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Cities in Polk County Florida 🌿 Explore Polk County Cities and Towns

Cities in Polk County Florida 🌿 | Explore Polk County Cities and Towns

Last Updated on: 14th March 2024, 08:31 am

Moving to Florida can be a little harder than it seems! The state has 67 different counties and 411 cities, each with unique features that deserve your attention. Even if you find the right county for you, you may struggle to find a city in that county to move to. You can also choose to live in towns, villages, and census designated places, which may be smaller than cities but have safer streets and a family-friendly atmosphere.

A census-designated place (CDP) is an unincorporated community recognized by the Census Bureau. Though it doesn’t have a municipal government, it may have lower crime rates or more affordable homes than cities or towns.

Polk County is a kid-friendly, affordable, and safe county with over a dozen different cities and towns you can move to. If you want to move to Polk County, you should learn more about the county, read about each major city, and get data from the US Census. Here’s your guide on Polk County, Florida cities.

Polk County Florida

Where is Polk County Florida? Polk County Florida is in central Florida, east of Tampa FL, and southwest of Orlando FL. The county is in the Lakeland-Winter Haven metropolitan area, but not in the Tampa or Orlando metro areas. Polk County is well known for its farms and green spaces, with the county playing an essential role in Florida’s citrus, cattle, and phosphate industries.

Paleoindians arrived in Polk County over 12,000 years ago. Spanish conquistadors arrived in 1539, but the Seminole continued to control and inhabit Polk County for nearly 300 more years. In 1832, the Second Seminole War broke out between the Seminole and the United States. The Battle of Lake Okeechobee in 1837 took place in part in Polk County and drove the Seminole out of the county.

The county was incorporated in 1861 and named after President James K. Polk. Polk County established its reputation as a center for the citrus industry early in the 20th century and was the leading county for citrus in America for most of the century.

Polk County is one of the fastest-growing counties in Florida. The population of Polk County Florida grew by 20.4% between 2010 and 2020, with nearly 125,000 new residents entering the county. It’s becoming popular amongst young professionals who work in Tampa and Orlando and want quiet communities to live in. Polk County demographics are diverse. 21.8% of the population is under the age of 18, higher than the statewide average of 19.3%. Polk is a hub for the Native American communities in Florida, with 0.8% of Polk residents identifying as Native American.

The Polk County government provides essential services like water, trash collection, and building permits. Polk County has an emergency management team, but municipal police departments handle law enforcement duties, like responding to 911 calls, with assistance from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Top attractions in Polk County include Legoland Florida Resort, Bok Tower Gardens, and Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Polk County is steadily developing a reputation as a tourist hub, though it still remains predominantly residential.

Polk County Demographics

  • Population of Polk County Florida: 725,041
  • Polk County Florida median age: 39.5
  • Polk County Florida median household income: $62,051 (roughly 90% of the state median)
  • Median price of homes for sale in Polk County FL: $319,950
  • Polk County Florida area: 2,011 square miles
  • Polk County Florida population density: 403.3 people per square mile
  • Polk County Florida educational attainment: 86.9% of residents older than 25 have graduated high school, 21.4% have a bachelor’s degree or higher

Polk County, Florida Cities

Polk County has 17 municipalities, 24 CDPs, and 11 unincorporated communities. Here are brief guides on the ten largest cities in Polk County, FL, listed in order of decreasing population.

#1. Lakeland Florida

Lakeland Florida is the largest city in Polk County in terms of population, with a population nearly twice as large as the second-largest city. It’s also the largest in land size, covering 75.3 square miles. Its nickname is the “Swan City,” as it has a substantial population of wild swans. It’s also well-known for its 38 lakes, which many residents use as reference points when giving directions.

Lakeland has the largest economy amongst cities in Polk County, Florida; over $3.2 billion of retail sales were completed in Lakeland FL in 2017. Publix Super Markets has its headquarters in Lakeland and provides over 6,000 jobs in Lakeland FL. FedEx and Amazon also have offices and employ hundreds of Lakeland residents.

