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Old 07-10-2018, 12:07 PM
 
30 posts, read 12,392 times
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This is not a political or racial question, just one of curiosity. Why does the Orlando area attract more Hispanics, including Puerto Ricans, than the Tampa Bay area? Here are the stats from Census Data Quick Facts:

Orange County (Orlando): 31.4% Hispanic or Latino (White alone, only 40.5%)
Osceola County (Kissimmee): 53.7% Hispanic or Latino (White alone, only 32.3%)
Seminole County (Sanford): 21.4% Hispanic or Latino (White alone, 60.6%)

So as you can see, in Osceola County Hispanics or Latinos are dominant and in Orange County it is about even. Only Seminole County are Whites dominant. Now, lets look at the Tampa Bay area:

Hillsborough County (Tampa): 28.6% Hispanic or Latino (White alone, only 49.1%)
Pinellas County (St. Petersburg): 9.7% Hispanic or Latino (White alone, 74.2%)
Pasco County (Wesley Chapel): 15.1% Hispanic or Latino (White alone, 74.8%)
Polk County (Lakeland): 22.3% Hispanic or Latino (White alone, 59.3%)

This information is all at the U.S. Census Bureau Quick Facts Website. The reason I include Polk County with Tampa Bay(even though it is truly in the middle) is that the major population areas (Lakeland, Winter Haven and Bartow) are more economically tied to the Tampa Bay area.

As you can see, in every aspect Tampa Bay is less Hispanic or Latino than Orlando. In terms of urban areas, Hillsborough County has slightly more white people than Orange County. In the suburbs is where it's more pronounced. The suburban Orlando counties of Osceola and Seminoles Counties are either dominant Hispanic (Osceola) or barely white (Seminole) while the suburban Tampa Bay counties are all dominant white (Pinellas and Pasco) with the exception of Polk, which ironically is heading towards Orlando and therefore gets some influence from the Orlando Hispanic population. Even the least white Tampa Bay suburban county (Polk) is almost the same as the most white Orlando suburban county (Seminole), 59.3%-60.6% respectively.

So the real question is, why is this the case? Why are Hispanics and Latinos drawn more towards Orlando than Tampa Bay? This is especially interesting to me considering the fact that Tampa Bay is far more water oriented and therefore has a climate that is more similar to the Caribbean Islands than Orlando. You would think Hispanics and Latinos would feel more at home in Tampa Bay. Any ideas why this is not the case?
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Old 07-10-2018, 12:54 PM
 
Location: USA
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Orlando is more desirable! DUH


The other reason, minorities moving from other areas tend to go where there is already an established population, which makes sense.
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Tampa
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I think from an outside view, Orlando is more well-known and more appealing at first glance. I know people will argue that Tampa proper has a beach which is false. That is St Pete. Yes we on the bay, but the Orlando area has lots of lakes, springs, and 45 minutes from the ocean. Puerto Ricans have been moving to Orlando for a while and when I lived in Orlando it had more of New York connection which has a lot of Hispanics. Being half Hispanic, I think Orlando is more appealing with the night life, restaurants, etc and more wealth among Hispanics than Tampa.
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Orlando, FL
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My educated guess would be the service jobs related to the tourism industry in Orlando. This might be why the Hispanic population is higher in Osceola County which is close to Disney and the hundreds of hotels and restaurants in the Kissimmee area. That may be why the Hispanic population has been more drawn to Orlando since the 70's.
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:21 PM
 
Location: USA
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I think Orlando’s name is more well known. A lot move from PR to escape hurricane damage, so they see Orlando beinn inland and think it’s less risk. Also, most people outside of Florida know Orlando and Miami but a lot don’t know anything about Tampa, Jacksonville, etc. just my guess though.
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:30 PM
 
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Some good replies here, glad that the conversation has remained civil. It is definitely a subject that has a way of becoming uncivil very quickly and easily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw335xi View Post
Orlando is more desirable! DUH


The other reason, minorities moving from other areas tend to go where there is already an established population, which makes sense.
Haha whether Orlando is more desirable than Tampa Bay is truly an individual choice. I'm sure there's many in both camps on that one.

I do agree with you that the Puerto Rican and overall Hispanic migration here has become self fulfilling. Many Hispanics move here because of the fact that there is an established Hispanic community here. It's a way for them to insulate and feel more protected. They have people who speak their language and have a better understanding of what they are going through.

