List of counties in Florida
|Counties of Florida|
|Location||State of Florida|
|Populations||7,900 (Liberty) – 2,662,777 (Miami-Dade)|
|Areas||240 square miles (620 km2) (Union) – |
2,034 square miles (5,270 km2) (Palm Beach)
There are 67 counties in the U.S. state of Florida. It became a territory of the U.S. in 1821 with two counties complementing the provincial divisions retained as a Spanish territory: Escambia to the west and St. Johns to the east, divided by the Suwannee River. All of the other counties were apportioned from these two original counties. Florida became the 27th U.S. state in 1845, and its last county was created in 1925 with the formation of Gilchrist County from a segment of Alachua County. Florida's counties are subdivisions of the state government. In 1968, counties gained the power to develop their own charters. All but two of Florida's county seats are incorporated municipalities: the exceptions are Crawfordville, county seat of rural Wakulla County, and East Naples, located outside Naples city limits in Collier County.
The names of Florida's counties reflect its diverse cultural heritage. Some are named for Confederate political leaders and Spanish explorers, marking the influence of Spanish sovereignty, while others are named for Christian saints, Native American sites, as well as political leaders of the United States. Natural features of the region, including rivers, lakes and flora, are also commonly used for county names. Florida has counties named for participants on both sides of Second Seminole War: Miami-Dade County is partially named for Francis L. Dade, a major in the U.S. Army at the time; Osceola County is named for the war's native Muscogee-Seminole resistance leader Osceola.
Population figures are based on the 2021 vintage Census population estimates. The population of Florida is 21,781,128, an increase of 1.1% from 2020. The average population of Florida's counties is 325,091; Miami-Dade County is the most populous (2,662,777) and Liberty County is the least (7,900). The average land area is 805 sq mi (2,085 km2). The largest county is Palm Beach County (2,034 sq mi, 5,268 km2) and the smallest is Union County (240 sq mi, 622 km2). The total area of the state is 65,795 sq miles, of which the land area constitutes 53,927 square miles (139,670 km2) while the water area constitutes 11,868 sq miles.
The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) is used by the U.S. government to uniquely identify counties, and is provided for each entry. These codes link to the United States Census Bureau's "quick facts" for each county. Florida's FIPS code of 12 is used to distinguish from counties in other states. For example, Alachua County's unique nationwide identifier is 12001.
||FIPS code||County seat||Est.||Formed from||Etymology||Density
|Alachua County||001||Gainesville||1824||Duval and St. Johns||From a Seminole-Creek word meaning "jug", apparently in reference to the sinkholes common in the area||319.49||279,238||874 sq mi
|Baker County||003||Macclenny||1861||New River||James McNair Baker (1821–1892), a Confederate senator and later a judge in the fourth judicial district||49.09||28,715||585 sq mi
|Bay County||005||Panama City||1913||Calhoun and Washington||St. Andrew's Bay, the central geographic feature of the county||234.51||179,168||764 sq mi
named New River until 1861
|Richard Bradford, the first officer from Florida to die in the Civil War; he was killed during the Battle of Santa Rosa Island||97.41||28,540||293 sq mi
|Brevard County||009||Titusville||1844||Hillsborough and Mosquito
named St. Lucie until 1855
|Theodore Washington Brevard, early settler and later state comptroller from 1853 to 1861||605.72||616,628||1,018 sq mi
