U.S. Department of State
International Visitor Leadership Program
Reflections on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility
Orlando is the largest inland city in Florida and one of the fastest growing communities in the U.S. From 2018 to 2019, the 4-county region that makes up the Orlando Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) – Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole County – grew by 2.4 % to reach a population of just above 2.5 million people. That is 4 times the rate of growth of the U.S., and the 2nd fastest growth rate of the country’s 30 largest cities.
Central Florida, which includes the Orlando area, has a humid subtropical climate, with more than 300 days of sunshine a year. The warmest month is August with an average of 91 degrees Fahrenheit (33 degrees Celsius). The coldest month is January with an average of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius).
More than just a tourism town – 80% of Orlando's workforce is employed in an industry outside of leisure and hospitality. The highest employment by industry is “professional & business services” at 19% of the population, with “education & health services” coming in 2nd place at 12.9%. Key area industries include advanced manufacturing, aerospace & defense, autonomous vehicles, aviation, biotechnology & pharmaceuticals, digital media, financial technology, life sciences & healthcare, medical technology, simulation, and optics & photonics. The Orange County Convention Center, in Orlando, is the 2nd largest convention center in the country with over 650,000 square meters.
Orlando is part of Florida’s High-Tech Corridor, a regional initiative of area universities that strives to grow high tech industry and innovation through partnerships that support research, marketing, workforce and entrepreneurship. Approximately 60 kilometers east of Orlando is Florida’s “Space Coast.” NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Patrick Space Force Base, and the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, collectively form one of the largest space complexes in the world.
The Orlando region offers world class education at more than 35 colleges, universities, technical schools and private institutions. The University of Central Florida (UCF) is a metropolitan research university located in Orlando with almost 72,000 students, making it the largest university by enrollment in Florida and one of the largest universities in the nation. UCF is one of the founding institutions of Lake Nona Medical City, a 650-acre health and life sciences park and premier location for medical care, research and education. Located adjacent to UCF, Central Florida Research Park, is home to the world's largest cluster of modeling, simulation and training companies. The National Center for Simulation and Training, and the nation's Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines simulation operations, are all located at Central Florida Research Park.
The residents of the Orlando region are a dynamic blend of diversity hailing from all over the world. Central Florida is a place where everyone, regardless of their heritage, background, race, or ethnicity, are welcomed, valued, and appreciated. The robust contributions of the area’s multicultural community make Orlando an inclusive and collaborative place to live, work, and vacation.
Central Florida attractions such as Walt Disney World’s 4 theme parks, Universal Studios’ 3 parks, SeaWorld, Legoland, the Daytona International Speedway, and nearly 190 kilometers of beaches have made Orlando one of the top tourist destinations in the world.
Orlando program organized by
Heather van Dyk