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Monroe County is a county located in the state of Floridamarker. As of 2000, the population was 79,589. The U.S. Census Bureau 2006 estimate for the county was 74,737. [11269]

Monroe County includes the islands of the Florida Keysmarker. Its county seat is Key Westmarker. The Key West Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Monroe County.


Monroe County was created in 1823. It was named for James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States, who served from 1817 to 1825.


The Florida Keys Council for the Arts is the primary cultural umbrella for the Florida Keys, and serves the population from Key Largomarker to Key Westmarker. A non-profit local arts agency, it makes grants, operates the Monroe County Art in Public Places program, sponsors seminars, and manages the on-line cultural calendar for the region. It also manages the County's Tourism Development Council arts marketing grants and serves as a leading advocate for cultural tourism in lower Floridamarker. In 1998, the Florida Keys Council of the Arts was designated by the Board of Monroe County Commissioners as the area's Local Arts Agency as provided by Florida Statute 286.011. Established in 1997 as the Monroe Council of the Arts Corporation. The name was changed to the Florida Keys Council of the Arts in 2001. Today the organization is the liaison among cultural organizations, all levels of government and the private sector in encouraging and promoting the arts throughout Monroe County. The council endeavors to make the arts a part of the fabric of daily life. From its inception through fiscal year end 2006, FKCA has awarded $433,916 in privately-raised funds and grants to literary, visual and performing artists and cultural organizations. Add to that sum the Cultural Umbrella event funding, the South Florida Cultural Consortium Visual & Media Artists Fellowships and The Art in Public Places commissions, and the total distributed in the Keys cultural community through FKCA’s efforts come to $2.5 million to date. The annual economic impact of the non-profit cultural community in the Keys is estimated at over $22 million. The Florida Keys Council of the Arts, a non-profit,501(c) (3) corporation in a public-private partnership with local county government since 1997 serves 76,329 local residents and three million visitors annually. A ten-member board of directors guides the council, assisted by three alternate directors, two directors Emeritus and twenty-five advisory board members.

Other notable Monroe County cultural organizations are The Studios of Key West, the Red Barn Theatre, Key West Symphony, Sculpture Key West, Fantasy Festmarker, the San Carlos Institute, Hemingway House and Museummarker, Customs House Museummarker, and Key West Art and Historical Society.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 3,737 square miles (9,679 km²), 997 square miles (2,582 km²) of which is land and 2,740 square miles (7,097 km²) of which (73.32%) is water.

More than 99 percent of the Monroe County population lives in the island chain known as the Florida Keysmarker.

Two thirds of the large area in what local residents call "mainland Monroe" is protected by virtue of being part of the Everglades National Parkmarker, and the remainder by the Big Cypress National Preservemarker in the northeastern interior. The area, officially named Cape Sable Census County Division, is virtually uninhabited. As of the Census of 2000, this area had 86.9 percent of the county's land area (2243.58 out of ), but only 0.075 percent of its population (60 out of 79,589). The Census Bureau defines this area as Census Tract 9701 of Monroe County, Florida. With a population density of only 0.0267/km² (0.0693/sq mi), if it were a separate county or county-equivalent, only the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Areamarker of central Alaskamarker would have a lower population density out of all U.S. counties. The only three populated places appearing on detailed maps and in the USGS geographic name database are Flamingomarker, Pinecrest (not to be confused with much larger Pinecrestmarker of neighboring Miami-Dade Countymarker), and Trail City. Flamingo, located on the south coast and at the end of State Road 9336 (Flamingo Lodge Highway), is the location of the Flamingo Lodge and the Flamingo Ranger Station (with Visitor Center & Marina). northeast on the highway is the West Lake Trail (station). Pinecrest, located in the northern interior of the county (in the Big Cypress National Preserve) on Loop Road (given that name since it forms a loop with U.S. Highway 41 further north), hosts the Loop Road Education Center. Trail City is west of Pinecrest on Loop Road. Loop Road can be found on most maps as CR 94, although the roadway no longer has a numbered designation and is now managed by the National Park Service.

Between the south coast of Florida's mainland and the Florida Keys is Florida Baymarker, which is also protected by the Everglades National Park and contains numerous islets or keys.

Adjacent counties

Major highways


As of the census of 2000, there were 79,589 people, 35,086 households, and 20,384 families residing in the county. The population density was 80 people per square mile (31/km²). There were 51,617 housing units at an average density of 52 per square mile (20/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.65% White, 4.77% Black or African American, 0.38% Native American, 0.83% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.55% from other races, and 1.78% from two or more races. 15.77% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In 2005 Monroe County had a population that was 75.1% non-Hispanic white, 17.7% Latino, 5.4% African-American and 1.1% Asian.

In 2000 there were 35,086 households out of which 20.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.80% were married couples living together, 7.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.90% were non-families. 28.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.73.

In the county the population was spread out with 17.10% under the age of 18, 6.30% from 18 to 24, 31.10% from 25 to 44, 30.90% from 45 to 64, and 14.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 113.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 114.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $42,283, and the median income for a family was $50,734. Males had a median income of $31,266 versus $25,709 for females. The per capita income for the county was $26,102. About 6.80% of families and 10.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.80% of those under age 18 and 8.80% of those age 65 or over.

Population History of Monroe County, FL:

School Enrollment:

  • 2005-2006-8,328
  • 2006-2007-8,058
  • 2007-2008-7,836
  • 2007-2008(actual)-8,280
  • 2010-2011-7,231

The drop in enrollment is due to high insurance and taxes and homes are becoming too expensive for families to purchase, although the median price has dropped, the median price of a home in Monroe County remains high at $589,000 according to The enrollment has been dropping for 10 years from a peak of 10,000 students. But these predictions could be changed as insurance has been lowered and property taxes could possibly be rolled back to the 2001 or the 2003 levels. The enrollment in Monroe County, Florida rose by 129 for the first time in 9 years, and is expected to keep rising.


As of 2000, 79.23% spoke English as a first language, while 16.08% spoke Spanish as theirs, 1.01% spoke French, and 0.98% spoke German as their mother tongue.

Municipalities and unincorporated areas


  1. City of Key Westmarker
  2. City of Marathonmarker
  3. City of Key Colony Beachmarker
  4. City of Laytonmarker
  5. Village of Islamoradamarker

Unincorporated islands and areas

a. Stock Islandmarker
b. Big Coppitt Keymarker
c. Cudjoe Keymarker
d. Big Pine Keymarker
e. Duck Keymarker
f. Taverniermarker
g. Key Largomarker
h. North Key Largomarker
i. Flamingomarker
j. Bay Pointmarker
k. Sugarloaf Shoresmarker

Parks and recreational areas

l. Marquesas Keysmarker
m. Bahia Honda State Parkmarker
n. Everglades National Parkmarker
Not pictured

National Wildlife Refuges


Monroe County School District serves the county.

External links

Government links/Constitutional offices

Special districts

Judicial branch

Tourism links


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