I guess my question though is more about the past. Back in the day, even in the 70s and 80s, there wasn't much of a Hispanic presence here. The Hispanics who moved here back then didn't have the benefit of an established Hispanic community like Hispanics do now. In many ways there was probably a bigger Hispanic community and more support in Tampa Bay as that area was significantly bigger. So why did they still move to the relatively small Orlando area?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjairo191 View Post
I think from an outside view, Orlando is more well-known and more appealing at first glance. I know people will argue that Tampa proper has a beach which is false. That is St Pete. Yes we on the bay, but the Orlando area has lots of lakes, springs, and 45 minutes from the ocean. Puerto Ricans have been moving to Orlando for a while and when I lived in Orlando it had more of New York connection which has a lot of Hispanics. Being half Hispanic, I think Orlando is more appealing with the night life, restaurants, etc and more wealth among Hispanics than Tampa.
An interesting idea but again, looking at the past, back in the 70s and 80s Orlando was not as well known outside of the U.S. I don't necessarily see where Orlando would've been more appealing at first glance. Tampa Bay was bigger, more established, had sports teams (back then Orlando didn't even have the Magic), had a more diversified economy and was on the water.

If Hispanics were looking for places that were more well-known, why didn't more of them (particularly Puerto Ricans) choose Miami? Miami even today is more well known internationally than Orlando, and back in the 70s and 80s (I don't have first hand experience here as I was born in 85) it wasn't even close.

As someone who is half Hispanic I'm interested to hear your experience. When did you live in Orlando? I'd be more interested in hearing about Orlando, even back in the day, having a more appealing night life, culture, restaurants and hispanic wealth than Tampa Bay. Everything I know about Orlando back in the 70s and early to mid 80s was that it was essentially not much bigger than Lakeland is now, and I definitely don't consider Lakeland to be some place people would flock to, never mind hispanics.
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:45 PM
 
30 posts, read 12,392 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTownKnight View Post
My educated guess would be the service jobs related to the tourism industry in Orlando. This might be why the Hispanic population is higher in Osceola County which is close to Disney and the hundreds of hotels and restaurants in the Kissimmee area. That may be why the Hispanic population has been more drawn to Orlando since the 70's.
There is probably something to that, but again I don't get the sense that many of them worked for Disney and other hotels back in the day.

I remember coming down here (long before I ever lived here) to visit Disney World. We stayed at hotels on 192 (pretty close to Disney, not the ones further down in Kissimmee proper) and back then I didn't notice many Hispanics. Most of the front desk staff and even the housekeeping staff were whites or blacks. It's ironic to think about considering now you would never see a white housekeeper at the hotel in the area.

I would also point out that Tampa Bay has plenty of hotels and restaurants along the coast. Sure Tampa Bay might not be quite as reliant on tourism as Orlando is but tourism is still a huge part of the Tampa Bay economy. Heck Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach are two of the most visited beaches in the entire U.S. Essentially I'm not quite buying the hospitality argument as in many ways Tampa Bay had just as many hotels and restaurants as Orlando.

Now if you've lived here longer you could offer your perspective. I'm not saying I'm 100% right, just my perspective on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw335xi View Post
I think Orlandoís name is more well known. A lot move from PR to escape hurricane damage, so they see Orlando beinn inland and think itís less risk. Also, most people outside of Florida know Orlando and Miami but a lot donít know anything about Tampa, Jacksonville, etc. just my guess though.
I replied to a similar comment on my previous post, but again, lets look at Orlando in the 70s and 80s. Orlando was a lot smaller than it is now. It had nothing outside of Disney and Sea World. Universal wasn't even in the picture yet. Orlando had no pro sports teams as the Magic weren't even here yet. I don't think Orlando was that well known back then. If Hispanics were looking for well known cities why didn't they stick with Miami? Miami is still more well known than Orlando today and back then it wasn't even close.

