428 ft
(130 m), is the tallest tower in Orange County outside Orlando's city
Orlando Eye , 400 ft (122 m), was opened in 2015.
CLIMATE CHART (EXPLANATION )
2.4 71 49
2.4 74 52
3.8 78 56
2.6 83 60
3.5 88 66
7.6 91 72
7.3 92 74
7.1 92 74
6.1 90 73
3.3 85 66
2.2 78 59
2.6 73 52
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
60 22 10
60 23 11
96 26 13
65 28 16
88 31 19
193 33 22
185 33 23
181 33 23
154 32 23
84 29 19
55 26 15
66 23 11
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Orlando has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate
classification Cfa) like much of Florida. Orlando is located in USDA
Plant Hardiness Zones 9B. There are two basic seasons in Orlando, a
hot and rainy season, lasting from May until late September (roughly
coinciding with the
Atlantic hurricane season
Atlantic hurricane season ), and a cold and dry
season from October through April. The area's warm and humid climate
is caused primarily by its low elevation, its position relatively
close to the Tropic of Cancer , and its location in the center of a
peninsula . Many characteristics of its climate are a result of its
proximity to the
Gulf Stream , which flows around the peninsula of
During the height of Orlando's humid summer season, high temperatures
are typically in the lower to mid 90s °F (32–36 °C), while low
temperatures rarely fall below the mid 70s °F (23-26 °C). The
average window for such temperatures is April 19 – October 11. The
area's humidity acts as a buffer, usually preventing actual
temperatures from exceeding 100 °F (38 °C), but also pushing the
heat index to over 110 °F (43 °C). The city's highest recorded
temperature is 103 °F (39 °C), set on September 8, 1921. During
these months, strong afternoon thunderstorms occur almost daily. These
storms are caused by air masses from the
Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico and the
Atlantic Ocean colliding over Central Florida. They are highlighted by
spectacular lightning and can also bring heavy rain (sometimes several
inches per hour) and powerful winds as well as rare damaging hail .
During the cooler season, humidity is much lower and temperatures are
more moderate, and can fluctuate more readily. The monthly daily
average temperature in January is 60.2 °F (15.7 °C). Temperatures
dip below the freezing mark on an average of only 2.4 nights per
annum, and the lowest recorded temperature is 18 °F (−8 °C), set
on December 28, 1894 . Because the winter season is dry and freezing
temperatures usually occur only after cold fronts (and their
accompanying precipitation) have passed, snow is exceptionally rare.
The only accumulation ever to occur in the city proper since
recordkeeping began was in 1948, although there was some accumulation
in surrounding areas in a snow event in January 1977. Flurries have
also been observed in 1989 and 2006 and 2010.
The average annual rainfall in Orlando is 50.6 inches (1,290 mm), a
majority of which occurs in the period from June to September. The
months of October through May are Orlando's dry season. During this
period (especially in its later months), there is often a wildfire
hazard. During some years, fires have been severe. In 1998, a strong
El Niño caused an unusually wet January and February, followed by
drought throughout the spring and early summer, causing a record
wildfire season that created numerous air quality alerts in Orlando
and severely impacted normal daily life, including the postponement of
that year's Pepsi 400
NASCAR race in nearby
Daytona Beach .
Orlando is a major population center and has a considerable hurricane
risk, although it is not as high as in South
Florida 's urban corridor
or other coastal regions. Since the city is located 42 miles (68 km)
inland from the Atlantic and 77 miles (124 km) inland from the Gulf of
Mexico, hurricanes usually weaken before arriving. Storm surges are
not a concern since the region is 100 feet (30 m) above sea level .
Despite its location, the city does see strong hurricanes. During the
notorious 2004 hurricane season , Orlando was hit by three hurricanes
that caused significant damage, with
Hurricane Charley the worst of
these. The city also experienced widespread damage during Hurricane
Donna in 1960.
Tornadoes are not usually connected with the strong thunderstorms of
the summer. They are more common during the infrequent cold fronts of
winter, as well as in passing hurricanes. The two worst major
outbreaks in the area's history, a 1998 outbreak that killed 42 people
and a 2007 outbreak that killed 21, both happened in February.
