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Haines City, Florida

Coordinates: 28°06′37″N 81°36′56″W / 28.11028°N 81.61556°W / 28.11028; -81.61556
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Haines City, Florida
Downtown Haines City Commercial District
Downtown Haines City Commercial District
Official seal of Haines City, Florida
"Heart of Florida"
Location in Polk County and the state of Florida
Location in Polk County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 28°06′37″N 81°36′56″W / 28.11028°N 81.61556°W / 28.11028; -81.61556
CountryUnited States
Platted (Clay Cut)1885[1]
Incorporated (Town of Haines City)February 23, 1914[1]
(City of Haines City)
January 5, 1925[1]
Named forColonel Henry Haines
 • TypeCommission–Manager
 • MayorOmar Arroyo
 • Vice MayorMorris L. West
 • CommissionersAnne Huffman
Vernel Smith, and
Kim Downing
 • City ManagerJames R. Elensky
 • City ClerkSharon Lauther
 • Total20.10 sq mi (52.06 km2)
 • Land18.75 sq mi (48.57 km2)
 • Water1.35 sq mi (3.49 km2)  7.27%
Elevation164 ft (50 m)
 • Total26,669
 • Density1,422.04/sq mi (549.05/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code863
FIPS code12-28400[4]
GNIS feature ID2403781[3]

Haines City is a city in Polk County, Florida, United States. Its population was 26,669 at the 2020 census. It is part of the LakelandWinter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area.


The Polk Hotel.

Haines City was platted in 1885, shortly after the South Florida Railroad reached the area.[1][5] The city was first known as "Clay Cut", but there was no railroad station.[1] It is said that the inhabitants persuaded the railroad company to build a station by agreeing to rename their city Haines City, to honor a senior railroad official, former Confederate States Army Colonel Henry Haines.[6]

Haines City was originally incorporated under the General Statutes of Florida as the "Town of Haines City" on February 23, 1914.[1] The first state legislative act affecting it was enacted on May 20, 1919, and, by Chapter 8272,[7] it was reincorporated as the "City of Haines City" on January 5, 1925, under a Mayor-Council form of government.[1] The present charter was adopted as Chapter 12790 on July 1, 1927, changing the form of government to "Commission-Manager Plan," as amended. The city operates under a commission-manager form of government and provides the following services as authorized by its charter: Public safety (Police and Fire), Streets and Highways, Culture-Recreation, Public Improvements, Sanitation, Planning and Zoning and General and Administrative Services.[8]

The early settlers planted citrus groves, and citrus growing and processing became the main industry of the city.

From 1974 to 1986, Circus World, a theme park created by the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, was open just north of Haines City. After Circus World shut down, Boardwalk and Baseball opened on the same site. It featured carnival games and theme park styled rides like the Grand Rapids Flume. It closed in 1990, and the site has been redeveloped as a residential and shopping complex named Posner Park.

In recent years, Haines City has seen explosive growth, largely because of its easy access to Orlando and Walt Disney World Resort. New residential areas have been developed on the edges of the city. On high ground in the north of the city, Southern Dunes, a golf and country club with both vacation homes and residential homes, was developed between 1995 and 2005.

The Aquatics Center in Lake Eva Park.

In 2004, Haines City experienced three hurricanes. Hurricane Charley passed through the city in August. Hurricane Frances came right on the heels of Charley but mostly just dumped a lot of rain. Hurricane Jeanne soon followed packing a punch not quite as strong as Charley but longer lasting. The city has since recovered.

The former seal of Haines City.

Four years after Charley, Haines City got struck again this time by a weaker storm named Tropical Storm Fay. This storm caused little damage, but schools closed on the second day of the school year (Tuesday, August 19, 2008) due to it; the original plan had been to close schools Tuesday and Wednesday, but the lack of danger it showed on Tuesday caused the change in agenda.[9]

Park renovations


A new park on Lake Eva, replacing a previous park on the site, was completed in 2009.[10] The city has also built a new park, called "8-Acre Park", and auditorium in the Oakland area, on the northern side of the city.

Brush fire


Haines City was the site of a 350-acre (1.4 km2) brush fire on March 25, 2009. It was a scare to the residents of dozens of houses in a housing complex named Randa Ridge.



Haines City is responding to the arrival of Legoland Florida in Winter Haven. Legoland's expected tourist influx is leading Haines City to search for ways to advertise and bring more people to the historic downtown area, specifically, motorists coming down U.S. 27 from Interstate 4.[11]

City officials


Haines City operates on a council-manager system, with five City Commissioners elected at large who appoint a City Manager and other officials in the city administration.



The approximate coordinates for the City of Haines City is located at 28°06′37″N 81°36′56″W / 28.11028°N 81.61556°W / 28.11028; -81.61556, within the Central Florida Highlands area of the Atlantic coastal plain, part of the Lake Wales Ridge, a sandy terrain consisting of a low ridge of gently rolling hills rising from the coastal flatlands.[12]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.8 square miles (51 km2), of which 8.3 square miles (21 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2), 7.27% of the total, is water.



