Brevard County, Florida
|Brevard County, Florida|
Location in the state of Florida
Florida's location in the U.S.
|Founded||March 14, 1844|
|Seat||Titusville (de jure)
Viera (de facto)
|Largest city||Palm Bay|
|• Total||1,556.95 sq mi (4,032 km2)|
|• Land||1,018.19 sq mi (2,637 km2)|
|• Water||538.76 sq mi (1,395 km2), 34.60%|
|• Density||534/sq mi (206.05/km²)|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
Brevard County is a county in the State of Florida, along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010 census, the population was 543,376, making it the 9th most populous county in the state. Influenced by the presence of the John F. Kennedy Space Center, Brevard County is also known as the Space Coast. As such, it was designated with the telephone area code 321, as in 3-2-1 liftoff. The county is named after Theodore Washington Brevard, an early settler, and state comptroller.
The official county seat has been located in Titusville since 1894, although most of the county's administration is performed from Viera. Brevard County has more than one county courthouse and sheriff's office because of its length. Hence, government services are not centralized in one location, as they are in many American counties.
The county is coextensive with the Palm Bay–Melbourne–Titusville, Florida, metropolitan statistical area, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) designated by the Office of Management and Budget and used for statistical purposes by the Census Bureau and other agencies. Palm Bay, Melbourne and Titusville are designated as the principal cities of the MSA. The Melbourne–Titusville–Cocoa, Florida, standard metropolitan statistical area was first defined in 1973. Cocoa was removed as a principal city in 1983, and Palm Bay was added, with the name changed to Melbourne–Titusville–Palm Bay, Florida, metropolitan statistical area. The MSA name was changed to its present form in 2003.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Metropolitan Statistical Area
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Government
- 6 Elections
- 7 Economy
- 8 Health
- 9 Cities and towns
- 10 Education
- 11 Libraries
- 12 Sports
- 13 Infrastructure
- 14 Media
- 15 Arts and culture
- 16 See also
- 17 References
- 18 Further reading
- 19 External links
The first Paleoindians arrived in the area near Brevard County between 12,000 and 10,000 years ago. The Paleoindians were semi-nomadic people who lived in smaller groups. At the time, the earth was going through its most recent ice age and the climate of the area was very different from now; it was similar to that of Great Britain today. The area which today is Brevard County was probably not coastal at this period in time. The coast of Florida was about 100 miles (160 km) wider, and the Indian River was simply a lower point on dry land.
After a few thousand years, perhaps by around 3000 B.C., peninsular Florida resembled the land of today in shape, climate, fauna, and flora. The ocean had risen enough to flood the Indian River with salt water.
About this time, a new group of settlers appeared, known as the Archaic people. These people were primarily fishermen, as opposed to the hunting and gathering way of life which characterized the Paleoindians.
From Spanish rule to statehood
In the year of 1601 the Spanish King commissioned a map of Florida. On the map he indicated the land we know as Brevard county as the 'Province of Ais', as it was typical in those days to designate a region of specific tribal domination and generally took its name from the ruling cacique.
Later in 1605, Alvaro Mexia was dispatched from St. Augustine to the "Province of the Ais"area on a diplomatic mission to the Ais Indian nation. He helped establish a "Period of Friendship" with the Ais caciques (chiefs) and made a color map of the area.
Heavy mosquito infestation and the threat of Indian attacks kept the area from having any permanent European settlements. The Spanish intermittently settled the area. In 1763, the Spanish relocated the local population to Cuba, reduced to 80 natives who had survived exposure to European diseases. The Spanish briefly passed the sovereignty of Florida to the British in the Treaty of Paris. Creek Indians from the north quickly swept down from Georgia and the Carolinas to fill the void. These Indians became known as the Seminole. Their activity in Brevard County was intermittent and usually not permanent.
The Spanish ceased control of Florida once again in 1821, ceding the territory to the United States. In 1837, Fort Ann was established on the eastern shore of the Indian River on a narrow strip of land on Merritt Island. During the construction of the Hernandez-Capron Trail, General Joseph Hernández and his militiamen encamped near present-day Mims. These settlements were short-lived and were abandoned shortly thereafter.
Statehood to 1900
In 1845, Florida became the 27th state of the Union. The foundation of Brevard County and its history in the 19th century is much more complicated. During the 19th century, the state of Florida was constantly changing the names and borders of counties. In 1844, St. Lucia County was split off from Mosquito County.  St. Lucia County was renamed Brevard County in 1855, but this "Brevard County" contained very little of present-day Brevard County. Most of present-day Brevard north of Melbourne was part of either Volusia or Orange counties. Brevard County in 1856 extended as far west as Polk County and as far south as coastal Broward County. Complicating the discussion of Brevard County in the 19th century is that an early county seat was located at (Port) St. Lucie, which took its name from the original county name and was eventually split off from Brevard to form a new county, St. Lucie County, in 1905. Gradually, the borders of Brevard County were shifted northward while the county got "pinched" eastward. The portions of Brevard County in present-day Broward and Palm Beach counties were given to Dade County, western areas of the county were given to Polk and Osceola counties, and parts of Volusia and Orange counties were given to Brevard, including the eventual county seat of Titusville. Later, the southern portion of the county was cut off to form St. Lucie County, which in turn spawned Martin and Indian River counties.
The first permanent settlement in present day Brevard was established near Cape Canaveral in 1848. After the establishment of a lighthouse, a few families moved in, and a small but stable settlement was born. Gradually, as the threat of Seminole Indian attacks was becoming increasingly unlikely, people began to move into the area around the Indian River. In the 1850s a small community developed at Sand Point which eventually became the city of Titusville. Unlike other areas of Florida, the Civil War had little effect on Brevard County, other than perhaps to slow the movement of settlers to the area.
By the 1880s, the cities along the Indian River included Melbourne, Eau Gallie, Titusville, Rockledge, and Cocoa. Unlike cities further inland in Florida, these cities did not have to rely as heavily on roads. The primary way of traversing the county was by water. In 1877 commercial steamboat transportation became a reality as the Pioneer was brought to the area.
The first real boom to the area occurred with the extension of Henry Flagler's Florida East Coast Railroad into the area. The railroad reached Titusville in 1886 and Melbourne in 1894. With the railroad came increased settlement and the first tourists.
20th century to present
The advent of the automobile age brought even more growth to Brevard County, as resorts and hotels popped up all around the county. As the automobile became increasingly important as a means of transportation, roads connecting Brevard County to the rest of Florida and ultimately to the rest of the nation were built.
The first major land boom began in the 1920s with the end of World War I. People flooded into the state of Florida as land prices soared, only to bust as the Great Depression temporarily stopped growth in Florida. Before the start of World War II, the largest industries in Brevard were commercial fishing, citrus, and tourism.
In 1940, the Naval Air Station Banana River (now Patrick Air Force Base) was built. This began a new era in the development of Brevard County. Later, in the early 1950s, the Long Range Proving Ground was opened. This later became the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. This changed the entire complexion of the county; where Brevard had once been considered a "backwoods" area of Florida, it instantly became the launching pad into outer space. What had once been a primarily low-tech farmer/fisherman economy was transformed into a high-tech engineering and computer economy.
In 1964, the Colt 45s started spring training at Cocoa Stadium. The team later became the Houston Astros. The team left the county in 1985. They were succeeded by the Florida Marlins at Viera in 1993.