CLIMATE DATA FOR ORLANDO (ORLANDO INT\\'L ), 1981–2010 NORMALS,
RECORD HIGH °F (°C)
MEAN MAXIMUM °F (°C)
AVERAGE HIGH °F (°C)
DAILY MEAN °F (°C)
AVERAGE LOW °F (°C)
MEAN MINIMUM °F (°C)
RECORD LOW °F (°C)
AVERAGE RAINFALL INCHES (MM)
AVERAGE RAINY DAYS (≥ 0.01 IN)
AVERAGE RELATIVE HUMIDITY (%)
Source: NOAA (relative humidity 1961–1990)
Population, percent change, 2000 to 2010
White or Caucasian (including
White Hispanic )
(Non-Hispanic White or Caucasian )
Hispanic or Latino (of any race)
Black or African-American
Native American or
Pacific Islander or
Two or more races (Multiracial)
Some Other Race
Map of racial distribution in Orlando, 2010 U.S. Census. Each
dot is 25 people: WHITE, BLACK, ASIAN, HISPANIC or OTHER (yellow)
As of 2010, there were 121,254 households out of which 15.4% were
vacant. As of 2000, 24.5% of households had children under the age of
18 living with them, 32.4% were married couples living together, 15.4%
had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.6% were
non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and
8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The
average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.97.
In 2014, the city's population was spread out with 12.0% under the
age of 18, 5.7% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to
64, and 36.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33
years. For every 100 females there were 95.3 males. For every 100
females age 18 and over, there were 91.3 males.
Orlando has the largest population of Puerto Ricans in
their cultural impact on Central
Florida is similar to that of the
large Cuban population in South
Florida . Orlando is home to the
fastest growing Puerto Rican community in the country. Between 1980
and 2010, Hispanic population share rose from 4.1 to 25.4%. Orlando
also has a large and growing Caribbean population, with a large West
Indian community (particularly Bahamians ,
Cubans , Dominicans ,
Jamaicans , Virgin Islanders , Trinidadian and Tobagonian population)
and an established Haitian community. Orlando has an active Jewish
Orlando has a large LGBT population and is recognized as one of the
most accepting and tolerant cities in the Southeast. As of 2015 ,
around 4.1% of Orlando's population identify as LGBT, making Orlando
the city with the 20th-highest percentage of LGBT residents in the
country. The city is host to Gay Days every June (including at nearby
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World ), holds a huge Pride festival every October, and
is home to Florida's first openly gay
City Commissioner, Patty
U.S. Census map
As of 2000, 75.43% of all residents speak English as their first
language, while 16.60% speak Spanish, 1.93% speak
Haitian Creole ,
1.33% speak French, 0.99% speak Portuguese, and 0.54% of the
population speak Arabic as their mother language. In total, 24.56% of
the population 5 years and older speak a language other than English
According to the American Community Survey of 2006–2008, 69.3% of
Orlando's residents over the age of five spoke only English at home.
Spanish-speakers represented 19.2% of Orlando's population. Speakers
Indo-European languages made up 9.0% of the city's
population. Those who spoke an Asian language made up 1.9% of the
population, and speakers of other languages made up the remaining 0.6%
of the populace.
METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREA
Orlando is the hub city of the Orlando-Kissimmee, Florida,
Metropolitan Statistical Area , colloquially known as "Greater
Orlando" or "Metro Orlando". The area encompasses four counties
(Orange , Osceola , Seminole and Lake ), and is the 26th-largest metro
area in the United States with a 2010 Census-estimated population of
In 2000, the population of Orlando's urban area was 1,157,431, making
it the third-largest in
Florida and the 35th-largest in the United
States. As of 2009, the estimated urban area population of Orlando is
When Combined Statistical Areas were instituted in 2000, Orlando was
initially joined together with The Villages,
Florida , Micropolitan
Statistical Area, to form the Orlando-The Villages, Florida, Combined
Statistical Area . In 2006, the metropolitan areas of Deltona (Volusia
County ) and Palm Coast (Flagler County ) were added to create the
ORLANDO-DELTONA-DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA, COMBINED STATISTICAL AREA.
This new larger CSA has a total population (as of 2007) of 2,693,552,
and includes three of the 25 fastest-growing counties in the
nation—Flagler ranks 1st; Osceola, 17th; and Lake, 23rd.
