Polk County Florida Located in Central Florida
Polk County Cities
||Lake of the Hills
||Sunray Deli Estates
||Mountain Lake Station
|Crooked Lake Park
||Indian Lake Estates
||West Scenic Park
Land area (rank): 1,823 square miles (4)
Population 1993 (rank): 429,943 (8)
Population density 1993 (rank): 236 persons per square mile (18)
Growth 1980-1990 (rank): 26.0% (42)
Polk County is in central Florida, east of the Tampa-St. Petersburg
region, and is bordered by Sumter, Lake, Osceola, Highlands, Hardee,
Hillsborough, and Pasco counties. The county has 187 square miles
of water. The average January temperature is 61.1 degrees F, and
the average August temperature is 81.8 degrees F. The average
annual rainfall is 49.21 inches.
Polk County was established in 1861 from portions of Brevard
and Hillsborough counties and named for James Knox Polk, 11th
president of the U.S.
In 1993, 61% of Polk County's population was in unincorporated
areas. There are 17 incorporated places throughout the county
ranging in size from Lakeland (population of 73,121 in 1993) to
Highland Park (population of 153 in 1993) The population in unincorporated
areas nearly doubled between 1970 and 1987. Polk County has numerous
unincorporated places with populations under 10,000. The U.S.
Bureau of the Census has designated Polk County as the Lakeland-Winter
Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area. In 1993, 85% of Polk County's
population was white, and 15% was nonwhite. In 1990, 4.9% 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 15.0 live births per 1,000 persons, and the 1992 death rate
was 10.1 deaths per 1,000 persons. In 1992 the infant mortality
rate was 9.7 per 1,000. The leading causes of death in 1993 were
heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
Of all 1993 high school graduates, 70.7% planned to continue
their education. The 1993 high school dropout rate was 4.1%. In
1990, 68.0% of persons in the county were high school graduates,
and 12.9% had completed four or more years of college. Colleges
and universities. Landmark Baptist College, Haines City; Polk
Community College, Winter Haven; Spurgeon Baptist Bible College,
Mulberry; Warner Southern College, Lake Wales; Webber College,
Babson Park; Assemblies of God Theological Seminary Center, Florida
Southern College, Southeastern College Assemblies of God, Lakeland.
In 1993, the per capita income in Polk County was $16,195 (32nd
highest in the state). The median household income in 1989 was
$25,216. In 1989, 9.4% of families had incomes below the poverty
level. In 1990, 18.4% of personal income in Polk County was derived
from transfer payments. In 1992 the greatest numbers of persons
were employed in the retail trade, services, and government sectors.
The employers of the greatest numbers of persons in the retail
trade sector were eating and drinking establishments and food
stores. The leading employers in the services sector were medical
and health and business services. Polk County is the leading phosphate
producer in the state as well as the leading citrus producer and
a leading citrus processor. In 1992 there were 2,294 farms in
Polk County, totalling 611,336 acres (52% of land in the county).
Polk County is a major producer of cattle and poultry. In 1991,
3,356 thousand board feet of softwood logs and 8,466 cords of
softwood for pulp were produced.
Median value of a single-family home 1990: $61,000
Median monthly rent 1990: $300
Mobile homes as a % of total housing: 27.8
Housing starts 1992: 2,629
Housing starts 1993: 2,495
In 1992 the price level index for Polk County was 93.00 (9th
highest in the state).
In 1993, the ad valorem millage rate was 7.7770, and the total
taxable value of property was $11,100,188,786. Taxable sales totalled
$3297.40 million in 1992 and $3522.40 million in 1993. Lottery
sales totalled $62,771 thousand in 1992. In 1990-91 Polk County's
revenues totalled $286,373 thousand ($690.6 per capita) and its
expenditures $263,714 thousand ($635.9 per capita). Of those 18
years of age and older, 54.1% were registered to vote in 1992.
Of these, 57.4% were registered Democrat and 38.5% were registered
Republican. In the 1992 presidential election 45.2% of the votes
were cast for Bush, 35.3% for Clinton, and 19.3% for Perot.
Events and Places of Interest
Florida Citrus Festival and Polk County Fair, Winter Haven,
January; Black Hills Passion Play, Lake Wales, February; Carillon
Festival, Lake Wales, April; Water Skiing Championships, Cypress
Gardens, June; Bok Tower, Lake Wales; Cypress Gardens, Winter
Haven; Polk Museum of Art, Florida Southern College Architectural
District, South Lake Morton Historic District, Lakeland.