List of counties in Florida

There are 67 counties in the U.S. state of Florida. It became a territory of the U.S. in 1821 with two counties complementing the provincial divisions retained as a Spanish territory: Escambia to the west and St. Johns to the east, divided by the Suwannee River. All of the other counties were apportioned from these two original counties. Florida became the 27th U.S. state in 1845, and its last county was created in 1925 with the formation of Gilchrist County from a segment of Alachua County.[1] Florida's counties are subdivisions of the state government. In 1968, counties gained the power to develop their own charters.[2] All but two of Florida's county seats are incorporated municipalities. The exceptions are Crawfordville, county seat of rural Wakulla County,[3] and East Naples, located outside Naples city limits in Collier County.

Counties of Florida
LocationState of Florida
Number67
Populations8,314 (Liberty) – 2,662,874 (Miami-Dade)
Areas240 square miles (620 km2) (Union) –
2,034 square miles (5,270 km2) (Palm Beach)
GovernmentCounty government
SubdivisionsCommunities

The names of Florida's counties reflect its diverse cultural heritage. Some are named for Confederate political leaders and Spanish explorers, marking the influence of Spanish sovereignty, while others are named for Spanish saints, Native American placenames used by the Spanish, and political leaders of the United States. Natural features of the region, including rivers, lakes, and flora, are also commonly used for county names. Florida has counties named for participants on both sides of Second Seminole War: Miami-Dade County is partially named for Francis L. Dade, a major in the U.S. Army at the time; Osceola County is named for a Native American resistance leader during the war.[4]

Population figures are based on the 2010 United States Census. The population of Florida is 18,801,310, an increase of 17.6% from 2000. The average population of Florida's counties is 280,616; Miami-Dade County is the most populous (2,662,874) and Liberty County is the least (8,365). The average land area is 805 sq mi (2,085 km2). The largest county is Palm Beach County (2,034 sq mi, 5,268 km2) and the smallest is Union County (240 sq mi, 622 km2). The total area of the state is 65,795 sq miles; of this, the land area of the state constitutes 53,927 square miles (139,670 km2) while the water area constitutes 11,868 sq miles.[5][6]

The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) is used by the U.S. government to uniquely identify counties, and is provided for each entry. These codes link to the United States Census Bureau's "quick facts" for each county. Florida's FIPS code of 12 is used to distinguish from counties in other states. For example, Alachua County's unique nationwide identifier is 12001.[7]