See also: List of
Florida companies and List of notable companies in
Florida The North Concourse of the Orange County
Orlando is a major industrial and hi-tech center. The metro area has
a $13.4 billion technology industry employing 53,000 people; and is a
nationally recognized cluster of innovation in digital media,
agricultural technology, aviation, aerospace, and software design.
More than 150 international companies, representing approximately 20
countries, have facilities in Metro Orlando.
Orlando has the 7th-largest research park in the country, Central
Florida Research Park , with over 1,025 acres (4.15 km2). It is home
to over 120 companies, employs more than 8,500 people, and is the hub
of the nation's military simulation and training programs. Near the
end of each year, the
Orange County Convention Center
Orange County Convention Center hosts the
world's largest modeling and simulation conference:
Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference
(I/ITSEC). Metro Orlando is home to the simulation procurement
commands for the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.
Lockheed Martin has a large manufacturing facility for missile
systems, aeronautical craft and related high tech research. Other
notable engineering firms have offices or labs in Metro Orlando: KDF,
General Dynamics , Harris ,
Mitsubishi Power Systems , Siemens ,
Symantec , multiple
USAF facilities, Naval Air Warfare Center
Training Systems Division (
Delta Connection Academy,
Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University , GE , Air Force Agency for
Modeling and Simulation (
AFAMS ), U.S. Army Program Executive Office
for Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation (PEO STRI), United
States Army Research, Development and Engineering Command United
States Army Simulation and Training Technology Center (STTC), AT&T ,
Boeing , CAE Systems Flight and Simulation Training,
Institute for Simulation and Training, National Center for Simulation
Northrop Grumman , and
Raytheon Systems. The Naval Training Center
until a few years ago was one of the two places where nuclear
engineers were trained for the
US Navy . Now the land has been
converted into the Baldwin Park development. Numerous office complexes
for large corporations have popped up along the
Interstate 4 corridor
north of Orlando, especially in Maitland , Lake Mary and Heathrow .
Orlando is close enough to
Patrick Air Force Base
Patrick Air Force Base , Cape Canaveral
Air Force Station , and
Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center for residents to commute
to work from the city's suburbs. It also allows easy access to Port
Canaveral , a cruise ship terminal.
Orlando is the home base of
Darden Restaurants , the parent company
Olive Garden and
LongHorn Steakhouse , and the largest operator of
restaurants in the world by revenue. In September 2009 it moved to a
new headquarters and central distribution facility.
FILM, TELEVISION, AND ENTERTAINMENT
Another important sector is the film, television, and electronic
gaming industries, aided by the presence of Universal Studios ,
Disney\'s Hollywood Studios ,
Full Sail University , UCF College of
Arts and Humanities , the
Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy ,
and other entertainment companies and schools. The U.S. modeling,
simulation, and training (MS">
Cinderella Castle at the Magic
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World Resort
One of the main driving forces in Orlando's economy is its tourism
industry and the city is one of the leading tourism destinations in
the world. Nicknamed the 'Theme Park Capital of the World', the
Orlando area is home to
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World Resort , Universal Orlando
Resort , and
SeaWorld Orlando . Over 59 million visitors came to the
Orlando region in 2013, spending over $33 billion.
The Orlando area features 7 of the 10 most visited theme parks in
North America (5 of the top 10 in the world), as well as the 4 most
visited water parks in the U.S. The
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World resort is the
area's largest attraction with its many facets such as the Magic
Epcot , Disney\'s Hollywood Studios , Disney\'s Animal
Kingdom , Typhoon Lagoon , Blizzard Beach , and
Disney Springs .
SeaWorld Orlando is a large park that features numerous zoological
displays and marine animals alongside an amusement park with roller
coasters and water park.
Universal Orlando , like
Walt Disney World,
is a multi-faceted resort comprising
Universal Studios Florida ,
Islands of Adventure ,
Volcano Bay , and Universal CityWalk . SeaWorld
Orlando also comprises more than one park, alongside Aquatica and
Discovery Cove . Orlando attractions also appeal to many locals who
want to enjoy themselves close to home.
