Is Orlando Part Of Hillsborough County

By Damon Duvall
Sat, Nov 25, 2023 at 4:25AM

Is Orlando Part Of Hillsborough County

Demystifying the Map: Is Orlando Part of Hillsborough County?

Have you ever wondered, “is Orlando part of Hillsborough County,” or are they two distinct entities? The answer lies in understanding their individual characteristics, such as location, demographics, economy, and cultural attractions. In this blog post, we will delve into these aspects to provide a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between Orlando and Hillsborough County. Let’s embark on this fascinating exploration with the question - is Orlando part of Hillsborough County?

Hillsborough County FL 

Key Takeaways

  • Orlando and Hillsborough County offer varied demographics, economies, attractions and educational institutions.

  • Orlando is surrounded by Seminole, Osceola and Lake Counties while Hillsborough County borders Pasco, Polk Manatee & Pinellas Counties.

  • Both counties have their own distinct government structures with a mayor/commissioners in Orlando overseeing essential services & board of county commissioners in Hillsborough managing departments & agencies to provide efficient services.

Orlando and Hillsborough County: An Overview

Aerial view of Orlando and Hillsborough County

Orlando, famously known as the home to world-renowned theme parks, is located in Central Florida within Orange County. On the other hand, Hillsborough County, part of West Central Florida, houses Tampa, the largest city in the county. While both are situated in the Sunshine State, their distinct locations and features set them apart.

Hillsborough County is a diverse and thriving region, with a population of 1,459,762 as of the 2020 census. Its economy is fueled by various industries such as:

  • healthcare

  • hospitality and tourism

  • aviation and aerospace

  • information technology

Orlando, with its bustling tourism industry, generates billions of dollars in revenue. Despite being in the same state, Orlando and Hillsborough County have their unique characteristics that differentiate them from each other.

Orlando's Location and Features

Situated in the heart of Central Florida, Orlando is known for its lush wetlands and picturesque lakes. The city’s prime location makes it a hub for tourists flocking to visit its world-famous theme parks such as Magic Kingdom, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. These tourist attractions fuel Orlando’s thriving economy, which includes industries such as hospitality and tourism, healthcare, aerospace aviation, information technology, and travel and tourism.

Orlando’s diverse population is another key aspect that sets it apart from Hillsborough County. The city has a higher percentage of Hispanic and Asian residents, creating a rich tapestry of cultural influences and experiences that enrich the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

Hillsborough County's Location and Features

Hillsborough County, situated on Florida’s west coast, encompasses Tampa, the largest urban center in the county. The county is renowned for its stunning waterfront views, family-friendly attractions, and a diverse population. Famous attractions in the county include Busch Gardens, Ybor City, and the Florida Aquarium, drawing tourists from across the globe.

The county’s thriving economy is supported by industries such as:

  • healthcare and life sciences, including emergency medical services

  • financial services

  • information technology

  • manufacturing

  • tourism and hospitality

With its strong economic base and rich cultural scene, Hillsborough County offers an attractive lifestyle for its residents.

Comparing Orlando and Hillsborough County

Upon comparing Orlando and Hillsborough County, it becomes evident that they are separate entities, each with its distinct demographics, economy, and cultural attractions. The differences in demographics, industry focus, and cultural offerings showcase the individuality of both regions.

Studying the geographic boundaries and neighboring counties further highlights the distinction between Orlando and Hillsborough County. We will examine their geographic locations and the counties surrounding them.


Orlando’s demographics reveal a more diverse population compared to Hillsborough County. The city has a higher percentage of Hispanic residents, influenced by a large Puerto Rican American demographic. In contrast, 38.5% of Hillsborough County residents identify as Hispanic, with 27.1% born outside of the country, primarily from Cuba, Colombia, and India.

The most populous ethnic groups in Hillsborough County include:

  • White (Non-Hispanic)

  • White (Hispanic)

  • Two+ (Hispanic)

  • Black or African American (non-Hispanic)

  • Asian (non-Hispanic)

The diversity in both regions contributes to their unique cultural landscapes and experiences.


