Lake County, Florida
Coordinates: 28°46′N 81°43′W / 28.77°N 81.72°W
|Coordinates: 28°46′N 81°43′W / 28.77°N 81.72°W|
|Founded||May 27, 1887|
|• Total||1,157 sq mi (3,000 km2)|
|• Land||938 sq mi (2,430 km2)|
|• Water||219 sq mi (570 km2) 18.9%%|
|• Density||409/sq mi (158/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Congressional districts||6th, 11th, 15th|
Lake County is a county in the central portion of the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2020 census, the population was 383,956. Its county seat is Tavares, 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 (250 named lakes and 1,735 other bodies of water).
In the 1800s, the two main industries in the area were growing cotton and breeding cattle. In the latter part of the 19th century, people started to grow citrus trees. Citrus was introduced by Melton Haynes. Throughout the 1940s and 50s, citrus production increased and grew into the area's leading industry. The December 1989 United States cold wave destroyed most of the citrus groves, dealing an economic blow from which many growers could not recover. Grove owners sold massive amounts of land to developers, resulting in increasing urban sprawl.
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.
Sugarloaf Mountain is the highest point in peninsular Florida, at 312 feet (95 m) above sea level.
- Volusia County – northeast
- Orange County – east
- Seminole County – east
- Osceola County – southeast
- Polk County – south
- Sumter County – west
- Marion County – northwest
National protected areas
- Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge (part)
- Ocala National Forest (part)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
|Race||Pop 2010||Pop 2020||% 2010||% 2020|
|Black or African American (NH)||27,796||37,883||9.36%||9.87%|
|Native American or Alaska Native (NH)||965||1,016||0.32%||0.26%|
|Pacific Islander (NH)||194||317||0.07%||0.08%|
|Some Other Race (NH)||1,052||2,916||0.35%||0.76%|
|Hispanic or Latino||36,009||65,375||12.12%||17.03%|
As of the 2020 United States census, there were 383,956 people, 137,446 households, and 94,332 families residing in the county.
As of the census of 2010, there were 297,047 people and 130,190 households residing in the county. The population density was 316.6 inhabitants per square mile (122.2/km2). There were 163,586 housing units at an average density of 174.3 per square mile (67.3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 83.4% White (68.7% non-Hispanic White), 11.5% Black or African American, 0.6% Native American, 2.3% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, and 2.1% from two or more races. 16.7% 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. Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, and U.S. Representatives Michael Waltz (R-FL6), Daniel Webster (R-FL11), and Scott Franklin (R-FL15).
In the Florida Senate, Lake County is represented by Senators Dennis Baxley (R-FL12), and Kelli Stargel (R-FL22) . In the Florida House, Lake County is represented by Florida Representatives Keith Truenow (R-FL31), Anthony Sabatini (R-FL32), and Brett Hage (R-FL33).
Lake County has five Constitutional Officers: Gary Cooney (Clerk of the Court and Comptroller), Peyton Grinnell (Sheriff), Cary Baker (Property Appraiser), David Jordan (Tax Collector), and Alan Hays (Supervisor of Elections), and five County Commissioners: Tim Sullivan (R-District 1), Sean Parks (R-District 2), Kirby Smith (R-District 3), Leslie Campione (R-District 4), and Josh Blake (R-District 5).
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.
The Lake County Library System was established in 1975 following the establishment of the Lake County Library Planning Advisory Board. Today it is governed by the Lake County Board of County Commissioners. The library system is made up of 6 branch libraries and 10 municipal libraries:
- Astor County Library: at 54905 Alco Road, Astor, FL 32102 
- Cagan Crossings Community Library: Built in 2008; Location: 16729 Cagan Oaks, Clermont, FL 34714
- Cooper Memorial Library: The Cooper Memorial Library's history began in 1905 when a traveling salesman stopped by a boarding house run by the Benjamin McCain family and promised to donate enough books to start a town library if he was able to sell his Chautauqua lectures. Money was contributed, but very few lectures occurred, and books were never donated. Money that was to be used for the final payment for the lecture series was instead used to start a library. The first librarian of the library was Ms. Payson Pierce, who offered her own home for book storage as well as opened her home to the public. In 1914, a permanent structure was built. Women of the Library Club supported the library until 1936 when the Clermont City Council agreed to maintain it. In 2002, Cooper Memorial became a branch of the Lake County Library System.