In 1982, Windover Archaeological Site was discovered by a backhoe operator who was working on a housing development.
As a very long, but not very wide county, there had been a lot of complaints from people in the southern, more populous side of the county about being so distant from the county seat. A trip to conduct county business in Titusville was 50 miles (80 km) from the most populous city in the county, Palm Bay. There was talk of secession on the southern end of the county, and the county decided to build a new county administration complex at Viera near the geographical center of the county. This complex was started in 1989, and resulted in a counter-threat of secession from the Titusville end of the county. This proposal to form a new county, Playalinda County, had some momentum in the early 1990s. The county made a few concessions to the people in the northern part of the county, and agreed not to "officially" move the county seat. Viera, however, is for all intents and purposes the de facto seat of Brevard County.
Prior to instituting controlled burns, the county forests and pastures burned for months during the dry season. From the 1940s to the 1970s, the state assumed control of burning that prevented uncontrolled fires. In 2006, the state burned a record 72,065 acres (291.64 km2; 112.602 sq mi) in the county.
In 2004, hurricanes' Charley, Frances and Jeanne destroyed one in every hundred homes in the South County area. Within two blocks of the beach nearly every building sustained some damage. Barefoot Bay, a mobile housing development, was essentially destroyed. Winds tore off the roof of a shelter for special needs people in an elementary school. Emergency workers were forced to evacuate these people at the peak of the storm. Evacuation routes were insufficient to handle the resulting heavy traffic westbound when an emergency was declared. A major westbound route (US 192) was expanded in 2008 to four lanes to accommodate the south Brevard population.
The population grew about 50,000 between 2000 and 2005. From 2005 to 2009, it grew by about 10,000. This helped lead the county to a housing bubble crisis, since homes were built to accommodate a larger population.
In 2004, Brevard County ranked 13th out of 318 largest counties in the US for increase in the number of jobs. The county moved from 70 to 31 out of the top 200 metropolitan areas "Best Performing". This improvement was driven mainly by job growth. The 2004 hurricane recovery helped the area achieve high employment.
In 2004, Brevard experienced its best October and November tourism until then, despite widespread hurricane damage and loss of five beachside hotels. Four of these hotels were restored by 2006.
The Milken Institute ranked Brevard number one, out of 200 largest metropolitan areas, in overall job growth for 2005.
The National Association of Realtors reported that existing homes prices in Brevard rose 33% annually the third quarter of 2005, the sixth highest metropolitan area in the nation (out of 147). There was a slight decrease in existing home prices the last quarter of 2005.
In 2005, the Sunrise Bank of Cocoa Beach became the first bank in the state to have a mobile branch.
In early 2005, Forbes ranked the area 27th in job growth out of 150 metropolitan areas in the country. The county ranked 18th in the nation for mid-sized areas in 2006.
Manpower Employment Outlook Survey said the hiring outlook in Brevard for the last quarter of 2005 was the 19th-best in the nation among the 470 communities participating in the survey.
Nearly 44,943 new houses were built from 2000 through 2009. This was enough to house 112,000 people. However, only 60,000 people moved into the county, leaving the remaining homes vacant and helping to precipitate bursting of the United States housing bubble. In 2000, there were 198,195 households in the county and 222,072 units for an occupancy rate of 89.1%. Between 2000 and 2009, more than twice as many houses were built than were needed. Nearly 47,000 houses were built, but the number of households increased by 22,000, dropping the occupancy rate to 81.9%.
The county's median home price reached a high in August 2005 at $248,700. New home permits fell in 2007 to 1,894, the lowest since 1982. Sales of existing homes fell 19% in 2007 from the prior year to 373 monthly. The median drop in home prices was 50% from 2005 to 2008, from $248,700 to $125,200. However, when choices for smaller homes was eliminated, prices on individual homes fell 25%; down 33% for individual condos. In 2000, the median sale price of homes in Brevard was $100,000. With the collapse of the housing bubble, homes now are often about the same price, with median homes in 2009 selling for $89,400. In November 2010, the number of sales and prices of existing homes rose from the previous year. This was the first rise in 4½ years. The average house sold for $87,700 in February 2011.
In a separate study, a consulting firm determined that house prices in the county were 46.1% overvalued in 2005 at $212,000 average. The same firm determined that prices were 19.3% undervalued in 2008 at $129,400. The average price in December 2009, fell to a new recent low of $104,100. In January 2010, sales dropped to 434 monthly, also a recent low.
The housing vacancy rate hit a high of 18.8% in 2007. The number of households renting hit a low of 48,528 in 2005. Median monthly rent hit a high of $907 in 2008. In 2009, 73% of Brevard households owned the house they lived in. The national rate was 65.9%.
In 2008, a number of mortgage insurers blackmarked Brevard, along with a quarter of the total nations zip codes. This was intended to thwart potential buyers who wish to pay less than 20% down on a home.
In 2009 an economist said that the Brevard housing market would not recover until at least 2011. A later analysis in 2009 seemed to agree, saying that the market would fall 41.4% to bottom out by the end of 2010.
Annual foreclosures rose from a low of 1,144 in 2005 to 9,228 in 2008. From 2007 to March 2010, there were 25,600 foreclosure filings. In 2010, it was found that 1/3 or more of real estate sales were due to foreclosures.
In federal maps constructed before 2012, nearly half of Brevard was prone to flooding. Most of this was in the relatively undeveloped low-lying areas, west of Interstate 95, on the banks of the St. Johns River. About 18,900 homes out of 164,000 single-family homes were in that area.
||It has been suggested that Ponce de León Island be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since January 2012.|
According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 1,556.95 square miles (4,032.5 km2), of which 1,018.19 square miles (2,637.1 km2) (or 65.40%) is land and 538.76 square miles (1,395.4 km2) (or 34.60%) is water, primarily the Atlantic Ocean, the St. Johns River and the Indian River Lagoon. The county is larger in area than the nation of Samoa and nearly the same size, and population, as Cape Verde. It is one-third the size of the state of Rhode Island.
Located halfway between Jacksonville and Miami, Brevard County extends 72 miles (116 km) from north to south, and averages 26.5 miles (42.6 km) wide. In marshes in the western part of this county is the source of the St. Johns River. Emphasizing its position as halfway down Florida is the presence of two roads that are halfway down Florida's numbering system, State Road 50 and State Road 500.
The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway along the eastern edge of Brevard County is the major waterway route in Brevard County. It includes the Indian River. Additional waterways include Lake Washington, Lake Poinsett, Lake Winder, Sawgrass Lake, the St. Johns River, and the Banana River.
Brevard County is the sole county in the Palm Bay – Melbourne – Titusville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area (formerly the Melbourne-Titusville-Cocoa, Florida Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area and Melbourne-Titusville-Palm Bay, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area).
There is no major urban center. The county is unofficially divided into three section, North County, comprising Titusville, Mims and Port St. John; Central Brevard, which includes Cocoa, Rockledge, Merritt Island, and Cocoa Beach; and South County, which includes Melbourne, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and the South Beaches. The South Beaches is a term that measures direction south from the dividing line of Patrick Air Force Base, and includes South Patrick Shores, Satellite Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, Indialantic, and Melbourne Beach.
