Citrus County is a county located in the U.S.
state of Florida.
of 2000, the population was 118,085. The U.S. Census Bureau
2006 estimate for
the county was 138,143 
. Its county seat is
Florida . More than 90% of the population of Citrus
County lives outside the two incorporated towns of Inverness and Crystal River .
The Homosassa Springs Micropolitan Statistical Area
includes all of Citrus County.
Citrus County was first occupied about 2,500 years ago by
mound-building Native Americans that built the complex that now
forms the Crystal River Archeological Site. The site was occupied
for about 3,000 years. Why the complex was abandoned is currently
Citrus County was created in 1887
. The Citrus
County area was formerly part of a Hernando County. It was named
for the county's citrus trees. Citrus production declined
dramatically after the "Big Freeze" of 1894-1895. Today, citrus is
grown on one large grove, Bellamy Grove. Additionally, some people
do have trees on their personal property.
The original county seat was Mansfield, or Mannsfeld. The county
seat was moved to Inverness. Currently, only a street and a pond
remain of the original town.
Phosphate mining also played a major part in the history of the
County until the end of WWII in which phosphate mining was largely
moved overseas. The first newspaper of Citrus County was called the
In the 1960s Citrus County began to develop and housing
developments such as Beverly Hills started to dominate the
Citrus County is known as “The Little Giant” and this is inscribed
on the official county seal. Citrus County is in the geographic
center of Florida.
Citrus County has one local television station that broadcasts
County Commission meetings live on the first and third Tuesday of
each month. In addition, Citrus County is serviced by Bay News 9, a
news outlet provided by Bright House Networks.
There is one local newspaper, the Citrus County Chronicle.
According to the U.S.
county has a total area of 773.15 square miles
(2,002 km²), of which, 584 square miles (1,512 km²)
of it is land and 189 square miles (490 km²) of it
(24.49%) is water.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 118,085
people, 52,634 households, and 36,317 families residing in the
county. The population density
was 78/km² (202/mi²). There were 62,204 housing units at an average
density of 41/km² (106/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was
, 2.36% Black
or African American
, 0.36% Native American
, 0.76% Asian
, 0.03% Pacific Islander
, 0.37% from other races
, and 1.07% from two or more
races. 2.66% of the population were Hispanic
of any race.
There were 52,634 households out of which 19.00% had children under
the age of 18 living with them, 58.30% were married couples
living together, 7.60% had a female
householder with no husband present, and 31.00% were non-families.
26.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.60% had
someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average
household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.60.
In the county the population was spread out with 17.20% under the
age of 18, 4.60% from 18 to 24, 19.10% from 25 to 44, 26.90% from
45 to 64, and 32.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median
age was 53 years. For every 100 females there were 92.30 males. For
every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.60 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $31,001, and
the median income for a family was $36,711. Males had a median
income of $28,091 versus $21,408 for females. The per capita income
for the county was
$18,585. 11.70% of the population and 8.50% of families were below
the poverty line
. 18.10% of those under
the age of 18 and 7.00% of those 65 and older were living below the
Cities and towns
line operates within the county: A freight line to the Crystal
River Nuclear Power Plant in northern Citrus County. Other lines that used
to run through Citrus were either converted into rail trails such
as the Cross Town Trail in Crystal River and Withlacoochee State Trail in eastern Citrus County or abandoned.
- U.S. Route 19 is the main local road
through western Citrus County, running south to north.
- U.S. Route 41 is the main local road
through eastern Citrus County, running south to north. North of CR
48 in Floral City, the road is also shared by the DeSoto
- U.S. Route 98 runs northwest to
southeast from Hernando County, Florida, and joins US 19 in Chassahowitzka on its way to Perry.
- State Road 44 runs east and west
through the northern part of the county from Crystal River into
County. A county extension south of the western terminus
runs into Fort Island.
- County Road 48 runs mostly east and
west through Southeastern Citrus County. It spans from US 41
Floral City winding southeast along the Withlacoochee River, which it
eventaully crosses on the way to Bushnell and Center Hill in
County, and Howey-in-the Hills in Lake
County. The segment in Bushnell between I-75(Exit
314) and US 301 becomes a state road. Throughout Citrus County,
County Road 48 is also shared by the DeSoto Trail.
- County Road 480 is the southernmost
county road in Citrus County. It runs east and west from Chassahowitzka with a short concurrency with US 98, then through
the Withlacoochee State
Forest where it evenually terminates at US 41 in Floral City,
south of CR 48.
- County Road 490 runs east and
west from the Gulf of
Mexico along the south side of the Homosassa River until it briefly joins US
19-98 in downtown Homosassa Springs only to head northeast towards SR 44 in
- County Road 491: A Bi-County road that
begins in unincorporated northwestern Hernando County, then runs
north and south along the western side of the Withlacoochee State
Forest, and into Lecanto and Beverly Hills where it curves east in
northern Citrus County and crosses US 41 in Holder, only to
terminate at SR 200 near the Citrus-Marion County Line.
- County Road 581: Runs north and south
along the eastern side of the Withlacoochee State Forest from
Hernando County Road 41 in Lake Lindsey, into Inverness where it
joins SR 44 east towards US 41, only to branch off on its own as a
dead end street on the banks of the Withlacoochee River.
Citrus County leans slightly Republican in national, state and
local races, electing a mix of some local Conservative Democrats
Republicans, while generally voting Republican in presidential
Private Cabin On Sportsmen's Island:
Citrus County, FL
Citrus County's most significant tourist draw is that it is
currently the only place in the United States where one can
interact and swim with the West Indian manatee without that act
being viewed as harassment by Law Enforcement. This endangered
species makes Citrus County's spring-fed rivers its wintering home.
According to the US Fish & Wildlife Services' Aerial Manatee
Surveys, as many as 400 of these unique creatures can be found in
Citrus County at one time. This typically occurs only during the
coldest months of the year.
can also be viewed in the underwater observatory at Homosassa
Springs Wildlife State Park.
Most of the park's residents are injured
animals undergoing rehabilition or unable to return to the wild.
The notable exception is Lucifer, an African hippopotamus. When a
permanent home could not be found for the retired actor,
then-Governor Lawton Chiles
Lucifer an honorary citizen of the state.
Citrus County also has within its territorial boundaries a number
of uninhabited and/or sparsely inhabited coastal islands that can
be accessed via watercraft. While some of the Citrus County islands
are state lands thus available for public use for recreational
opportunities, many other Citrus County islands are private
property and are either wholly or partially owned by private
parties. A number of the interior islands have private vacation
homes and cabins situated along the waterfront.
Citrus County also has one local TV Station, WYKE-LP
Government links/Constitutional offices