Citrus County, Florida

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This article is about the Florida county. For the 2010 novel by John Brandon, see Citrus County (novel).
Citrus County, Florida
Citrus Cty Crths Inverness01.jpg
Citrus County Courthouse
Seal of Citrus County, Florida
Map of Florida highlighting Citrus County
Location in the state of Florida
Map of the United States highlighting Florida
Florida's location in the U.S.
Founded 2 June 1887
Named for Citrus trees
Seat Inverness
Largest community Homosassa Springs
 • Total 773 sq mi (2,002 km2)
 • Land 582 sq mi (1,507 km2)
 • Water 1,924 sq mi (4,983 km2), 24.8%
 • (2010) 141,236
 • Density 243/sq mi (94/km²)
Congressional district 11th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Citrus County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 141,236.[1] Its county seat is Inverness,[2] and its largest community is Homosassa Springs.

Citrus County comprises the Homosassa Springs, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Citrus County was first occupied about 10,000 years ago and settled about 2,500 years ago by mound-building Native Americans that built the complex that now forms the Crystal River Archeological Site. The site was occupied for about 2,000 years. Why the complex was abandoned is currently unknown.[3]

Citrus County was created in 1887. The Citrus County area was formerly part of a Hernando County. It was named for the county's citrus groves.[4] Citrus production declined dramatically after the "Big Freeze" of 1894-1895. Today, citrus is grown on one large grove, Bellamy Grove. Additionally, some people do have trees on their personal property.

The original Citrus County seat was Mansfield, or Mannsfeld. The county seat was moved to Inverness.

Only a street and a pond remain of the original town.[5]

Sign on the Withlacoochee State Trail marking the site of the "Great Train Wreck of 1956" at Pineola, Florida.

Phosphate mining also played a major part in the history of the County until the end of WWII when the mines became depleted.[citation needed]

Pineola, Florida was the site of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad's "Great Train Wreck of 18 October 1956."[citation needed]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 773 square miles (2,000 km2), of which 582 square miles (1,510 km2) is land and 192 square miles (500 km2) (24.8%) is water.[6]

There are a number of uninhabited and/or sparsely inhabited coastal islands that can be accessed via watercraft.[7] While some of the Citrus County islands are state lands thus available for public use for recreational opportunities, many other Citrus County islands are private property and are either wholly or partially owned by private parties.[8]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]


According to the US Fish & Wildlife Services' Aerial Manatee Surveys, as many as 400 of these unique creatures can be found in Citrus County at one time. This typically occurs only during the coldest months of the year.

Manatees can also be viewed in the underwater observatory at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. Most of the park's residents are injured animals undergoing rehabilition or unable to return to the wild.[9] The notable exception is Lucifer, an African hippopotamus. When a permanent home could not be found for the retired actor, then-Governor Lawton Chiles created Lucifer an honorary citizen of the state.[10]

Former towns[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 2,394
1900 5,391 125.2%
1910 6,731 24.9%
1920 5,220 −22.4%
1930 5,516 5.7%
1940 5,846 6.0%
1950 6,111 4.5%
1960 9,268 51.7%
1970 19,196 107.1%
1980 54,703 185.0%
1990 93,515 71.0%
2000 118,085 26.3%
2010 141,236 19.6%
Est. 2013 139,271 −1.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[16]
1790-1960[17] 1900-1990[18]
1990-2000[19] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[20] of 2000, there were 118,085 people, 52,634 households, and 36,317 families residing in the county. The population density was 78/km² (202/mi²). There were 62,204 housing units at an average density of 41/km² (106/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.05% White, 2.36% Black or African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.76% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.37% from other races, and 1.07% from two or more races. 2.66% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 52,634 households out of which 19.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.30% were married couples living together, 7.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.00% were non-families. 26.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.60.

In the county the population was spread out with 17.20% under the age of 18, 4.60% from 18 to 24, 19.10% from 25 to 44, 26.90% from 45 to 64, and 32.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 53 years. For every 100 females there were 92.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.60 males.


Personal income[edit]

The median income for a household in the county was $31,001, and the median income for a family was $36,711. Males had a median income of $28,091 versus $21,408 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,585. 11.70% of the population and 8.50% of families were below the poverty line. 18.10% of those under the age of 18 and 7.00% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.


More than one-third of residents were senior citizens in 2014. Health care dominates the work force.[21]




One rail line operates within the county: A freight line to the Crystal River Energy Complex in northern Citrus County. Other lines that used to run through Citrus were either converted into rail trails such as the Cross Town Trail in Crystal River and Withlacoochee State Trail in eastern Citrus County or abandoned.

