County Seat: Fort Myers
Foundation Year: 1,887
Total Square Miles: 782
2018 Population: 754,610
People/Square Mile: 964
2018 Population: 754,610
Population 25 to 64 years old: 46.96%
Population 65 years and older: 28.61%
Gross Domestic Product (GDP): $27.0 B
Unemployment rate: 3.40%
A County on the Rise
Lee County is the largest county in Southwest Florida. The county stretches along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and boasts 50 miles of white-sand beaches. Lee County is known for its world-class tarpon fishing, recreational riding and championship golf courses, along with its rich history as the winter home and laboratory for Thomas Edison. It has long been the spring training home for the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins. Lee County stretches from Cape Coral in the north, the county's largest city with 180,000 residents, to Bonita Springs in the south, from world-famous Sanibel Island in the west, and rural LaBelle in the east. Lee County is recognized as an innovative, business-friendly county that attracts and retains global corporations such as Chico's, Hertz Global Holdings, Gartner and Algenol Biofuels. Lee County's largest employer, Lee Memorial Health System employs more than 13,500 employees and is nationally recognized as a leader in the healthcare industry. The educational network in Lee County is comprised of regionally and nationally recognized institutions such as Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida SouthWestern State College, Nova Southeastern, ITT Technical Institute, and Hodges University. Key statistics include:
- Population (April 2018): 713 ha 903 inhabitants
- Median age (2017): 47,8
- Median Family Income (2017): $52,052
- Median Family Income (2017): $74,000
- Employment (2018): 331.050
- Median single-family home sales price (April 2019): $266,500
- Number of students in the public K-12 system (2018-2019): 94.417
- Number of tourists per year (2018): 4.793.850
- Land area in square miles: 785
Source: Florida Bureau of Economic and Demographic Research, 2013-2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS), Realtor(r) Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, Inc ., Florida Department of Education, Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau
Business Success Stories
Headquartered in Fort Myers, Algenol is a global industrial biotechnology company that is commercializing its proprietary algae technology platform for the production of ethanol and other biofuels. Since its founding in 2006, Algenol scientists and engineers have invented and patented a wide range of new technologies to produce advanced renewable transportation fuels.
Emergencies Technological Institute (ETI)
Fort Myers-based Florida Gulf Coast University received a $7 million grant to build an emergency management technology center on a six-acre site. The institute houses laboratories where FGCU researchers can work on disciplines such as renewable energy. The ETI is the first project in a 240-acre development in Fort Myers dedicated to research and technology companies.
Headquartered in Stamford, CT, with headquarters in Fort Myers, Gartner, Inc. is a leading global information technology research and advisory company.
Headquartered in Fort Myers, Neo-Genomics Laboratories is a specialized oncology reference laboratory providing the latest testing technologies, global/technology-only options, and interactive education to the pathology community.
Shaw Development, Inc.
Headquartered in Bonita Springs, Shaw Development specializes in global fluid management providing innovative component and system level solutions within the heavy duty military and commercial ground vehicle markets. Shaw focuses on continuous and intelligent investment in research and core competency to develop process, equipment and systems expertise.
oncology of the century XXI
Headquartered in Fort Myers, Florida, 21st Century Oncology is a provider of cancer care services and an active sponsor of clinical research. The company partners with leading universities, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device companies.
In 2018, 15 census tracts throughout Lee County, FL were designated as Opportunity Zones. These zones are economically distressed communities in which new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment.
What is an opportunity zone?
Opportunity zones are designed to stimulate economic development by providing tax benefits to investors. Investors can defer taxes on any prior earnings invested in a Qualified Opportunities Fund (QOF, for his days). If the investor holds the investment in the Opportunity Fund for at least ten years, the investor is eligible for an increase based on the QOF investment equal to its fair market value on the date the QOF investment is sold or exchanged. .
Opportunity Zones are designed to incentivize new capital investment in low-income communities across the country. All of the underlying incentives relate to the tax treatment of capital gains, and all are tied to the longevity of an investor's holding in a qualified Opportunity Fund. There are three basic tax incentives:
- Temporary postponement: Temporary deferral of inclusion in taxable income for capital gains reinvested in an Opportunity Fund. The deferred gain must be recognized on the date before the date the Opportunity Zone investment is disposed of or on December 31, 2026.
- Base Rise: An increase in the basis of deferred capital gains reinvested in an Opportunity Fund. The base is increased by 10% if the investment in the Opportunities Fund is in the hands of the taxpayer for at least 5 years and by an additional 5% if it is held for at least 7 years, thus excluding up to 15% of the profit original tax deferral.
- Permanent exclusion: Permanent exclusion from taxable capital gains income from the sale or exchange of an investment in an Opportunity Fund if the investment is held for at least 10 years. This exclusion only applies to earnings accumulated on investments made through an Opportunity Fund.
Office of Economic Development
Lee County Economic Development Office
Fort Myers, Florida 33901
Find Properties in Lee County
In the search engine that we present in this section you will find information related to the sale/lease of residential real estate listed in the information system of the Association of Realtors®.