The city has a wide range of things to do. Silver Moon Drive In Theatre is one of the top drive-in theaters in Florida, screening first-run movies throughout the week. Tickets cost less than $10, so it’s a very affordable point of interest. Hollis Garden is a 1.2-acre public garden with flower beds, fountains, and public art.

  • Lakeland Florida population: 112,640
  • Lakeland Florida population growth: 15.6% increase between 2010 and 2020
  • Lakeland Florida area: 75.30 square miles
  • Lakeland FL median age: 41.1
  • Lakeland FL median household income: $58,524
  • Median price of homes for sale in Lakeland FL: $295,000
  • Lakeland crime rate: 2,825 offenses per 100,000 people (31.2% higher than the state, 20.4% higher than the country)
  • Lakeland map

#2. Poinciana

Poinciana is a CDP in Polk and Osceola counties. It’s one of the more recently established cities in Polk County Florida; developers arrived in the 1960s and started building homes in 1973. It’s a suburb and bedroom community for Orlando, with a SunRail station that connects the CDP to Orlando and cities near Orlando, making it a good place for commuters and young professionals to live in. The top attraction is the Disney Wilderness Preserve, which covers 11,500 acres and contains nine miles of walking trails.

Poinciana FL has an active and diverse real estate market; 136 houses for sale in Poinciana FL were sold in December 2023, compared to 129 homes for sale in Lakeland FL. You can find newly constructed single-family homes for sale covering over 1,500 square feet and containing three or more bedrooms. If you’re moving by yourself or with a partner, you can find a townhome with two bedrooms covering roughly 1,000 square feet.

You can also rent apartments and homes for rent, including properties with three bedrooms, providing plenty of space for families and older relatives. Most homes for sale cost less than $400,000, so most people can afford homes in the community.

  • Poinciana population: 69,309
  • Poinciana FL population growth: 30.3% increase between 2010 and 2020
  • Poinciana area: 72.94 square miles
  • Poinciana median age: 44.3
  • Poinciana FL median household income: $59,367
  • Median price of houses for sale in Poinciana FL: $315,000
  • Poinciana crime rate: 2,759 offenses per 100,000 people (28.1% higher than the state, 17.6% higher than the country)
  • Poinciana map

#3. Four Corners

Four Corners is a CDP that gets its name from its location at the borders of Polk, Lake, Orange, and Osceola counties. The CDP is best known for being the home of Margaritaville Resort Orlando, a family-friendly resort with a spa, a lounge, and on-site restaurants. The resort is the home of Radio Margaritaville, the leading radio station for Jimmy Buffett fans. You can also enjoy the attractions at Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park Zip Line and The Grove Resort and Water Park Orlando.

Four Corners Florida is one of the most expensive cities in Polk County. Some Four Corners FL homes for sale cost over $1 million, but you get over 4,000 square feet of space and luxurious amenities like jacuzzis. You do have plenty of options for more affordable homes, including three-bedroom homes at 1,500 square feet that cost $325,000.

  • Four Corners population: 56,381
  • Four Corners FL population growth: 115.9% increase between 2010 and 2020
  • Four Corners area: 50.96 square miles
  • Four Corners Florida median age: 33.8
  • Four Corners median household income: $76,295
  • Median price of Four Corners FL homes for sale: $410,000
  • Four Corners crime rate: 2,267 offenses per 100,000 people (5.3% higher than the state, 3.4% lower than the country)
  • Four Corners Florida map

#4. Winter Haven FL

Winter Haven FL is another Polk County city well known for its lakes and water activities. The Chain of Lakes is a band of 16 lakes within Winter Haven Florida, many of which have fish you can catch and birds you can watch. Winter Haven FL is also known for Legoland Florida, which is on the grounds of Cypress Gardens, a public garden that was open to the public until 2009. Legoland is a kid-friendly amusement park with 29 different rides, making it one of the best attractions for kids in the county.

The city is a hub for sports in the county. Many residents go water skiing or bass fishing in the lakes. Major League Baseball teams used to train in Winter Haven’s baseball diamonds and sports stadiums, and many diamonds are open to the public for year-round use.

