The city is located in the southern end of the Tampa Bay Area, north of Fort Myers and Punta Gorda. Its current official limits include Sarasota Bay and several barrier islands between the bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2013 Sarasota had a population of 53,326. In 1986 it became designated as a certified local government. Sarasota is a principal city of the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, and is the seat of Sarasota County.
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