Alachua County, Florida

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Alachua County, Florida
Dsg Alachua County Courthouse Family and Civil Justice Center 20050507.jpg
Alachua County Courthouse
Flag of Alachua County, Florida
Logo of Alachua County, Florida
Map of Florida highlighting Alachua County
Location in the state of Florida
Map of the United States highlighting Florida
Florida's location in the U.S.
Founded February 29, 1824
Named for Chua (Timucuan word for "sinkhole")
Seat Gainesville
Largest city Gainesville
 • Total 969 sq mi (2,510 km2)
 • Land 875 sq mi (2,266 km2)
 • Water 94 sq mi (243 km2), 9.7%
 • (2010) 247,336
 • Density 2,823/sq mi (1,090/km²)
Congressional districts 3rd, 5th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Coordinates: 29°41′N 82°22′W / 29.683°N 82.367°W / 29.683; -82.367

Alachua County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 247,336.[1] The county seat is Gainesville,[2] the home of the University of Florida.

Alachua County is included in the Gainesville, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county is known for its diverse culture, local music, and artisans. Much of its economy revolves around the university.


The Alachua area appears to have been the first area occupied in 1740 by the immigrant Oconee, who became part of the Seminole. Their first town was situated on or near the old Alachua plain, now called Payne's Prairie in homage to "King" Payne, chief of the Alachua settlements, upon his death in 1812.

Lieutenant Diego Peña, describe this area in his journal kept during his expedition to Apalachee and Apalachicola in 1716. Of the area between the Ichetucknee and Suwannee rivers in southern Suwannee County he wrote:

The 21st day I left the said site (adjacent to the Itchtucknee River) and camped at a place they call Aquilachua this day I marched five leagues. In this day's march no creeks were encountered but there are good springs of water, and the first (is) named Usichua, (and) the other Usiparachua, and another Afanochua.

The springs without effluent streams may have been sinkholes, as there are many in the area. The names of these watering places all end with chua, suggesting that chua is the Timucuan name for sinkhole. The residents of the county thought that Alachua means sinkhole.[3]

Alachua County proper was organized in 1824. The original county seat was Newnansville located near the current site of the city of Alachua. In 1854, the new railroad from Fernandina to Cedar Key bypassed Newnansville and Gainesville, a new town located on the railroad, began to draw business and residents away from Newnansville. Gainesville later became the new county seat that same year.[4]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 969 square miles (2,510 km2), of which 875 square miles (2,270 km2) is land and 94 square miles (240 km2) (9.7%) is water.[5]

Adjacent Counties[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 2,282
1850 2,524 10.6%
1860 8,232 226.1%
1870 17,328 110.5%
1880 16,462 −5.0%
1890 22,934 39.3%
1900 32,245 40.6%
1910 34,305 6.4%
1920 31,689 −7.6%
1930 34,365 8.4%
1940 38,607 12.3%
1950 57,026 47.7%
1960 74,074 29.9%
1970 104,764 41.4%
1980 151,348 44.5%
1990 181,596 20.0%
2000 217,955 20.0%
2010 247,336 13.5%
Est. 2013 253,451 2.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
1790-1960[7] 1900-1990[8]
1990-2000[9] 2010-2013[1]

As of the 2010 United States Census,[10] there were 247,336 people, 100,516 households, and 53,500 families residing in the county. There were 112,766 housing units in the county, an occupancy rate of 89.1%; of the occupied units, 54,768 (54.5%) were owner-occupied and 45,748 (45.5%) were renter-occupied. The population density was 282.91/sq mi (109.24/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 172,156 (69.9%) White, 50,282 (20.3%) Black or African American, 906 (0.3%) Native American, 13,235 (5.4%) Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.7% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. 20,752 (8.4%) of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 100,516 households, 22.0% included children under the age of 18, 36.4% included a married husband and wife couple, 4.0% had a male head of house with no wife present, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.8% were non-families. 24.8% of all households included at least one child under the age of 18, and 19.6% included at least one member 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.91.

The demographic spread showed 17.9% under the age of 18 and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older; 48.4% of the population identified as male and 51.6% as female. The median age was 30.1 years.

The five year American Community Survey completed 2011 gave a median household income of $41,473 (inflation indexed to 2011 dollars) and a median family income of $63,435. Male full-time year round workers had a median income of $42,865, versus $36,351 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,172; 23.6% of the population was living below the poverty line.[11]


As of 2010, 86.43% of the population spoke English as their primary language, while Spanish was spoken by 6.38%, 1.18% spoke Chinese, 0.57% were speakers of Korean, and 0.52% spoke French as their native language.[12]

Alachua County Judicial Center in Gainesville


The entire county of Alachua is served by the Alachua County School District, which has some 47 different institutions in the county. Alachua county is also home to the University of Florida and Santa Fe College.


Major highways[edit]



Like many other counties containing large state universities, Alachua County regularly supports the Democratic Party. It has voted for the Democratic candidate for president in the past five elections. The county last supported a Republican presidential candidate in 1988, when it narrowly went for George H. W. Bush.

Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic Other
2012 40.4% 57.7% 1.9%
2008 38.5% 60.0% 1.5%
2004 42.9% 56.1% 1.0%
2000 39.8% 55.2% 5.0%
1996 34.0% 53.9% 12.1%
1992 29.9% 49.6% 20.5%
1988 50.1% 48.8% 1.1%


Alachua County is the site of five closed landfills—Southwest Landfill, Southeast Landfill, Northwest Landfill, Northeast Landfill, and Northeast Auxiliary Landfill.[13] Since 1999, all solid waste from Alachua County has been hauled to the New River Solid Waste Facility in Raiford, in neighboring Union County.[14]


# Incorporated Community Designation Population
2 Alachua City 9,272
7 Archer Town 1,136
1 Gainesville City 126,047
5 Hawthorne City 1,444
3 High Springs City 5,494
10 La Crosse Town 366
9 Micanopy Town 603
4 Newberry City 5,174
8 Waldo City 1,222

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Simpson, J. Clarence (1956). Mark F. Boyd, ed. Florida Place-Names of Indian Derivation. Tallahassee, Florida: Florida Geological Survey. 
  4. ^ "History of Alachua". Alachua Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on 9 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  11. ^ "2007-2011 American Community Survey". US Census Bureau. 
  12. ^ "Modern Language Association Data Center Results, Alachua County, Florida". Modern Language Association. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  13. ^ "Landfills". Alachua County, Florida. Retrieved 2008-11-09. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Brief History of the Environmental Park". Alachua County, Florida. Retrieved 2008-11-09. [dead link]

External links[edit]

Government links/Constitutional offices[edit]

Special districts[edit]

Judicial branch of State[edit]

Conservation and environmental organizations[edit]

Tourism links[edit]