Counties

County
FIPS code[7] County seat[8] Est.[4] Formed from[9] Etymology[4]Density
Population[10] Area[5][8] Map
Alachua County 001 Gainesville1824Duval and St. JohnsFrom a Seminole-Creek word meaning "jug", apparently in reference to the sinkholes common in the area[11]285.31 249,365 874 sq mi
(2,264 km2)
Baker County 003 Macclenny1861New RiverJames McNair Baker (1821–1892), a Confederate senator and later a judge in the fourth judicial district46.42 27,154 585 sq mi
(1,515 km2)
Bay County 005 Panama City1913Calhoun and WashingtonSt. Andrew's Bay, the central geographic feature of the county222.32 169,856 764 sq mi
(1,979 km2)
Bradford County 007 Starke1858Columbia
named New River until 1861
Richard Bradford, the first officer from Florida to die in the Civil War; he was killed during the Battle of Santa Rosa Island96.43 28,255 293 sq mi
(759 km2)
Brevard County 009 Titusville1844Hillsborough and Mosquito
named St. Lucie until 1855[12]
Theodore Washington Brevard, early settler and later state comptroller from 1853 to 1861[12]533.95 543,566 1,018 sq mi
(2,637 km2)
Broward County 011 Fort Lauderdale1915Dade and Palm BeachNapoleon Bonaparte Broward (1857–1910), 19th governor of Florida from 1905 to 19091472.43 1,780,172 1,209 sq mi
(3,131 km2)
Calhoun County 013 Blountstown1838Franklin, Jackson, and WashingtonJohn C. Calhoun (1782–1850) leading Southern politician from South Carolina26.01 14,750 567 sq mi
(1,469 km2)
Charlotte County 015 Punta Gorda1921DeSotoProbably a corruption of the name of the Calusa, a group of Native Americans from the area231.28 160,511 694 sq mi
(1,797 km2)
Citrus County 017 Inverness1887HernandoThe county's citrus trees239.78 140,031 584 sq mi
(1,513 km2)
Clay County 019 Green Cove Springs1858DuvalHenry Clay (1777–1852), Secretary of State from 1825 to 1829 under John Quincy Adams320.08 192,370 601 sq mi
(1,557 km2)
Collier County 021 East Naples1923LeeBarron Collier (1873–1939), an advertising entrepreneur who developed much of the land in southern Florida161.96 328,134 2,026 sq mi
(5,247 km2)
Columbia County 023 Lake City1832AlachuaChristopher Columbus (c. 1451–1506), explorer of the Americas84.67 67,485 797 sq mi
(2,064 km2)
DeSoto County 027 Arcadia1887ManateeHernando de Soto (c. 1496/1497–1542), a Spanish explorer and conquistador54.78 34,894 637 sq mi
(1,650 km2)
Dixie County 029 Cross City1921LafayetteDixie, the common nickname for the Southern United States23.42 16,486 704 sq mi
(1,823 km2)
Duval County 031 Jacksonville1822St. JohnsWilliam Pope Duval (1784–1854), the first governor of the Florida Territory1124.95 937,934 774 sq mi
(2,005 km2)
Escambia County 033 Pensacola1821One of the two original countiesDisputed origin; possibly from the Native American word Shambia, meaning "clear water", or from Spanish word “cambiar”, meaning to barter450.47 299,114 664 sq mi
(1,720 km2)
Flagler County 035 Bunnell1917St. Johns and VolusiaHenry Morrison Flagler (1830–1913), founder of the Florida East Coast Railway200.78 97,376 485 sq mi
(1,256 km2)
Franklin County 037 Apalachicola1832Gadsden and WashingtonBenjamin Franklin (1706–1790), one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America21.72 11,596 534 sq mi
(1,383 km2)
Gadsden County 039 Quincy1823JacksonJames Gadsden (1788–1858), American diplomat and namesake of the Gadsden Purchase89.44 46,151 516 sq mi
(1,336 km2)
Gilchrist County 041 Trenton1925AlachuaAlbert W. Gilchrist (1858–1926), the 20th governor of Florida48.72 17,004 349 sq mi
(904 km2)
Glades County 043 Moore Haven1921DeSotoThe Florida Everglades16.32 12,635 774 sq mi
