Lake County, Florida

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Coordinates: 28°46′N 81°43′W / 28.77°N 81.72°W / 28.77; -81.72

Lake County, Florida
N043762 lake cty crths.jpg
Old Lake County Courthouse
Flag of Lake County, Florida
Seal of Lake County, Florida
Logo of Lake County, Florida
Map of Florida highlighting Lake County
Location in the U.S. state of Florida
Map of the United States highlighting Florida
Florida's location in the U.S.
Founded May 27, 1887
Seat Tavares
Largest city Clermont
 • Total 1,157 sq mi (2,997 km2)
 • Land 938 sq mi (2,429 km2)
 • Water 219 sq mi (567 km2), 18.9%
Population (est.)
 • (2015) 325,875
 • Density 317/sq mi (122/km²)
Congressional districts 5th, 10th, 11th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Lake County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 297,052.[1] Its county seat is Tavares,[2] and its largest city is Clermont.

Lake County is included in the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Lake County was created in 1887 from portions of Sumter and Orange counties. It was named for the many lakes contained within its borders[3] (250 named lakes and 1,735 other bodies of water[4]).

During the Great Depression, citrus became the leading industry in Lake County.[citation needed]

In 1949 the Groveland Four, Ernest Thomas, Charles Greenlee, Samuel Shepherd and Walter Irvin, were wrongly convicted of rape. The convictions were eventually overturned by the U. S. Supreme Court in a case argued by NAACP special counsel Thurgood Marshall. However, Ernest Thomas had already been killed by a posse.[clarification needed] Samuel Shepard and Walter Irvin were shot by Lake County Sheriff Willis McCall while being transferred, in handcuffs, to the Lake County jail. The descendants of the Groveland Four petitioned Florida governor Rick Scott in 2012 for an apology from the State of Florida, citing new evidence from an FBI file on the case that no rape ever occurred.[5] The 2012 book Devil in the Grove documents this episode.[6]

American heavy metal guitarist Randy Rhoads was killed in a plane crash in Leesburg on Friday March 19, 1982. Rhoads had played in the then nascent Ozzy Osbourne solo band following his tenure in Quiet Riot.

On February 2, 2007, a series of early morning tornadoes killed 21 people in the area.[7][clarification needed] Governor Charlie Crist declared a state of emergency.[8]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,157 square miles (3,000 km2), of which 938 square miles (2,430 km2) is land and 219 square miles (570 km2) (18.9%) is water.[9]

Sugarloaf Mountain is the highest point in peninsular Florida, at 312 feet (95 m) above sea level.[citation needed]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 8,034
1900 7,467 −7.1%
1910 9,509 27.3%
1920 12,744 34.0%
1930 23,161 81.7%
1940 27,255 17.7%
1950 36,340 33.3%
1960 57,383 57.9%
1970 69,305 20.8%
1980 104,870 51.3%
1990 152,104 45.0%
2000 210,528 38.4%
2010 297,052 41.1%
Est. 2015 325,875 [10] 9.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
1790-1960[12] 1900-1990[13]
1990-2000[14] 2010-2015[1]

As of the census[15] of 2000, there were 210,528 people, 88,413 households, and 62,507 families residing in the county. The population density was 221 people per square mile (85/km²). There were 102,830 housing units at an average density of 108 per square mile (42/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 87.46% White, 8.31% Black or African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.88% from other races, and 1.18% from two or more races. 5.61% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 88,413 households out of which 23.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.90% were married couples living together, 8.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.30% were non-families. 24.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.75.

In the county, the population was spread out with 20.30% under the age of 18, 5.80% from 18 to 24, 23.80% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 26.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 93.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,903, and the median income for a family was $42,577. Males had a median income of $31,475 versus $23,545 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,199. About 6.90% of families and 9.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.80% of those under age 18 and 6.30% of those age 65 or over.


Lake County is represented by U.S. Representatives Corrine Brown (D-FL5), Alan Grayson (D-FL9), Daniel Webster (R-FL10), and Rich Nugent (R-FL11). In the Florida Senate, Lake County is represented by Senators Dorothy Hukill (R-FL8), and Alan Hays (R-FL11) . In the Florida House, Lake County is represented by Florida Representatives Bryan Nelson (R-FL31), Larry Metz (R-FL32), and H. Marlene O'Toole (R-FL33).

The Florida Department of Corrections has Region III Correctional Facility Office on the grounds of the Lake Correctional Institution in an unincorporated area in Lake County.[16][17]


The Lake County Public Library System consists of 15 branches. Minneola Schoolhouse Library, Umatilla Public Library, Paisley County Library, W.T. Bland Public Library, City of Tavares Public Library, Astor County Library, Cagan Crossings Community Library, Fruitland Park Library, Leesburg Public Library, Cooper Memorial Library, Helen Lehmann Memorial Library, Marianne Beck Memorial Library, East Lake County Library, Lady Lake Public Library, and Marion Baysinger Memorial County Library.