Major roads[edit]

  • US 19.svg U.S. Route 19 is the main local road through western Citrus County, running south to north.
  • US 41.svg U.S. Route 41 is the main local road through eastern Citrus County, running south to north. North of CR 48 in Floral City, the road is also shared by the DeSoto Trail.
  • US 98.svg U.S. Route 98 runs northwest to southeast from Hernando County, Florida, and joins US 19 in Chassahowitzka on its way to Perry.
  • Florida 44.svg State Road 44 runs east and west through the northern part of the county from Crystal River into Sumter County. A county extension south of the western terminus runs into Fort Island.
  • Citrus County 48.svg County Road 48 runs mostly east and west through Southeastern Citrus County. It spans from US 41 Floral City winding southeast along the Withlacoochee River, which it eventually crosses on the way to Bushnell and Center Hill in Sumter County, and Howey-in-the Hills in Lake County. The segment in Bushnell between I-75(Exit 314) and US 301 becomes a state road. Throughout Citrus County, County Road 48 is also shared by the DeSoto Trail.
  • Citrus County 480.svg County Road 480 is the southernmost county road in Citrus County. It runs east and west from Chassahowitzka with a short concurrency with US 98, then through the Withlacoochee State Forest where it eventually terminates at US 41 in Floral City, south of CR 48.
  • Citrus County 490.svg County Road 490 runs east and west from the Gulf of Mexico along the south side of the Homosassa River until it briefly joins US 19-98 in downtown Homosassa Springs only to head northeast towards SR 44 in Lecanto.
  • Citrus County 491.svg County Road 491: A Bi-County road that begins in unincorporated northwestern Hernando County, then runs north and south along the western side of the Withlacoochee State Forest, and into Lecanto and Beverly Hills where it curves east in northern Citrus County and crosses US 41 in Holder, only to terminate at SR 200 near the Citrus-Marion County Line.
  • Citrus County 581.svg County Road 581: Runs north and south along the eastern side of the Withlacoochee State Forest from County Road 481 in Lake Lindsey, into Inverness where it joins SR 44 east towards US 41, only to branch off on its own as a dead end street on the banks of the Withlacoochee River.


The local television broadcasts County Commission meetings live on the first and third Tuesday of each month.[citation needed]

The county has a sheriff and Fire Rescue combined into one department. Citrus Sheriff/Fire Rescue is a Basic Life Support department with seven professional fire stations and approximately eight volunteer fire stations.[citation needed] This department is modeled after Broward Sheriff/Fire Rescue.[citation needed] The incumbent sheriff is Jeff J. Dawsy.[citation needed]

The ambulance service is provided by a private company.[citation needed]



Unincorporated communities[edit]


There are five branches located across Citrus County:

  • Central Ridge
    • Located at:
      • 425 W. Roosevelt Blvd.
      • Beverly Hills, Fl 34465-4281
    • Phone: (352) 746-6622
  • Coastal Region
    • Located at:
      • 8619 W. Crystal St.
      • Crystal River, Fl 34428-4468
    • Phone: (352) 795-3716
  • Floral City
    • Located at:
      • 8360 E. Orange Ave
      • Floral City, Fl 34436-3200
    • Phone: (352) 726-3671
  • Homosassa
    • Located at:
      • 4100 S. Grandmarch Ave
      • Homosassa, Fl 34446-1120
    • Phone: (352) 628-5626
  • Lakes Region
    • Located at:
      • 1511 Druid Rd.
      • Inverness, Fl 34452-4507
    • Phone: (352) 726-2357


Citrus County has tended to vote Republican in past national, state and local races. Republicans occupy all seats on the Citrus County Commission, and the State and Federal legislative delegations for Citrus County.[22] Dawsy is the county's most prominent Democratic office holder. He was first elected in 1996. There are nearly 10,000 more Republicans registered to vote, than there are Democrats as of February 2013.[23]

Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic Other
2012 60.2% 38.4% 1.4%
2008 57.1% 41.1% 1.8%
2004 56.9% 42.1% 1.0%
2000 52.1% 44.6% 3.3%
1996 40.6% 44.4% 15.0%
1992 36.7% 35.6% 27.9%
1988 63.0% 36.4% 0.7%


Citrus County's newspaper of record is the Citrus County Chronicle, published by Landmark Media Enterprises. There is a dedicated online only newspaper called Citrus Daily.

There are two local newspapers, the Citrus County Chronicle and the Homosassa Beacon.[24]

There is one local TV Station, WYKE-CD.

The county is part of the Nielsen-designated Tampa-Saint Petersburg-Sarasota television market.[25] Bright House Networks and Comcast serve different areas of Citrus County, with Bright House serving the western part of the county, including Crystal River; and Comcast serving Inverness, and the eastern county communities; these systems offer most Tampa Bay stations, plus selected channels from the Orlando and Gainesville markets.

Radio stations in Citrus County are part of the Arbitron-designated Gainesville/Ocala Radio market.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Crystal River State Archaeological Site
  4. ^ Publications of the Florida Historical Society. Florida Historical Society. 1908. p. 30. 
  5. ^ Citrus County Florida INDEPENDENT History & Genealogy Page
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Welcome to Florida State Parks
  10. ^ Florida Places, Homosassa Springs: Florida Environment Radio
  11. ^ Mannfield - Ghost Town
  12. ^ Orleans - Ghost Town
  13. ^ Stage Pond - Ghost Town
  14. ^ Arlington - Ghost Town
  15. ^ Fairmount - Ghost Town
  16. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  20. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  21. ^ Mike Schneider (September 16, 2014). "'Gray belt' glimpse at future". Florida Today. Florida Today. Retrieved September 20, 2014. 
  22. ^ Citrus County - Supervisor of Elections
  23. ^ Citrus County - Supervisor of Elections
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Top 50 TV markets ranked by households". Northwestern University Media Management Center. Archived from the original on 7 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 

External links[edit]

Government links/Constitutional offices[edit]

Special districts[edit]

Judicial branch[edit]

Tourism links[edit]


Coordinates: 28°51′N 82°31′W / 28.85°N 82.52°W / 28.85; -82.52