(2,005 km2)
Gulf County 045 Port St. Joe1925CalhounThe Gulf of Mexico28.04 15,844 565 sq mi
(1,463 km2)
Hamilton County 047 Jasper1827JeffersonAlexander Hamilton (1757–1804), the first United States Secretary of the Treasury and a Founding Father28.49 14,671 515 sq mi
(1,334 km2)
Hardee County 049 Wauchula1921DeSotoCary A. Hardee (1876–1957), governor of Florida at the time of creation of Hardee County43.78 27,887 637 sq mi
(1,650 km2)
Hendry County 051 LaBelle1923LeeFrancis A. Hendry (1833–1917), early Floridian pioneer and politician33.90 39,089 1,153 sq mi
(2,986 km2)
Hernando County 053 Brooksville1843Alachua and Hillsborough
named Benton from 1844 to 1850
Hernando de Soto (c.1496/1497–1542), a Spanish explorer and conquistador362.12 173,094 478 sq mi
(1,238 km2)
Highlands County 055 Sebring1921DeSotoNamed for the county's hilly terrain95.94 98,630 1,028 sq mi
(2,663 km2)
Hillsborough County 057 Tampa1834AlachuaWills Hill, Earl of Hillsborough (1718–1793), former Secretary of State for the Colonies1206.26 1,267,775 1,051 sq mi
(2,722 km2)
Holmes County 059 Bonifay1848Jackson and WaltonHolmes Creek, which forms the eastern boundary of the county41.23 19,873 482 sq mi
(1,248 km2)
Indian River County 061 Vero Beach1925St. LucieThe Indian River Lagoon, which flows through the county276.13 138,894 503 sq mi
(1,303 km2)
Jackson County 063 Marianna1822EscambiaAndrew Jackson (1767–1845), the seventh President of the United States53.81 49,292 916 sq mi
(2,372 km2)
Jefferson County 065 Monticello1827LeonThomas Jefferson (1743–1826), the third President of the United States and principal author of the Declaration of Independence24.51 14,658 598 sq mi
(1,549 km2)
Lafayette County 067 Mayo1856MadisonGilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette (1757–1834), French aristocrat and general in the American Revolutionary War16.47 8,942 543 sq mi
(1,406 km2)
Lake County 069 Tavares1887Orange and SumterNamed for the many lakes in the region315.86 301,019 953 sq mi
(2,468 km2)
Lee County 071 Fort Myers1887MonroeRobert E. Lee (1807–1870), commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War785.24 631,330 804 sq mi
(2,082 km2)
Leon County 073 Tallahassee1824GadsdenJuan Ponce de León (1474–1521), Spanish explorer who named Florida416.75 277,971 667 sq mi
(1,728 km2)
Levy County 075 Bronson1845AlachuaDavid Levy Yulee (1810–1886), one of the state's original United States Senators35.92 40,156 1,118 sq mi
(2,896 km2)
Liberty County 077 Bristol1855GadsdenThe patriotic ideal of liberty9.94 8,314 836 sq mi
(2,165 km2)
Madison County 079 Madison1827JeffersonJames Madison (1751–1836), fourth President of the United States27.62 19,115 692 sq mi
(1,792 km2)
Manatee County 081 Bradenton1855HillsboroughThe manatee, or sea cow, is native to Florida waters.441.49 327,142 741 sq mi
(1,919 km2)
Marion County 083 Ocala1844Alachua, Hillsborough, and MosquitoFrancis Marion (c. 1732–1795), military officer during the American Revolution210.59 332,529 1,579 sq mi
(4,090 km2)
Martin County 085 Stuart1925Palm BeachJohn W. Martin (1884–1958), governor of Florida at time of creation of the county265.28 147,495 556 sq mi
(1,440 km2)
Miami-Dade County 086 Miami1836Monroe
named Dade until 1997
City of Miami and Francis L. Dade (c. 1793–1835), Major in the United States Army during the Second Seminole War1313.50 2,662,874 1,946 sq mi
(5,040 km2)
Monroe County 087 Key West1823St. JohnsJames Monroe (1758–1831), fifth President of the United States74.10 73,873 997 sq mi
(2,582 km2)
