Downtown Orlando Facts & National Rankings

Downtown Orlando Facts & National Rankings

  • Metro Orlando serves as the headquarters for several companies, including: Darden Restaurants, Tupperware Corp., American Automobile Association (AAA) and Ruth’s Chris Steak House, among others.
  • Divisional headquarters for the following are located in Central Florida: Siemens Energy Inc., Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas, Lockheed Martin, L-3 Communications, Science Applications International Corporation, Electronic Arts and more.
  • Home to the U.S. operations of Germany’s Siemens Energy, Japan’s Mitsubishi Power Systems, Spain’s Indra Systems, Australia’s Adacel and many more. In total, More than 150 international companies, representing approximately 20 countries, have facilities in Metro Orlando.
  • Orlando is home to Lake Nona Medical City, a life sciences cluster that could create 30,000 jobs with a $7.6 billion economic impact by year 10 of operation. Located near Orlando International Airport, the cluster includes the University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, M. D. Anderson – Orlando Cancer Research Institute, Nemours Children’s Hospital, Orlando Veterans Affairs Medical Center, VA Simulation Learning, Education and Research Network (SimLEARN), the University of Florida Academic and Research Center and Valencia College.
  • Orlando is home to the University of Central Florida (UCF), now the 2nd largest university in the country with over $122 million in annual research; a #3 ranking on the IEEE Patent Scorecard and a top ten incubator network.
  • The region is home to 35 post-secondary institutions based in the area. In addition to UCF, also located here  are Full Sail University, Rollins College (ranked #1 regional university in the south and #1 MBA program in the state); and three of the state’s best in the growing state/community college system –Valencia College (named the nation’s top community college), Lake-Sumter Community College, and Seminole State College; as well as Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, the Florida A&M University School of Law, Barry University School of Law, and the first stateside campus of Puerto Rican-based Ana G. Mendez University.
  • Metro Orlando has the 7th largest research park in the country (Central Florida Research Park) with over 1,025 acres. 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.
  • Orlando International Airport is ranked as the 13th busiest passenger airport in the nation and the 29th busiest in the world and is the 3rd largest airport for origin and destination.
  • Ongoing expansion at the Orlando Sanford International Airport (OSIA), coupled with the state’s largest foreign trade zone designation, has helped OSIA become the third most active international airport in Florida and the 12th most active in the United States.
  • Orlando is home to NBA’s Orlando Magic, as well as a professional ballet, philharmonic orchestra and touring Broadway series.
  • The simulation procurement commands for the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard call Metro Orlando home.
  • The City of Orlando has a vibrant, downtown core including community venues: Amway Center, home of the Orlando Magic and the top ranked NBA sports facility, an under-construction Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and a soon-to-be renovated Citrus Bowl.
  • Lake County is home to the National Training Center, where aspiring Olympic athletes come from around the world train to compete in track, swimming and gymnastics.
  • Seminole County is a hub for information technology companies –like FiServ, Harland, Temenos and Optria – that are specialists in the software systems that drive the world’s banks and other financial institutions.
  • SunRail, the region’s commuter rail system will be operational from Volusia County to Orange County by 2014. Eventually, the system will run 61 miles extending into Osceola County and will be complete by 2016.
  • Metro Orlando has nationally recognized clusters of innovation in digital media, agritechnology, aviation and aerospace, and software.
  • Industry giant Electronic Arts – the world’s leading independent developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software – creates some of the world’s top-selling games in Metro Orlando, including the popular Madden NFL Football, NCAA Football, Tiger Woods PGA Tour and several other game series.
  • The University of Central Florida’s Institute for Simulation& Training developed the nation’s first master’s and PhD programs in simulation and human performance enhancement.
  • Florida has no state personal income tax and is a“right-to-work” state.


  • The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council ranked Florida among the nation’s Top 5 most entrepreneur-friendly states.
  • According to the National Science Foundation, Florida universities earned top national rankings for doctorate degree graduates in fields like Life Sciences (#3), Engineering (#5), Social Sciences (#7), and Education (#9).
  • According to the U.S. Census, Florida ranks third in the nation for population growth and is among the top 10 fastest growing states.
  • Orlando is the first destination in the country to welcome more than 55 million visitors, according to Visit Orlando.
  • Kiplinger has named Orlando as one of eight U.S. metropolitans to outpace the nation’s 7 percent job growth average between now and 2017 with a projected job growth of 15 percent over the next five years.
  • In a survey by, Orlando ranks eighth among the top 10 “Best Cities for College Grads.”
  • In Chief Executive‘s survey of CEO opinion of Best and Worst States in which to do business, Florida comes in at No. 2.
  • Florida ranks #1 in the nation for talent pipeline and infrastructure, according to a report conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
  • Florida ranks among the top 5 states for favorable business tax climate according to the Tax Foundation’s 2012 State Business Tax Climate Index.
  • Orlando International Airport ranks #4 among America’s best airports in Travel+Leisure magazine.
  • Inc. magazine highlighted Orlando as a hot spot for job growth in companies with less than 100 employees, according to a report by Sure Payroll.
  • U.S. News & World Report named Crooms Academy of Information Technology in Sanford, Florida, the “Most Connected Classroom” in high schools throughout the country.
  • The University of Central Florida named a “best value” college by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
  • The Amway Center, home to the Orlando Magic, has been named “Facility of the Year” by Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily.
  • The Aspen Institute named Valencia College as the nation’s best community college.
  • The State of Florida ranks as the 3rd best state for film production by P3 Update Magazine.
  • Modis named Orlando the #3 “City to find an IT job in 2012
  • The Tax Foundation says Florida is among the top five states in the country when it comes to offering businesses low tax burdens.
  • Florida teachers rank #1 in “Teacher quality” according to the National Council on Teacher Quality’s 2011 State Teacher Policy Yearbook.
  • Florida ranks #3 in job growth for 2011 according to the Labor Department.
  • The Orange County Convention Center has been named the #1 convention center in the United States by Business Review USA.
  • Orlando is “leading Florida out of the economic recession” and “one of the fastest growing cities in the country” according to Reuters.
  • Kiplinger named Orlando as a top “comeback city”. The article recognizes cities who are seeing an “upward bounce” in their economy.
  • Forbes named Orlando as one of the “best cities for minority entrepreneurs” and one of “the next big boom towns in the U.S.”
  • Orlando ranks as the top U.S. large city for business friendliness by Foreign Direct Investment Magazine in the annual American Cities of the Future issue.
  • Author William J. Holstein named Orlando as one of nine communities in the U.S. that will bring about the next wave of economic growth, in his book The Next American Economy.
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recognized Florida as the top state in the nation for workforce training programs in its Enterprising States report.
  • Orlando ranks as the least expensive city in the nation for entrepreneurs to launch a business, according to a new report by The Boyd Co. of Princeton, N.J.
  • The University of Central Florida (UCF) ranks among the nation’s top research institutions according to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. UCF joins Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Johns Hopkins, and Stanford in this impressive ranking.
  • ranks Orlando as one of the top 10 “coolest cities.”
  • Florida ranks number one in the nation for its workforce by CNBC’s fourth annual America’s Top States for Business rankings.
  • A study published in Science named the State of Florida as the 3rd happiest state in the U.S.
  • Entrepreneur magazine named Orlando as one of the “top ten places to start a business.”

Join The Discussion

Compare listings