Marion County, Florida
Marion County Courthouse in Ocala
Location within the U.S. state of Florida
Florida's location within the U.S.
|Founded||March 14, 1844|
|Named for||Francis Marion|
|• Total||1,663 sq mi (4,310 km2)|
|• Land||1,585 sq mi (4,110 km2)|
|• Water||78 sq mi (200 km2) 4.7%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||209/sq mi (81/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Congressional districts||2nd, 3rd, 11th|
Marion County is part of the Ocala Metropolitan Statistical Area.
History[change | change source]
Marion County was created in 1844 from portions of Alachua, Mosquito (Orange), and Hillsborough counties. Until 1853, Marion County included most of what are now Lake and Sumter counties. The county is named after General Francis Marion of South Carolina, a guerilla fighter and hero of the American Revolutionary War. Many of the early settlers of Marion County were from South Carolina. The county motto is "Kingdom of the Sun." Farms in the county are known for breeding champion race horses such as Affirmed and Needles.
Land[change | change source]
According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 1,663.01 square miles (4,307.2 km2), of which 1,578.86 square miles (4,089.2 km2) (or 94.94%) is land and 84.15 square miles (217.9 km2) (or 5.06%) is water.
Marion County is generally composed of rolling hills, some high and some low. The majority of its trees consist of live oaks, pine, and palm trees. Marion County is considered the southernmost county in North Central Florida, and the northernmost county in Central Florida.
It is about a two hour drive from many of Florida's major cities. Orlando is 75 minutes to the southeast while Daytona Beach is about 90 minutes to the east. Tampa is about 75 minutes to the southwest. Jacksonville is roughly a two hour drive northeast. Miami is about five hours to the southeast. Fort Lauderdale is about a four-hour drive from Marion County.
Marion County also has three large lakes at its opposite borders. Orange Lake is in the far northern part of Marion County, near the border with Alachua County. Lake Kerr is in the northeastern part of the county, near the town of Salt Springs. Lake Weir, the largest of the three, is in the far southern region near the border with Lake County. Part of Lake George is also in Marion County.
Marion County is inland, centered between the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Gulf of Mexico to the west. Because of this, Marion County is not affected as much by hurricanes compared to the more coastal counties to its east and west. However, tornadoes are a major threat to this region of the state. Although Marion County is not near either of Florida's coasts, it is situated slightly to the west, so it takes a little less than an hour to get to the Gulf of Mexico while it takes about half an hour longer to get to the Atlantic Ocean.
Counties nearby[change | change source]
- Putnam County, Florida - northeast
- Volusia County, Florida - east
- Lake County, Florida - southeast
- Sumter County, Florida - south
- Citrus County, Florida - southwest
- Levy County, Florida - west
- Alachua County, Florida - northwest
National protected area[change | change source]
- Ocala National Forest (part)
People[change | change source]
As of the census of 2000, there were 258,916 people, 106,755 households, and 74,621 families living in the county. The population density was 164 people per square mile (63/km²). There were 122,663 housing units at an average density of 78 per square mile (30/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 84.16% White, 11.55% Black or African American, 0.45% Native American, 0.70% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.69% from other races, and 1.44% from two or more races. 6.03% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 106,755 households out of which 24.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.60% were married couples living together, 10.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.10% were not related. 25.00% of all households were made up of people living alone and 13.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.79.
In the county the population was spread out with 21.40% under the age of 18, 6.40% from 18 to 24, 23.80% from 25 to 44, 23.90% from 45 to 64, and 24.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 93.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $31,944, and the median income for a family was $37,473. Males had a median income of $28,836 versus $21,855 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,848. About 9.20% of families and 13.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.20% of those under age 18 and 7.40% of those age 65 or over.
Government[change | change source]
The Florida Department of Corrections operates facilities in unincorporated areas in the county, including the Lowell Correctional Institution and the Lowell Annex. The annex houses Florida's female death row.
Cities and towns[change | change source]
Cities[change | change source]
Unincorporated[change | change source]
- Fort McCoy
- Marion Oaks
- Silver Springs Shores
- Salt Springs
- The Villages (partly)
- Orange Springs
Schools[change | change source]
Public school system[change | change source]
- 28 elementary schools
- 8 middle schools
- 1 4-8 school
- 1 k-8 center
- 8 high schools
- 3 charter schools
- 14 special needs schools
Elementary schools[change | change source]
- Anthony Elementary School
- Belleview Elementary School
- Belleview-Santos Elementary School
- College Park Elementary School
- Dr. N.H. Jones Elementary (Magnet)
- Dunnellon Elementary School
- East Marion Elementary School
- Eighth Street Elementary School
- Emerald Shores Elementary School
- Evergreen Elementary School
- Fessenden Elementary School
- Fort McCoy School (K-8)
- Greenway Elementary School
- Hammett Bowen Jr. Elementary School
- Harbour View Elementary School
- Horizon Academy at Marion Oaks(5th-8th)
- Madison Street Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (Magnet)
- Maplewood Elementary School
- Oakcrest Elementary School
- Ocala Springs Elementary School
- Reddick-Collier Elementary School
- Romeo Elementary School
- Saddlewood Elementary School
- Shady Hill Elementary School
- South Ocala Elementary School
- Sparr Elementary School
- Stanton-Weirsdale Elementary School
- Sunrise Elementary School
- Ward-Highlands Elementary School
- Wyomina Park Elementary School
Middle schools[change | change source]
- Belleview Middle School
- Dunnellon Middle School
- Fort King Middle School
- Horizon Academy at Marion Oaks(5th-8th)
- Howard Middle School
- Lake Weir Middle School
- Liberty Middle School
- North Marion Middle School
- Osceola Middle School
High schools[change | change source]
- Vanguard High School
- Belleview High School
- Dunnellon High School
- Forest High School
- Lake Weir High School
- Marion Technical Institute
- North Marion High School
- Trinity Catholic High School
- West Port High School
References[change | change source]
- "Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000, to July 1, 2006" (XLS). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-03-10.[dead link]
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Archived from the original on 2012-06-06. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Lowell Correctional Institution." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 31, 2010.
- "Lowell Annex." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 31, 2010.
- "Death Row Fact Sheet." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 15, 2010.
Other websites[change | change source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Marion County, Florida.|
Government websites/Constitutional offices[change | change source]
- Marion County Fire Rescue
- Marion County Board of County Commissioners
- Marion County Supervisor of Elections
- Marion County Property Appraiser
- Marion County Sheriff's Office
- Marion County Tax Collector
- Marion County Public Schools Homepage
Special districts[change | change source]
- Marion County School Board
- Southwest Florida Water Management District
- St. Johns River Water Management District
Judicial branch[change | change source]
- Marion County Clerk of 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
- Circuit and County Court for the 5th Judicial Circuit of Florida
Tourism websites[change | change source]
- Everything you need to know about The Rainbow River, Dunnellon Florida
- Ocala/Marion County Chamber of Commerce
- Ocala/Marion Visitors' & Convention Bureau