Bartow : Florida

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What it's Like to Retire in Bartow

Bartow is an up and coming community of 17,000 about 40 miles east of Tampa in central Florida. The town is formerly rural but now attracting all kinds of people, including retirees and active adults.  Its live oak trees and many preserved historical buildings give it a southern charm that is very refreshing. The town is laid out in a north-south grid - at the center  is the historic downtown of Bartow which includes the old courthouse, the new courthouse, and the County Administration building as well as other government offices.

Photo of John Swearingen House courtesy of and per license of Wikipedia and Indietop20.

Where to Retire in Bartow and Home Prices

There are active adult communities in the area (see link at top right).
Zillow reports the median home value to be $115,200 in mid-2017, up almost 19% since the previous year, and calls it a "very hot" market.


What is special about Bartow

Live oak trees, a number historical buildings, small town charm, lower prices. The Swearingen House is just one building on the National Register of Historic Places.

What is not special about Bartow

A lot of people move to Florida to be near the coast, and Bartow is not right on it.

Who will like retirement in Bartow

People looking for a lower cost retirement in a low key Florida town might like Bartow.

Local economy is driven by

Phosphate mining, citrus, and retirees are important to the Bartow economy.

Climate and Physical Environment

Bartown is about 55 miles east of Tampa and 15 west of Lake Wales. The average July high temperature is 92 and the average January low is 51. The wettest month is July (8.5")

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Bartow's historical past is a big part of its cultural scene. Nearby Tampa has every kind of cultural opportunity.


Crime in Bartow is close to double the national average.

Medical facilities

Bartow Memorial Hospital is in Bartow, additional hospitals are in nearby Lakeland and Winterhaven.


Tampa International Airport is 48 miles, Orlando is just a bit further.


Valuable Links

Bartow Chamber of Commerce
Florida retirement guide


What people are saying about Bartow

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Facts about BARTOW
  • State: FL
  • Environment: Small Town,
  • City Population: 10,000-25,000
  • Median age of Population: 25-44
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 61 +
  • Avg July Temperature: 81+
  • Median HH Income: 41,001-60,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $100,000-$200,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: Less than 2000
  • Total Crime Index: 121+ (very high)
  • Cost of Living Index: 81-90 (low)
  • Culture Index: 81-90 (low)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: No
  • Name of the Guide: boomer

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