Orlando’s economy is heavily influenced by its booming tourism industry, which generates billions of dollars in revenue. The city is the largest travel and tourism destination in the United States, with an economic contribution of over $31 billion. This focus on tourism sets Orlando apart from Hillsborough County.

Hillsborough County’s economy is supported by various industries, including:

  • Healthcare

  • Hospitality and tourism

  • Aviation and aerospace

  • Information technology

The county’s diverse economic base provides stability and growth opportunities for its residents, making it an attractive place to live and work.

Culture and Attractions

Orlando is famous for its world-renowned theme parks, including Disney World and Universal Studios, which attract millions of visitors every year. The city also boasts a rich cultural scene, with attractions such as the Orlando Museum of Art, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, and the Orlando Shakespeare Theater. Not far from Orlando, you can also explore Plant City, known for its agricultural heritage and annual strawberry festival.

Hillsborough County, located in the Tampa Bay area, also offers a variety of cultural attractions and events in the Tampa Bay area. Its cities, such as Tampa and the Ybor City District, are known for their vibrant arts and entertainment scenes. The Annual Festival Bomba y Plena, a celebration of Puerto Rican culture, takes place in Hillsborough County, showcasing its diverse cultural landscape.

Both Orlando and Hillsborough County, located in Southern Florida, along with Volusia County, provide unique cultural experiences for their residents and visitors.

Geographic Boundaries and Neighboring Counties

Orlando and Hillsborough County have distinct geographic boundaries and neighboring counties that further emphasize their separation. Understanding their locations and surrounding areas helps to illustrate the differences between these two regions in Florida.

We will scrutinize the geographic boundaries and neighboring counties of both Orlando and Hillsborough County to better understand their unique positioning within the state.

Orlando's Neighboring Counties

Orlando is surrounded by counties such as:

  • Seminole County, known for its natural beauty, outdoor recreation, and historic sites

  • Osceola County, famous for its abundant Seminole Indian heritage and expansive conservation areas

  • Lake County, home to a number of lakes, offering a variety of watersports and outdoor activities.

These surrounding counties contribute to the diverse landscape and experiences available to Orlando residents and visitors. The city’s unique location and proximity to these counties set it apart from Hillsborough County.

Hillsborough County's Neighboring Counties

Hillsborough County is bordered by counties like Pasco, Polk, and Pinellas. Pasco County is known for its rivers, lakes, rolling hills, and wetlands, offering a picturesque backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts. Polk County is characterized by its wetlands, lakes, flatlands, and agricultural areas, providing a diverse landscape for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Manatee County, located to the south of Hillsborough County, and Pinellas County, located to the west of Hillsborough County, are both renowned for their coastal geography, including:

  • Barrier islands

  • Sandy beaches

  • Coastal dunes

  • Mangrove forests

These neighboring counties highlight the distinctiveness of Hillsborough County and its separation from Orlando.

Transportation and Infrastructure

A comparison of transportation and infrastructure systems in Orlando and Hillsborough County highlights the distinctiveness of these two regions. Both areas have developed transportation networks that cater to the unique needs of their residents and visitors.

We will assess the transportation and infrastructure systems of Orlando and Hillsborough County to appreciate their specific characteristics.

Orlando's Transportation System

Orlando’s transportation system includes:

  • Major highways, such as Interstate 4 (I-4) and U.S. Highway 17-92, providing easy access to the city’s attractions and neighboring areas.

  • The LYNX bus system

  • The LYMMO free bus service

  • The SunRail commuter rail system

  • Amtrak train service

  • The Brightline high-speed rail service

  • Taxis

  • Rideshare services

  • Rental cars

Orlando International Airport, one of the busiest airports in Florida, offers a range of services and amenities for travelers, including shops, restaurants, and a chapel/serenity room. With its well-developed transportation network, Orlando caters to the needs of both residents and tourists.

Hillsborough County's Transportation System

Hillsborough County’s transportation system features major roads, such as US Highways and State Roads, providing easy access to various parts of the county and beyond. The county’s public transit options include HART’s local and express fixed-route buses, ensuring residents and visitors can travel efficiently within the county.