- East Lake County Library: at 31340 S. County Road 437, Sorrento, FL 32776
- Eustis Memorial Library, 120 North Center Street, Eustis, Florida 32726 
- Fruitland Park Library: First began in 1916 from the donation of books from the Bosanquet and Dwight families. Twenty years later, under the joint support of the women of St. Paul's Catholic Church, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, and the Community Methodist Church, it became a community library. In 1970, Fruitland Park Library employed its first salaried librarian.
- Helen Lehmann Memorial Library: at 17435 Fifth St., Montverde, FL 34756
- Lady Lake Public Library: at 225 W. Guava St., Lady Lake, FL 32159
- Leesburg Public Library: at 100 E. Main St., Leesburg, FL 34748
- Marianne Beck Memorial Library: The Marianne Beck Memorial Library began in 1989 as an Eagle Scout project in a former carport in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida. The local community raised $50,000 to remodel a former convenience store that was purchased by the town for the new library.
- Marion Baysinger Memorial Library: at 756 W. Broad St., Groveland, FL 34736
- Minneola Schoolhouse Library: at 100 S. Main Ave., Minneola, FL 34715
- Paisley County Library: at 24954 County Road 42, Paisley, FL 32767
- Tavares Public Library: at 314 N. New Hampshire, Tavares, FL 32778
- Umatilla Public Library: at 412 Hatfield Dr., Umatilla, FL 32784
- W.T. Bland Public Library: at 1995 N. Donnelly St., Mount Dora, FL 32757
Lake County has voted Republican in U.S. presidential races since 1948.
Data comes from the Florida Division of Elections.
|Party||Number of registered voters||%|
There are a number of public schools in the county.
The following colleges are in the county:
The Tavares Seaplane Base is a city-owned, public-use seaplane base on Lake Dora in Tavares.
The Leesburg International Airport is a former Army Airfield and municipal airport along Lake Harris east of downtown Leesburg, Florida.
Mid Florida Air Service Airport is on State Road 44 east of Eustis.
- Florida's Turnpike runs north and south from Southeastern and Central Florida. Four interchanges exist in the county; Hancock Road (Exit 278), US 27/SR 19 (Exit 285), southbound US 27 (Exit 289) and County Road 470 (Exit 296).
- 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 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.
- SR 19 is a mostly scenic north and south road from SR 50 in Groveland through Tavares, Eustis, and Ocala National Forest.
- 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 becomes an exposed county road leading to US 27 in Okahumpka.
- SR 40 is the northernmost east–west route in Lake County, and runs through Ocala National Forest.
- 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.
- 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.
- SR 50 is the main east–west road through southern Lake County.
LakeXpress is the public transportation agency that serves the Lake County, Florida area since 2007.
Other unincorporated communities
- Flora Call and Elias Disney were married January 1, 1888, in the Lake County town of Kismet. They were the parents of Walt Disney.
- The Groveland Four (Earnest Thomas, Charles Greenlee, Samuel Shepherd and Walter Irvin), who were falsely accused of raping a 17-year-old white woman and assaulting her husband.
- Willis V. McCall, sheriff of Lake County, who shot one and wounded another of the Groveland Four while they were in his custody
- Randy Rhoads, American heavy metal guitarist, killed in a plane crash in Leesburg on March 19, 1982. Played in the Ozzy Osbourne solo band following his tenure in Quiet Riot.
- Ginger Minj, drag queen; best known for being a runner-up on the seventh season of RuPaul's Drag Race and competing on the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars
- ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- ^ Publications of the Florida Historical Society. Florida Historical Society. 1908. p. 32.