|Broward County||011||Fort Lauderdale||1915||Dade and Palm Beach||Napoleon Bonaparte Broward (1857–1910), 19th governor of Florida from 1905 to 1909||1597.17||1,930,983||1,209 sq mi
|Calhoun County||013||Blountstown||1838||Franklin, Jackson, and Washington||John C. Calhoun (1782–1850) leading Southern politician from South Carolina||24.06||13,641||567 sq mi
|Charlotte County||015||Punta Gorda||1921||DeSoto||Probably a corruption of the name of the Calusa, a group of Native Americans from the area||280.75||194,843||694 sq mi
|Citrus County||017||Inverness||1887||Hernando||The county's citrus trees||270.69||158,083||584 sq mi
|Clay County||019||Green Cove Springs||1858||Duval||Henry Clay (1777–1852), Secretary of State from 1825 to 1829 under John Quincy Adams||369.99||222,361||601 sq mi
|Collier County||021||East Naples||1923||Lee||Barron Collier (1873–1939), an advertising entrepreneur who developed much of the land in southern Florida||190.51||385,980||2,026 sq mi
|Columbia County||023||Lake City||1832||Alachua||Christopher Columbus (c. 1451–1506), explorer of the Americas||88.31||70,385||797 sq mi
|DeSoto County||027||Arcadia||1887||Manatee||Hernando de Soto (c. 1496/1497–1542), a Spanish explorer and conquistador||54.02||34,408||637 sq mi
|Dixie County||029||Cross City||1921||Lafayette||Dixie, the common nickname for the Southern United States||24.29||17,102||704 sq mi
|Duval County||031||Jacksonville||1822||St. Johns||William Pope Duval (1784–1854), the first governor of the Florida Territory||1291.91||999,935||774 sq mi
|Escambia County||033||Pensacola||1821||One of the two original counties||Disputed origin; possibly from the Native American word Shambia, meaning "clear water", or from Spanish word “cambiar”, meaning to barter||485.53||322,390||664 sq mi
|Flagler County||035||Bunnell||1917||St. Johns and Volusia||Henry Morrison Flagler (1830–1913), founder of the Florida East Coast Railway||249.34||120,932||485 sq mi
|Franklin County||037||Apalachicola||1832||Gadsden and Washington||Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America||23.54||12,572||534 sq mi
|Gadsden County||039||Quincy||1823||Jackson||James Gadsden (1788–1858), American diplomat and namesake of the Gadsden Purchase||84.72||43,714||516 sq mi
|Gilchrist County||041||Trenton||1925||Alachua||Albert W. Gilchrist (1858–1926), the 20th governor of Florida||52.61||18,360||349 sq mi
|Glades County||043||Moore Haven||1921||DeSoto||The Florida Everglades||15.81||12,234||774 sq mi
|Gulf County||045||Port St. Joe||1925||Calhoun||The Gulf of Mexico||25.42||14,363||565 sq mi
|Hamilton County||047||Jasper||1827||Jefferson||Alexander Hamilton (1757–1804), the first United States Secretary of the Treasury and a Founding Father||27.17||13,993||515 sq mi
|Hardee County||049||Wauchula||1921||DeSoto||Cary A. Hardee (1876–1957), governor of Florida at the time of creation of Hardee County||39.91||25,425||637 sq mi
|Hendry County||051||LaBelle||1923||Lee||Francis A. Hendry (1833–1917), early Floridian pioneer and politician||34.96||40,313||1,153 sq mi
|Hernando County||053||Brooksville||1843||Alachua and Hillsborough
named Benton from 1844 to 1850
|Hernando de Soto (c.1496/1497–1542), a Spanish explorer and conquistador||419.74||200,638||478 sq mi
|Highlands County||055||Sebring||1921||DeSoto||Named for the county's hilly terrain||100.48||103,296||1,028 sq mi
|Hillsborough County||057||Tampa||1834||Alachua||Wills Hill, Earl of Hillsborough (1718–1793), former Secretary of State for the Colonies||1406.46||1,478,194||1,051 sq mi
|Holmes County||059||Bonifay||1848||Jackson and Walton||Holmes Creek, which forms the eastern boundary of the county||41.05||19,784||482 sq mi
|Indian River County||061||Vero Beach||1925||St. Lucie||The Indian River Lagoon, which flows through the county||325.37||163,662||503 sq mi
