Orlando Facts:

Roughly 2 million people live in the Orlando area

The City of Orlando's population is 220,000

52 million people visit the Orlando area anually

The Orlando Area consists of four counties: Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole

Walt Disney World opened in 1971 and employs more than 50,000 people, making it the largest single-site employer in the U.S

A population surge

Part of Orlando’s identity problem is that most of the 52 million tourists that visit the area each year never actually visit the City of Orlando. Most tourists arrive at Orlando International Airport and then head Orlando's tallest building, the Suntrust Center, at the intersection of Orange Avenue and Church Street, rises above the historic Kress Building, which once housed a department store.to the tourist district in South Orange County, never actually stepping foot in or near downtown Orlando. So while the City of Orlando plays host to millions of visitors each year, it’s a thankless job.

The City of Orlando is located in Orange County, at the crossroads of Interstate 4 and the Florida Turnpike in Central Florida. However, the Orlando Area’s rapid growth has spilled over into several neighboring counties, including Lake, Osceola and Seminole counties. These four counties make up the Orlando Metropolitan Area, which had an estimated population of about 2 million, making it the third-largest region in Florida, behind Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-West Palm Beach and Tampa-St. Petersburg. The Orlando area is the 27th-largest metropolitan area in the United States.

Other areas outside the four-county metropolitan area have also seen the effects of Orlando’s rapid growth, including Polk, Sumter, Volusia and Flagler counties.

Despite the Orlando Area’s high population, the City of Orlando is much smaller by comparison. In 2006, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city’s population at about 220,186, making it the sixth largest city in Florida and the nation’s 85th largest city.

Orlando's new City Hall opened in the early 1990s, after a Hollywood film crew demolished the original building as part of the movie Lethal Weapon 3.

Disney World opened its doors in 1971 and transformed Orlando’s economy. Gone were the days when citrus reigned supreme. Tourist and service would become the dominate force behind the local economy. However, when the theme parks opened, they demanded a labor force the current population couldn’t sustain. As a result, more than a million people moved into the area.

When Disney opened, the four-county Orlando Area had a population of about 560,000. By 1980, the area had added another 240,000, and by 1990 the population had nearly doubled in size to 1.2 million.

Although the area is still predominately white, there is a sizeable African American Community and a large Hispanic population. In fact, Orlando has the highest number of Puerto Ricans outside of the island.