The county government has historically labeled the beach areas differently. The North Reach includes 9.4 miles (15.1 km) in Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach. The Patrick Air Force Base beach is 4.1 miles (6.6 km). The Mid Reach includes the 7.6 miles (12.2 km) in Satellite Beach. The South Reach includes the 3.8 miles (6.1 km) in Indialantic and Melbourne Beach. The South Beaches include 14.5 miles (23.3 km) south of Melbourne Beach to Sebastian.
The United States Board on Geographic Names is considering two proposals to officially name the barrier island extending from Port Canaveral to Sebastian Inlet. The 45-mile-long (72 km) island includes the city of Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Indialantic, Melbourne Beach, Patrick Air Force Base, and Satellite Beach. The American Indian Association of Florida submitted in October 2011 a proposal to name the island after the Ais people. The United Third Bridge and the Florida Puerto Rican/Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Melbourne submitted in January 2012 a proposal to name the island after Juan Ponce de León. The Board of Geographic Names usually takes at least eight months to decide on a new name for a geographical feature.
There are 16 municipalities. The largest by population is Palm Bay, the smallest Melbourne Village.
The county has eight canals for transportation and drainage:
- Canaveral Barge Canal, Courtenay – transportation
- Faulk Canal, Cocoa
- Grand Canal, Tropic
- Haulover Canal, Mims – transportation
- Melbourne Tillman Canal, Melbourne West – drainage
- Old Canal, Wilson
- C-1 (Canal 1), which is maintained by the Melbourne-Tillman Water Control District
- C-54 Canal – on the south Brevard County Line – drainage
- L-15 Canal – Crane Creek Drainage District which has a watershed of about 12,000 acres (4,900 ha).
The county has a Köppen climate classification of Cf with a year-round distribution of rainfall. This means a humid subtropical climate with hot, humid summers. There are distinct wet and dry seasons. The dry lasts from December through May, the wet from June through November. During the dry season, periods of drought often occur, and can lead to a persistent and high wild land fire threat. In numerous instances these fires have caused property damage. In one case several fires in 2008 forced the evacuation of Bayside Highschool In the town of Palm Bay. In this particular event 162 homes were damaged.
Temperature varies noticeably in this 72-mile-long (116 km), north-to-south, county, particularly in winter. In north county, northern (temperate climate) flora can thrive, like deciduous trees. In the south county, sub-tropical plants can grow, such as royal palm trees. Progressing from west to east, there is a moderating effect from the ocean and, to a lesser extent, from the Indian River; so eastern low temperatures are higher, and high temperatures are lower, than is measured further west.
January is the coldest month, with an average low of 50.7 °F (10.4 °C) and an average high 71 °F (22 °C). The warmest months are July and August with average highs of 90 °F (32 °C) and average lows of 72.2. The driest month is April with 1.6 inches (4.1 cm) of rainfall; the wettest is September, with 6.6 inches (17 cm).
Offshore ocean temperatures have averaged: January – 64 °F (18 °C), February – 62 °F (17 °C), March – 67 °F (19 °C) and April – 72 °F (22 °C).
Florida is a large subtropical state that experiences hurricanes. Although Brevard county is located along Florida's eastern peninsula, it is less frequently impacted by direct hurricane landfalls than portions of the Panhandle or South Florida. There are two predominant reasons for this. First, westward moving tropical systems often reach an atmospheric ridge weakness in the Bermuda High by the time they approach Florida at a latitude as northerly as Brevard County. Combined with frontal systems that exit the United States' East Coast, many of these tropical systems are steered northwest and eventually curve northward offshore along Florida's East Central Coast. A second reason is that hurricanes landfalling along the Florida peninsula Gulf Coast often weaken to a tropical storm by the time they move northeast to affect Brevard County (with some exceptions, such as 2004's Charley).
Although Brevardians may refer to past storms as "hurricanes", by the time they strike there, some of them may have subsided to tropical storms or depressions. Because of the threat of storm surge, the beach community on the barrier island is often required to evacuate well in advance of the storm. The possibility of storm surge is diminished when the storm comes across the state instead of from the Atlantic.
Tornado-like eddies spinning off from even small storms can result in severe damage in small areas. Generally, summertime tornadoes are brief, are at the EF0 or EF1 level, and may not actually touch down. During the dry season, they can attain a force of EF2 and touch the ground for miles.
Five hurricanes have directly affected Brevard since 1950: David (September 3, 1979); Erin (August 2, 1995) – made landfall near Sebastian Inlet and caused mostly minor wind damage and more extensive flooding countywide; Charley (August 13, 2004) – caused damage in Titusville and North Brevard; Frances (September 3, 2004) – struck neighboring Vero Beach in Indian River County directly and caused widespread wind damage throughout Brevard; and Jeanne (September 26, 2004) – struck Vero Beach directly, following very nearly the same path as Frances. The latter two storms caused widespread damage in South Brevard, and resulted in $2.8 billion in claim payments. Slightly more than half of one percent (0.6%) of houses were lost.
The winter of 2009–2010 was the coldest on record since 1937 when records were first kept. Planting season, which normally starts around February 14, came six weeks later instead. Some flowers and herbs are planted as early as January. December 2010 was the coldest December on record.
Brevard County works together with the federal and state government to control pollution and preserve wetlands and coastal areas through lands dedicated to conservation and wildlife protection.
There are 250 square miles (650 km2) of federally protected wildlife refuges. These lands include Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, the Canaveral National Seashore, the St. Johns National Wildlife Refuge, the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, several conservation areas managed by the St. Johns River Water Management District, Brevard County's Environmentally Endangered Lands Program Sanctuaries, and lands dedicated by the State as conservation areas.
- Volusia County, Florida – north
- Indian River County, Florida – south
- Osceola County, Florida – southwest
- Orange County, Florida – west
||Seminole County||Volusia County|
|Orange County||Atlantic Ocean|
|Osceola County||Indian River County|
There are 4,000 species of animals locally. Common mammals include North American river otters, bobcats, white-tailed deer, raccoons, marsh rabbits, and opossum. Feral pigs, introduced by Europeans, present an occasional traffic hazard. Lovebug season occurs twice annually in May and August–September. Motorists, usually, encounter swarms of these while driving during a four-week period. Yellow flies are particularly noticeable from April through June. There were 596 manatees in Brevard County in 2009, out of a total of 3,802 in the state. This is a decline from 2007 when there was a total of 859 out of a state total of 2,817. Bottlenose dolphin are commonly seen in the intercoastal waterway. The poisonous brown recluse spider is not native to the area but has found the environment congenial. The Florida Butterfly Monitoring Network has counted species of butterflies monthly for a year since 2007. In 2010, it counted 45 species. Included are zebra swallowtail butterflies. Fish and reptiles include alligators, red snapper, sea turtles, scrub lizards, and rat snakes. There are an estimated 3,500 gopher tortoises in the county. They are on the endangered list.
The county's most common winter bird is the Lesser Scaup, a diving duck. In 2008, half a million were counted. In 2010, 15,000 were estimated. Local bird counts indicate that there are at least 163 species of birds in the county. Other birds include the Red-shouldered Hawk, the Loggerhead Shrike, the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Cooper's Hawks, Pileated Woodpeckers, Savannah Sparrows, rails (which also includes coots), Florida Scrub Jays (an endangered species), Wood Storks, grackles, Great Horned Owls, Northern Mockingbirds, Brown Thrashers, catbirds, Green-winged Teals, Greater Yellowlegs, Western Sandpipers, Least Sandpipers, Dowitchers, and American White Pelicans. Peak migration in the fall is from the last week in September through the first week in October. Fall migration tends to be stronger than spring because birds typically take different flyways.