|Jackson County||063||Marianna||1822||Escambia||Andrew Jackson (1767–1845), the seventh President of the United States||52.07||47,694||916 sq mi
|Jefferson County||065||Monticello||1827||Leon||Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), the third President of the United States and principal author of the Declaration of Independence||24.34||14,555||598 sq mi
|Lafayette County||067||Mayo||1856||Madison||Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette (1757–1834), French aristocrat and general in the American Revolutionary War||15.44||8,382||543 sq mi
|Lake County||069||Tavares||1887||Orange and Sumter||Named for the many lakes in the region||415.32||395,804||953 sq mi
|Lee County||071||Fort Myers||1887||Monroe||Robert E. Lee (1807–1870), commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War||980.07||787,976||804 sq mi
|Leon County||073||Tallahassee||1824||Gadsden||Juan Ponce de León (1474–1521), Spanish explorer who named Florida||439.01||292,817||667 sq mi
|Levy County||075||Bronson||1845||Alachua||David Levy Yulee (1810–1886), one of the state's original United States Senators||39.50||44,158||1,118 sq mi
|Liberty County||077||Bristol||1855||Gadsden||The patriotic ideal of liberty||9.45||7,900||836 sq mi
|Madison County||079||Madison||1827||Jefferson||James Madison (1751–1836), fourth President of the United States||26.43||18,288||692 sq mi
|Manatee County||081||Bradenton||1855||Hillsborough||The manatee, or sea cow, is native to Florida waters.||556.95||412,703||741 sq mi
|Marion County||083||Ocala||1844||Alachua, Hillsborough, and Mosquito||Francis Marion (c. 1732–1795), military officer during the American Revolution||244.40||385,915||1,579 sq mi
|Martin County||085||Stuart||1925||Palm Beach||John W. Martin (1884–1958), governor of Florida at time of creation of the county||287.67||159,942||556 sq mi
named Dade until 1997
|City of Miami and Francis L. Dade (c. 1793–1835), Major in the United States Army during the Second Seminole War||1368.33||2,662,777||1,946 sq mi
|Monroe County||087||Key West||1823||St. Johns||James Monroe (1758–1831), fifth President of the United States||82.42||82,170||997 sq mi
|Nassau County||089||Fernandina Beach||1824||Duval||Duchy of Nassau in Germany||144.46||94,189||652 sq mi
|Okaloosa County||091||Crestview||1915||Santa Rosa and Walton||A native word meaning "a pleasant place," "black water", or "beautiful place"||227.84||213,255||936 sq mi
|Okeechobee County||093||Okeechobee||1917||Osceola and St. Lucie||Lake Okeechobee, which was in turn is from the Hitchiti words for "big water"||52.02||40,266||774 sq mi
|Orange County||095||Orlando||1824||St. Johns
named Mosquito until 1845
|The fruit that was the county's main product||1566.90||1,422,746||908 sq mi
|Osceola County||097||Kissimmee||1887||Brevard and Orange||Osceola (1804–1838), a leader of the Seminole during the Second Seminole War||305.05||403,282||1,322 sq mi
|Palm Beach County||099||West Palm Beach||1909||Dade||The county's large amounts of palm trees||736.47||1,497,987||2,034 sq mi
|Pasco County||101||Dade City||1887||Hernando||Samuel Pasco (1834–1917), United States Senator at the time of creation of the county||783.98||584,067||745 sq mi
|Pinellas County||103||Clearwater||1912||Hillsborough||From the Spanish Punta Piñal, or "Point of Pines"||3416.48||956,615||280 sq mi
|Polk County||105||Bartow||1861||Brevard and Hillsborough||James K. Polk (1795–1849), the 11th President of the United States||401.88||753,520||1,875 sq mi
|Putnam County||107||Palatka||1849||Alachua and St. Johns||Benjamin A. Putnam (1801–1869), soldier during the Second Seminole War and Floridian legislator||102.72||74,167||722 sq mi
|St. Johns County||109||St. Augustine||1821||One of the two original counties||Name derived from the St. Johns River, which in turn derives its name from San Juan del Puerto||480.24||292,466||609 sq mi