Nassau County 089 Fernandina Beach1824DuvalDuchy of Nassau in Germany113.80 74,195 652 sq mi
(1,689 km2)
Okaloosa County 091 Crestview1915Santa Rosa and WaltonA native word meaning "a pleasant place," "black water", or "beautiful place"196.03 183,482 936 sq mi
(2,424 km2)
Okeechobee County 093 Okeechobee1917Osceola and St. LucieLake Okeechobee, which was in turn is from the Hitchiti words for "big water"51.86 40,140 774 sq mi
(2,005 km2)
Orange County 095 Orlando1824St. Johns
named Mosquito until 1845
The fruit that was the county's main product1287.56 1,169,107 908 sq mi
(2,352 km2)
Osceola County 097 Kissimmee1887Brevard and OrangeOsceola (1804–1838), a leader of the Seminole during the Second Seminole War208.90 276,163 1,322 sq mi
(3,424 km2)
Palm Beach County 099 West Palm Beach1909DadeThe county's large amounts of palm trees656.43 1,335,187 2,034 sq mi
(5,268 km2)
Pasco County 101 Dade City1887HernandoSamuel Pasco (1834–1917), United States Senator at the time of creation of the county626.12 466,457 745 sq mi
(1,930 km2)
Pinellas County 103 Clearwater1912HillsboroughFrom the Spanish Punta Piñal, or "Point of Pines"3276.42 917,398 280 sq mi
(725 km2)
Polk County 105 Bartow1861Brevard and HillsboroughJames K. Polk (1795–1849), the 11th President of the United States325.06 609,492 1,875 sq mi
(4,856 km2)
Putnam County 107 Palatka1849Alachua and St. JohnsBenjamin A. Putnam (1801–1869), soldier during the Second Seminole War and Floridian legislator102.55 74,041 722 sq mi
(1,870 km2)
St. Johns County 109 St. Augustine1821One of the two original countiesName derived from the St. Johns River, which in turn derives its name from San Juan del Puerto321.55 195,823 609 sq mi
(1,577 km2)
St. Lucie County 111 Fort Pierce1905BrevardSaint Lucy (283–304), the Christian martyr490.17 280,379 572 sq mi
(1,481 km2)
Santa Rosa County 113 Milton1842EscambiaSanta Rosa Island, which is in turn named for Saint Rosa de Viterbo (1235–1252), a saint born in Viterbo, Italy151.68 154,104 1,016 sq mi
(2,631 km2)
Sarasota County 115 Sarasota1921ManateeNative American word, of uncertain meaning, for the area668.20 382,213 572 sq mi
(1,481 km2)
Seminole County 117 Sanford1913OrangeThe Seminole Native American tribe1380.10 425,071 308 sq mi
(798 km2)
Sumter County 119 Bushnell1853MarionThomas Sumter (1734–1832), general in the American Revolution179.04 97,756 546 sq mi
(1,414 km2)
Suwannee County 121 Live Oak1858ColumbiaThe Suwannee River, a 266-mile long river in northern Florida61.01 41,972 688 sq mi
(1,782 km2)
Taylor County 123 Perry1856MadisonZachary Taylor (1784–1850), 12th President of the United States21.78 22,691 1,042 sq mi
(2,699 km2)
Union County 125 Lake Butler1921BradfordNamed for the area's residents united desire to split into a separate county64.12 15,388 240 sq mi
(622 km2)
Volusia County 127 DeLand1854OrangeThe port of Volusia, whose etymology is uncertain; possibly derived from the Native American word for "Land of the Euchees," the term for the area's native inhabitants447.38 494,804 1,106 sq mi
(2,865 km2)
Wakulla County 129 Crawfordville1843LeonThe Wakulla River, itself named for a Spanish corruption of a Timucuan word used to describe the body of water, but that is of uncertain meaning51.03 30,978 607 sq mi
(1,572 km2)
Walton County 131 DeFuniak Springs1824Escambia and JacksonGeorge Walton, first Secretary of Florida Territory52.73 55,793 1,058 sq mi
(2,740 km2)
Washington County 133 Chipley1825Jackson and WaltonGeorge Washington (1732–1799), first President of the United States42.99 24,935 580 sq mi
(1,502 km2)

