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Orange County, Florida
Seal of Orange County, Florida
Map of Florida highlighting Orange County
Location in the state of Florida
Map of the U.S. highlighting Florida
Florida's location in the U.S.
Founded 1845
Seat Orlando
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,004.19 sq mi (2,601 km²)
907.45 sq mi (2,350 km²)
96.74 sq mi (251 km²), 9.66%
 - (2010)
 - Density

1,263/sq mi (487.64/km²)

Orange County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida and is part of the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). As of 2010 U.S. Census, the county had a population of 1,145,956.[1][2]

Orange County is led by the Board of County Commissioners, headed by the Mayor of Orange County. Six Commissioners are elected in single member districts. The Mayor is elected countywide. 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 Teresa Jacobs.

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. [1]

The primary law enforcement body of Orange County is the Orange County Sheriff's Office and the Orlando Police Department. The Sheriff of Orange County, also an elected position, is Jerry Demings. Public education is provided by Orange County Public Schools. Orange County Health Department is a unit of the Florida Department of Health which is a partnership between Orange County and the State.

Pre-history[edit | edit source]

The land that is Orange County was part of the first land to emerge from below the Early Oligocene sea 33.9—28.4 million years ago and is known as Orange Island. Orange County's Rock Spring location is a Pleistocene fossil bearing area and has yielded a vast variety of birds and mammals including giant sloth, mammoth, camel, and the Dire Wolf dating around 1.1 million years ago.[3]

History[edit | edit source]

In 1821, there were two counties that formed Florida: Escambia to the west and St. Johns to the east. In 1824, the area to the south of St. Johns County became Mosquito County, and Enterprise was named the County Seat. This massive county took up much of Central Florida. Mosquito County was renamed Orange County in 1845 when Florida became a state. Several counties, such as Osceola, Seminole, Lake, and Volusia County, were carved out of Orange County.

Orange County was renamed from Mosquito County 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 Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Florida), these areas began and continue to be, swallowed up by growing housing developments. However, several packing facilities and wholesalers are still in Orange County.

Paved roads[edit | edit source]

The first paved roads in Orange County, outside the cities, were built in 1915 and 1916 under a $600,000 bond issue, approved by voters on November 11, 1913. These five roads were paved 9 feet (3 m) wide with brick:

  1. Orlando south to Osceola County via Edgewood, Pine Castle and Taft (later SR 2, part of the Dixie Highway)
  2. Orlando east and south to Conway (later SR 29)
  3. Orlando north to Seminole County via Winter Park and Lake Maitland (later SR 3, part of the Dixie Highway)
  4. Orlando west to Oakland via Ocoee and Winter Garden (later SR 22)
  5. Orlando northwest to Apopka and beyond, probably to Plymouth (later SR 2, part of the Dixie Highway)

The roads built and planned in the 1926 bond issue, and earlier paved roads.

In the next ten years, the following roads also received a hard surface:

Another bond issue, this time for $7,000,000, was approved by voters on March 23, 1926. These asphalt roads covered almost all parts of the county; most of them are still main roads. There are too many to list here but a map is available.

Current major highways[edit | edit source]

Interstates and Expressways[edit | edit source]

Surface Roads[edit | edit source]

Geography[edit | edit source]

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 1,004.19 square miles (2,600.8 km2), of which 907.45 square miles (2,350.3 km2) (or 90.37%) is land and 96.74 square miles (250.6 km2) (or 9.63%) is water.[4]

Adjacent Counties[edit | edit source]

Demographics[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1840 73
1850 466 538.4%
1860 987 111.8%
1870 2,195 122.4%
1880 6,618 201.5%
1890 12,584 90.1%
1900 11,374 −9.6%
1910 19,107 68.0%
1920 19,890 4.1%
1930 49,737 150.1%
1940 70,074 40.9%
1950 114,950 64.0%
1960 263,540 129.3%
1970 344,311 30.6%
1980 471,016 36.8%
1990 677,491 43.8%
2000 896,344 32.3%
2010 1,145,956 27.8%


As of the census[7] 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. 18.78% 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. As of the census of 2010 the population reached 1,145,956

In 2000 3.9% of Orange County residents identified themselves as being of non-Hispanic West Indian ancestry.[8]

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 older.

Economy[edit | edit source]

Darden Restaurants, a company that operates many restaurant chains such as Olive Garden, has its headquarters in an unincorporated area in the county, near Orlando.[9]

Politics[edit | edit source]

Orange County is one of the Democratic-leaning counties in Central Florida, with a diverse population of people from around the U.S. and the world. It voted for Barack Obama 59% to 40% in 2008. However they voted for Republicans Richard Crotty and Teresa Jacobs for county mayor, and for Jeb Bush, and Charlie Crist for Governor in the last few elections.

Orange County is a "charter" county, meaning that the county government adopted a charter, and is governed by that charter, in addition to state law. 20 of Florida's 67 counties are charter counties. (

Municipalities[edit | edit source]

Incorporated[edit | edit source]

  1. City of Apopka
  2. City of Belle Isle
  3. Town of Eatonville
  4. City of Edgewood
  5. City of Maitland
  6. Town of Oakland
  7. City of Ocoee
  8. City of Orlando
  9. Town of Windermere
  10. City of Winter Garden
  11. City of Winter Park
  12. City of Bay Lake
  13. City of Lake Buena Vista

Unincorporated[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Government links/Constitutional offices[edit | edit source]

Special districts[edit | edit source]

Judicial branch[edit | edit source]

Tourism[edit | edit source]

Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]

  • Although the area of Orange County that borders Lake County, Osceola County and that virtually touches Polk County is called the "Four Corners" area, Orange County Florida does not actually border Polk County, Florida. The area known as "Four Corners" is actually two sets of three corners. Orange County, Lake County and Osceola County share a common border that is located at the intersection of the westbound lane of Route 192 near Bali Boulevard; Lake County, Osceola County and Polk County share a common border across the street, about 15 yards away, at the eastbound lane of Route 192 near Bali Boulevard. The four counties do not in fact share a common border and therefore Orange County, while being extremely near Polk County, does not technically border it. (

Coordinates: 28°31′N 81°19′W / 28.51, -81.32

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