Columbia County Florida Located in North Florida
Columbia County Cities
Land area (rank): 797 square miles (25)
Population 1993 (rank): 46,430 (38)
Rank in population density 1990 (rank): 58 persons per square mile (42)
Growth 1980-1990 (rank): 20.4% (48)
Columbia County is in northeast Florida and is bordered by
Georgia and by Hamilton, Suwannee, Gilchrist, Alachua, Union,
and Baker counties. The county has 5 square miles of water. The
average January temperature is 55.6 degrees F, and the average
August temperature is 81.1 degrees F. The average annual rainfall
is 49.88 inches.
Columbia County was established in 1832 from St. Johns County
and was named in honor of Christopher Columbus. The Spanish explorer
Hernando De Soto founded a large village on the site of present-day
In 1993 nearly 80% of Columbia County's population was in unincorporated
areas. The county's largest incorporated place is Lake City, with
a 1993 population of 9,764. Columbia County's other incorporated
place (Fort White) had a population of 502 in 1993. Development
is limited in the northern and eastern portions of the county
by the Osceola National Forest and by wetlands. In 1993, 82% of
Columbia County's population was white and 18% was nonwhite. In
1990, 1.5% of the population was Hispanic. Between 1980 and 1990,
59.8% of the population increase was due to net migration. The
1992 birth rate for the county was 15.4 live births per 1,000
persons, and the 1992 death rate was 9.5 deaths per 1,000 persons.
The 1992 infant mortality rate was 13.2 per 1,000. The leading
causes of death in 1993 were heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
Of all 1992 high school graduates, 44.2% planned to continue
their education. The 1992 high school dropout rate for the county
was 4.8%. In 1990, 69.0% of persons in the county were high school
graduates, and 11.0% had completed four or more years of college.
Colleges and universities. Lake City Community College.
The per capita income in Columbia County for 1993 was $14,493
(45th highest in the state). The median household income in 1989
was $21,961. In 1989, 15.4% of families had incomes below the
poverty level. In 1990, 23.1% of personal income in Columbia County
was derived from transfer payments. In 1992 the greatest numbers
of persons in Columbia County were employed in the government,
retail trade, and services sectors. Major government employers
are the Veterans' Hospital and the Florida Department of Transportation
District Office in Lake City. In the retail trade sector employers
of the greatest numbers of persons were eating and drinking establishments
and food stores. Lumber and wood products and printing and publishing
firms accounted for the most employment in the manufacturing sector.
In 1992 there were 523 farms in Columbia County, totalling 96,968
acres (19% of land in the county). Corn, soybeans, peanuts, and
watermelons as well as hogs, cattle, and chickens are raised in
the county. In 1991, 43,567 thousand board feet of softwood logs
(4th highest in state), 140,079 cords of softwood for pulp (5th
highest in state), 193 thousand board feet of hardwood logs, and
5,801 cords of hardwood for pulp were produced.
Median value of a single-family home 1990: $47,300
Median monthly rent 1990: $222
Mobile homes as a % of total housing: 34.0
Housing starts 1992: 231
Housing starts 1993: 232
In 1992 the price level index for Columbia County was 90.74
(61st highest in the state).
In 1993, the ad valorem millage rate was 8.7260, and the total
taxable value of property was $719,753,744. Taxable sales totalled
$338.60 million in 1992 and $375.80 million in 1993. Lottery sales
totalled $8,371 thousand in 1992-93. In 1990-91 Columbia County's
revenues totalled $35,915 thousand ($825.0 per capita) and its
expenditures $30,121 thousand ($691.9 per capita). Of those 18
years of age and older, 59.6% were registered to vote in 1992.
Of these, 77.6% were registered Democrat and 19.5% were registered
Republican. In the 1992 presidential election, 43.4% of the votes
were cast for Bush, 37.0% for Clinton, and 19.4% for Perot.
Events and Places of Interest
Olustee Battle Festival and Civil War Re-enactment, Lake City,
February; Columbia County Fair, Lake City, October; Florida Sports
Hall of Fame, Alligator Town, USA, T. G. Henderson House, Lake