Live oak trees, various grasses, and juniper plants were sufficiently common to generate pollen noticeable by some people in February. Native trees include Cabbage Palm (the state tree of Florida), fringetree, coral bean, sweet acacia, geiger tree, firebush, beautyberry, coral honeysuckle, and blanket flower. Native plants include Sea Grape, Red Mulberry, Purslane, Dandelion, Spanish Bayonet, Blackberry, Jerusalem Artichoke, Dogwood, and Gallberry.
On the east coast of the state, mangroves have normally dominated the coast from Cocoa Beach southward. Northward these may compete with salt marshes moving in from the north, depending on the annual weather conditions.
Metropolitan Statistical Area
The United States Office of Management and Budget has designated Brevard County as the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area. The United States Census Bureau ranked the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area as the 98th most populous metropolitan statistical area and the 96th most populous primary statistical area of the United States as of July 1, 2012.
The county grew by 14% between 2000 and 2010, to 543,376 people. West Melbourne grew by 78% and unincorporated Suntree/Viera by 81%. In Beachside, there was a drop in population. Hispanics doubled during the decade. The black population grew by 37%. Non-Hispanic whites rose by 6%.
As of the census of 2000, there were 476,230 people and 132,394 families residing in the county. The population density was 468/sq mi (181/km²). With 222,072 housing units the average housing density was 218 sq mi (84/km²).
From 2007 through 2010, the population has been essentially static.
The racial makeup of the county was:
- White – 84.81%
- Black or African American – 10.40%
- Hispanic or Latino – 4.61%. A plurality of Hispanics, 40%, are of Puerto Rican descent.
- two or more races – 1.77%
- Asian – 1.50%
- other races – 1.09%
- Native American – 0.37%
- Pacific Islander – 0.06%
There were 198,195 households out of which 26.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.00% were married couples living together, 10.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.20% were non-families. 26.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.84.
The population was distributed as follows: 22.00% under the age of 18, 6.80% from 18 to 24, 27.10% from 25 to 44, 24.30% from 45 to 64, and 19.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 95.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.30 males. In 2007, 30% of the population was over 55. In 2010, the oldest person in the county was a 110-year-old Titusville man. In 2009, there were 5,172 births in the county.
9.50% of the population and 6.80% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 13.00% of those under the age of 18 and 6.50% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line. In 2010, 10% were living in poverty, compared with 13% statewide.
In 2005, the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which consists solely of Brevard County, was estimated to stand 91st in population out of 263 in the country.
In 2006, the county stood 10th in population in the state, out of 67. The increase in population from 2000 was 11.8%, less than the Florida average of 12.7%.
In 2010, 90% of residents had a high school degree, compared with 85% statewide. In 2009, 25.7% of residents had an undergraduate degree, below the national average of 27.7%, but the same as the rest of Florida. 14.7% of residents over 25 had undergraduate degrees in engineering. This is almost twice the national average.
According to the 2000 census, the county had about 80,000 veterans. 21% of the population older than 18 is a veteran. This had dropped to 74,000 in 2010. This was 21% of the people in the county. An actual count by a local agency in 2010 indicated that 225 of veterans were homeless.
In 2007, a local census by volunteers counted 1,899 homeless residents.
In the 1950s, the county population was just under 24,000. In 1960, it was just over 111,000. In 1969, at the height of the space program, it was 234,000.
In 2010, about 5% of Brevardians spoke Spanish at home.
In 2010, 8% of Brevardians were born outside of the US, compared with 19% for Florida.
In 2012, the Urban Institute ranked the Brevard metro fourth in the country for racial equality between Afro-Americans and whites. Criteria were integration of neighborhoods, income, and the quality of schools minorities attend. The area was ranked first for Hispanic equality with whites.
In 2010, Evangelical Protestants numbered 79,893; mainline Protestants 30,877; Catholics 64,831; Unaffiliated 353,946.
In 2000, the following were counted by denomination:
- Catholics 79,847
- Evangelical Protestant 59,301
- Mainline Protestant 35,901
- Other 8,663
- Orthodox 2,804
- Unclaimed 289,714
Brevard county commissioners are elected by the public to establish ordinances and policies for the county. The Commission appoints a County Manager, who executes the will of the Commission. The county employed about 2,900 workers in 2009.
There are 16 autonomous municipal governments within the county. The various cities, towns and villages of Brevard have varying reliance on services provided by the Brevard County government. There are about 100,000 homes outside organized municipalities, whose occupants are directly served by the county government.
A centrally located County Government Center in Viera houses the various county government branches, including Housing and Human Services, Juvenile Justice, Public Safety, Public Works and Solid Waste Management.
The Brevard County government had annual expenditures just over $1 billion in the fiscal year 2009–2010, exclusive of the municipalities. In 2009, real estate taxes for homesteaded property averaged .83% of the value of the property. Real estate taxes are levied by each authority. They are collected by the County Tax Collector. The total taxable real estate base was $33.7 billion in 2009. County taxes rose 26.5% in total per capita revenue from 2002 to 2007, and 49.8% in property tax per capita in the same time frame. Delinquent taxes were $36 million in 2008.
- District 1 – Robin Fisher
- District 2 – Chuck Nelson
- District 3 – Trudie Infantini
- District 4 – Mary Bolin
- District 5 – Andy Anderson, Chairman
- County Manager – Howard Tipton
Commissioners were paid $58,308 annually in 2011.
The following are considered state officials but are elected and paid by the county:
- Sheriff – Wayne Ivey
- Clerk of the Courts – Scott Ellis. The clerk's office had 323 workers, including subcontractors.
- Brevard Property Appraiser – Dana Blickley
- Tax Collector – Lisa Cullen
- Supervisor of Elections – Lori Scott
- State Attorney – Phil Archer
- Public Defender – Blaise Trettis
The county lies within five state representative districts. These seats are held by Tom Goodson representing the 50th district, Ritch Workman representing the 52nd district, John Tobia representing the 53rd district, Steve Crisafulli representing the 51st district, and Debbie Mayfield representing the 54th district.
Prior to the creation of districts in 1967, state representatives were elected by county. Beginning in 1967, Brevard County was represented by the 71st, 72nd, 73rd, and 74th districts. Following redistricting in 1970, the county was represented by the 44th, 45th, 46th, 47th and 48th districts. Following redistricting in 1982, the county was represented by the 31st, 32nd, 33rd, 34th, 77th, and 78th districts. Following redistricting in 1992, the county was represented by the 29th, 30th, 31st, and 32nd districts. Following redistricting in 2002, the county was represented by the 29th, 30th, 31st, 32nd, and 80th districts.
The county has centralized most county and circuit courts in Viera which try a variety of cases including felonies, misdemeanors, traffic, and domestic. The courthouse in Titusville provides the venue for circuit and county cases arising in the north part of the county while the courthouse in Melbourne is the venue for county cases arising in the southern portion of the county. An elected State Attorney prosecutes criminal cases for the State of Florida. Indigent defendants can be represented by the office of the elected Public Defender. The 18th Circuit Court includes Seminole County as well as Brevard and covers not only the court itself but the State Attorney and the Public Defender. In 2008, the public defender had a staff of 45 lawyers in Brevard who handled about 24,000 cases annually.