Tampa International Airport, located within Hillsborough County, offers a range of facilities for travelers, including several passenger terminals and cargo terminals. Hillsborough County’s transportation system caters to the diverse needs of its residents and visitors, providing a variety of options for travel within the region.

Government and Administration

Government and administration structures in Orlando and Hillsborough County differ, further showcasing their individuality. Orlando operates as a city within Orange County, while Hillsborough County is a separate entity, managing county-wide concerns and development.

We will scrutinize the government and administration systems in Orlando and Hillsborough County to comprehend their unique structures.

Orlando's City Government

Orlando’s city government operates under a mayor-council system, with a focus on city-specific issues and development. The city government is composed of a mayor and six city commissioners, representing their respective districts and collaborating on policy decisions and establishing ordinances for the city.

The primary functions and responsibilities of Orlando’s city government include:

  • Providing essential services

  • Overseeing infrastructure

  • Enforcing local laws

  • Organizing and development

  • Administering the city’s budget

  • Representing the city’s interests

  • Advancing economic development

  • Providing social services

  • Interacting with residents and stakeholders.

Hillsborough County's Government

Hillsborough County’s government operates under a board of county commissioners, managing county-wide concerns and development. The county government is overseen by a County Administrator and various departments and agencies, including Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, ensuring the efficient delivery of services to the citizens of Hillsborough County.

The primary roles and responsibilities of Hillsborough County’s government include:

  • Setting policy and making legislative decisions

  • Overseeing county land usage and environmental regulations

  • Governing and administering departments such as corrections and public assistance

  • Advocating for state and federal resources

  • Conducting elections

The distinct government structures of Orlando and Hillsborough County further emphasize their individuality.

Education and Institutions

Education and institutions in Orlando and Hillsborough County showcase their individuality and commitment to providing quality education. Both regions are home to various educational institutions that offer diverse opportunities for learning and growth.

We will examine the educational institutions in Orlando and Hillsborough County to appreciate their dedication towards education.

Orlando's Educational Institutions

Orlando is home to institutions like the University of Central Florida and Valencia College, offering a wide range of educational opportunities for students. The city’s prestigious educational institutions provide programs in various fields, catering to the diverse interests and needs of the student population.

Apart from these major institutions, Orlando also houses other renowned schools such as Rollins College, Full Sail University, and Florida A&M University College of Law, further enriching the city’s educational landscape.

Hillsborough County's Educational Institutions

Hillsborough County houses institutions such as the University of South Florida and Hillsborough Community College, providing a range of educational options for residents. The county’s educational institutions, including highly rated schools like Steinbrenner High School, offer quality education and support for students in various fields of study.

With its commitment to education, Hillsborough County provides a nurturing environment for students to grow and prosper, further distinguishing it from Orlando.


In conclusion, Orlando and Hillsborough County are two distinct entities, each with its unique characteristics, demographics, economy, cultural attractions, geographic boundaries, transportation systems, government structures, and educational institutions. By examining these aspects, it becomes clear that Orlando is not part of Hillsborough County. Both regions offer diverse experiences, opportunities, and lifestyles, making them attractive destinations for residents and visitors alike.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Orlando part of Hillsborough County?

No, Orlando is not part of Hillsborough County; they are separate entities with different characteristics.

What are the major industries in Orlando and Hillsborough County?

The major industries in Orlando and Hillsborough County are healthcare, hospitality and tourism, aerospace and aviation, and information technology.

What are the neighboring counties of Orlando and Hillsborough County?

Orlando is neighbored by Seminole, Osceola and Lake counties, while Hillsborough County is bordered by Pasco, Polk and Pinellas counties.

How do the transportation systems in Orlando and Hillsborough County compare?

Orlando and Hillsborough County both offer major roadways, public transit options, and international airports for their transportation systems.

How do the government structures differ between Orlando and Hillsborough County?

Orlando is structured with a mayor-council system while Hillsborough County has a board of commissioners governing it.

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