The Tampa Bay area is a major populated area surrounding Tampa Bay on the west coast of Florida in the United States. It includes the main cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater. It is the eighteenth largest metropolitan area in the United States, with an estimated population of over three million. The exact boundaries of the metro area can differ in different contexts. Hillsborough County and Pinellas County (including the cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and several smaller communities) make up the most limited definition. The United States Census Bureau defines the Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) as including Hillsborough and Pinellas counties along with Hernando and Pasco counties to the north.Other definitions are the four counties in the MSA plus Citrus and Manatee Counties, used by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council the four counties in the MSA plus Citrus, Manatee and Sarasota Counties, used by the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority the four counties in the MSA plus Citrus, Manatee, Sarasota and Polk Counties, used by the Tampa Bay Partnership and the Tampa Bay media market.This wider area may also be known as Central West Florida as part of Central Florida.