The County elects a sheriff, directly responsible to the courts but also to the state for the enforcement of state laws. Police chiefs, appointed by their cities or towns, perform the same function locally. There is no overlap in jurisdictions. Some volunteers work alongside paid professionals.
Most municipalities are located on at least one waterway. This has resulted in the county and seven cities having a boat or access to one to aid boaters, or to enforce the law in the water in their jurisdiction.
The county jail is a 1976 facility which rapidly became overcrowded. Voters rejected expanding the jail on four occasions. The sheriff solved the problem by the construction of a large but less expensive "hardened tent" to house non-violent offenders. Crowding reached its peak in 2007 at 1,988 inmates, 300 over capacity. The budget for the facility was $42 million in 2010. There were 1,585 residents. Costs for feeding and housing was $72 per inmate daily. There were 475 staff members.
The county jail retains inmates awaiting trial or those who have been sentenced to a year or less. Longer sentences must be served in state prisons, such as the facility in Sharpes for young men.
The States Attorney's Office sponsors the Victim/Witness Services. This provides advocates to alleged victims of violent crime and their families. The advocate helps the family understand the legal system as they navigate through it. They also seek out financial assistance or counseling they might need. In 2005 they helped 8,448 alleged victims in Brevard County.
Public safety for unincorporated areas of the county is the responsibility of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office. All but three of the 17 incorporated municipalities, Malabar, Cape Canaveral and Palm Shores, maintain their own law enforcement services. Those three contract that service to the Sheriff's Office.
In 2009, there were 1,200 law enforcement officers working in the county, of which 361 are sheriff's deputies. Of all crime that came to the attention of the sheriff's office in 2007, 80% was drug-related. From January to June 2009, the county reported a total of 10,037 crimes. Of these, a majority, 3.002, were under the jurisdiction of the sheriff's department. In 2009, the crime rate was 3,471.3 property-related crimes per 100,000 residents, slightly above the national average.
Public safety for Port Canaveral is under the direction of the Port Authority. Traditionally, emphasis was placed on monitoring the content of containerized cargo on incoming ships, as well as underwater inspection of arriving ships that could be carrying explosive devices. In 2008, the Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners approved the creation of an independent police department.
Three cities provide potable water and sewage for their cities and surrounding areas: Cocoa, Melbourne, and Titusville. Where available, residents were obligated to hook into the system. In 2012, there were 90,000 septic tanks.
Stormsewer fees vary. In 2014, the county charged $36 annually per household. Cities and towns charged from $36 to $$77.52 per household annually.
In 11 sanctuaries that protect natural ecosystems, the county's Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program offers passive recreation opportunities such as hiking, wildlife viewing, biking and paddling. In 2013, there was a total of 24,000 acres (9,700 ha), with 62 miles (100 km) of trails and 120 miles (190 km) of fire lanes. The quantity of fire lanes was considered insufficient.
The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Canaveral National Seashore are two national wildlife refuges in the county that offer recreational pursuits such as hiking, wildlife viewing, paddling, and environmental education.
Brevard County tries to provide a number of services to help the aged, juveniles, the physically and mentally handicapped, and minorities.
The county Domestic Product was $14.5 billion in 2009.
In 2010 and 2011, the Brookings Institution reported that Brevard ranked in the bottom fifth of the nation's top metro areas, based on unemployment, gross metropolitan product, housing prices and foreclosed properties. Foreclosures reached a monthly high of 963 in March 2009. The county reached an annual high foreclosure in 2009 of 9,772. In December 2010, Forbes magazine rated the area the worst place in America to find a job.
Government purchasing contributed 12%-15% of the county's gross domestic product from 2000 to 2010.
Though the area has a relatively small number of high technology companies, 736, a business journal ranked it eighth in the country as a high tech center in 2009. The area had 23,096 high-tech jobs with a ratio of 124 per 1,000 total jobs.
In December 2010, Forbes magazine ranked the area as the worst in the country for finding a job, for the second time in 2010.
As of the census of 2000:
- Median income for a family – $47,571
- Median income for males – $36,542
- Median income for females – $24,632
- Per capita income – $21,484. The county has the 17th highest per capita income in the state (out of 67).
- Median income for a household – $40,099
- In 2005, the median income for a household had risen to $43,281
The county ranked 17th for per capita income, out of Florida's 67 counties.
The following were below the poverty line in 2000:
- Families – 6.80%
- Total population – 9.50%
- Under age 18 – 13.00%
- Age 65 or older – 6.50%
In 2010, there were 5,600 civilian government workers in the county. They earned an average of $74,000 each in 2009.
84,401 households in the county (38%) received social security payments in 2009 averaging $16,136 for a total of $1.7 billion annually. 53,717 (24%) received pension payments averaging $24,327 for a total of $1.3 billion annually.
In 2011, the county was rated 6th worst in the country for foreclosures. There were 1,039 for the third quarter of 2010. Nearly half the homes in the county were worth less than their mortgages. The average home has dropped 53.4% since the peak of the boom. In 2012, the county was the highest in foreclosure rate in the nation. In 2013, the metro area was rated "best" in the country for buying, with a 34 months supply of houses, with a discount rate of 28%, according to RealtyTrac. It has since reduced its backlog.
Monthly foreclosures exceeded 746 from January 2009 through October. Maximum monthly home sales were less than 584 during that time frame, creating an accumulating backlog of unsold homes. In 2010, there were 15,000 more vacant homes than the economy could absorb; the population was not growing.
After various insurance companies pulled out of Florida after hurricane losses, property insurance became a major concern for many homeowners. As of 2011, 32,000 Brevard policyholders insure with the state-owned Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.
The average non-foreclosed house sold for $143,000 in 2010, down from $147,000 in 2009. The average foreclosed house sold for $70,000 down from $81,000 in 2009. 25% of the houses sold in 2010 had been foreclosed. Total foreclosures rose from 2,200 in 2009 to 4,100 in 2010.
In 2008 Brevard expected to have 100,000-300,000 more people by 2020, an increase of 60%.
In 2008, there were 1,550 permits for residential projects valued at $355.45 million. That is the lowest number of filings since 1975. The lowest number of building permits was in 2009, 937. The highest was in 2005, 8,663.
In 2010 Kiplinger.com rated the county one of five "best" places in America to retire. Factors evaluated included cost of living, weather, the number of doctors, taxes, crime rates and recreational opportunities.
The company developing West Viera gained state permission and county acquiescence to create a self-governing board that could raise taxes and sell bonds to pay for roads, water lines, pumping stations and other infrastructure needed to support the construction of 16,500 houses, apartments and condominiums. The company proved that development could fund itself.
The Brevard economy has been driven by Trade, Transportation and Utilities (18%), Professional and Business Services (17%), Total government (15%), Education and Health (14%), Manufacturing (12%), Leisure and hospitality (10%), Construction (6%), Financial (4%).
In 2012 local government employed 21,000 workers. Over the years the percentage has varied from 7.2% to 7.9% of the population.