- ^ "Financial report" (PDF). lakecountyclerk.org. 2015. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
- ^ Peter, Emmett (1994). Lake County, Florida--A Pictorial History. Tavares, Florida: Lake County Historical Society. ISBN 978-0898659054.
- ^ Omaye, Jayna (December 13, 2014). "Devastating 1989 freeze killed citrus, ushered in development in Lake County". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
- ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 1, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- ^ Crampton, Vincent. "You won't get light-headed atop Florida's highest point". OrlandoSentinel.com. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
- ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved March 26, 2020.
- ^ https://www.census.gov/[not specific enough to verify]
- ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". www.census.gov. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
- ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved May 26, 2022.
- ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved May 26, 2022.
- ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
- ^ "Federal - Alan Hays, Supervisor of Elections". Archived from the original on May 3, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
- ^ "State - Alan Hays, Supervisor of Elections". Archived from the original on May 3, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
- ^ "County - Alan Hays, Supervisor of Elections". Archived from the original on May 3, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
- ^ "Region III – Correctional Facility Office Archived 2008-06-13 at the Wayback Machine." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on January 8, 2010.
- ^ "Lake Correctional Institution." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on January 8, 2010.
- ^ "Astor County Library". Archived from the original on April 12, 2019. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
- ^ Bloodsworth, Doris. A Library Love Affair: How the Love of Books Helped Shape the History of Clermont, Florida. Florida Libraries. Vol. 53, No. 2, Fall 2010. pp. 4–6.
- ^ "Eustis Memorial Library".
- ^ "Historic Trail of FP | City of Fruitland Park Florida". www.fruitlandpark.org.
- ^ "Helen Lehmann Memorial Library". Archived from the original on April 12, 2019. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
- ^ "Lady Lake Public Library". Archived from the original on April 12, 2019. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
- ^ "Welcome to Leesburg". leesburgflorida.gov.
- ^ "Marianne Beck Memorial Library". howey.org. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
- ^ "Marion Baysinger Memorial Library". Archived from the original on April 12, 2019. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
- ^ "Minneola Schoolhouse Library". Archived from the original on April 12, 2019. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
- ^ "Tavares Public Library | Tavares, FL – Official Website". www.tavares.org.
- ^ "HOME". Umatilla Library.
- ^ "W.T. Bland Public Library | Mount Dora, FL – Official Website". ci.mount-dora.fl.us.
- ^ Lake County Library System. Online, available: https://www.mylakelibrary.org/ Archived March 12, 2017(Date mismatch), at the Wayback Machine
- ^ a b Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
- ^ Voter Registration - By County and Party dos.myflorida, August 31, 2022
- ^ Show, Christine (November 22, 2008). "Tavares keeps it simple in naming seaplane base". Orlando Sentinel.
- ^ "Tavares Seaplane Base & Marina". City of Tavares. Archived from the original on June 17, 2010. Retrieved June 16, 2010.
- ^ "Mid Florida Air Services Airport" (PDF).
- ^ "Walt Disney by Neal Gabler – eBook – Random House – Read an Excerpt". Random House. October 3, 2006. Retrieved July 22, 2010.
- ^ Dickinson, Joy Wallace. "Walt Disney's ties to Central Florida reach back far beyond debut of Magic Kingdom 40 years ago". OrlandoSentinel.com.
Government links/Constitutional offices
- Lake County Board of County Commissioners
- Lake County Supervisor of Elections
- Lake County Property Appraiser
- Lake County Sheriff's Office
- Lake County Tax Collector
- Lake County School Board
- Project Student Safety
- St. Johns River Water Management District
- Southwest Florida Water Management District
- Lake County Clerk of Circuit and County Courts
- Public Defender, 5th Judicial Circuit of Florida serving Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion, and Sumter counties
- Office of the State Attorney, 5th Judicial Circuit of Florida
- 5th Judicial Circuit of Florida