The convention industry is also critical to the region's economy. The
Orange County Convention Center
Orange County Convention Center , expanded in 2004 to over two million
square feet (200,000 m²) of exhibition space, is now the
second-largest convention complex in terms of space in the United
States, trailing only
McCormick Place in Chicago. The city vies with
Las Vegas for hosting the most convention attendees in the
Numerous golf courses can be found in the city, with the most famous
Bay Hill Club and Lodge , home to the
Arnold Palmer Invitational
ENTERTAINMENT AND PERFORMING ARTS
The hip hop music , metal , rock music, reggaeton and Latino music
scenes are all active within the city. Orlando is known as "Hollywood
East" because of numerous movie studios in the area. Major motion
picture production was active in the city during the mid-to-late
1990s, but has slowed in the past decade. Probably the most famous
film-making moment in the city's history occurred with the implosion
of Orlando's previous
City Hall for the movie
Lethal Weapon 3
Lethal Weapon 3 .
Orlando is now a large production center for television shows,
direct-to-video productions, and commercial production. In early
2011, filmmaker Marlon Campbell constructed A-Match Pictures and Angel
Media Studios; a multimillion-dollar film and recording facility that
has been added to the list of major studios in the city.
Walt Disney Feature Animation operated a studio in
Disney\'s Hollywood Studios at the
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World Resort . Feature
Florida was primarily responsible for the films Mulan , Lilo
"> no longer operates out of Universal Studios Florida. The Florida
Film Festival which takes place in venues throughout the area is one
of the most respected regional film festivals in the country and
attracts budding filmmakers from around the world. Orlando is very
popular among independent filmmakers. Orlando's indie film scene has
been active since Haxan Film's
The Blair Witch Project
The Blair Witch Project (1999) and a
few years later with
Charlize Theron winning her
Academy Award for
Monster (2003). A
Florida state film incentive has also helped
increase the number of films being produced in Orlando and the rest of
The Orlando Metropolitan Area is home to a substantial theater
population. Several professional and semi-professional houses and many
community theaters include the Central
Florida Ballet, Orlando Ballet,
Orlando Shakespeare Theater
Orlando Shakespeare Theater , Orlando Repertory Theatre, Mad Cow
Theatre , and IceHouse Theatre in Mount Dora . Orlando Theatre Project
, closed in 2009. Additionally, both University of Central
Rollins College (Winter Park) are home to theater departments that
attract an influx of young artists to the area.
Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre had hosted national Broadway
tours on a regular basis. This venue was built in 1926 and underwent a
major renovation in 1974. While waiting on the completion of Phase II
construction of the
Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts , the
newly designated Bob Carr Theater will continue to host non-Broadway
Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival , which draws
touring companies from around the world, is hosted in various venues
over Orlando's Loch Haven Park every spring. At the festival, there
are also readings and fully staged productions of new and unknown
plays by local artists. Also in the spring, there is The Harriett
Lake Festival of New Plays, hosted by Orlando Shakespeare Theater.
Founded in 2002, the Orlando Cabaret Festival showcases local,
national, and internationally renowned cabaret artist to Mad Cow
Downtown Orlando each spring.
It has been suggested that Orlando\'s Summer of Love be merged into
this section. (Discuss ) Proposed since March 2017.
A substantial amount of the teenage and young adult populations
identify as being goth , emo , or punk . Orlando experienced the
Second Summer of Love between 1991 and 1992 that popularized the
subculture surrounding electronic dance music in Florida. The culture
progressed as time went on, starting in 1995 from when
Matchbox Twenty , and pop bands
Backstreet Boys originated. Over the years, the intensity of the music
increased. In the late 1990s,
Skrape , a metal band, was established,
shortly followed by the screamo band
From First to Last as well as the
alternative metal band
Fireflight . In the early 2000s, the heavy
metal bands Trivium and
Mindscar formed. In the later 2000s, more
screamo bands, such as
Blood on the Dance Floor (duo) , Sleeping with
Sirens , and
Broadway (band) were established. Major companies, such
Hot Topic and
Vans have noticed and taken advantage of this. Hot
Topic, an emo retailer, established 5 stores in Orlando. The Vans
Warped Tour , a concert containing metalcore/screamo/punk bands, takes
place in Orlando annually.
