Gainesville Quality of Life

gainesville ben hill griffin stadium

Having been settled in 1854 and incorporated on April 14, 1869, and being the county seat, Gainesville grew into what is normally a bustling city that has a small Southern town demeanor. It is also a destination for the arts, especially the performing arts and is important for its nature and wildlife viewing and nearby natural springs. Its total area is 64.24 square miles, which is 63.07 square miles of land and 1.18 square miles of water. It is centrally located and is approximately a 90-minute drive from Orlando or Jacksonville, two hours from Tampa, and five hours from Miami or Atlanta.

Some of its Rankings

  • #44 Best Green Cities, which means it values a green lifestyle and makes that a priority.
  • #15 Most Competitive Public Colleges

Population Growth

Gainesville is the largest city in North Central Florida and in Alachua County and is the county seat. In 2019, the US Census Bureau estimated the city’s population at 133,997, which was a 7.6% increase from the official census in 2010. The entire metropolitan statistical area’s population was at 288,212. The population has a heavy concentration of young people because of the university as well as active retirees who often seek the energy of a college town.


The climate is defined as humid subtropical and experiences wide temperature fluctuations, During the hot season, from roughly May 15 to September 30, the city’s climate is similar to the rest of the state, with frequent afternoon thunderstorms and high humidity. Average temperatures range from the low 70s at night to around 92°F during the day. From November through March, it experiences a different climate from much of Florida with about 16 nights of temperatures at freezing or below. However, highs reaching 100°F or lows below 20°F are rare.

Local real estate market

The median home cost is $183,000, but its median listing price is $237,500, which is a price per square foot of $144. The homes have appreciated 6.6% over the past 10 years. The cost of a home is slightly below the national average. The most popular housing types are single-family homes, townhomes, and condos.

Local economy

The University of Florida is the area’s largest employer and has given a major financial boost to the area, which is normally one of the state’s strongest and most diverse economies. Job growth has been positive with jobs increasing by 1.6%. The University has contributed $16.9 billion to the state’s economy and was responsible for more than 130,000 jobs in the fiscal year of 2017–18. The economy has diversified and has attracted research and high tech, a large medical center, a Veterans Administration hospital, dozens of organizations as well as other types of businesses, and is the home to many startups with more than 160 high growth enterprises.

Cost of living

Many guides in the United States and Canada have mentioned the low cost of living in Gainesville, which is 10.1% lower than the U.S.A. average. Restaurants near the University tend to be inexpensive. However, the property taxes are high in order to offset the cost of the university with its tax-exempt land. The residents join all Floridians at not having to pay state income taxes.

Crime Data

With a rating of 100, Gainesville’s “4” means that it is safer than 4% of the U.S. cities. Chances of being a victim of a violent crime is one in 133 and one in 260 in Florida. Chances of being a victim of a property crime is 42.31 per 1,000 residents.


The urban area has 75 different institutions, most of which are in the Gainesville area. The public schools’ expense is $9,228 per student while the average national school expenditure is $12,383. There are approximately 15.6 students per teacher.

In addition to the University of Florida, which is the nation’s fifth-largest public university by enrollment, there is Santa Fe College, a public college that began offering classes in September 1966. By 2020, the school had an enrollment of 18,487 students.

University of Florida’s Sports

The Florida Gators is the varsity team and has competed in the Southeastern Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association since 1933. It has continued to be ranked in the top 10 in the NACDA since the 1983–84 season. It has won 40 national team championships, which have included three football titles, two men’s basketball titles, seven women’s tennis titles, and four men’s golf titles.

The Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, which is popularly called “The Swamp”, is Florida’s largest football stadium, America’s 12th largest college football stadium, and the world’s 18th largest stadium. That is measured by its official seating capacity of 88,548 although it often has held more than 90,000 for home football games. Built in 1930 with a capacity of around 22,000, it has been expanded, improved, and renovated numerous times. In 2016, the University of Florida Athletic Association announced its plans to build a $60 million stand-alone football facility.