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Alachua County is a county located in the U.S. state of Floridamarker. The U.S. Census Bureau 2006 estimate for the county is 227,120. Its county seat is Gainesvillemarker, Floridamarker . Alachua County is the home of the University of Floridamarker and is also known for its diverse culture, local music, and artisans. Much of its economy revolves around the university.


The Alachua area appears to have been the first area occupied by the immigrant Oconees, the original Seminoles, about 1740. Their first town was situated on or near the old Alachua plain, now called Payne's Prairiemarker in homage to "King" Payne, chief of the Alachua settlements upon his death in 1812.

The meaning of Alachua is suggested by a passage in the journal of Lieutenant Diego Peña, who on his expedition to Apalachee and Apalachicola in 1716, traversed the region, and of the area between the Ichetucknee and Suwannee Riversmarker in southern Suwannee County remarks:

That the springs without effluent streams were sinkholes is consistent with the area, which has many. The names of these watering places all possess the terminator chua, which suggests that chua is the Timucuan name for sinkhole. This inference is not inconsistent with the general opinion of residents of the county, that the name Alachua means sinkhole.

Alachua County proper was created in 1824. The original county seat was Newnansvillemarker located near the current site of the city of Alachuamarker. In 1853, the new railroad from Fernandinamarker to Cedar Keymarker bypassed Newnansville, and Gainesville, a new town that was located on the railroad, began to draw business and residents away from Newnansville. Gainesville became the county seat the following year.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of . of it is land and of it (9.79%) is water. Alachua County is part of the Gainesville Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Adjacent Counties


As of the census of 2000, there were 217,955 people, 87,509 households, and 47,779 families residing in the county. The population density was 249.31/sq mi (94.93/km²). There were 95,113 housing units at an average density of 108.79/sq mi (42.01/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 73.47% White, 19.30% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 3.54% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.40% from other races, and 2.02% from two or more races. 5.73% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 11.2% were of German, 9.8% English, 9.3% Americanmarker, 9.1% Irish and 5.0% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000. 88.9% spoke English and 5.6% Spanish as their first language.

There were 87,509 households out of which 25.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.80% were married couples living together, 12.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.40% were non-families. 29.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.40% 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 2.94.

In the county the population was spread out with 20.20% under the age of 18, 23.20% from 18 to 24, 27.70% from 25 to 44, 19.30% from 45 to 64, and 9.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 95.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,426, and the median income for a family was $46,587. Males had a median income of $31,971 versus $26,059 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,465. About 12.20% of families and 22.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.40% of those under age 18 and 9.70% of those age 65 or over.


The entire county of Alachua is served by the Alachua County School District, which has some 47 different institutions in the county. Alachua county is also home to the University of Floridamarker and Santa Fe College.



  1. City of Alachuamarker
  2. City of Archermarker
  3. City of Gainesvillemarker
  4. City of Hawthornemarker
  5. City of High Springsmarker
  6. Town of LaCrossemarker
  7. Town of Micanopymarker
  8. City of Newberrymarker
  9. City of Waldomarker



Due to the influence of the University of Florida, Alachua County is one of the most reliably "blue" counties in Northern Florida, voting for the Democratic candidate for president in the past five elections, and narrowly going for the elder George H. W. Bush in the 1988 landslide election.
Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic Other
2008 38.7% 60.2% 1.2 %
2004 42.9% 56.1% 1.0 %
2000 39.8% 55.2% 5.0%
1996 34.0% 53.9% 12.1%
1992 29.9% 49.6% 20.5%
1988 50.1% 48.8% 1.1%


Alachua County is the site of five closed landfills—Southwest Landfill, Southeast Landfill, Northwest Landfill, Northeast Landfill, and Northeast Auxiliary Landfill. Since 1999, all solid waste from Alachua County has been hauled to the New River Solid Waste Facility in Raifordmarker, in neighboring Union Countymarker.

See also


External links

Government links/Constitutional offices

Special districts

Judicial branch of State

Conservation and environmental organizations

Tourism links

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