* THE FLORIDA MALL is the largest mall in Orlando and one of the
largest single-story malls in the USA at over 1,849,000 sq ft (171,800
m2). There are over 250 stores, seven anchor department stores, and
Florida Mall Hotel "> The
Amway Center Main article: Sports
Professional sports teams
Orlando City SC
Orlando City SC
Orlando City Stadium
Orlando City Stadium
Orlando Solar Bears
Florida Fire Frogs
Osceola County Stadium
Trinity Preparatory School
Orlando is the home city of two major league professional sports
Orlando Magic of the
National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association (NBA),
Orlando City SC
Orlando City SC of
Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer (MLS).
Orlando has two minor league professional teams: the Orlando Solar
ECHL ice hockey team and the
Orlando Anarchy of the Women\'s
Football Alliance . Orlando also hosts the University of Central
Florida (UCF) Knights college athletics teams, which compete in
Division I of the
National Collegiate Athletic Association
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as a
member of the
American Athletic Conference
American Athletic Conference (The American). The
original Orlando Solar Bears were part of the International Hockey
League winning the last
Turner Cup championship in 2001, before the
league folded. From 1991 to 2016, the city was also home to the
Orlando Predators of the
Arena Football League
Arena Football League .
In 2016, the
Orlando Pride began play in the National Women\'s Soccer
League . Starting in 2017, they will be sharing Orlando
with Orlando City.
Orlando's sports teams have collectively won two Arena Bowls (1998,
2000), two titles in ice hockey, three titles in minor league baseball
, and two titles in soccer.
The city has hosted the
NBA All-Star Game twice: in 1992 at the old
Orlando Arena , and in 2012 at the current
Amway Center . Orlando also
hosted the 2015
ECHL All-Star Game at Amway Center.
Camping World Stadium (the former
Citrus Bowl stadium) hosts three
annual college football bowl games : the
Citrus Bowl , the Russell
Athletic Bowl , and the
Cure Bowl . It also hosted the 1998 Major
League Soccer All-Star Game . Orlando is the host city for the annual
Florida Classic , one of the largest FCS football classics in the
nation. It will also begin hosting a series of FBS kickoff games
Orlando Kickoff in 2016, and will serve as host to the
National Football League
National Football League 's
2017 Pro Bowl .
Orlando was home to the
Orlando Renegades of the United States
Football League in 1985. The team folded along with the league in
Orlando is home to many notable athletes former and present,
including baseball players
Carlos Peña ,
Frank Viola , Ken Griffey,
Barry Larkin ; basketball player Shaquille O\'Neal ; soccer
Kaká ; and many golfers, including
Tiger Woods , Mark O\'Meara
Arnold Palmer .
Community Effort Orlando (CEO) is the second-biggest
fighting game tournament of the country. Having grown since its
introduction in 2010, the event got over 4,000 attendees from more
than 25 different countries in 2016.
Main article: List of mayors of Orlando,
Orlando is governed via the
Mayor-council system . The mayor is
elected in a citywide vote. The six members of the city council are
each elected from districts.
Crime rates* (2014)
TOTAL VIOLENT CRIME
MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
TOTAL PROPERTY CRIME
*Number of reported crimes per 100,000 population.
2014 population: 259,675
SOURCE: 2014 FBI UCR Data
* District 1: Jim Gray
* District 2: Tony Ortiz
* District 3: Robert Stuart
* District 4: Patty Sheehan
* District 5: Regina Hill
* District 6: Samuel Ings
Public primary and secondary education is handled by Orange County
Public Schools . Some of the private schools include Orlando Lutheran
Forest Lake Academy ,
The First Academy , Trinity
Preparatory School ,
Lake Highland Preparatory School , Bishop Moore
High School and
Orlando Christian Prep .
