2024 E-Insights Report

Executive Summary

This report presents analyses in three sections: economic outcomes, affordability, and talent pipeline. For each of the three sections, insights are provided along three dimensions: the performance of the Tampa Bay region, the best performing MSA, and the worst performing MSA.

This report also presents key insights from the trend analysis by the USF research team. The goal is to benchmark the Tampa Bay region with respect to other MSAs and provide meaningful insights for policy recommendations. The researchers used both traditional economic variables and real-time data signals to derive the insights.

Key Insights

Economic Outcomes

Tampa Bay has room for improvement in the areas of economic competitiveness and inclusive growth.

The Gini index indicates that income inequality in Tampa Bay has been on the rise since 2019. By 2022, the region fell to the 17th position in income equality among the comparative MSAs, reflecting a worrying trend in income distribution and a decline in competitive positioning in recent years.

On a positive note, Tampa Bay has made considerable progress in addressing the Black-white poverty rate gap, indicating significant strides towards reducing this specific measure of economic disparity. In the Black-white educational attainment rate gap, Tampa Bay has ranked in the top 5 positions for the most part. The Black-white digital access gap has also shown a promising declining trend.

Overall, the Tampa Bay region shows a promising future, particularly in its efforts towards achieving racial equity, which is reflected in the improved rankings and decreasing gaps in key indicators.


In terms of affordability, Tampa Bay has experienced notable fluctuations and improvements across various sectors.

The Zillow Observed Rent Index shows an increasing trend in rental costs, with Tampa Bay’s ranking falling from 7th in 2015 to 17th in 2023. This drop points to a growing affordability decline in house rents. However, the home ownership rate in Tampa Bay steadily increased from 2016 to 2020, followed by a dip, indicating that more people bought houses during this period.

On a positive note, Tampa Bay boasts the most affordable graduate tuition compared to 19 other major metropolitan areas, ranking first in 2021, up from 9th in 2012. This makes it an attractive destination for graduate education. Health insurance coverage in Tampa Bay has seen a steady increase, rising from 83.35% in 2012 to 89.33% in 2022.

Talent Pipeline

In the context of the talent pipeline, the Tampa Bay region has exhibited notable performance across various metrics.

Tampa Bay stands out with a strong positive net job flow, ranking consistently among the top 10 regions. This trend reflects the notable trend of individuals relocating from other metropolitan areas in search of employment opportunities. Tampa Bay’s appeal extends to both domestic and international transplants, having the highest domestic migration rate and ranking in the top 10 regions for international migration. However, the region faces challenges with increasing commute times, ranking in the bottom half with a comparatively higher percentage of workers having 30+ minutes commute times.

The Tampa Bay region lags in terms of relative earnings for private sector jobs at newly established firms. This disparity in wage levels at early-stage businesses, despite the high growth of new establishments, highlights the need for policy initiatives aimed at attracting high-tech businesses to the region to foster a more robust and equitable economic ecosystem.