The Villages is a census-designated place (CDP) in Sumter and Marion counties in the U.S. state of Florida. It shares its name with a broader master-planned age-restricted community that spreads into portions of Lake County. The overall development lies in central Florida, approximately 20 miles (32 km) south of Ocala and approximately 45 miles (72 km) northwest of Orlando. As of the 2020 census, the population of the CDP was 79,077.
The Villages covers an area of approximately 32 square miles, an area larger than Manhattan, and is expanding mainly to the south of the current community. It is made up of 17 special purpose community development districts (CDD), which are controlled by a board of supervisors (BoS), five individuals elected by the landowners of the district. H. Gary Morse, the original owner’s son, transferred most direct ownership in the company to his three children in 2006; Morse died in 2014.
The community is the center of The Villages metropolitan area, which consists of all of Sumter County and is included in the Orlando–Lakeland–Deltona combined statistical area; and Marion County is included in the Ocala, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. According to May 2023 Census Bureau data, between July 1, 2021, and July 1, 2022, The Villages metro area grew by 7.5% or 10,103 people to 144,970 residents. The area was the fastest-growing metropolitan statistical area in the country.