Bay County, Florida

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Bay County, Florida
PC Bay Cnty crths01.jpg
The Bay County Courthouse in March 2008
Flag of Bay County, Florida
Seal of Bay County, Florida
Map of Florida highlighting Bay County
Location in the state of Florida
Map of the United States highlighting Florida
Florida's location in the U.S.
Founded April 24, 1913
Seat Panama City
Largest city Panama City
 • Total 1,033.27 sq mi (2,676 km2)
 • Land 763.68 sq mi (1,978 km2)
 • Water 269.60 sq mi (698 km2), 26.09%
 • (2010) 168,852
 • Density 221/sq mi (85.36/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Bay County is a county in the U.S. state of Florida. The population as of the 2010 census was 168,852.[1] Its county seat is Panama City, Florida.[2] The county is best known for its white sand beaches and crystal blue water, where large pods of dolphins swim year-round. These beaches attract hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world each year.

Bay County is coextensive with the Panama City-Lynn Haven-Panama City Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area, one of the metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) designated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and used for statistical purposes by the Census Bureau and other agencies. The OMB has designated Panama City, Lynn Haven, and Panama City Beach as the metropolitan statistical area's principal cities. The Panama City, Florida Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area was first defined in 1981. Lynn Haven was added as a principal city in 2003. On November 20, 2008, the MSA took on its present name when Panama City Beach was designated a principal city by the Office of Management and Budget.[3]


On February 12, 1913, representatives from five towns on St. Andrews Bay met in Panama City to select a name for a proposed new county. The name Bay was selected because it was satisfactory to the majority of the citizens and was descriptive of the territory that would be included. On July 1, 1913, Bay County was created by the Legislature from portions of Washington, Calhoun and Walton counties.

It was the site of Gideon v. Wainwright, which gave all persons accused of a crime the right to an attorney.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,033.2 square miles (2,675.9 km2), of which 758.5 square miles (1,964.4 km2) is land and 274.7 square miles (711.5 km2), or 26.59%, is water.[4]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 11,407
1930 12,091 6.0%
1940 20,686 71.1%
1950 42,689 106.4%
1960 67,131 57.3%
1970 75,283 12.1%
1980 97,740 29.8%
1990 126,994 29.9%
2000 148,217 16.7%
2010 168,852 13.9%
Est. 2012 171,903 1.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
2012 Estimate[6]

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 148,217 people, 59,597 households, and 40,466 families residing in the county. The population density was 194 people per square mile (75/km²). There were 78,435 housing units at an average density of 103 per square mile (40/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 84.17% White, 10.64% Black or African American, 0.78% Native American, 1.73% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 0.66% from other races, and 1.94% from two or more races. 2.42% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 59,597 households out of which 30.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.00% were married couples living together, 12.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.10% were non-families. 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.00% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 30.20% from 25 to 44, 23.70% from 45 to 64, and 13.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 98.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,092, and the median income for a family was $42,729. Males had a median income of $30,116 versus $21,676 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,700. About 9.80% of families and 13.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.30% of those under age 18 and 11.00% of those age 65 or over.




Census-designated places[edit]

Other unincorporated places[edit]


Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic Other
2012 71.0% 27.52% 1.48%
2008 69.7% 29.1% 1.2%
2004 71.2% 28.1% 0.7%
2000 65.7% 32.1% 2.2%
1996 54.9% 33.0% 12.1%
1992 50.0% 28.1% 21.9%
1988 72.5% 26.5% 1.0%


Bay District Schools operates public schools serving all portions of the county except for Mexico Beach, which is served by Gulf County Schools.[8][9][10]

Public Transportation[edit]

The county operates the Baytown Trolley, which runs several routes in and around Panama City. [11]


Bay County is part of the Northwest Regional Library System (NWRLS), which serves Gulf and Liberty Counties as well.

Locations and Hours of Operation

Location Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Bay County Public Library 9:00-8:00 9:00-8:00 9:00-8:00 9:00-5:00 9:00-5:00 9:00-5:00 1:00-5:00
Panama City Beach Public Library 9:00-6:00 9:00-6:00 9:00-6:00 9:00-5:00 9:00-5:00 9:00-4:00 Closed
Parker Public Library 10:00-5:00 10:00-5:00 Closed 10:00-5:00 Closed 10:00-5:00 Closed
Springfield Public Library Closed Closed 9:00-5:00 9:00-5:00 9:00-5:00 9:00-1:00 Closed
Gulf County Public Library 10:00-6:00 (EST) 10:00-6:00 (EST) Closed 10:00-6:00 (EST) 10:00-6:00 (EST) Closed Closed
Charles Whitehead Public Library 9:00-5:00 9:00-5:00 Closed 9:00-5:00 9:00-5:00 Closed Closed
Harrell Memorial Library of Liberty County 9:00-7:00 (EST) 9:00-6:00 (EST) 9:00-5:00 (EST) 9:00-5:00 (EST) Closed 9:00-12:00 (EST) Closed
Jimmy Weaver Memorial Library 9:00-7:00 (EST) 9:00-6:00 (EST) Closed 9:00-5:00 (EST) Closed 9:00-12:00 (EST) Closed

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Government links/Constitutional offices[edit]

Special districts[edit]

Judicial branch[edit]

Tourism links[edit]

News media[edit]

Coordinates: 30°14′N 85°38′W / 30.24°N 85.63°W / 30.24; -85.63