The number of people working in construction dropped from 2,630 in 2005 to 1,420 in 2010.
Port Canaveral is the world's busiest cruise port. There are seven cruise lines, with six major cruise terminals. There is 750,000 square feet (70,000 m2) of covered freight storage capacity. It handled 4,000,000 short tons (3,600,000 t) of cargo in 2004. The port has contributed $500 million annually to the county's economy.
American City Business Journals rated Brevard 7th for quality of life out of 67.
Two hospitals were among the top five private employers in the county, together employing 8,850 in 2009.
In 2008, 14,865 workers were employed at the NASA/Kennedy Space Center. The Center directly spent $1.82 billion in the county.
A concern has been the probable re-assignment of thousands of Space Coast workers when the Space Shuttle is discontinued in 2010. In 2010, 9,000 jobs were expected to be lost from the shuttle and other programs. Each launch contributed $4 million to the county's economy. Annually,$78 million is spent at the Space Center Visitor's Complex, and $5.9 million from space business visitors.
In 2014, there were 495 aerospace companies in the county. There were 36,223 workers. Sales and revenue from this industry were $3.4 billion.
Two locally headquartered builders, Mercedes Homes and Holiday, were among the top 30 in the nation. Mercedes had $1 billion in sales in 2004.
The Cocoa Redevelopment Center has worked on programs to improve housing in the city's older areas.
Inc. magazine selected two local small companies as among the fastest growing in the country over the past three years – Applied Global Technology (nearly 100% annually) and Stops (nearly 200% annually).
Though the area has a relatively small number of high technology companies, 736, a business journal ranked it eighth in the country as a high tech center in 2009. The area had 23,096 high-tech jobs with a ratio of 124 per 1,000 total jobs.
The county had 1,050 restaurants in 2007 and nearly that many (1,040) in 2010. There were 22,600 leisure and hospitality workers in the county in 2006. This figure includes hotel workers. That figure had dropped 8.5% to 20,700 in 2010.
In the early 2010s, the Shiloh area was proposed by Space Florida as a potential location for the development of a commercial-only spaceport. Located immediately north of the U.S. Government's Kennedy Space Center, the open access to the flyover range on the open Atlantic Ocean to the east, and easy access to the tracking facilities of the Eastern Test Range make the location an attractive launch site. Among other potential users of the commercial spaceport facility, SpaceX was reported to be considering Shiloh as one of several potential locations for building a commercial launch facility.
In 2012 there were 2,900 military jobs in the county.
Military installations in Brevard County include Patrick Air Force Base, near Satellite Beach, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), adjacent to the Kennedy Space Center, and the U.S. Air Force Malabar Test Facility on Minton Road in suburban Palm Bay. In 2009, they employed a total of 2,000 civilian federal workers.
The Navy maintains a Trident turning basin at Port Canaveral for ballistic missile submarines. The Naval Ordnance Test Unit (NOTU) tests weapons on these subs, which arrive at the rate of one a month. The 2005 base closures included realigning NOTU out of state. The community was successful in having this decision revoked.
CCAFS houses the Air Force Space & Missile Museum as Launch Complex 26, where many unmanned rockets were launched early in the U.S. space program, including Explorer 1, the first US spacecraft placed in earth orbit.
The Cape Canaveral Navy League council supports the Sea Services by adopting ships and units of the Navy and Coast Guard. It also provides a means for civilians to socialize with the officers and crew of allied Navies when they visit port.
23% of Brevard County is agricultural-usable for citrus, raising cattle or horses. Cattle ranches include the Deseret and Duda Ranches; citrus growers include Victory Groves and Harvey's Indian River Groves.
The county ranked 21 out of 24 Florida counties in the shipment of gift fruit.
There are 40 4-H-related clubs in the county, including livestock- and pet-related and after-school clubs. As in all Cooperative extension service, a land grant college, the University of Florida, conducted over 60 courses in 2010 in aid of 4-H programs and other agricultural pursuits.
In February 2010, the USDA declared that Brevard, along with of 59 other Florida counties, was a "primary natural disaster area". This happened when the temperature falls below 28 °F (−2 °C)c degrees for 4 hours, where crops are being grown.
The county raised its room tax to 5% in 2005. In 2012, this raised $8.4 million.
In 2008, tourists spent $2.89 billion in the county. This is distributed in several categories: lodging $839 million, eating and drinking $509 million, Kennedy Space Center $597 million, retail sales $450 million, entertainment $120 million, and Port Canaveral $109 million. Brevard tourists come mainly from ten states: Florida itself is first, followed by Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Virginia, Wisconsin, Georgia, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania. The five primary sources of foreign visitors are Canada, England, Germany, China, and Italy.
In 2009, there were 2.4 million overnight visitors in the county. There were 1.2 million day visitors. In 2013, a city manager estimated that 20% of income from tourism comes during spring break.
Brevard competes with other Florida areas for tourists. A number of organizations help promote the area. The Space Coast Office of Tourism consists of county staff and the Brevard County Tourist Development Council (TDC). They attempt to attract tourists. The TDC serves as an advisory council to the county on the expenditures of revenues received from a tourist tax. This revenue is spent on beach improvements, visitor information centers and website, promotion and advertising, the Brevard Zoo, additional beach improvements and the Space Coast Stadium.
In 2008 monthly tourist tax revenue slumped from a high of $1,174,742 in March to a seasonal low in September of $432,145.
In 2008, the county had 11,000 hotel rooms available. In July 2007, there was a 66.1% occupancy rate. In 2008, the county had a nearly identical 81%+ occupancy rate in March and April. This fell to a seasonal low of 42.3% in September. In January 2010, the average hotel room rate was $88.25.
Cocoa Main Street, a member of the Florida and National Main Street Programs, works toward restoring business sites in the historic area known as "Cocoa Village". Cocoa Main Street has received six Florida Main Street Awards given by the Secretary of State. The restored area is a tourist attraction and an economic magnet. Melbourne Main Street is another historic business area and tourist attraction restored through the Main Street Programs.
Brevard has five judged art festivals annually attracting tens of thousands of people to art displays. Most festivals are held in the spring or fall when many tourists can attend. Many other annual festivals are held in parks and public sites throughout the year. The Brevard Cultural Alliance (BCA) maintains an event calendar and a map of sites of historic, cultural, and ecological interest.
An annual February Greek Festival had over 8,000 visitors in 2011.
An ice skating rink in Rockledge serves the county's residents and visitors with hockey and figure skating events.
In 2009, recreational boat owners generated almost $51 million annually towards the county economy, ranking the industry fifth in the state.
In 2010 a local group compared the county against four other "peer" cities: Austin, Texas, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Huntsville, Alabama, and Raleigh, North Carolina. It evaluated nine areas: business dynamism/vitality, competitiveness, education, economic growth, economic prosperity, livability, productivity/labor supply, technology and innovation/work force. While the county does well against national figures, and scored high in livability, it usually ranked last against these "peers" in the other eight areas.
In 2009, the county had 13 patents per 1,000 workers, more than double the national average of 6.4 patents per 1,000.
In May 2009, the Palm Bay-Melbourne area was ranked as the #8 tech center in the United States by Bizjournals. It overcame its low number of total high-tech companies and jobs by having a high number of jobs per high tech company (#4) and high tech jobs compared to total private-sector jobs (#2).