|St. Lucie County||111||Fort Pierce||1905||Brevard||Saint Lucy (283–304), the Christian martyr||600.66||343,579||572 sq mi
|Santa Rosa County||113||Milton||1842||Escambia||Santa Rosa Island, which is in turn named for Saint Rosa de Viterbo (1235–1252), a saint born in Viterbo, Italy||190.94||193,998||1,016 sq mi
|Sarasota County||115||Sarasota||1921||Manatee||Native American word, of uncertain meaning, for the area||781.57||447,057||572 sq mi
|Seminole County||117||Sanford||1913||Orange||The Seminole Native American tribe||1526.28||470,093||308 sq mi
|Sumter County||119||Bushnell||1853||Marion||Thomas Sumter (1734–1832), general in the American Revolution||248.42||135,638||546 sq mi
|Suwannee County||121||Live Oak||1858||Columbia||The Suwannee River, a 266-mile long river in northern Florida||64.66||44,485||688 sq mi
|Taylor County||123||Perry||1856||Madison||Zachary Taylor (1784–1850), 12th President of the United States||20.94||21,815||1,042 sq mi
|Union County||125||Lake Butler||1921||Bradford||Named for the area's residents united desire to split into a separate county||68.06||16,335||240 sq mi
|Volusia County||127||DeLand||1854||Orange||The port of Volusia, whose etymology is uncertain; possibly derived from the Native American word for "Land of the Euchees," the term for the area's native inhabitants||510.32||564,412||1,106 sq mi
|Wakulla County||129||Crawfordville||1843||Leon||The Wakulla River, itself named for a Spanish corruption of a Timucuan word used to describe the body of water, but that is of uncertain meaning||57.15||34,690||607 sq mi
|Walton County||131||DeFuniak Springs||1824||Escambia and Jackson||George Walton, first Secretary of Florida Territory||75.68||80,069||1,058 sq mi
|Washington County||133||Chipley||1825||Jackson and Walton||George Washington (1732–1799), first President of the United States||43.86||25,436||580 sq mi
Chronological History of Florida Counties
Escambia and St. Johns Counties were Florida's two original counties formed on July 21, 1821. They covered the entire territory within modern state boundaries. The Suwannee River was the border between them, following a winding path from the northern border of the state to the Gulf of Mexico. Essentially, the Escambia county government had jurisdiction over the "panhandle" and "big bend" areas, and St. Johns over the remainder of the entire state.
Twenty other counties were originally a part of Escambia county including Jackson (1822), Gadsden (1823), Leon and Walton (1824), Washington (1825), Jefferson, Hamilton, and Madison (1827), Franklin (1832), Calhoun (1838), Santa Rosa (1842), Wakulla (1843), Holmes (1848), Liberty, (1855), Lafayette and Taylor (1856), Bay (1913), Okaloosa (1915), Dixie (1921), and Gulf (1925).
Forty-Five other counties have been formed from the original St. Johns county including Duval (1822), Monroe (1823), Alachua, Nassau, and Orange (originally Mosquito 1824), Columbia (1832), Hillsboro (1834), Miami-Dade (originally Dade 1836), Hernando (originally Benton 1843), Brevard and Marion (1844), Levy (1845), Putnam (1845), Sumter (1853), Volusia (1854), Manatee (1855), Bradford (Originally New River), Clay, and Suwannee (1858), Baker and Polk (1861), Citrus, Desoto, Lake, Lee, Osceola, and Pasco (1887), St. Lucie (1905), Palm Beach (1909), Pinellas (1912), Seminole (1913), Broward (1915), Flagler and Okeechobee (1917), Charlotte, Glades, Hardee, Highland, Sarasota, and Union (1921), Collier and Hendry (1923), and Gilcrest, Indian River, and Martin (1925).
Fayette County was created in 1832 from the portion of Jackson County east of the Chipola River, with county seat at Ochesee (now in Calhoun County east of Altha). In 1834 it was merged back into Jackson County.
