Gainesville is the county seat and largest city in Alachua County, Florida, and the principal city of the Gainesville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The population of Gainesville in the 2017 US Census estimates was 132,249, a 6.4% growth from 2010. Gainesville is the largest city in the region of North Central Florida. In addition, it is also a component of the Gainesville-Lake City Combined Statistical Area, which had a 2013 population of 144,412.
Gainesville is home to the University of Florida, the nation’s ninth largest university campus by enrollment, as well as to Santa Fe College. The Gainesville MSA was ranked as the #1 place to live in North America in the 2007 edition of Cities Ranked and Rated. Also in 2007, Gainesville was ranked as one of the “best places to live and play” in the United States by National Geographic Adventure.