Forbes magazine ranked Melbourne 2nd out of 150 metropolitan areas in the US, for the percentage of the population that are engineers, 6.6%, just ahead of Silicon Valley.
It reached a maximum employment of 254,514 in 2006.
In 2006, Forbes magazine named Harris Corporation, headquartered in Brevard, to its "Platinum 400" List.
The Technological Research and Development Authority, based on the Space Coast, delivers technologies to schools and small businesses throughout the state of Florida. They obtain this information through strategic alliances with NASA, the federal government, the aerospace industry and state partners. They also sponsor a business incubator at the Melbourne Airport.
The largest hotel in Brevard has 284 rooms and 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2) of meeting space.
Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is the largest employer in the county with 15,000 contractors and civil servants. While there is concern about the new generation of space vehicles requiring 1/3 fewer workers, about that number were eligible for retirement by 2011.
In 2009, there were 6,400 federal workers, total, employed in the county. They earned an average of $74,600.
Brevard County Teachers are represented by the Brevard Federation of Teachers (AFT).
In 2009, average annual salaries in the county for engineers was $90,563; registered nurses $53,315; education $49,441; police officers $43,035; cooks $21,569; and cashiers $19,489. The average annual pay for all workers was then $42,411.
In 2011, there were more engineers (48) per thousand workers than any other region in the United States.
In 2005, the Next Generation Consulting for Leadership Brevard, a leadership development organization for local business and civic groups, and Brevard Tomorrow commissioned a survey of people 21-44. Basically, these people often found the area "boring", mainly because it is family-friendly at the expense of being singles-friendly. While this may have labor repercussions later, currently business is having no problems hiring.
The county had an unemployment rate of 12.7% in January 2010, a 20-year record high. In March 2010, there were 33, 500 people out of work. The county experienced a record low unemployment in 2005 of 2.8%. There were 32,608 people unemployed in the county in January 2011.
There were 168,500 private sector jobs in the county in 2009. The Bureau of Labor Statistics counted the following workers in Brevard along with average annual pay ($): Retail 25,900 ($23,361), Manufacturing 21,700 ($65,521), Local government 20,100 ($42,517) and Hospitality 19,600 ($15,857). The largest local employer is Brevard Public Schools with 9,500 of whom 5,000 are teachers.
In 2007, the Space Coast Credit Union was the largest locally based financial institution in Brevard County and the third largest credit union in the state of Florida, with assets of over $3 billion.
In 2011, Wells Fargo, with $1.9 billion in local deposits, had 26% share of the business; SunTrust $1.3 billion, 17%; Bank of America $1.2 billion, 16%; Regions Bank $408 million, 5%; and JPMorgan Chase $379 million, 5%.
In 2011, the majority of groceries were sold in chain stores. Publix has 23 stores; Winn-Dixie has 10; Wal-Mart has 12 stores; the county has three warehouse clubs . 38% of groceries were purchased at Publix, 30% at Wal-Mart superstores, and 7% at Winn-Dixie.
Brevard was ranked 25th in the state, out of 67 counties, for health outcomes in 2014. 22% of residents smoke, 28% are obese, 25% are physically inactive, 20% drink in excess. The county ranked 13 in clinical care, 25th in societal factors (including air pollution and drinking water quality).
In 2013, there were about 88,000 persons without medical insurance in the county.
The Space Coast Early Intervention Center is a nationally recognized not-for-profit pre-school and therapeutic center that offers care and aids with the development of small children with special needs. Children are treated and educated with the specific goal of mainstreaming children diagnosed with the following into public school: Down syndrome, Williams syndrome, cerebral palsy, deletion syndrome, PDDs including Rett syndrome, autism, and Apert syndrome, as well as children with visual, speech and hearing delays.
Health Outreach Prevention & Education (HOPE) is a network of community partners working together to provide care for people without insurance, and for children with special needs. This network includes hospitals.
Brevard introduced (2005-6) a federally approved experimental Medicaid program which puts volunteering 60+-year-olds in an HMO-like organization in order to save money.
The non-profit Circles of Care provides mental health programs to Brevard.
Space Coast Center for Independent Living offers over-all services for individuals with all types of disabilities: peer support, advocacy, skills training, accessibility surveys, support groups, transportation, specialized equipment and sign language interpreter coordination services. Additional program for high school students for career development.
There are ten hospitals in the county, with 1,734 beds total. Health First is the largest healthcare provider in the county, consisting of three not-for-profit hospitals—Cape Canaveral Hospital in Cocoa Beach, Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, and Palm Bay Community Hospital in Palm Bay. Besides hospitalization, services include outpatient centers; the county's only trauma center; home care; specialized programs for cancer, diabetes, heart, stroke, and rehabilitative services; central Brevard's largest medical group; three fitness centers; and Medicare Advantage, commercial POS, and commercial HMO health plans. Health First tries to integrate quality healthcare services with state-of-the-art technology.
Health care services tend to cost more in Brevard than Orlando or the statistical average in Florida. A nursing home private room averaged $79,023 annually, semi-private $74,643, private one-bedroom assisted living $39,000. A home health aide, Medicare-certified, was $88,660, substantially higher than the Florida average of $51,480. Adult day care (44 hours) was cheaper at $12,870 annually, as was a home health aide "licensed-only" $38,896.
According to 2007 health risk data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Brevard County (Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville MSA) is tied for fourth highest among all Micro- and Metropolitan Statistical Areas in percentage of heavy drinkers.
Cities and towns
Former place names
There are place names currently used, or used at one time by the USGS. Some are early developments, while others are former stations along the main line of the Florida East Coast Railway. Several of these disappeared when Kennedy Space Center took over their area.
Higher education is provided by Eastern Florida State College (EFSC) and Florida Institute of Technology. There are satellite campuses for the University of Central Florida, Barry University, Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University, Keiser University, and Webster University.
Elementary and secondary education is provided by the Brevard Public Schools and private schools.
In 2011, six public schools were ranked by the state in the top ten schools in the state, out of 2,800 There was one list each for primary and secondary schools.
The Brevard County Library System has 17 branches. Although the Merritt Island Public Library is counted as part of the Brevard County Public Library System, it is actually a special library district. In 2005, HB1079 was passed to codify all the special acts that the Merritt Island Public Library District exists under.
- Minor league baseball
- Major league baseball
The Washington Nationals hold their spring training at Space Coast Stadium in Viera. They play about 14 games against other professional teams locally in March as part of the "Grapefruit" League.
- Professional basketball
- Minor league football
- Amateur sports
While Brevard County has transportation available in the usual modes for a coastal county—highways, shipping, and airlines—it has the addition of space transportation, making it unique in the world.
Florida Power & Light maintains an oil-fired generating plant at Sharpes; it generates 800 megawatts, supplying most of the requirements for the county. In 2008 the company announced plans to replace the plant with a more efficient natural gas-powered plant in 2013 with a 1,250 megawatt capacity, which can supply 250,000 homes or businesses. Near FPL's plant is the Indian River Power Plant; formerly owned by the Orlando Utilities Commission, it is now owned and operated by RRI Energy.
The area code for most of the county became "321" in 1999, as in the "3...2...1... lift-off!" countdown sequence. A small portion of the county along the southern border, including the communities of Micco and Barefoot Bay, share a 772 area code with Indian River County to the south.
