Gainesville is a city located in Alachua County Florida. Gainesville has a 2023 population of 141,341. It is also the county seat of Alachua County.Gainesville is currently growing at a rate of 0.34% annually and its population has increased by 1.01% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 139,929 in 2020.
The average household income in Gainesville is $61,568 with a poverty rate of 28.54%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Gainesville is 26.8 years, 26.4 years for males, and 27.2 years for females.
Gainesville is located in Alachua County, where it has been designated as the county city. The city has been ranked as one of the best places in the U.S. to live.
The University of Florida is the largest employer in the city, with over 27,000 employees. UF Health, Alachua County School Board, Gainesville Veterans Administration Medical Center, and the City of Gainesville are other top employers, providing jobs to thousands of residents.
Since the census taken in 1890, Gainesville has seen nothing but growth across its population. By 1930, the city had over 10,000 residents. This number had nearly tripled by the 1950 census. The population grew significantly between 1950 and 1960, exploding from over 29,000 residents to over 64,000. By 2000, the population had nearly reached 100,000. Recent estimates show that the population has grown by 5.8% since the 2010 census. At this rate, the population will reach 150,000 soon.
The Gainesville region was originally inhabited by Paleo-Indians approximately 12,000 years ago. The European explorer Hernando de Soto passed through the area in 1539. Once the Europeans arrived, many Native Americans perished from diseases that were brought over.
The city of Gainesville was founded to serve as the Alachua County seat because of its position along the Florida Railroad Company’s route. The original proposed name of the city was Hogtown, but a settlement located near Westside Park already had this name, so the city name was adopted. This former site was later annexed in 1961.
In 1854, the public sale of lots was ordered. Two years later, a courthouse was constructed, and the following year, a well was dug and a jail was constructed. The property values during this time began to rise quickly. The city continued to grow and by the end of the 1850s, there were multiple stores and hotels.
Gainesville was incorporated as a city in 1866, but the government was weak at this time. The city was reincorporated in 1869 by order of the Florida legislature. After the Civil War, the city’s economy revolved around cotton shipping and was the leading shipping facility in the state. More railroads arrived, continuing the growth of the city. For a brief period, citrus growing became an important part of the economy but ended following freezes.
Heading into the 20th century, Gainesville became known as a rough city. Lots of violence included severe injuries and killings. This included racial violence.
In the 20th century, a new charter was requested and was granted in 1905. The borders of the city were also expanded. A bond issue was offered this year and was used to launch a sewer system and pave roads. A generating plant was built in 1914. The University of Florida had also been established by this time.
The city faced its hardships in the 20th century, including exhausting its water supply. A new well was drilled and a water tower built. Agriculture remained the dominant industry in Gainesville. It was also still a major shipping point through until a boll weevil infestation destroyed crops.
In the 1920s, a land boom occurred, and new subdivisions were developed. More schools opened, the government added a city manager, and the police force expanded. The city continued to grow. When the Great Depression hit, Gainesville wasn’t affected nearly as bad as other cities and had a lower unemployment rate than many other areas in the country. During World War II, the city continued to grow both in terms of the economy and population. The airport was updated, and the hospital was expanded, while the university was used to train military personnel. Following the war, enrollment at the University of Florida grew, bringing veterans and their families to the area.
The city continued to see a pattern of growth through the 1960s when it became known for college activism. This rose again during the 1980s. Today, the city has been named as one of the best places to live in the U.S. It is known for its low cost of living. One drawback is that with so many educated residents, the job market is quite weak and the median income falls below the national average. The city welcomes many visitors each year, who come to see the cultural facilities and festivities, historic sites and landmarks, and other attractions that Gainesville has to offer.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Gainesville 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 islander people with a rate of 77.06%.
The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 39.69%.
Other Indo-European Languages
Asian and Pacific Island Languages
82.97% of Gainesville residents speak only English, while 17.03% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 8.73% of the population.
Overall Poverty Rate
Male Poverty Rate
Female Poverty Rate
The race most likely to be in poverty in Gainesville is Multiple, with 40.59% below the poverty level.
The race least likely to be in poverty in Gainesville is White, with 25.45% below the poverty level.
The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 3.36%. Among those working part-time, it was 45.24%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 44.07%.
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 55-64.
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 Gainesville
87.82% of Gainesville residents were born in the United States, with 54.08% having been born in Florida. 5.89% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.