Alachua County, Florida
|Alachua County, Florida|
Location in the state of Florida
Florida's location in the U.S.
|Founded||February 29, 1824|
|Named for||Chua (Timucuan word for "sinkhole")|
969.12 sq mi (2,510 km²)
874.25 sq mi (2,264 km²)
94.88 sq mi (246 km²), 9.8%
282.91/sq mi (109.24/km²)
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
Alachua County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population of the county is 247,336. Alachua County is the home of the University of Florida and is also 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.
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. Gainesville, a new town located on the railroad, began to draw business and residents away from Newnansville. Gainesville became the new county seat the same year.
According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 969.12 square miles (2,510.0 km2), of which 874.25 square miles (2,264.3 km2) (or 90.21%) is land and 94.88 square miles (245.7 km2) (or 9.79%) is water. Alachua County is part of the Gainesville Metropolitan Statistical Area.
- Bradford County, Florida - north
- Union County, Florida - north
- Putnam County, Florida - east
- Marion County, Florida - southeast
- Levy County, Florida - southwest
- Gilchrist County, Florida - west
- Columbia County, Florida - northwest
As of the census of 2000, there were 217,955 people, 87,509 households, and 47,779 families residing in the county. The population density was 249.31/sq mi (94.93/km²). There were 95,113 housing units at an average density of 108.79/sq mi (42.01/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 73.47% White, 19.30% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 3.54% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.40% from other races, and 2.02% from two or more races. 5.73% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 11.2% were of German, 9.8% English, 9.3% American, 9.1% Irish and 5.0% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000. 88.9% spoke English and 5.6% Spanish as their first language.
There were 87,509 households out of which 25.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.80% were married couples living together, 12.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.40% were non-families. 29.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the county the population was spread out with 20.20% under the age of 18, 23.20% from 18 to 24, 27.70% from 25 to 44, 19.30% from 45 to 64, and 9.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 95.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $31,426, and the median income for a family was $46,587. Males had a median income of $31,971 versus $26,059 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,465. About 12.20% of families and 22.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.40% of those under age 18 and 9.70% of those age 65 or over.
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.
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- Cross Creek
- Evinston, extends into Marion County
- Grove Park
- Haile Plantation
- Melrose, extends into Bradford, Clay, and Putnam counties
- Santa Fe
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 in his landslide election.
Alachua County is the site of five closed landfills—Southwest Landfill, Southeast Landfill, Northwest Landfill, Northeast Landfill, and Northeast Auxiliary Landfill. Since 1999, all solid waste from Alachua County has been hauled to the New River Solid Waste Facility in Raiford, in neighboring Union County.
See also 
- Alachua County Library District
- Florida State Parks in Alachua County
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Alachua County, Florida
- Simpson, J. Clarence (1956). In Mark F. Boyd. Florida Place-Names of Indian Derivation. Tallahassee, Florida: Florida Geological Survey.
- "History of Alachua". Alachua Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on 9 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-15.
- "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Landfills". Alachua County, Florida. Retrieved 2008-11-09.[dead link]
- "Brief History of the Environmental Park". Alachua County, Florida. Retrieved 2008-11-09.[dead link]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Alachua County, Florida|
- Alachua County / Board of County Commissioners
- Alachua County Supervisor of Elections
- Alachua County Property Appraiser
- Alachua County Sheriff's Office
- Alachua County Tax Collector
Special districts 
- Alachua County Public Schools
- Suwannee River Water Management District
- St. Johns River Water Management District
- Alachua County Library District
Judicial branch of State 
- Alachua County Clerk of Courts
- Office of the State Attorney, 8th Judicial Circuit of Florida serving Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy and Union Counties
- Circuit and County Court for the 8th Judicial Circuit of Florida
Conservation and environmental organizations 
||Columbia County||Bradford County and Union County|
|Gilchrist County||Putnam County|
|Levy County||Marion County|