  • Winter Haven population: 50,203
  • Winter Haven FL population growth: 48.2% increase between 2010 and 2020
  • Winter Haven area: 41.52 square miles
  • Winter Haven Florida median age: 40.6
  • Winter Haven median household income: $56,425
  • Median price of homes for sale in Winter Haven FL: $300,000
  • Winter Haven crime rate: 2,028 offenses per 100,000 people (5.8% lower than the state, 13.6% lower than the country)
  • Winter Haven map

#5. Haines City

Haines City is the third-largest city in the county. The community has expanded rapidly over the last 20 years due to its location near Walt Disney World Resort and Legoland Florida, but the community remains quiet and residential. There are no major attractions in Haines City Florida, though the city contains a library. The Haines City Library offers kid-friendly programs and thousands of books you can take out for free.

Haines City has fewer things to do than other Polk County cities, but the lack of attractions means that it’s a suitable location for people looking for a quiet place to live. Haines City FL is one of the youngest cities in Polk County, with nearly half of residents being younger than 40. Many young professionals buy Haines City homes for sale and then commute to their jobs in larger cities in Polk County or Orlando.

  • Haines City population: 27,532
  • Haines City FL population growth: 34.1% increase between 2010 and 2020
  • Haines City area: 20.10 square miles
  • Haines City Florida median age: 36.7
  • Haines City median household income: $57,718
  • Median price of Haines City homes for sale: $344,522
  • Haines City crime rate: 1,677 offenses per 100,000 residents (22.1% lower than the state, 28.5% lower than the country)
  • Haines City map

#6. Bartow FL

Bartow Florida is one of the most historic cities in Polk County. Black Seminole people established a colony in the late 1810s, and many people of African American and Seminole descent live in Bartow FL today. The community remained largely undeveloped until the late 1800s, when it became a railroad depot. Bartow FL is now a center for the phosphate industry, with thousands of people working for companies like Mosaic.

Bartow FL is a great community for businesspeople and commuters; Florida State Road 60, U.S. Route 17, and U.S. Route 98 run through the community, providing access to cities like Tampa and Fort Myers. If you need to travel by plane, you can use Bartow Airport.

The Polk County Public Schools District Office is located in Bartow, and many top schools in the county are in the city. Your children can go to Floral Avenue Elementary School, Bartow Middle School, and Bartow High School, which are all within walking distance of each other.

  • Bartow FL population: 19,518
  • Bartow population growth: 12.8% increase between 2010 and 2020
  • Bartow FL area: 52.78 square miles
  • Bartow median age: 36.5
  • Bartow Florida median household income: $60,974
  • Median price of homes for sale in Bartow FL: $306,498
  • Bartow crime rate: 2,272 offenses per 100,000 people (5.5% higher than the state, 3.2% lower than the country)
  • Bartow map

#7. Lake Wales

Lake Wales is one of the best Polk County cities for green spaces and people looking for an active lifestyle. The Bok Tower Gardens is a 250-acre contemplative garden and bird sanctuary best known for its Singing Tower, a 205-foot tower with a 60-bell carillon. Camp Mack is a campground and recreation venue open to RV owners, bass fishers, and campers. Spook Hill is a gravity hill where cars apparently go uphill instead of downhill, and it’s a popular spot at night and around Halloween.

  • Lake Wales Florida population: 16,350
  • Lake Wales FL population growth: 14.9% increase between 2010 and 2020
  • Lake Wales FL area: 20.12 square miles
  • Lake Wales median age: 43.1
  • Lake Wales Florida median household income: $55,833
  • Median price of homes for sale in Lake Wales FL: $255,275
  • Lake Wales crime rate: 1,722 offenses per 100,000 residents (20.0% lower than the state, 26.6% lower than the country)
  • Lake Wales map

#8. Auburndale FL

Auburndale FL is another Polk County city best known for its lakes. Lake Ariana is a large lake just north of downtown Auburndale that is popular amongst boaters. Lake Juliana is in northern Auburndale Florida and is a top site for weddings and special events in the county, including corporate functions and kid-friendly birthday parties.

Moving to Auburndale FL is a good choice for students. The city has five elementary schools, two high schools, and a campus for Southern Technical College. Auburndale High School added a new media center and academic buildings in 2012, making it a good choice for teenagers looking to pursue a career in the media or arts.

