The City of Panama City Beach is approximately 18 square miles located in Florida's Great Northwest. The city is populated by over 12,600 permanent residents with 5,000 tourists visiting the area daily, averaging a 3-night stay. The city, which is experiencing a 5.5% growth rate each year, is considered the fastest growing of Bay County's seven cities in both population and area. With a population of young families, seniors and early retirees, Panama City Beach is considered an ideal place for relocation and vacation.
Stretching nine miles along the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Panama City Beach's economy depends heavily on tourism. Approximately 20 percent of the shore line is classified recreational and public use. The remainder of the beachfront has hotels, condominiums, restaurants, entertainment venues and personal homes. The city is experiencing a manageable growth in housing, service and retail establishments. The new industrial park and a commercial office park opened in 2002 and have acquired occupants; Pier Park, a public/private partnership, opened in 2003 and consists of a city park with amphitheater, swimming area, walking paths and a large commercial/entertainment area.
Community life is supported with three elementary schools, a middle school and a high school; various recreational and social areas including parks, senior and youth centers, golf courses and two fishing piers; a new branch of the Bay County library; and numerous medical, vision and dental offices. The city is home to worship/gathering groups of various denominations and an abundance of financial institutions.