Why Highlands County

Florida lake sunset dock

Why Highlands County

Florida continues to out-pace the nation in growth, growing 2.6 times the rate of the rest of the U.S.  With its central location, growing population, low operating costs and dedicated workforce, Highlands County is an ideal location to grow your business.

Highlands County has a growing population of over 105,000 residents. Highlands’ ideal climate and amenities make it a popular seasonal destination attracting about 20 percent  more people to the county in season. Highlands County also attracts significant regional traffic of people who commute to the community for work, dining, shopping, and health care. 


More than 86 percent of Florida’s population is located within a two-hour radius of Highlands County (over 18 million people). We’re situated in the middle of Florida’s extensive multi-modal infrastructure and surrounded by three interstates, commercial airports, an intermodal logistics center and deep water ports. Our location is also nearly equidistant (about 1.5 hours) to Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers and West Palm Beach.


Highlands County’s population, along with a commuting workforce from the surrounding area, provide a labor pool of more than 125,000 dedicated workers. Highlands County is home to South Florida State College and in close proximity to five other colleges and universities. A talent pipeline of more than 22,000 students is available within a one-hour drive and more than 190,000 students are within a two-hour drive.



Highlands County offers an advantageous business climate with leaders committed to streamlined services, support programs and low business costs. A recent analysis conducted by Site Selection Group found that Highlands County offers an overall cost savings of 10 to 15 percent compared to nearby metro areas. Highlands also offers an advantage in low labor costs and competitive real estate options. Find out more on our County Profile and Incentives pages.


Here, you, your employees, and your families enjoy the Sunshine State lifestyle envied all over the world, at a much lower cost than other areas. Highlands County's cost of living is about 15 percent lower than the state average. Located along the rolling hills of the Central Florida ridge and lake country, Avon Park, Sebring and Lake Placid offer a quality lifestyle with all the advantages of a close-knit, friendly community. Highlands County is the quintessential hometown that you'll quickly want to make your home. Find out more on our Lifestyle page.


Enhancing the quality of life in Highlands County by attracting a variety of new businesses and increasing industrial investment, all while facilitating the retention and successful expansion of existing businesses and industry.

Keep In Touch

Economic Development
Highlands County Board of County Commissioners
(P) 863.402.6924
(F) 863.402.6651