AREA INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION
The University of Central
Florida Library Full Sail
* University of Central
Florida A&M University College of Law
Florida State University College of Medicine
* Seminole State College of
Florida (Sanford, Oviedo, & Altamonte
Private Universities, Colleges, And Others
Adventist University of Health Sciences , Main Campus
Ana G. Mendez University System
* Anthem College , Orlando Campus
Asbury Theological Seminary
Asbury Theological Seminary , Orlando Campus
Belhaven University , Orlando Campus
* Columbia College , Orlando Campus
Connecticut School of Broadcasting , Orlando Campus
DeVry University , Orlando campus
Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law ,
Everest University , Orlando campus
Florida Institute of Technology , Orlando campus
Full Sail University (in Winter Park)
Herzing College (in Winter Park)
Hindu University of America
International Academy of Design & Technology-Orlando
ITT Technical Institute
ITT Technical Institute , Lake Mary Campus
Keiser University , Orlando Campus
Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts , Orlando Campus
* McBurney College (Orlando Campus)
Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University , Orlando campus
Palm Beach Atlantic University
Palm Beach Atlantic University , Orlando Campus
Reformed Theological Seminary , Orlando campus
Remington College of Nursing (in Lake Mary)
Rollins College (in Winter Park)
Southern Technical College
Strayer University , Orlando campus
* University of
Florida College of Pharmacy (in Apopka)
Orlando Hoshuko , a weekend supplementary school for Japanese
children , is held at the
Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando.
See also: List of newspapers in
Florida , List of radio stations in
Florida , and List of television stations in
Orlando is the center of the 19th-largest media market in the United
States according to
Nielsen Media Research
Nielsen Media Research as of the 2010–11 TV
season. Three major network affiliates operate in the city:
WFTV 9 (ABC ) and Fox O&O
additional stations in Orlando, with
WFTV operating independent
WRDQ 27 and
MyNetworkTV O both stations operate
out of studios based in nearby Eatonville .
The city is also served by three public television stations: WUCF-TV
24, the market's
PBS member station operated by the University of
Florida , and two independent stations: Daytona State College
WDSC-TV 15 in New Smyrna Beach and Eastern
Florida State College 's
WEFS 68 in Cocoa .
Four Spanish-language channels are licensed in Orlando, including
UniMás O"> finished construction of lane expansions, new toll plazas,
and sound barriers along the roadway, though much work remains to be
* Beachline Expressway (Toll 528) provides key access to the
Orlando International Airport and serves as a gateway to the Atlantic
Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral.
Florida Greenway (Toll 417) is a key highway for East
Orlando, the highway is also managed by the Central
Authority and serves as Orlando's eastern beltway. The highway
intersects with the East-West Expressway (Toll 408), the Beachline
Expressway (Toll 528), and begins and ends on Interstate 4.
* Daniel Webster Western Beltway (Toll 429) serves as Orlando's
western beltway. The highway serves as a "back entrance" to Walt
Disney World from Orlando's northwestern suburbs including Apopka via
Florida\'s Turnpike .
* John Land Apopka Expressway (Toll 414) A new east to west tollway
serving northern Orlando. Phase I opened on February 14, 2009 and
extends from US 441 to State Road 429 . Phase II will link SR 429 to
US 441 several miles west of the current SR 429 intersection.
* Florida\'s Turnpike (Toll 91) is a major highway that connects
Florida with Orlando and terminates in Miami.
The Orlando area is served by one through railroad. The line, now
known as the Central
Florida Rail Corridor (CFRC), was previously
known as the "A" line (formerly the
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad 's
main line). The line was purchased from
CSX Transportation by the
Florida in 2013 and is now used by
SunRail , the Central
Florida commuter rail system. Some freight spurs still exist off of
the line, which are operated by the
Florida Central Railroad . Amtrak
passenger service runs along CFRC. See also a map of these railroads .
Amtrak intercity passenger rail service operates from the Orlando
Amtrak Station south of downtown. The Mission Revival-style station
has been in continuous use since 1927, first for the Atlantic Coast
Line , then the
Seaboard Coast Line Railroad (signage for which is
still displayed over the station's main entrance). Amtrak's Silver
Meteor and Silver Star service Orlando four times daily, twice bound
for points north to New York
City and twice bound for points south to
Miami . Orlando also serves as a transfer hub for
Motorcoach bus service. Orlando Station has the highest Amtrak
ridership in the state, with the exception of the
Auto Train depot
located in nearby Sanford .
