Suwannee County Florida Located in North Florida
Suwannee County Cities
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)
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
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).
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.