Fort Myers is a city located in Lee County Florida. Fort Myers has a 2023 population of 105,260. It is also the county seat of Lee County.Fort Myers is currently growing at a rate of 6.82% annually and its population has increased by 21.89% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 86,354 in 2020.
The average household income in Fort Myers is $80,056 with a poverty rate of 16.01%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Fort Myers is 40.3 years, 39.9 years for males, and 40.7 years for females.
Fort Myers is located in the southwest region of Florida, and it is tourist hotspot for many reasons, including its beautiful beaches.
The city’s economy is centered on the retail, healthcare and accommodation industries. Over 80% of adults in the city have graduated from high school, while nearly one-quarter have a college education.
Fort Myers has seen incredible growth to its population throughout its history. A community of just 575 people at the time of the 1890 census bounced to over 2,400 residents in 1910. By the 1940 census, the city had over 10,000 residents, more than doubling this number in 1960. Recent estimates show that the city is still on the upward trajectory, with a population growth of almost 24% since the 2010 census. With these growth rates, the city is well on its way to reaching 100,000 residents soon.
During the American Indian Wars in the 1830s, the U.S. built Fort Myers as a base against the Seminole Indians. The founding of the city did not occur until after the Civil War. It was founded in 1866 by Manuel Gonzalez. Gonzalez became familiar with the area while delivering mail and supplies to the fort, and when it was abandoned later, he returned with his wife and child, along with his friend and his family.
The first trading post was established near the old fort. Goods including tobacco and gun powder were traded with the Seminole tribe. It was during this time that a community began to form, although it stayed quite small.
The late 19th century would bring about more significant growth. People that resided in the northern states were traveling to Florida during the winter months. The town had reached a total population of just 349 in 1885, the year that it was incorporated. In 1898, the Royal Palm Hotel was built, attracting tourists during the winter. The city continued to flourish as the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad offered greater access in the early 1900s. Development continued in the growing area, including the construction of the Arcade Theater in 1908.
It was during the 1920s that the Edison Botanic Research Corporation was established in Fort Myers. This facility was used by resident Thomas Alva Edison to research exotic trees and plants. Another famous resident was Henry Ford, known for Ford automobiles, who lived next door to Edison. The city’s population continued to climb with the construction of the Edison Bridge, which was opened in 1931. The next decade brought about even more growth with the addition of subdivisions.
In recent years, the city continues to grow and thrive. The homes of Edison and Ford are now open to the public and are popular tourist attractions. The city also has many restaurants, shopping centers, nightclubs, and of course beautiful beaches which bring in new residents and tourists year after year.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Fort Myers was:
Black or African American
Two or more races
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Average Family Size
Average Household Size
Rate of Home Ownership
Less Than 9th Grade
9th to 12th Grade
High School Graduate
High School Graduation Rate
The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 88.11%.
The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 40.81%.
Other Indo-European Languages
Asian and Pacific Island Languages
72.67% of Fort Myers residents speak only English, while 27.33% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 19.2% of the population.
Overall Poverty Rate
Male Poverty Rate
Female Poverty Rate
The race most likely to be in poverty in Fort Myers is Other, with 27.43% below the poverty level.
The race least likely to be in poverty in Fort Myers is Native, with 0.75% below the poverty level.
The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 3.3%. Among those working part-time, it was 16.16%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 23.53%.
Overall Marriage Rate
Male Marriage Rate
Female Marriage Rate
The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 45-54.
Second Gulf War
First Gulf War
World War II
Less Than 9th Grade
High School Graduate
Bachelors or Greater
Veteran Poverty Rate
Veteran Disability Rate
Labor Force Participation
Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.
Born in Fort Myers
83.59% of Fort Myers residents were born in the United States, with 36.08% having been born in Florida. 10.99% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.