  • Auburndale FL population: 15,605
  • Auburndale population growth: 15.5% increase between 2010 and 2020
  • Auburndale FL area: 20.58 square miles
  • Auburndale median age: 39.3
  • Auburndale Florida median household income: $67,661
  • Median price of homes for sale in Auburndale FL: $349,950
  • Auburndale crime rate: 3,262 offenses per 100,000 residents (51.5% higher than the state, 39.0% higher than the country)
  • Auburndale map

#9. Highland City

Highland City is a rapidly expanding CDP in Polk County. The population has increased by 502.4% between 2000 and 2020. Though the population is booming, the community is almost exclusively residential, with no major attractions inside its boundaries, though you can visit a few family-friendly restaurants in and around the community. May Flower Chinese Restaurant is a casual Chinese restaurant, while Catfish Country Restaurant is a country-style Southern restaurant that serves seafood, steaks, and fried chicken.

Housing prices have stayed relatively stable over the last few years, hovering around $300,000 on average. Most homes for sale in Highland City FL were built or restored since 2000, so you can find three-bedroom properties with contemporary features like eco-friendly appliances and quartz countertops.

  • Highland City population: 12,355
  • Highland City FL population growth: 14.0% increase between 2010 and 2020
  • Highland City Florida area: 7.91 square miles
  • Highland City FL median age: 38.1
  • Highland City Florida median household income: $85,301
  • Median price of homes for sale in Highland City FL: $312,500
  • Highland City crime rate: 1,822 offenses per 100,000 residents (15.4% lower than the state, 22.3% lower than the country)
  • Highland City map

#10. Lakeland Highlands

Lakeland Highlands is a CDP located along State Route 37, which connects the community to Mulberry and Lakeland. The community contains residential culdesacs, commercial blocks, and green spaces where you can relax, walk your dog, and get away from the hubbub. Lakeland Highlands has several popular restaurants, including Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, a kid-friendly ice cream parlor. Adults can enjoy tap beers at Miller’s Ale House or indulge in sushi at Sushi Masa Lakeland.

Lakeland Highlands is the safest city in Polk County Florida, with a crime rate that is nearly half the state and national averages. All residents receive services from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, which employs over 1,600 full-time police officers and 5,000 volunteers who regularly patrol Lakeland Highlands streets. It’s also the wealthiest city in Polk County, with a median household income nearly twice the state average.

  • Lakeland Highlands population: 12,187
  • Lakeland Highlands population growth: 10.2% increase between 2010 and 2020
  • Lakeland Highlands area: 5.64 square miles
  • Lakeland Highlands median age: 46.3
  • Lakeland Highlands median household income: $101,221
  • Median price of homes for sale in Lakeland Highlands FL: $386,500
  • Lakeland Highlands crime rate: 1,283 crimes per 100,000 residents (40.4% lower than the state, 45.3% lower than the country)
  • Lakeland Highlands map

Polk County Cities Map

You can use this Polk County cities map to find the best cities in Polk County, including great things to do!


How Many Cities Are There in Polk County Florida?

Polk County Florida has 13 incorporated cities.

What Is the Most Populous City in Polk County Florida?

Lakeland Florida is the most populous city in Polk County, with a population of 112,640 people.

What Is the Wealthiest City in Polk County Florida?

Lakeland Highlands is the wealthiest city in Polk County, with a median household income of $101,221.

Which City Is the Largest in Land Size?

Lakeland Florida is the largest Polk County city in land size, with an area of 75.3 square miles.

What Is the Most Dense City in Polk County?

Lakeland Highlands is the most dense city in the county, with a population density of 1,561.9 people per square mile.

Which of the Polk County, Florida Cities Is Right for You?

Polk County, Florida cities have a lot to offer! Communities like Lakeland Florida and Highland City have booming economies with many opportunities for Polk County jobs. Other communities are suitable for commuters into Tampa and Orlando, including Poinciana and Bartow.

You can start your life in Polk County the right way by hiring top Polk County movers. 2 College Brothers is an award-winning moving company with 15 years of experience in the moving industry. Get a free moving estimate by calling 813-922-1528.


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