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Renter’s City Guide to Lakeland, FL
Introducing Lakeland Expenses & Housing Stats Jobs & Education Lifestyle & Renting Tips

Dating back to 1885, Lakeland was historically a railroad hub for Florida’s west coast. Since those early days, it’s seen regular growth and expansion, creating a bustling, historic city that is full of character. It gets its name from the many lakes that surround the city. There are 38 named lakes, plus a plethora of smaller bodies of water, many of which are former phosphate mine pits. The lakes are intertwined into the culture of the city, with locals using them as reference points.

How big is Lakeland?

With an area of around 75 square miles and a population of around 106,000, Lakeland is a little less than half the size of nearby Tampa.

What cities are close to Lakeland?

Part of the Tampa Bay area, Lakeland is around 36 miles east of Tampa and 55 miles southwest of Orlando.

What is the weather like in Lakeland?

Lakeland enjoys a humid, subtropical climate, characterized by hot, humid summers and warm winters. The city sees an average of 240 sunny days per year, as well as 53 inches of rain. Summer highs linger in the 90s in June through September, while the same months see the most rainfall, with a median of 7.8 inches each. January sees some of the coolest weather, with average lows of around 50°F.


What are the pros of living in Lakeland?

One major advantage of living in Lakeland is that the cost of living is below the national average. It’s also great for outdoor enthusiasts, with 38 lakes, several parks and stunning citrus tree plantations. The city is full of charm, with a host of historic sites in the bustling downtown area. It’s also conveniently located within easy reach of several popular Florida hot spots.

What are the cons of living in Lakeland?

There are some parts of the city where sinkholes can be an issue, so it’s worth thoroughly researching any area you plan to move to. Alligators are another concern, although it’s rare to see them within the city. The weather can also feel oppressive if you’re not used to it. 

Is Lakeland a diverse city?

Lakeland is a brilliantly diverse city, with a number of significant minorities, including African Americans and Hispanics, alongside the Caucasian majority.

Lakeland Demographic Highlights
Total Population 110,401
Median Age 40.9

How much is public transportation in Lakeland?

Public transportation in Lakeland is provided by Citrus Connection, which operates numerous bus routes in the city, as well as the surrounding area. A one-way fare on a local route generally costs $1.50, while a monthly pass will cost $47.

How much does a meal cost in Lakeland?

Expect to pay around $42.50 for a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant in Lakeland. A regular coffee is generally around $4.10. Meanwhile, a single meal at an inexpensive restaurant typically averages around $12.

How much are utilities in Lakeland?

For basic monthly utilities, expect to pay around $170, on average. This is based on a 915-square-foot apartment and includes water, electricity, cooling and garbage removal. To hook up an internet connection, expect to pay an additional $55 per month.

Lakeland Rent Statistics
Apartment Rent Ranges
$501 - $7000%
$701 - $1,00010.5%
$1,001 - $1,50038.66%
$1,501 - $2,00045.66%
> $20005.18%
Average Rent Trends
What is the average rent in Lakeland?

The average rent for an apartment in Lakeland is $1,489 per month.

What is the average apartment size in Lakeland?

The average apartment size in Lakeland is 970 sq. ft.

What is the rent for a studio apartment in Lakeland?

Rent for a studio apartment in Lakeland ranges between $950 and $2,295 per month.

What is the rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Lakeland?

Rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Lakeland ranges between $460 and $3,035 per month.

What is the rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Lakeland?

Rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Lakeland ranges between $561 and $3,215 per month.

What is the rent for a 3-bedroom apartment in Lakeland?

Rent for a 3-bedroom apartment in Lakeland ranges between $655 and $2,944 per month.

Lakeland Housing Statistics
Occupied Housing Units 42,875
Owner occupied 54.66%
Renter occupied 45.34%

What are the major industries in Lakeland?

The major industries in Lakeland include sales, office and administrative work; production; and construction.

What are the top employers in Lakeland?

With more than 8,000 employees, Publix Groceries is a major employer in Lakeland. Other top employers include Lakeland Regional Health, GEICO Insurance, Sykes, GC Services and Saddle Creek Logistics.

Lakeland Employment Statistics
White Collar 36,602
Blue Collar 11,157
White Collar 76.64%
Blue Collar 23.36%
Self Employment 3,949
Private Companies 34,527
Governmental Workers 4,722
Not for Profit Companies 4,561
Self Employment 8.27%
Private Companies 72.29%
Governmental Workers 9.89%
Not for Profit Companies 9.55%

Does Lakeland have good schools?

Lakeland is home to several reputable schools, including private, charter and public options. Dixieland Elementary, Lakeland Montessori School, Lakeland Senior High School and South McKeel Academy are among the top-rated schools in the area.

What are the top colleges in Lakeland?

There are six institutes of higher education in Lakeland. The diverse mix of colleges and universities includes Southeastern University, Polk State University and Florida Southern College.

Lakeland Education Statistics
No High School2.96%
Some High School40.19%
Some College22.81%
Associate Degree9.13%
Bachelor Degree16.6%
Graduate Degree8.32%

What is there to do in Lakeland for families?

The name gives it away slightly, but Family Fun Center Lakeland is a fantastic place for everyone from grandma to baby. Within this entertainment mecca, you’ll find mini golf, laser tag, a video arcade and much more. Alternatively, why not catch a movie at one of the many movie theaters in the city. Top choices include Lakeside 18 Cinemas, the Silver Moon Drive-In and Cobb Theater.

What outdoor attractions are there in Lakeland?

One of the best places to explore the great outdoors in Lakeland is the Circle B Reserve, which offers a myriad of hiking trails around Mirror Lake. Alternatively, head to Common Ground Park, home to playgrounds, picnic areas and the Joker Marchant Stadium.

Where to go out in Lakeland?

Lakeland is home to a veritable melting pot of cuisines from across the globe. Try Turkish delicacies from Cafe Zuppina or head to Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille for a Cajun treat. For date night, Grillsmith offers dinner and a movie. There are also numerous bars, cafes and clubs to enjoy, including the Paddywagon Pub, the Linksters Tap Room and Hurricane Alley.

What cultural attractions are there in Lakeland?

The historic city of Lakeland is home to a rich and wonderful cultural scene, with a wealth of museums, theaters and concert venues just waiting to be explored. Meanwhile, The Lakeland Center is a cultural hub, with four separate buildings hosting regular live performances from the Imperial Symphony, Lakeland Broadway and the Entertainment Concert Series. Other great venues include the Florida Dance Theater; Lakeland Community Theater; Harrison Center for the Visual & Performing Arts; and the legendary Polk Theater.

What are the best museums in Lakeland?

You can learn all about the historical style of the city in The Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture & Visitors Center, while the Polk Museum of Art showcases amazing local art. Aviation enthusiasts should check out the Florida Air Museum. Meanwhile, for a free taste of history, simply head downtown and check out Lakeland’s Historic Antique District.

Lakeland Household Statistics
Total Number of Households 42,875
Average People Per Household 2
Median Household Income$52,972
Average Household Income$74,477
No Children

What are the renters’ rights in Lakeland?

Renters’ rights in Lakeland are protected by Florida law, though it’s worth understanding the specific rules outlined in your tenant agreement. This is particularly important in the case of housing associations, which often enforce their own bylaws. Tenants are required to abide by these rules, so it’s worth doing your homework, as many such laws can influence daily activities.