Marion County Profile
County Seat: Ocala
Population Est. 2011 – 332,529
Marion County was created in 1899 from portions of Alachua, Mosquito (Orange), and Hillsborough counties. Until 1853, Marion County included most of what are now Lake and Sumter counties. The county is named after General Francis Marion of South Carolina, a guerrilla fighter and hero of the American Revolutionary War. Many of the early settlers of Marion County were from South Carolina. The county motto is “Kingdom of the Sun.” Farms in the county are known for breeding champion race horses such as Affirmed and Needles.
Location and Terrain
Marion County is generally composed of rolling hills, some high and some low. The majority of its trees consist of live oaks, pine, and palm trees. Marion County is considered the southernmost county in North Central Florida, and the northernmost county in Central Florida.
It is about a two hour drive from many of Florida’s major cities, Orlando is 75 minutes to the southeast while Daytona Beach is about 90 minutes to the east. Tampa is about 75 minutes to the southwest. Jacksonville is roughly a two hour drive northeast .
Marion County also has three large lakes at its opposite borders. Orange Lake is in the far northern part of Marion County, near the border with Alachua County. Lake Kerr is in the northeastern part of the county, near the town of Salt Springs, which is near the border with Putnam County. Lake Weir, the largest of the three, is in the far southern region near the border with Lake County. Part of Lake George is in Marion County also.
Marion County is inland, centered between the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Gulf of Mexico to the west. Because of this, Marion County is not affected as much by hurricanes as the more coastal counties to its east and west are. Therefore, it takes a little less than an hour to get to the Gulf of Mexico while it takes about half an hour longer to get to the Atlantic Ocean.
As of the census of 2000, there were 258,916 people, 106,755 households, and 74,621 families residing in the county. The population density was 164 people per square mile. There were 122,663 housing units at an average density of 78 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 84.16% White, 11.55% Black or African American, 0.45% Native American, 0.70% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.69% from other races, and 1.44% from two or more races. 6.03% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 106,755 households out of which 24.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.60% were married couples living together, 10.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.10% were non-families. 25.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.79.
In the county the population was spread out with 21.40% under the age of 18, 6.40% from 18 to 24, 23.80% from 25 to 44, 23.90% from 45 to 64, and 24.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 93.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $31,944, and the median income for a family was $37,473. Males had a median income of $28,836 versus $21,855 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,848. About 9.20% of families and 13.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.20% of those under age 18 and 7.40% of those age 65 or over.
Cities: Dunnellon, Ocala, Belleview
Unincorporated: Anthony, Fort McCoy, Marion Oaks, Salt Springs, Silver Springs Shores, Summerfield.
MARION COUNTY GROWTH SERVICES FLOOD ZONE INFORMATION
Marion County Growth services offers resources for residents for property in the unincorporated area of Marion County wishing to learn more about their property’s flood risk. Growth Services staff can help citizens determine whether their property is located in a flood zone, provide information about Marion County’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps and special rules for building within a flood plain and provide copies of elevation certificates currently on file.
Residents can reach Growth Services staff by calling (352) 438-2675 or visiting in person at 2710 E. Silver Springs Blvd. Email requests can be sent to Zoning@marioncountyfl.org. Citizens can also contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which oversees flood insurance programs at (877) 379-9531 or an experienced insurance agent of their choice.
A charge of $30.00 is applicable to flood zone determinations in writing.
FLORIDA FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COMMISSION’S GOPHER TORTOISE CONSERVATION PROGRAM
The gopher tortoise is listed as a threatened species by the State of Florida, and therefore is protected by State Law. Wildlife Conservation is important because when a species goes extinct, it reduces biodiversity of our ecosystems. Gopher tortoise conservation is especially important because they are a keystone species and their burrows provide refuge for over 350 other species, many of which are listed in the packet below.
This packet contains materials intended to inform you about Gopher Tortoises, whether you are a Realtor® trying to sell property, or a buyer looking for property. It includes a list of frequently asked questions, brochures and fact sheets.
- Gopher Tortoise Information Packet
- Facts about Gopher Tortoises
- A Guide To Living With Gopher Tortoises