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County Listing for: Orange County Florida

 

Facts for: Orange County Florida
Orange County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida and is part of the Orlando-Kissimmee Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As of 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population is 1,043,500. [1] The county seat is Orlando.6 Orange County is led by the six-seat Board of County Commissioners, headed by the Mayor of Orange County. Before the approval by voters of a 2004 charter amendment, the position of Mayor was called "Orange County Chairman", which became an elected position in 1990. The current Mayor of Orange County is Richard Crotty. Although the seat of government is located in a building in Downtown Orlando, the government declared a region of the county as "Downtown Orange County" in 2005. The region of largely unincorporated land (portions of the northern fringe are annexed by Orlando) encompasses the southern portions of the International Drive and Universal Boulevard corridors. The County Government keeps an office in the area at the North/South Building of the Orange County Convention Center. [2] The primary law enforcement body of Orange County is the Orange County Sheriff's Office. The Sheriff of Orange County, also an elected position, is Kevin Beary. Public education is provided by Orange County Public Schools. Mosquito County was created in 1824. It was renamed Orange County in 1845 for the fruit that constituted the county's main product. At its peak in the early 1970s, some 80,000 acres (320 km²) were planted in citrus in Orange County. A truly impressive sight while driving through the rolling hills of the region were the vast vistas of the dark green foliage of orange trees and the intoxicating scent of the orange blossoms when in bloom. Today, far fewer commercial orange groves remain. The vast majority of groves were destroyed by the devastating freezing temperatures experienced in several severe winters of the early 1980s. The financial setbacks, (not the first in the history of the grove region), was just too much for many growers and many, economically destroyed, just walked away from the land and its outstanding obligations. Others hung on awaiting any opportunities. One of the major land owners and growers in the region was the Tropicana company. They, however, also threw in the towel rather than try to come back again from these seemingly generational decimations. With no realistic avenues for agricultural utilization of this rural land and Florida's continuing strong population growth and its attendant needs, (not the least of which was aided and abetted by the great success of nearby Disney World and Universal Studios), these areas began and continue to be, swallowed up by growing housing developments. However, several packing plants and wholesalers who get their oranges from elsewhere in Florida are still in Orange County. In 1951 an intensive FBI investigation of the Ku Klux Klan in Orange County exposed a brutal 300-member organization with chapters in Orlando, Winter Garden, and Apopka (See, Orlando Sentinel, 08/17/2006, page A11). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,004 square miles (2,601 km²), of which, 907 square miles (2,350 km²) of it is land and 97 square miles (251 km²) of it (9.63%) is water. As of the census² of 2000, there were 896,344 people, 336,286 households, and 220,267 families residing in the county. The population density was 988 people per square mile (381/km²). There were 361,349 housing units at an average density of 398 per square mile (154/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 68.59% White, 18.17% Black or African American, 0.34% Native American, 3.35% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 6.01% from other races, and 3.43% from two or more races. 28.78% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 74.7% spoke English, 17.3% Spanish and 1.7% French Creole as their first language. In 2000 3.9% of Orange County residents identified themselves as being of non-Hispanic West Indian Ancestry.[1] There were 336,286 households out of which 32.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.00% were married couples living together, 13.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.50% were non-families. 24.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.14. In the county the population was spread out with 25.30% under the age of 18, 10.90% from 18 to 24, 33.80% from 25 to 44, 20.00% from 45 to 64, and 10.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 98.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.70 males. The median income for a household in the county was $41,311, and the median income for a family was $47,159. Males had a median income of $32,053 versus $25,402 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,916. About 8.80% of families and 12.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.30% of those under age 18 and 9.30% of those age 65 or over. Orange County is experiencing major sprawl; land is being developed at an average of 7,800 acres of farmland per year. The sprawl has facilitated the county's large population growth, and if current trends continue, the county could have a population of 2,500,000 by the year 2050. That is up from 896,000 in the year 2000. Because of such rapid growth, roads have become outdated and are not able to hold enough cars. Growth started around the 1950s and the 1960s. The sprawl has started around 1990s. There are plans for new interstate roads along and crossing I-4. There are new highways being built now, but has been worked on for about 20-25 years, plans have been constantly revised because of such growth.

 

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