Orlando is a major city in the U.S. state of Florida. Located in Central Florida, it is the county seat of Orange County and the center of the Orlando metropolitan area. The Orlando metropolitan area has a population of 2,134,411, making it the 26th largest metropolitan area in the United States, the sixth largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States, and the third largest metropolitan area in the state of Florida. According to the 2010 census, Orlando has a city-proper population of 238,300 making it the 77th largest city in the United States; this is mostly attributed to the fact that the majority of area residents live in surrounding suburbs outside of city limits. Orlando is the fifth largest city in Florida, and the state's largest inland city.
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 its tourist attractions draw more than 57 million tourists a year, including 4.1 million international guests. 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 the most visited American city in 2009, Orlando's famous attractions form the backbone of its tourism industry: Walt Disney World Resort, located approximately southwest of Downtown Orlando in Lake Buena Vista, opened by the Walt Disney Company in 1971; the Universal Orlando Resort, opened in 1999 as a major expansion of Universal Studios Florida; SeaWorld; Gatorland; and Wet 'n Wild. 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.
Like other major cities in the Sun Belt, Orlando grew rapidly during the 1980s and into the first decade of the 21st century. Orlando is home to the University of Central Florida, which is the second-largest university campus in the United States in terms of enrollment . 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 study.
History of Orlando area