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 U.S. state of Florida
Map of the United States highlighting Florida
Florida's location in the U.S.
Founded June 2, 1887
Named for Citrus trees (previously a major industry in the county)
Seat Inverness
Largest community Homosassa Springs
 • Total 773 sq mi (2,002 km2)
 • Land 582 sq mi (1,507 km2)
 • Water 192 sq mi (497 km2), 24.8%
Population (est.)
 • (2015) 141,058
 • 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 who 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 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 residents have citrus trees on their personal property.

After the Big Freeze the next major industry was phosphate mining, which continued until World War I. Planned industrial development surrounding the construction of the Cross Florida Barge Canal never came to fruition when the partially-built canal was terminated after environmental opposition.[5] A later attempt to create a port (Port Citrus) from the portion of the canal that was completed resulted in no significant progress and the county voted in 2015 to scuttle the project.[6]

The original Citrus County seat was Mannfield (also spelled, incorrectly, Mansfield or Mannsfeld in some sources). The county seat was later moved to Inverness; only a street and a pond remain of the original town.[7]

The first library in Citrus County was founded in 1917 in Inverness. Other branches opened in Floral City in 1958, and Hernando in 1959, as well as the freestanding Crystal River and Homosassa Libraries. These libraries joined together to create the Central Florida Library System in 1961. Beverly Hills Library opened in 1970 and joined the Central Florida Library System.[8] A Special Library Taxing District was created by the voters in March 1984.[8] In October 1987, the Citrus County Library System was established which allowed the county residents to administer their own system.[8]

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


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.[9]

There are a number of uninhabited and/or sparsely inhabited coastal islands that can be accessed via watercraft.[10] 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.[11]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]


According to the US Fish and 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 either undergoing rehabilitation for future release to the wild, or will be permanent due to their inability to be released to the wild.[12] The notable exception is Lucifer, an African hippopotamus that had prior movie roles. When a permanent home could not be found for Lucifer, then-Governor Lawton Chiles named him an "honorary citizen of the state" thus allowing him to remain at the Park.[13]


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. 2015 141,058 [14] −0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[15]
1790-1960[16] 1900-1990[17]
1990-2000[18] 2010-2015[1]

As of the census[19] of 2000, 118,085 people, 52,634 households, and 36,317 families resided in the county. The population density was 78/km² (202/mi²). The 62,204 housing units averaged 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. About 2.66% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race.

Of the 52,634 households, 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 not families. About 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 distributed as 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 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. Around 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.[20]




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.



Census-designated places[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]

Former towns[edit]



There are five branches of the Citrus County Library System:[26]

  • Beverly Hills (Central Ridge)
  • Crystal River (Coastal Region)
  • Floral City
  • Homosassa
  • Inverness (Lakes Region)

The Citrus County Library System offers a PAWS to Read program where elementary school-aged children can enhance their literacy skills by reading aloud to a certified therapy dog.[27] It also has several other children/teen programs and adult recreational classes.[28]


Voter registration[edit]

According to the Secretary of State's office, Republicans comprise a plurality of registered voters in Citrus County.

Citrus County Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of September 30, 2015[29]
Political party Total voters Percentage
Republican 42,319 43.28%
Democratic 30,022 30.71%
Independent 21,966 22.47%
Third Parties 3,463 3.54%
Total 97,770 100%

Federal and state offices[edit]

Citrus County vote
by party in presidential elections
Year Republican Democratic
2016 67.7% 54,456 28.3% 22,789
2012 60.2% 44,662 38.4% 28,460
2008 57.1% 43,706 41.1% 31,460
2004 56.9% 39,500 42.9% 29,277
2000 52.1% 29,801 44.6% 25,531
1996 40.6% 20,125 44.4% 22,044
1992 36.7% 16,412 35.6% 15,937
1988 63.0% 21,072 36.4% 12,184
1984 66.5% 20,764 33.5% 10,468
1980 58.5% 14,286 37.5% 9,162
1976 45.0% 7,973 53.3% 9,438
1972 77.2% 8,848 22.8% 2,607
1968 38.7% 2,767 24.8% 1,775
1964 48.0% 2,329 52.0% 2,521
1960 51.8% 1,861 48.2% 1,730

Citrus County has voted Republican in national elections since 2000 and has voted Republican in state and local races before the 21st century. As of 2015, Republicans occupied all seats on the Citrus County Commission, all other separately elected offices, and among the state and federal legislative delegations. In 2016 the county broke heavily for Donald Trump giving him 67% of the vote, the largest of any candidate since President Nixon in 1972. Citrus county is an example of Trump's particular strength in the Tampa exurbs that helped deliver him the state.[31]


Citrus County's newspaper of record is the Citrus County Chronicle, published by Landmark Media Enterprises. A dedicated online-only newspaper is called the Citrus Daily. The Homosassa Beacon is also published.[32]

The local TV station is WYKE-CD.

The county is part of the Nielsen-designated Tampa-Saint Petersburg-Sarasota television market.[33] 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. Archived from the original on 31 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Crystal River State Archaeological Site
  4. ^ Publications of the Florida Historical Society. Florida Historical Society. 1908. p. 30. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Citrus County Florida INDEPENDENT History & Genealogy Page
  8. ^ a b c
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Welcome to Florida State Parks
  13. ^ Florida Places, Homosassa Springs: Florida Environment Radio
  14. ^ "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  15. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 12 May 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  19. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 11 September 2013. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  20. ^ Mike Schneider (September 16, 2014). "'Gray belt' glimpse at future". Florida Today. Florida Today. Retrieved September 20, 2014. 
  21. ^ Mannfield - Ghost Town
  22. ^ Orleans - Ghost Town
  23. ^ Stage Pond - Ghost Town
  24. ^ Arlington - Ghost Town
  25. ^ Fairmount - Ghost Town
  26. ^ Citrus County Library System
  27. ^
  28. ^ website
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ "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