Highlands County Florida Located in Central Florida
Highlands County Cities
||De Soto City
|Avon Park Lakes
||Highland Park Estates
Land area (rank): 1,029 square miles (15)
Population 1993 (rank): 73,203 (35)
Population density 1993 (rank): 71 persons per square mile (39)
Growth 1980-1990 (rank): 44.0% (22)
Highlands County is northwest of Lake Okeechobee and is bordered
by Okeechobee, De Soto, Glades, Hardee, and Polk counties. The
county has 78 square miles of water. The average January temperature
is 63.2 degrees F, and the average August temperature is 81.8
degrees F. The average annual rainfall is 52.22 inches.
Highlands County was established from a portion of De Soto
County in 1921 and named for its rolling countryside.
In 1993, three-quarters of Highlands County's population was
in unincorporated areas. The incorporated place with the greatest
population (8,959 in 1993) is Sebring, site of the famous sports
car race. The next most populous incorporated place is Avon Park,
which had a 1993 population of 8,169. The unincorporated areas
of Placid Lakes and Sylvan Shores continued to develop during
the 1980s. In 1993, 89% of Highlands County's population was white
and 11% was nonwhite. In 1990, 5.1% of the population was Hispanic.
Of the population increase between 1980 and 1990, 100.0% was due
to net migration. In 1992 the birth rate was 11.9 live births
per 1,000 persons, and the 1992 death rate was 14.8 deaths per
1,000 persons. In 1992 the infant mortality rate was 15.1 per
1,000. In 1993 the leading causes of death were heart disease,
cancer, and chronic obstructive lung disease.
Of all 1992 high school graduates, 77.9% planned to continue
their education. The 1992 high school dropout rate was 6.4%. In
1990, 68.2% of persons in the county were high school graduates,
and 10.9% had completed four or more years of college. Colleges
and univesities. South Florida Community College, Avon Park.
The per capita income in Highlands County for 1993 was $16,477
(30th highest in the state). The median household income in 1989
was $21,146. In 1989, 11.3% of families had incomes below the
poverty level. In 1990, 26.6% of personal income in Highlands
County was derived from transfer payments. In 1992 the greatest
numbers of persons in Highlands County were employed in the retail
trade, services, and government sectors. In the retail trade sector,
eating and drinking establishments and food stores employed the
greatest numbers of persons. In the services sector the greatest
numbers of persons were employed by medical and other health services,
and by social services. In 1992 there were 652 farms in Highlands
County, totalling 483,835 acres (73% of land in the county). Highlands
County is one of the leading citrus producers in the state and
is also a major producer of cattle. In 1991, 4,263 thousand board
feet of softwood logs and 1,794 cords of softwood for pulp were
Median value of a single-family home 1990: $58,500
Median monthly rent 1990: $282
Mobile homes as a % of total housing: 27.6
Housing starts 1992: 708
Housing starts 1993: 653
In 1992 the price level index for Highlands County was 94.06
(36th highest in the state).
In 1993, the ad valorem millage rate was 8.5000, and the total
taxable value of land was $2,148,265,140. Taxable sales totalled
$516.80 million in 1992 and $513.70 million in 1993. Lottery sales
totalled $9,971 thousand in 1992-93. In 1990-91 Highlands County's
revenues totalled $37,726 thousand ($534.3 per capita) and its
expenditures $36,455 thousand ($516.3 per capita). Of those 18
years of age and older, 65.6% were registered to vote in 1992.
Of these, 51.4% were registered Democrat and 43.9% were registered
Republican. In the 1992 presidential election 44.8% of the votes
were cast for Bush, 34.7% for Clinton, and 20.4% for Perot.
Events and Places of Interest
Sebring Auto Race, March; Ft. Basinger, south of Basinger;
Florida Medal of Honor Park, Sebring.