Alachua County, Florida

Infobox U.S. County
county = Alachua County
state = Florida
founded year = 1824
founded date = February 29
seat wl = Gainesville
largest city wl = Gainesville
area_total_sq_mi = 969.12
area_total_km2 = 2510.02
area_land_sq_mi = 874.25
area_land_km2 = 2264.29
area_water_sq_mi = 94.88
area_water_km2 = 245.73
area percentage = 9.8%
lat deg = 29
lat min = 41
long deg = 89
long min = 22
pop = 217955
census yr = 2000
density_sq_mi = 249.31
density_km2 = 94.93
time zone = Eastern
footnotes =
web = www.alachuacounty.us
named for = "Chua" (Timucuan word for "sinkhole")


Alachua County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. The U.S. Census Bureau 2006 estimate for the county is 227,120. [cite web |url=http://www.census.gov/popest/counties/tables/CO-EST2006-01-12.xls |title=Annual Estimates of the Population for Counties of Florida: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006 |publisher=US Census Bureau |accessdate=2007-10-15 |format=xls] Its county seat is Gainesville, FloridaGR|6. Alachua County is the home of the University of Florida, but it is also known for its diverse culture, local music, and artisans. Much of its economy revolves around the university however.

History

The Alachua area appears to have been the first area occupied by the immigrant Oconees, the original Seminoles, about 1740. Their first town was situated on or near the old Alachua plain, now called Payne's Prairie in homage to "King" Payne, chief of the Alachua settlements upon his death in 1812.

The meaning of "Alachua" is suggested by a passage in the journal of Lieutenant Diego Peña, who on his expedition to Apalachee and Apalachicola in 1716, traversed the region, and of the area between the Ichetucknee and Suwannee Rivers in southern Suwannee County remarks:

That the springs without effluent streams were sinkholes is consistent with the area, which has many. The names of these watering places all possess the terminator "chua", which suggests that "chua" is the Timucuan name for "sinkhole". This inference is not inconsistent with the general opinion of residents of the county, that the name "Alachua" means "sinkhole".cite book|last=Simpson|first=J. Clarence|editor=Mark F. Boyd|title=Florida Place-Names of Indian Derivation|publisher=Florida Geological Survey|year=1956|location=Tallahassee, Florida]

Alachua County proper was created in 1824. The original county seat was Newnansville located near the current site of the city of Alachua. In 1853, the new railroad from Fernandina to Cedar Key bypassed Newnansville, and Gainesville, a new town that was located on the railroad, began to draw business and residents away from Newnansville. Gainesville became the county seat the following year. [cite web |url=http://www.alachua.com/about.asp?page_id=4&n=12 |title=History of Alachua |publisher=Alachua Chamber of Commerce |accessdate=2007-10-15]

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of convert|969.12|sqmi|km2|1. convert|874.25|sqmi|km2|1 of it is land and convert|94.94|sqmi|km2|1 of it (9.79%) is water. Alachua County is part of the Gainesville Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Adjacent Counties
*Bradford County, Florida - north
*Union County, Florida - north
*Putnam County, Florida - east
*Marion County, Florida - southeast
*Levy County, Florida - southwest
*Gilchrist County, Florida - west
*Columbia County, Florida - northwest

Demographics

As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 217,955 people, 87,509 households, and 47,779 families residing in the county. The population density was 249.31/sq mi (94.93/km²). There were 95,113 housing units at an average density of 108.79/sq mi (42.01/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 73.47% White, 19.30% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 3.54% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.40% from other races, and 2.02% from two or more races. 5.73% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 11.2% were of German, 9.8% English, 9.3% American, 9.1% Irish and 5.0% Italian ancestry according to Census 2000. 88.9% spoke English and 5.6% Spanish as their first language.

There were 87,509 households out of which 25.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.80% were married couples living together, 12.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.40% were non-families. 29.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the county the population was spread out with 20.20% under the age of 18, 23.20% from 18 to 24, 27.70% from 25 to 44, 19.30% from 45 to 64, and 9.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 95.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,426, and the median income for a family was $46,587. Males had a median income of $31,971 versus $26,059 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,465. About 12.20% of families and 22.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.40% of those under age 18 and 9.70% of those age 65 or over.

Education

The entire county of Alachua is served by the Alachua County School District, which has some 47 different institutions in the county. Alachua county is also home to the University of Florida and Santa Fe College.

Places

Incorporated

# City of Alachua
# City of Archer
# City of Gainesville
# City of Hawthorne
# City of High Springs
# Town of LaCrosse
# Town of Micanopy
# City of Newberry
# City of Waldo

Unincorporated

*Haile Plantation
*Jonesville

Politics

Due to the influence of the University of Florida, Alachua County is one of the most reliably "blue" counties in Northern Florida, voting for the Democratic candidate for president in the past four elections, and narrowly going for the elder George H.W. Bush in the 1988 landslide election.

Landfills

Alachua County is also the site of numerous landfills, both open and closed. The names of the closed landfills are Southwest Landfill, Southeast Landfill, Northwest Landfill, Northeast Landfill, and Northeast Auxiliary Landfill.Fact|date=October 2007

ee also

*Alachua County Library District

Notes

External links

Government links/Constitutional offices

* [http://www.co.alachua.fl.us/ Alachua County / Board of County Commissioners]
* [http://elections.alachua.fl.us/ Alachua County Supervisor of Elections]
* [http://www.acpafl.org/ Alachua County Property Appraiser]
* [http://www.alachuasheriff.org/ Alachua County Sheriff's Office]
* [http://www.actcfl.org/ Alachua County Tax Collector]

pecial districts

* [http://www.sbac.edu/ Alachua County Public Schools]
* [http://www.srwmd.state.fl.us/ Suwannee River Water Management District]
* [http://www.sjrwmd.com St. Johns River Water Management District]
* [http://www.aclib.us Alachua County Library District]

Judicial branch of State

* [http://www.clerk-alachua-fl.org/clerk/ Alachua County Clerk of Courts]
* [http://sawww.co.alachua.fl.us/ Office of the State Attorney, 8th Judicial Circuit of Florida] serving Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy and Union Counties
* [http://www.circuit8.org/ Circuit and County Court for the 8th Judicial Circuit of Florida]

Conservation and environmental organizations

* [http://www.environment.alachuacounty.us Alachua County Environmental Protection Department]
* [http://www.AlachuaConservationTrust.org Alachua Conservation Trust]

Tourism links

* [http://www.visitgainesville.net/ Alachua County Convention and Visitors Bureau]


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