Five counties in Florida have been renamed. Most renamings occurred between 1845 and 1861, during the first sixteen years of Florida's statehood. One occurred in 1997, when Dade County changed its name to Miami-Dade County.
|Benton County||1844–1850||Thomas Benton (1782–1858), U.S. Senator from Missouri who supported the Armed Occupation Act of 1842 that many Floridians wanted in order to evict Native Americans||Original name of county was Hernando County, and the name was changed back to that in 1850|
|Dade County||1836–1997||Francis L. Dade (c. 1793–1835), Major in the United States Army during the Second Seminole War||Changed to Miami-Dade County in 1997, in order to benefit from the City of Miami's internationally recognizable name|
|Mosquito County||1824–1845||Taken from the name the Spanish had given the entire coast, "Los Mosquitos"||Mosquito had already repeatedly ceded land to other counties by 1845, when it was renamed Orange County|
|New River County||1858–1861||The New River||Renamed to Bradford County in 1861|
|St. Lucie County||1844–1855||Saint Lucy (283–304), the Christian martyr||Renamed Brevard County in 1855|
|Bloxham County||1915||William D. Bloxham (1835–1911), 13th and 17th governor of Florida||county seat at Williston|
|Leigh Read County||1842||Leigh Read, legislator||proposed renaming of Mosquito County|
|Miami County||1947||City of Miami||consolidated city-county|
|Ocean County||1991||Atlantic Ocean||Jacksonville Beaches|
- Utley, Geo. B. (1908). "Origin of the County Names in Florida". Florida Historical Society Quarterly. 1 (3): 29–35. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
- "A Guide to Alachua County's History". Alachua County Florida. Archived from the original on October 6, 2006. Retrieved March 24, 2010.
- "About Florida's Counties". Florida Association of Counties. Archived from the original on October 4, 2012. Retrieved January 20, 2010.
- "Demographics". Wakulla County Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
- "Florida County Maps". Florida Center for Instructional Technology – University of South Florida. Retrieved January 16, 2010.
- "Florida QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved September 2, 2021. (2020 Census)
- "United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) County FIPS Code Listing". United States Environmental Protection Agency. Archived from the original on October 8, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2008.
- "NACo – Find a county". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on October 25, 2007. Retrieved April 24, 2008.
- Newberry Library, Atlas of Historical County Boundaries: Florida, accessed May 2014
- "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Florida". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
- "Florida QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 2, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2008. (2008 Census estimates)
- Morris, Allen, Florida Place Names
- Eriksen, John M., Brevard County, Florida...A Short History to 1955
- "An Act to organise a county to be called the County of Fayette". Act No. 53 of 1832.
- "An Act, more accurately to define the boundaries of Fayette County, and for other purposes". Act No. 31 (Chapter 688) of 1833.
- "An Act to repeal certain acts organizing the County of Fayette". Act No. 26 (Chapter 765) of 1834.
- "An Act Providing for the Creation of Bloxham County in the State of Florida, and for the Organization and the Government Thereof". Act No. 130 (Chapter 6936) of 1915.
- "An Act Providing the Manner, Method and Means of the Election and Creation of a Charter Board in the Territory now Comprising Dade County; Providing for the Drafting and Adopting of the Charter Prepared by Said Board for Said Territory; Providing for the Election of Commissioners of a New Political Subdivision in the Territory now Comprising Dade County to be Known as the County of Miami; Providing the Effective Date of Said Charter and the Time the Board of Commissioners Shall Take Office; and Providing that This Act Shall not Become Effective Until the Joint Resolution No. 407 has Been Approved by the Qualified Electors of Dade County and of the State of Florida as a Whole". Act No. 853 (Chapter 24467) of 1947.
- Atlas of Florida, revised edition. Edward A. Fernald & Elizabeth D. Purdum, editors (University Press of Florida, 1996). "Evolution of Counties", pp. 98–99.