The county government maintains various landfills for solid waste. There is a 190-acre (77 ha) landfill in Cocoa. In 2011, the average homeowner paid $57 annually to fund the maintenance of these sites. Municipalities and the county contract separately for the pickup and transportation of waste, for which businesses and homeowners pay a separate monthly fee.
In 2013, the county planned a new $100 million landfill, north of State Road 192, near the border with Osceola County, 8.5 miles (13.7 km) west of I-95. The county has awarded a $3.9 million contract for a wetlands mitigation for this new landfill.
In 2013, the county, for the first time, let a seven-year contract out for bids for solid waste. The resulting contract is expected to cost $1 billion over the lifetime of the contract, the county's largest single contract. This was the first time in 20 years, a bid was requested. In the past, Waste Management, Inc has performed the work, not only for the county but for 9 of 16 Brevard municipalities. Waste Pro has five of the remaining municipal contracts. Rockledge and Titusville maintain their own trash service. In 2013, the county directly contracts for solid waste pickup for 100,000 residences.
In 2013, the county consumed about 100,000,000 US gallons (380,000,000 l; 83,000,000 imp gal) daily. Landscape irrigation accounted for about half of this usage.
Florida Today is the major daily newspaper serving Melbourne, Brevard County and the Space Coast region of Florida. It is owned by the media conglomerate Gannett. A monthly newspaper, El Playero, serves the Spanish-speaking population of the Space Coast. The weeklies Space Coast Florida Weekly and Home Town News are free newspapers, supported by advertising, that have versions in other Florida counties. Both present local news.
The Brevard Technical Journal is the industry monthly newspaper for business management, engineering, purchasing, manufacturing, and staff. It features news and features about the business and the science of technology in Brevard County.
Local stations licensed to or located in Brevard County include:
- Channel 43 WOTF-TV (UniMás)
- Channel 52 WHLV-TV (TBN)
- Channel 68 WEFS (educational independent)
Films and TV
The following films were filmed (in parts) in Brevard County:
- Matinee (1993), filmed in Cocoa Village and Cocoa Playhouse
- Apollo 13 (1995), Contact (1997), Armageddon (1998), and Moonraker all utilized Cape Canaveral or Kennedy Space Center facilities.
- Marvin's Room (1996), filmed in Rockledge
- Nightmare (1981) horror film shot in Merritt Island, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach and Titusville
- A Night in Heaven (1983), filmed in Titusville
- Things Behind the Sun (2001), by independent filmmakers Allison Anders, raised in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral, and Kurt Voss
- Space Cowboys (2000)
- Portions of Jaws 3-D (1983) were filmed on the Minutemen Causeway.
- The Number 23 (2007) shot scenes on the shore of Cocoa Beach.
- I'll Believe You (2007)
- The Manure Film Project: A Crappy Documentary with Absolutely No Budget (2012)
- "Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon" Director Michael Bay. Filmed in 2010 at Kennedy Space Center's Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), orbiter processing facilities, and launch pad among other areas
TV series included:
- The Cape, 13 episodes (1996 through 1997)
- From the Earth to the Moon, a miniseries (1998)
- I Dream of Jeannie, a 1960s TV comedy series, was set in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral but filmed in California.
Arts and culture
The Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts, seating 2000, features locally produced and former Broadway shows, ballet, and symphony. Several different performances are scheduled each week.
The Brevard Symphony Orchestra and the Space Coast Ballet offer shows performed by professionals. There is one other professional symphony orchestra – the Space Coast Pops, plus a community orchestra and band in Melbourne.
The Brevard Zoo is a 75 acres (30 ha) facility  that contains more than 650 animals representing more than 165 species from Florida, South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. The Zoo offers animal experiences including giraffe and lorikeet feedings, African kayak tours, paddle boats in the wetlands and a train ride.
The Space Coast Ballet incorporates professional principal dancers and instructors together with many roles for local senior talent as well as roles for students. They annually stage The Nutcracker.
- Museums and attractions
The Space Coast has a number of museums from the rocket exhibitions at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and the Air Force Space & Missile Museum, to local museums and others of unique character, such as the American Police Hall of Fame & Museum.
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers an educational look at the accomplishments of America's space program. The Observation Gantry near Launch Complex 39 offers a view of the Space Shuttle launch pads (first built for the Apollo missions), the Vehicle Assembly Building, and the crawlerway over which rockets are taken to the pad. The Apollo/Saturn V Center displays an example of the largest rocket ever launched.
The Brevard Museum of History & Natural Science features the remains of the "Windover Man", the oldest human remains found on the North American continent, and a re-creation of the Windover Dig, a "wet" archaeological site. A visitor may see how Native Americans lived and Florida pioneers survived.
Honor America runs the Liberty Bell Memorial Museum. This houses a replica of the Liberty Bell, historical documents, and patriotic memorabilia. Items are permanent reminders of our nation's history, as well as a memorial to military veterans.
The Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Memorial Park and Cultural Center features a museum with artifacts and time line of the civil rights movement and the story of Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore, civil rights leaders who were killed when their home was bombed.
During the December holiday season, each of four yacht club parades during the evening in the Indian River/Banana River with holiday lighting on each boat.
- Brevard Public Schools
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Brevard County, Florida
- Space Coast Office of Tourism
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- "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Brevard County, Florida". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- "Age Groups and Sex, 2010: State-County/County Equivalent. 2010 Census Summary File 1 (GCT-P2): Florida". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
- "Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Definitions". Archived from the original on 2006-07-19. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
- "Historic Brevard Landmark guide". Brevard County Historical Commission. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
- "Brevard County GenWeb – History – The First Settlers, 10,000 BC to 1820". Flbrevard.com. 1935-06-01. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "Brevard County History – A Brief Introduction". Brevard County Historical Commission. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
- Moody, Norman (April 21, 2011). "Naming barrier island would honor state find". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida). pp. 1A.
- Barile, Diane (April 30, 2011). "Guest columnist: A people lost in time". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida). pp. 1A.
- Rouse, Irving. Survey of Indian River Archaeology. Yale University Publications in Anthropology 25. ISBN 978-0-404-15668-8.
- Osborne, Ray (2008). Cape Canaveral. Images of America. Arcadia Publishing. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-7385-5327-6.
- Eriksen, John M., Brevard County...A Short History to 1955
- "Brevard County Maps". University of South Florida. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
- "Google Maps driving Directions Palm Bay to Titusville". Google. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Brevard County, Florida.|
- Government links and constitutional offices
- Brevard County Government / Board of County Commissioners
- Brevard County Supervisor of Elections
- Brevard County Property Appraiser
- Brevard County Sheriff's Office
- Brevard County Parks and Recreation
- Special districts
- Judicial branch
- Brevard County Clerk of Courts
- Brevard County Public Defender
- Office of the State Attorney, 18th Judicial Circuit serving Brevard and Seminole Counties
- Circuit and County Court for the 18th Judicial Circuit of Florida
- Local references
- Florida Today "Fact Book" on Brevard County
- USF Maps of Historical Brevard County
- Old Florida Map Collection
- North Brevard – Titusville, Florida – Community Directory
- Searchable Database of Brevard County Property Records
- Space Coast Wiki – a community wiki for Brevard County
- General business statistics
- Brevard County travel guide from Wikivoyage