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Okeechobee County Florida   Located in South Central Florida


Okeechobee County Cities


Basinger Dixie Ranch Acres Mildred Upthegrove Beach
Basswood Estates Fort Drum Okeechobee Whispering Pines
Country Hills Estates Four Seasons Estates Sherman
Cypress Quarters Hilolo Taylor Creek


Land area (rank): 771 square miles (27)
Population 1993 (rank): 31,758 (43)
Population density 1993 (rank): 41 persons per square mile (45)
Growth 1980-1990 (rank): 46.2% (18)

Physical Characteristics

Okeechobee County is west of the Ft. Pierce area and north of Lake Okeechobee and is bordered by Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, Osceola, Highlands, and Glades counties. The county has 121 square miles of water. The average January temperature is 63.3 degrees F, and the average August temperature is 81.3 degrees F. The average annual rainfall is 47.90 inches.

History

Okeechobee County was established from portions of Osceola and Brevard counties in 1917. The name is derived from two Hitchiti words-Oki meaning "water" and Chobi meaning "big."

Population

In 1993, 84% of Okeechobee County's population was in unincorporated areas. The only incorporated place in the county is Okeechobee, which had a 1993 population of 4,979. The unincorporated area of Taylor Creek had a 1990 population of 4,081, an increase from 2,479 in 1980. In 1993, 92% of Okeechobee County's population was white and 8% was nonwhite. In 1990, 11.8% of the population was Hispanic. Of the population increase between 1980 and 1990, 76.2% was due to net migration. The 1992 birth rate was 18.8 live births per 1,000 persons, and the 1992 death rate was 9.6 deaths per 1,000 persons. In 1992 the infant mortality rate was 3.4 per 1,000. The leading causes of death in 1993 were heart disease, cancer, and chronic obstructive lung disease.

Education

Of all 1992 high school graduates, 52.1% planned to continue their education. The 1992 high school dropout rate was 9.4%. In 1990, 59.1% of persons in the county were high school graduates, and 9.8% had completed four or more years of college. Colleges and universities. Served by Indian River Community College (St. Lucie County).

Economy

The per capita income in Okeechobee County for 1993 was $14,220 (47th highest in the state). The median household income in 1989 was $21,427. In 1989, 14.8% of families had incomes below the poverty level. In 1990, 23.3% of personal income in Okeechobee County was derived from transfer payments. In 1992 the greatest numbers of persons in Okeechobee County were employed in the retail trade, services, and agricultural sectors. The leading employers in the retail trade sector were eating and drinking establishments and food stores. In the services sector the leading employers were social services and medical and other health services. In 1992 there were 418 farms in Okeechobee County, totalling 351,885 acres (71% of land in the county). Dairy farming is Okeechobee County's major agricultural activity.

Median value of a single-family home 1990: $55,600
Median monthly rent 1990: $312
Mobile homes as a % of total housing: 50.4
Housing starts 1992: 87
Housing starts 1993: 124

In 1992 the price level index for Okeechobee County was 93.64 (39th highest in the state).

Local Government

In 1993, the ad valorem millage rate was 9.5000, and the total taxable value of property was $784,283,831. Taxable sales totalled $199.10 million in 1992 and $203.80 million in 1993. Lottery sales totalled $5,132 thousand in 1992-93. In 1990-91 Okeechobee County's revenues totalled $18,930 thousand ($627.5 per capita) and its expenditures $19,031 thousand ($630.9 per capita). Of those 18 years of age and older, 62.2% were registered to vote in 1992. Of these, 74.9% were registered Democrat and 22.7% were registered Republican. In the 1992 presidential election, 36.5% of the votes were cast for Clinton, 35.2% for Bush, and 28.2% for Perot.

Places of Interest

Freedman-Raulerson House, Okeechobee; Okeechobee Battlefield, vicinity of Okeechobee.



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