Haines City is located in the humid subtropical zone as designated by (Köppen climate classification: Cfa). The porous white sands and open terrain create the often hot and dry climate that parts of interior Florida near the Lakes Wales sand ridge is known for.[13]

Climate data for Haines City, Florida
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 88
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 72
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 47
Record low °F (°C) 19
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.5
Source: The Weather Channel[14]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[15]

2010 and 2020 census

Haines City racial composition
(Hispanics excluded from racial categories)
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race Pop 2010[16] Pop 2020[17] % 2010 % 2020
White (NH) 6,540 6,783 31.85% 25.43%
Black or African American (NH) 5,425 5,644 26.42% 21.16%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 36 42 0.18% 0.16%
Asian (NH) 280 376 1.36% 1.41%
Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian (NH) 4 23 0.02% 0.09%
Some other race (NH) 37 155 0.18% 0.58%
Two or more races/Multiracial (NH) 233 610 1.13% 2.29%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 7,980 13,036 38.86% 48.88%
Total 20,535 26,669 100.00% 100.00%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 26,669 people, 7,640 households, and 5,589 families residing in the city.[18]

As of the 2010 United States census, there were 20,535 people, 6,961 households, and 4,975 families residing in the city.[19]

2000 census


As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 13,174 people, 4,749 households, and 3,409 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,588.7 inhabitants per square mile (613.4/km2). There were 6,283 housing units at an average density of 757.7 units per square mile (292.5 units/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 54.87% White, 31.86% African American, 0.52% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 10.42% from other races, and 1.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 23.33% of the population.

In 2000, there were 4,749 households, out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.3% were married couples living together, 17.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.2% were non-families. 23.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.18.

In 2000, in the city, the population was spread out, with 27.2% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 25.0% from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 18.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.

In 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $27,636, and the median income for a family was $30,678. Males had a median income of $21,806 versus $19,279 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,818. About 14.7% of families and 18.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.3% of those under age 18 and 11.2% of those age 65 or over.



The major highways in the Haines City area are:

  • I-4 (Interstate 4) – Six miles north of town on US 27 lies Interstate 4, the main interstate highway in central Florida. It leads westward to Lakeland and Tampa, and eastward toward Orlando.
  • US 17 / US 92 – US 17/92 enters the city from Lake Alfred in the west, bisecting the downtown as Hinson Avenue until turning north on 17th Street and exiting towards Davenport.
  • US 27 – The main north–south highway in the area, US 27 leads northward to I-4 and further to Clermont. It leads southward to Lake Wales, Sebring and eventually Miami.
  • SR 17 – Called 10th Street in Haines City, this old Scenic Highway leads through hills in eastern Polk County and providing a scenic route southward to Lake Hamilton, Dundee, and Lake Wales, and on to Sebring.
  • SR 544 – This road, also a scenic drive, connects SR 17 and US 27 in southern Haines City, and continues westward from there as Lucerne Park Road on its way to Winter Haven.

The streets are laid out in a rough grid plan, with streets running north–south and numbered from 1st Street to 30th Street, and named avenues running west–east.

Haines City is served by an hourly bus service to Lake Alfred and Winter Haven by Winter Haven Area Transit and, from December 16, 2012, by hourly Lynx bus services to Poinciana and Four Corners.[20]

Railroads have always been a part of Haines City's history, and freight and passenger trains still run through the city, although the railroad station has been closed for many years.



The Haines City Public Library is a member of the Polk County Library Cooperative. It is located at 111 N 6th Street Haines City, FL 33844.[21]

Haines City first established a library in 1916, under the direction of the Women's Club of Haines City. The first library was located inside the Leisure Lodge, which was located on Railroad Park. In 1927, when that building was demolished as part of a street widening project, the library relocated to Hinson Avenue. The library was forced to relocate again in 1959 due to another street widening project, at which time the Women's Club rented space for the library at the Palm Crest Hotel (also known as the Polk Hotel, which today houses the Landmark Baptist College). The City of Haines City assumed official responsibility of the library in September 1960, whereupon it moved the library to a building on Ledwith Avenue. The library moved to its current location on N. Sixth Street in 2012, and is co-located with City Hall. A non-profit organization, the Friends of the Haines City Public Library, Inc., provides support to the library.[22]

In 1997, the Polk County Library Cooperative was created. This interlocal agreement between municipal and county governments allows all residents to receive library services and materials from any library within the county. The library co-op also supplies a mobile library and a Books by Mail service, which mails library materials to patrons without fees.[23]



Haines City's public school district is served by Polk County Public Schools.

Public elementary schools

  • Alta Vista Elementary School
  • Bethune Academy (Elementary School)
  • Eastside Elementary School

Public middle schools


Public high schools


Private schools


Notable people



  1. ^ a b c d e f g "HISTORY". www.hainescity.com.
  2. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  3. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Haines City, Florida
  4. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ Frisbie, L.K. (1976) Yesterday's Polk County Imperial Publishing Company p.22
  6. ^ Whitehead, Bill (August 14, 1960). "First Polk Settlers Had to Build Towns, Then Name Them". Lakeland Ledger. pp. 7–A. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  7. ^ Acts and Resolutions Adopted by the Legislature of Florida, Volume 2
  8. ^ "Official Haines City Website". Retrieved June 24, 2014.
  9. ^ Polk Schools To Reopen Wednesday; Shelters Stay Closed
  10. ^ Lake Eva Park Improvements Are Ahead of Schedule
  11. ^ The Goal: Get Motorists Downtown
  12. ^ "Florida's Geological History". University of Florida. Retrieved October 14, 2010.
  13. ^ "World Map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification updated". University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna. November 6, 2008. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  14. ^ "Monthly Averages for Haines City, FL". The Weather Channel Interactive, Inc. May 2016. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  15. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  16. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Haines City city, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  17. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Haines City city, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  18. ^ "S1101 HOUSEHOLDS AND FAMILIES - 2020: Haines City city, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  19. ^ "S1101 HOUSEHOLDS AND FAMILIES - 2010: Haines City city, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  20. ^ LYNX press release, November 8, 2012
  21. ^ "Library | Haines City, FL".
  22. ^ Ferguson, Mike (June 1, 2016). "Haines City Public Library celebrates 100 years". The Ledger.
  23. ^ "Polk County Library Cooperative". Florida Library History Project. 1998.