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Suwannee County Florida   Located in North Florida

Suwannee County Cities

Beachville Hildreth Mercer Sandy Point
Branford Houston Newburn Slade
Dinkins Howell O'Brien Starr
Dowling Park Lancaster Padlock Suwannee
Ellaville Live Oak Pine Mount Suwannee Springs
Falmouth Luraville Pouchers Corner Wellborn
Fort Union McAlpin Rixford

Land area (rank): 690 square miles (36)
Population 1993 (rank): 28,598 (45)
Population density 1993 (rank): 41 persons per square mile (46)
Growth 1980-1990 (rank): 20.2% (49)

Physical Characteristics

Suwannee County is in north Florida. The Suwannee River forms its north (with Hamilton County), west (with Madison and Lafayette counties), and south (with Lafayette County) boundaries. The county is also bordered by Gilchrist and Columbia counties. The county has 2 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 49.60 inches.


Suwannee County was established from Columbia County in 1858 and named for the Suwannee River, immortalized by Stephen Foster's song "Way Down Upon the Swanee River." Considerable disagreement exists over the origin of the name. Two possibilities are: Cherokee Sawani, meaning "echo river," and corruption of Spanish San Juan.


In 1993, 75% of Suwannee County's population was in unincorporated areas. The largest town is Live Oak, which in 1993 had a population of 6,479. The only other incorporated town, Branford, had a population of 682 in 1993. In 1993, 85% of Suwannee County's population was white and 15% was nonwhite. In 1990, 1.6% of the population was Hispanic. Of the population increase between 1980 and 1990, 85.1% was due to net migration. The 1992 birth rate was 12.1 live births per 1,000 persons, and the 1992 death rate was 12.3 deaths per 1,000 persons. In 1992 the infant mortality rate was 9.0 per 1,000. The leading causes of death in 1993 were heart disease, cancer, and chronic obstructive lung disease.


Of all 1992 high school graduates, 71.5% planned to continue their education. The 1992 high school dropout rate was 4.7%. In 1990, 63.8% of persons in the county were high school graduates, and 8.2% had completed four or more years of college. Colleges and universities. Served by North Florida Junior College (Madison County).


The per capita income in Suwannee County for 1993 was $14,182 (48th highest in the state). The median household income in 1989 was $19,775. In 1989, 15.1% of families had incomes below the poverty level. In 1990, 26.8% of personal income in Suwannee County was derived from transfer payments. In 1992 the greatest numbers of persons in Suwannee County were employed in the retail trade, government, and manufacturing sectors. Employers of the greatest numbers of persons in the retail trade sector were eating and drinking establishments and food stores. The leading manufacturers in terms of employment were food and kindred products firms. In 1992 there were 932 farms in Suwannee County, totalling 161,936 acres (37% of land in the county). Suwannee County is the state's leading producer of broiler chickens. In 1991 Suwannee County produced 21,791 thousand board feet of softwood logs, 106,730 cords of softwood for pulp, and 14,489 cords of hardwood for pulp.

Median value of a single-family home 1990: $45,100
Median monthly rent 1990: $182
Mobile homes as a % of total housing: 42.3
Housing starts 1992: 96
Housing starts 1993: 123

In 1992 the price level index for Suwannee County was 89.16 (66th highest in the state).

Local Government

In 1993, the ad valorem millage rate was 9.1360, and the total taxable value of property was $482,141,410. Taxable sales totalled $140.60 million in 1992 and $143.00 million in 1993. Lottery sales totalled $3,536 thousand in 1992-93. In 1990-91 Suwannee County's revenues totalled $17,812 thousand ($650.7 per capita) and its expenditures $17,305 thousand ($632.2 per capita). Of those 18 years of age and older, 70.5% were registered to vote in 1992. Of these, 82.9% were registered Democrat and 15.2% were registered Republican. In the 1992 presidential election 40.2% of the votes were cast for Bush, 35.1% for Clinton, and 24.5% for Perot.

Events and Places of Interest

Old Live Oak City Hall, Union Depot and Atlantic Coast Line Freight Station; Suwannee County Fair, Live Oak, October.

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