Sugarcane (left); Citrus production is big business in South Central Florida (right)
Business Florida 2013 - The Regions
South Central Florida
Arcadia, Okeechobee, Sebring
Florida’s South Central region offers expanding companies the best of two worlds, a natural, relaxing environment plus extraordinary accessibility to multiple metropolitan areas, international airports and seaports. Here, where cattle lands, citrus groves, sugar cane fields and subtropical foliage still dominate the landscape, residents strive to preserve the ambiance of “Old Florida” while actively courting forward-minded companies seeking affordable land and room to grow.
With its mid-state location, South Central is ideal for manufacturing and product distribution, and its wide-open spaces appeal to renewable energy providers. Three interstate highways, Florida’s Turnpike, four U.S. highways and 12 state roads traverse the region or pass near it, providing convenient links to key Florida cities and to important markets throughout the Southeast. Additionally, this region is bisected by the Okeechobee Waterway, a system of navigable rivers and canals linking Florida’s east and west coasts through Lake Okeechobee.
WHO LIVES HERE
28.5% of South Central’s more than 253,000 residents are Hispanic; Hendry County has the region’s largest Hispanic population — 49.5%.
Well located, wide-open
Thanks to its centralized location in Florida’s heartland, South Central can boast that approximately 85% of the state’s entire population is within a 150-mile radius. Yet this region remains one of Florida’s least crowded. Average population density across the six counties is just 49.6 persons per square mile compared to 350.6 across the entire state.