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Hendry County Florida   Located in South Florida

Hendry County Cities

Clewiston Harlem Montura Estates Sugarton
Denaud Hooker Point North La Belle Sunnyland Station
Devils Garden Keri Sears Whidden Corner
Felda La Belle South Clewiston
Felda Station Maple Mound South La Belle

Land area (rank): 1,163 square miles (8)
Population 1993 (rank): 28,601 (47)
Population density 1993 (rank): 24 persons per square mile (56)
Growth 1980-1990 (rank): 38.6% (26)

Physical Characteristics

Hendry County is east of Ft. Myers and south of Lake Okeechobee and is bordered by Glades, Lee, Collier, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. The county has 28 square miles of water. The average January temperature is 64.0 degrees F, and the average August temperature is 81.2 degrees F. The average annual rainfall is 49.95 inches.


Hendry County was established in 1923 from a portion of Lee County and named for Captain Francis Asbury Hendry, an early settler and "the cattle king of South Florida."


In 1993, 68% of Hendry County's population was in unincorporated areas. Clewiston is the county's most populous incorporated place, with a 1993 population of 6,144, followed by La Belle, the county seat (2,897 persons in 1993). The unincorporated area of Harlem, south of Clewiston, had a population of 2,826 in 1990. Unincorporated Port La Belle had a population of 1,512 in 1990. Much of the county's land is wetlands. A large part of the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation is in the southern portion of the county. In 1993, 80% of Hendry County's population was white and 20% was nonwhite. In 1990, 22.3% of the population was Hispanic. Of the population increase between 1980 and 1990, 57.5% was due to net migration. The 1992 birth rate was 21.2 live births per 1,000 persons, and the 1992 death rate was 8.5 deaths per 1,000 persons. In 1992 the infant mortality rate was 11.8 per 1,000. The leading causes of death in 1993 were heart disease, cancer, and accidents.


Of all 1992 high school graduates, 70.4% planned to continue their education. The 1992 high school dropout rate was 11.4%. In 1990, 56.6% of persons in the county were high school graduates, and 10.0% had completed four or more years of college. Colleges and universities. Served by Edison Community College (Lee County).


The per capita income in Hendry County for 1993 was $17,441 (27th highest in the state). The median household income in 1989 was $24,904. In 1989, 15.3% of families had incomes below the poverty level. In 1990, 14.6% of personal income in Hendry County was derived from transfer payments. In 1992 the greatest numbers of persons in Hendry County were employed in the agriculture, services, and government sectors. In 1992 there were 389 farms in Hendry County, totalling 529,835 acres (71% of land in the county). Hendry County is the state's leading producer and refiner of sugarcane, which is grown on the rich mucklands around Lake Okeechobee. Other leading crops are sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, potatoes, squash, and tomatoes. Hendry County is also a major producer of citrus and cattle. In 1992, 82,242 cords of softwood for pulp and 631 cords of hardwood for pulp were produced.

Median value of a single-family home 1990: $61,200
Median monthly rent 1990: $302
Mobile homes as a % of total housing: 40.9
Housing starts 1992: 73
Housing starts 1993: 107

In 1992 the price level index for Hendry County was 95.77 (25th highest in the state).

Local Government

In 1993, the ad valorem millage rate was 8.2870, and the total taxable value of property was $1,065,059,938. Taxable sales totalled $154.70 million in 1992 and $157.40 million in 1993. Lottery sales totalled $4,337 thousand in 1992-93. In 1990-91 Hendry County's revenues totalled $24,171 thousand ($887.6 per capita) and its expenditures $22,018 thousand ($808.6 per capita). Of those 18 years of age and older, 53.9% were registered to vote in 1992. Of these, 76.9% were registered Democrat and 20.2% were registered Republican. In the 1992 presidential election 40.9% of the votes were cast for Bush, 33.6% for Clinton, and 25.3% for Perot.

Events and Places of Interest

Swamp Cabbage Festival, La Belle, February; Sugar Festival, Clewiston, April.

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