Lake County vote
by party in presidential elections
Year Republican Democratic
2016 60.0% 102,188 36.9% 62,838
2012 58.0% 87,643 40.9% 61,799
2008 56.2% 82,802 42.7% 62,948
2004 60.0% 74,389 38.9% 48,221
2000 56.4% 50,010 41.3% 36,571
1996 47.5% 35,097 40.2% 29,752
1992 44.2% 30,825 33.2% 23,200
1988 68.4% 37,327 30.7% 16,766
1984 74.3% 35,319 25.7% 12,217
1980 64.5% 26,798 31.6% 13,128
1976 57.4% 19,976 41.3% 14,369
1972 82.6% 23,079 17.2% 4,803
1968 47.4% 11,763 18.5% 4,599
1964 62.4% 12,897 37.6% 7,773
1960 72.4% 12,979 27.6% 4,936

Lake County has voted Republican in U. S. Presidential races since 1948.[19]

Senate and House[edit]

Lake County last voted for a Democrat in a United States Senate race in 2006, when US Senator Bill Nelson won in Florida and won Lake County 55.57% to Katherine Harris's 42.79%. He lost the county in 2012, but won the election.

2012 general election results[edit]

For US Senator: Bill Nelson (D) vs. Connie Mack IV (R): 55.23% to 42.23%[clarification needed]

Corrine Brown (D) vs. LeAnne Kolb (R): 70.8% to 26.3%

Alan Grayson (D) vs. Todd Long (R): 62.5% to 37.5%

Daniel Webster (R) vs. Val Demings (D): 51.7% to 48.3%

Richard Nugent (R) vs. David Werder (D): 64.5% to 35.5%

Dorothy Hukill (R) vs. Frank Bruno (D): 57.0% to 43.0%

Alan Hays (R) vs. John Iller (I): 71.6% to 28.4%

All three Florida House Representatives were not contested in 2012.

2010 general election results[edit]

Florida governor: Rick Scott (R) vs. Alex Sink (D): 48.87% to 47.72%

US Senator: Marco Rubio (R) vs. Charlie Crist (I) vs. Kendrick Meek (D): 48.89% to 29.71% to 20.20%[20]

Voter Registration[edit]

As of June 1, 2014, there were 204,137 registered voters. Of that, 67,404 were registered as Democrats, 88,976 were registered as Republicans, and 39,392 were not registered as any other party. There were 8,365 voters registered as other parties such as the Libertarian Party and the Green Party.[21]


[clarification needed]

Main article: Lake County Schools

There are a number of public schools in the county.


The following colleges are located in the county:



The Tavares Seaplane Base[22] is a city-owned, public-use seaplane base located on Lake Dora in Tavares.[23]

Panorama of the Tavares Seaplane Base & Marina on Lake Dora

The Leesburg International Airport is a former Army Airfield and municipal airport located along Lake Harris east of downtown Leesburg, Florida.

Mid Florida Air Service Airport is located on State Road 44 east of Eustis.[24]

Major highways[edit]

  • Florida's Turnpike shield.png Florida's Turnpike runs north and south from Southeastern and Central Florida. Three interechanges exist in the county; US 27/SR 19 (Exit 285), southbound US 27 (Exit 289) and the more recently built County Road 470 (Exit 296).
  • US 27.svg US 27 is the main local road through western Lake County, running south to north. It spans from Four Corners to The Villages.
  • US 441.svg US 441 is another south to north US highway running through Mount Dora from Orange County around Lake Dora, where it merges with SR 44, has a wrong-way concurrency with SR 19 in Tavares, and lets go of SR 44 in Leesburg only to join US 27 as they both head into Marion County.
  • Florida 19.svg SR 19 is a mostly scenic north and south road from SR 50 in Groveland through Tavares, Eustis, and Ocala National Forest.
  • Florida 33.svg SR 33 is the north-south road from Lakeland in Polk County to Groveland. A county extension exists as a hidden route along SR 50 to Mascotte, where it become an exposed county road leading to US 27 in Okahumpka.
  • Florida 40.svg SR 40 is the northernmost east-west route in Lake County, and runs through Ocala National Forest.
  • Florida 44.svg SR 44 runs east and west through Central Lake County from west of Leesburg where it joins southbound US 441 until it breaks away near Mount Dora and heads northeast into Volusia County.
  • Florida 46.svg SR 46 starts at an interchange with US 441 and County Road 46 in Mount Dora and through Sorrento and Mount Plymouth along the northern border of Orange County.
  • Florida 50.svg SR 50 is the main east-west road through southern Lake County.

Public transportation[edit]

LakeXpress is the public transportation agency that serves the Lake County, Florida area since 2007.




Census-designated places[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Publications of the Florida Historical Society. Florida Historical Society. 1908. p. 32. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Groveland Four petitioned
  6. ^ Gilbert King (6 March 2012). Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-209771-2. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  7. ^ Bonanno, Chris (January 31, 2015). "Severe weather awareness week well-timed". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 3A, 8A. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  8. ^ At Least 19 Dead After Central Fla. Storms - Orlando Weather News Story - WKMG Orlando
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  10. ^ "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  11. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014. 
  15. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  16. ^ "Region III - Correctional Facility Office." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on January 8, 2010.
  17. ^ "Lake Correctional Institution." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on January 8, 2010.
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ Show, Christine (November 22, 2008). "Tavares keeps it simple in naming seaplane base". Orlando Sentinel. 
  23. ^ "Tavares Seaplane Base & Marina". City of Tavares. Retrieved 16 June 2010. 
  24. ^ Mid Florida Air Services Airport
  25. ^ "Walt Disney by Neal Gabler - eBook - Random House - Read an Excerpt". Random House. 2006-10-31. Retrieved 2010-07-22. 
  26. ^

External links[edit]

Government links/Constitutional offices[edit]

Special districts[edit]

Judicial branch[edit]

Miscellaneous links[edit]