Former counties

Fayette County was created in 1832 from the portion of Jackson County east of the Chipola River, with county seat at Ochesee (now in Calhoun County east of Altha).[13][14] In 1834 it was merged back into Jackson County.[15]

Renamed counties

Five counties in Florida have been renamed. Most renamings occurred between 1845 and 1861, during the first sixteen years of Florida's statehood. One occurred in 1997, when Dade County changed its name to Miami-Dade County.

County[4] Dates[4] Etymology[4] Fate[4]
Benton County 1844–1850 Thomas Benton (1782–1858), U.S. Senator from Missouri who supported the Armed Occupation Act of 1842 that many Floridians wanted in order to evict Native Americans Original name of county was Hernando County, and the name was changed back to that in 1850
Dade County 1836–1997 Francis L. Dade (c. 1793–1835), Major in the United States Army during the Second Seminole War Changed to Miami-Dade County in 1997, in order to benefit from the City of Miami's internationally recognizable name
Mosquito County 1824–1845 Taken from the name the Spanish had given the entire coast, "Los Mosquitos" Mosquito had already repeatedly ceded land to other counties by 1845, when it was renamed Orange County
New River County 1858–1861 The New River Renamed to Bradford County in 1861
St. Lucie County 1844–1855 Saint Lucy (283–304), the Christian martyr Renamed Brevard County in 1855

Proposed counties

Two counties were proposed in Florida's state legislature, but neither actually became counties. A bill was passed by the legislature to create Bloxham County, but residents did not vote to approve it. See Leigh Read County, Florida for the events surrounding the proposed county.

County[4] Proposal date[4] Etymology[4] Notes
Bloxham County 1915[16] William D. Bloxham (1835–1911), 13th and 17th governor of Florida county seat at Williston
Leigh Read County 1842 Leigh Read, legislator proposed renaming of Mosquito County
Miami County[17] 1947 City of Miami consolidated city-county
Ocean County 1991 Atlantic Ocean Jacksonville Beaches

See also

Further reading

  • Utley, Geo. B. (1908). "Origin of the County Names in Florida". Florida Historical Society Quarterly. 1 (3). pp. 29–35. Retrieved May 25, 2018.

References

Specific
  1. "A Guide to Alachua County's History". Alachua County Florida. Archived from the original on October 6, 2006. Retrieved March 24, 2010.
  2. "About Florida's Counties". Florida Association of Counties. Archived from the original on October 4, 2012. Retrieved January 20, 2010.
  3. "Demographics". Wakulla County Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
  4. "Florida County Maps". Florida Center for Instructional Technology – University of South Florida. Retrieved January 16, 2010.
  5. "Florida QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 2, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2008. (2008 Census estimates)
  6. "Population Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. December 2009. Archived from the original on February 23, 2010. Retrieved March 13, 2010. (updated 2008 population estimate)
  7. "United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) County FIPS Code Listing". United States Environmental Protection Agency. Archived from the original on October 8, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2008.
  8. "NACo – Find a county". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on October 25, 2007. Retrieved April 24, 2008.
  9. Newberry Library, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries: Florida, accessed May 2014
  10. "Florida QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on August 14, 2012. Retrieved August 19, 2012.
  11. Morris, Allen, Florida Place Names
  12. Eriksen, John M., Brevard County, Florida...A Short History to 1955
  13. "An Act to organise a county to be called the County of Fayette". Act No. 53 of 1832.
  14. "An Act, more accurately to define the boundaries of Fayette County, and for other purposes". Act No. 31 (Chapter 688) of 1833.
  15. "An Act to repeal certain acts organizing the County of Fayette". Act No. 26 (Chapter 765) of 1834.
  16. "An Act Providing for the Creation of Bloxham County in the State of Florida, and for the Organization and the Government Thereof". Act No. 130 (Chapter 6936) of 1915.
  17. "An Act Providing the Manner, Method and Means of the Election and Creation of a Charter Board in the Territory now Comprising Dade County; Providing for the Drafting and Adopting of the Charter Prepared by Said Board for Said Territory; Providing for the Election of Commissioners of a New Political Subdivision in the Territory now Comprising Dade County to be Known as the County of Miami; Providing the Effective Date of Said Charter and the Time the Board of Commissioners Shall Take Office; and Providing that This Act Shall not Become Effective Until the Joint Resolution No. 407 has Been Approved by the Qualified Electors of Dade County and of the State of Florida as a Whole". Act No. 853 (Chapter 24467) of 1947.
General
  • Atlas of Florida, revised edition. Edward A. Fernald & Elizabeth D. Purdum, editors (University Press of Florida, 1996). "Evolution of Counties", pp. 98–99.

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