Historically, Orlando's other major railroad stations have included:
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Orlando station (now Church Street
Station, a commercial development)
* Seaboard Air Line Railroad Orlando station (Central Avenue
In 2005, federal and state funding was granted for the establishment
SunRail , a local commuter rail service, to operate on the former
CSX "A" line tracks between DeLand and Poinciana , passing through the
downtown area and surrounding urban neighborhoods along the way. The
service is expected to substantially reduce traffic congestion along
the I-4 corridor, especially between
Downtown Orlando and the suburban
communities in Seminole and Volusia Counties. Federal and state funds
covered approximately 80% of the estimated $400 million cost for track
modifications and construction of stations along the route. The
counties involved approved local matching funds in 2007 and the line
was originally projected to begin operations in 2011. However, the
project was ultimately voted down by
Florida State Senate in 2008 and
again in 2009 due to an amendment that would have approved a $200
million insurance policy for the system. Although there had been
growing concern the system would be scrapped, a deadline extension
combined with a new insurance arrangement with CSX brought new hope
SunRail will be completed after all. In a special session in
December 2009, the
Florida Legislature approved commuter rail for
Florida, which also enabled high-speed rail federal funding. SunRail
began passenger service on May 1, 2014. Phase I of the rail system
runs from DeBary to Sand Lake Road in South Orlando. Phase II, which
isn't expected to be completed until 2016, will connect from DeBary
and continue north to DeLand , as well as extend from Sand Lake Road
in Orlando south to Poinciana . Attempts to establish a smaller light
rail service for the Orlando area were also considered at one time,
but were also met with much resistance.
Florida High Speed Rail
On January 28, 2010, President
Barack Obama said that
be receiving $1.25 billion to start the construction of a statewide
high-speed rail system with Orlando as its central hub. The first
stage would have connected Orlando and Tampa,
Florida and was expected
to be completed by 2014. The second stage was to connect Orlando and
Miami, Florida. The project was canceled by Gov. Rick Scott in 2011,
and on March 4, 2011, the
Florida Supreme Court unanimously turned
down the request of two state senators to force Scott to accept
federal funding for the project. A privately funded initiative known
as All Aboard
Florida was announced in March 2012. Station
construction is scheduled to begin in 2015.
Lynx provides local transit service covering a five-county area:
Orange , Seminole , Osceola , Polk, and Volusia .
Greyhound Lines offers intercity bus service from Orlando to multiple
locations across the country. The Orlando Greyhound Station is located
west of Downtown Orlando.
Orlando is served by a collection of independently owned taxi
companies. In downtown Orlando, taxis can be hailed on a regular
basis. Taxis are also available in and around the Amway Center,
Orlando Convention Center, and all major attractions/theme parks
(i.e., Universal Studios, Disney World, etc.).
Transportation between the
Orlando International Airport and various
locations in and around Orlando are provided by airport shuttle
services. Several shuttles operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Main article: List of people from Orlando,
See also: List of sister cities in
Orlando has nine international sister cities as listed by the
Orlando Office of International Affairs.
Curitiba , Paraná , Brazil
Guilin , Guangxi, People's Republic of China
Nuevo León , Mexico
Reykjanesbær , Iceland
Marne-la-Vallée , Île-de-
France , France
Tainan , Taiwan
Orenburg , Russia
Urayasu, Chiba , Japan
Castile and León , Spain
Given Orlando's status as a busy international tourist destination
and growing industrial and commercial base, there are several foreign
consulates and honorary consulates in Orlando including Argentina,
Colombia, Czech Republic, Haiti, Mexico, Switzerland, the Netherlands,
and the Ivory Coast. As a result, Orlando now has the second-highest
number of foreign consulates in
Florida next to Miami. The British
Government operated a Consulate from 1994 to 2014 when all services
transferred to the British Consulate General in Miami.
* LGBT portal
* United States portal
* Terrorism portal
List of mayors of Orlando
* ^ Distance measured from Orlando
City Hall to nearest Atlantic
coastline, near Oak Hill , Brevard County , and nearest Gulf
coastline, near, Pine Island , Hernando County , using
Google Earth 's
* ^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the highest and lowest
temperature readings during an entire month or year) calculated based
on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
* ^ Orlando Int'l became the official station of record for Orlando
in February 1974.
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United States Census Bureau .
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Aaron Jernigan Retrieved March 2,
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