Gainesville is the county seat and largest city in Alachua County in the U.S. state of Florida, and the principal city of the Gainesville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The population of Gainesville in the 2010 Census was 124,354. Gainesville is also the largest city in the region of North Central Florida.
Gainesville is home to the University of Florida, the nation's eighth largest university campus by enrollment, as well as to Santa Fe College. The Gainesville MSA was ranked as the #1 place to live in North America in the 2007 edition of Cities Ranked and Rated. That same year, Gainesville was also ranked as one of the "best places to live and play" in the United States by National Geographic Adventure. Conversely, Gainesville was ranked as the 5th meanest city in the USA by the National Coalition for the Homeless twice, first in 2004 for its criminalization of homelessness and then in 2009 for its ordinance restricting soup kitchens to 130-meals a day.