Located in Polk County and halfway between two major cities in Florida (Orlando and Tampa), Lakeland FL is in the heart of Central Florida.
The City of Lakeland is a vibrant city located along the I4 stretch between Tampa and Orlando. It is housed by the largest county in the state of Florida, Polk County. First settled by Native Americans who were eventually driven out by Spanish settlers, Lakeland wouldn’t be settled as a city until over a decade after Polk County was formed. A Kentuckian by the name of Abraham Munn purchased 80 acres in modern-day Downtown Lakeland, officially putting the town of many lakes, Lakeland, on the map. The Spanish-American War resulted in a construction “boom” for many of Florida’s cities, including Lakeland. Many of the well-known buildings and structures in Lakeland were built during this boom, including the Terrace Hotel, the New Florida Hotel, and the Polk Theater. This brought many new citizens to the city. Eventually, the boom turned to a bust for years until the arrival of the Detroit Tigers for Spring Training in 1934. The Tigers would build the stadium they still play into this day, Joker Marchant Stadium. In addition to the Tigers, Florida Southern College added “The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture” in 1938. These features of the city brought residents from all over, who would eventually plant their roots in Lakeland and grow the city into what it is today.
Lakes and Climate:
Lakeland is home to 38 named lakes with numerous other unnamed bodies of water, most of which are phosphate mine pits. The biggest of the 38 lakes is Lake Parker, over 2,500 acres in size. The residents of Lakeland often revolve their daily lives and activities around the lakes, as well as use them for location reference points. The climate of Lakeland is a very typical central Florida climate with hot, humid summers full of rainy afternoons and dry, mild winters.
As of 2010, the city of Lakeland has just over 97,000 residents. 70% of these residents are Caucasian, 20% are African-American, 12.6% are Hispanic, and 1.8% are Asian. The largest age group for Lakeland are people between the ages of 25-44 at 24.7% of the population. The median household income per family is $17,468.