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Marion County is a county located in the U.S. state of Floridamarker. The U.S. Census Bureau 2006 estimate for the county is 316,183. Its county seat is Ocala, Floridamarker .

Marion County is coterminous with the Ocala Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Marion County was created in 1844 from portions of Alachua, Mosquito (Orangemarker), and Hillsboroughmarker counties. Until 1853, Marion County included most of what are now Lakemarker and Sumtermarker counties. The county is named after General Francis Marion of South Carolinamarker, 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.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,663 square miles (4,307 km²), of which, 1,579 square miles (4,089 km²) of it is land and 84 square miles (218 km²) of it (5.06%) is water..

Location and Terrain

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 Floridamarker.

It is about a two hour drive from many of Florida's major cities, Orlandomarker is 75 minutes to the southeast while Daytona Beachmarker is about 90 minutes to the east. Tampamarker is about 75 minutes to the southwest. Jacksonvillemarker is roughly a two hour drive northeast . Miamimarker is about five hours to the southeast. Fort Lauderdalemarker 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, which is near the border with Putnam Countymarker. Lake Weirmarker, the largest of the three, is in the far southern region near the border with Lake Countymarker. Part of Lake Georgemarker is in Marion County also.

Marion County is inland, centered between the Atlantic Oceanmarker to the east and the Gulf of Mexicomarker to the west. Because of this, Marion County is not affected as much by hurricanes as the more coastal counties to its east and west are. 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. Therefore, 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.

Adjacent counties



National protected area



Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 258,916 people, 106,755 households, and 74,621 families residing 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 non-families. 25.00% of all households were made up of individuals 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.

Municipalities

Unincorporated



Education

Public School System

  • 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

  • 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(4th-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



High Schools



Marion County Public Schools Homepage

References



External links

Government links/Constitutional offices



Special districts



Judicial branch



Tourism links



Miscellaneous links

  • Photographs From the State Library & Archives of Florida.



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