Your comment about Hurricane Maria is one that I find very interesting. Do you think in a way a lot of the Puerto Ricans who left after Hurricane Maria are experiencing a type of PTSD? I definitely wouldn't be shocked as I know people who live in New Orleans and many of them had panic attacks at the site of a heavy rainstorm years after Hurricane Katrina. A few of them never returned to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

It would make sense that some of the Puerto Ricans would be leery about living on the coast after what they went through. Orlando is near the center of the state and not as prone to hurricanes. When you look at Irene and Charley they are basically the worst Orlando will ever get, strong Category 2 to weak Category 3 Hurricanes. Nothing to sneeze at by any ways, still very powerful storms, but not the type that would wipe out an entire city.

Tampa Bay has actually been lucky and has not had hurricanes as often as Orlando in recent years. They are considered to be overdue though and are definitely more susceptible to a devastating strong Cat 3, Cat 4 or Cat 5 Hurricane. They can get a type of storm that Orlando will never get due to the fact that we aren't on the coast. I could see where to some Puerto Ricans Orlando would fit their needs well. An established Puerto Rican community, the ability to be insulated in that community and not have to learn English immediately and less chance of suffering devastation from a hurricane.

Do you think Orlando's location away from the coast is a reason some Puerto Ricans who evacuated chose Orlando?
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Seminole County, FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 83austin83 View Post
There is probably something to that, but again I don't get the sense that many of them worked for Disney and other hotels back in the day.

I remember coming down here (long before I ever lived here) to visit Disney World. We stayed at hotels on 192 (pretty close to Disney, not the ones further down in Kissimmee proper) and back then I didn't notice many Hispanics. Most of the front desk staff and even the housekeeping staff were whites or blacks. It's ironic to think about considering now you would never see a white housekeeper at the hotel in the area.

I would also point out that Tampa Bay has plenty of hotels and restaurants along the coast. Sure Tampa Bay might not be quite as reliant on tourism as Orlando is but tourism is still a huge part of the Tampa Bay economy. Heck Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach are two of the most visited beaches in the entire U.S. Essentially I'm not quite buying the hospitality argument as in many ways Tampa Bay had just as many hotels and restaurants as Orlando.

Do you think Orlando's location away from the coast is a reason some Puerto Ricans who evacuated chose Orlando?

I'm roughly your age (1 year younger) and my recollection of Disney World, and Kissimmee, when I visited as a kid (long before I moved here at 15) was "WOW! This place is pretty much bilingual. Everyone speaks Spanish!"

When I moved here and finished HS here, half of my school was Hispanic.

As for why the explosion in Orlando versus Tampa, I have no idea. Some things just "happen," I guess?
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:16 PM
 
30 posts, read 12,392 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcenal352 View Post
I'm roughly your age (1 year younger) and my recollection of Disney World, and Kissimmee, when I visited as a kid (long before I moved here at 15) was "WOW! This place is pretty much bilingual. Everyone speaks Spanish!"

When I moved here and finished HS here, half of my school was Hispanic.

As for why the explosion in Orlando versus Tampa, I have no idea. Some things just "happen," I guess?
Interesting how we are very similar in age but had very different experiences when we were young. Now I do want to ask, did you all actually stay in Kissimmee? We didn't stay in Kissimmee proper, we typically stayed right near Disney World. We stayed at the old Wilson World on 192 (building is still there ironically but completely abandoned) west of Disney World, the old Ramada Inn right off 192 next to I-4 and then a Holiday Inn somewhere on 192. They were all within about 2 - 3 miles of the entrance to Disney World. Perhaps you stayed closer to Kissimmee and that resulted in a different experience?
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Seminole County, FL
7,742 posts, read 5,326,875 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 83austin83 View Post
Interesting how we are very similar in age but had very different experiences when we were young. Now I do want to ask, did you all actually stay in Kissimmee? We didn't stay in Kissimmee proper, we typically stayed right near Disney World. We stayed at the old Wilson World on 192 (building is still there ironically but completely abandoned) west of Disney World, the old Ramada Inn right off 192 next to I-4 and then a Holiday Inn somewhere on 192. They were all within about 2 - 3 miles of the entrance to Disney World. Perhaps you stayed closer to Kissimmee and that resulted in a different experience?
We were actually on Disney property itself (Polynesian Resort.)

Keep in mind, perhaps my perception was a bit skewed due to the fact that where I came from, there were very few Hispanics. Everything was French and English, and the "secondary languages" were Italian, Chinese, and some forms of Arab I never got too familiar with.
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