City of Lakeland
Lakeland is a city in Polk County, Florida, along Interstate 4 east of Tampa. The westernmost city in Polk County, it is part of the Tampa Bay Area. According to the 2013 U.S. Census Bureau estimate, the city had a population of 100,710. Lakeland is a principal city of the LakelandWinter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area (coterminous with Polk County), which had an estimated population of 623,009 in July 2013 based on data from the University of Florida Bureau of Economic and Business Research. It is twinned with Richmond Hill, Ontario; Imabari, Ehime, Japan; Bli, Moldova; Portmore, Jamaica; and Chongming County, Shanghai, China through the Lakeland chapter of Sister Cities International. Native Americans began to live in the area 12,000 years ago. European settlers arrived in Lakeland in the 1870s and the city expanded in the 1880s with the arrival of rail service. Lakeland is home to the 1,267-acre Circle B Bar Reserve. Lakeland's sister cities are; Richmond Hill in Canada, Imabari in Japan, and Bălţi in Moldova.