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Orange County, Florida

Orange County, Florida
Orange County Courthouse
Flag of Orange County, Florida
Seal of Orange County, Florida
Map of Florida highlighting Orange County
Location in the state of Florida
Map of the United States highlighting Florida
Florida's location in the U.S.
Founded 1845
Named for Orange fruit
Seat Orlando
Largest city Orlando
 • Total 1,003 sq mi (2,598 km2)
 • Land 903 sq mi (2,339 km2)
 • Water 100 sq mi (259 km2)
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 1,253,001
 • Density 1,249.25/sq mi (482/km²)
Congressional districts 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website .net.orangecountyflwww

Orange County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,145,956,[1] making it the fifth-most populous county in Florida. The county seat is Orlando.[2]

Orange County is included in the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Adjacent counties 2.1
  • Transportation 3
    • Airports 3.1
    • Major highways 3.2
  • Demographics 4
    • 2010 Census 4.1
    • 2000 Census 4.2
    • Languages 4.3
  • Government 5
    • Federal Representation 5.1
    • State Representation 5.2
    • County Representation 5.3
  • Education 6
    • Public Education 6.1
    • Colleges and universities 6.2
    • Films 6.3
  • Libraries 7
  • Politics 8
    • Voter Registration 8.1
    • Presidential Results 8.2
  • Communities 9
    • Cities 9.1
    • Towns 9.2
    • Census-designated places 9.3
    • Unincorporated communities 9.4
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


The land that is Orange County was part of the first land to emerge from below the Early Oligocene sea 33.9–28.4 million years ago and is known as Orange Island. Orange County's Rock Spring location is a Pleistocene fossil bearing area and has yielded a vast variety of birds and mammals including giant sloth, mammoth, camel, and the Dire Wolf dating around 1.1 million years ago.[3]

In 1821, there were two counties that formed Florida: Escambia to the west and St. Johns to the east. In 1824, the area to the south of St. Johns County became Mosquito County, and Enterprise was named the county seat. This massive county took up much of central Florida. Mosquito County was renamed Orange County in 1845 when Florida became a state.[4] Several counties, such as Osceola, Seminole, Lake, and Volusia were carved out of Orange County.

Orange County was renamed from Mosquito County for the fruit that constituted the county's main product. At its peak in the early 1970s, some 80,000 acres (320 km²) were planted in citrus in Orange County. There was the dark green foliage of orange trees and the scent of the orange blossoms when in bloom. In 2015, fewer commercial orange groves remain. The majority of groves were destroyed by the freezing temperatures experienced in successive winters of 1985-6, followed by the coldest temperatures of the century in the January 1985 cold wave, the worst since 1899.

The financial setbacks, not the first in the history of the grove region, were just too challenging for many growers. Economically destroyed, many just walked away from the land and its obligations. Others awaited other opportunities. One of the major land owners and growers in the region was the Tropicana company. They, however, also withdrew rather than try to come back again from these seemingly endless generational decimation. With no realistic avenues for agricultural utilization of this rural land, and Florida's continuing strong population growth and its attendant needs (aided and supported by the great success of nearby Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Florida), these areas began and continue to be, swallowed up by growing housing developments. However, several packing facilities and wholesalers are still in Orange County.


2010 U.S. Census tract map of Orange County

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,003 square miles (2,600 km2), of which 903 square miles (2,340 km2) is land and 100 square miles (260 km2) (10.0%) is water.[5]

Adjacent counties



Major highways


2010 Census

U.S. Census Bureau 2010 Ethnic/Race Demographics:[11][12]

In 2010, 5.9% of the population considered themselves to be of only "American" ancestry (regardless of race or ethnicity.)[11]

There were 421,847 households out of which 30.81% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.50% were married couples living together, 15.65% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.18% were non-families. 24.85% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.08% (1.71% male and 4.37% female) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.19.[12][15]

In the county the population was spread out with 23.6% under the age of 18, 12.8% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64, and 9.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.7 years. For every 100 females there were 97.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.9 males.[15]

2000 Census

As of 2000, there were 896,344 people, 336,286 households, and 220,267 families residing in the county. The population density was 381/km² (988/mi²). There were 361,349 housing units at an average density of 154/km² (398/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 68.59% White (57.6% were Non-Hispanic White),[16] 18.17% Black or African American, 0.34% Native American, 3.35% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 6.01% from other races, and 3.43% from two or more races. 28.78% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 336,286 households out of which 32.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.00% were married couples living together, 13.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.50% were non-families. 24.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.30% under the age of 18, 10.90% from 18 to 24, 33.80% from 25 to 44, 20.00% from 45 to 64, and 10.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 98.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $41,311, and the median income for a family was $47,159. Males had a median income of $32,053 versus $25,402 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,916. About 8.80% of families and 12.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.30% of those under age 18 and 9.30% of those age 65 or over.


As of 2010, 67.43% of all residents spoke English as their first language, while 22.59% spoke Spanish, 2.44% French Creole (mostly Haitian Creole,) 1.23% Portuguese, 0.88% Vietnamese, 0.78% Indian languages (including Gujarati and Hindi,) 0.58% Tagalog, 0.53% Chinese, 0.50% French, and 0.45% of the population spoke Arabic as their mother language.[17] In total, 32.57% of the population spoke languages other than English as their primary language.[17]


The county functions under a charter form of government. The charter serves as a constitution, detailing the structure and operation of the local government. A Charter Review Commission has the power to consider and place amendments on the ballot. Voters then decide whether to accept or reject all amendments put forth. If voters approve an amendment, it is then inserted into the charter.

Federal Representation

Five districts of the US House of Representatives represent parts of Orange County.

Federal Representation
District Incumbent Hometown % Orange County Voters[18] Next Election
5 Corrine Brown Jacksonville 21.44 2014
7 John Mica Winter Park 16.25 2014
8 Bill Posey Rockledge 1.35 2014
9 Alan Grayson Orlando 31.41 2014
10 Daniel Webster Winter Garden 29.55 2014

District 5 is a district extending from Downtown Orlando to Jacksonville. The district continues north of Orange County, with voters in Alachua, Clay, Duval, Lake, Marion, Putnam, and Seminole.

Places include: Apopka, Eatonville, Pine Hills, and Tangelo Park.

District 7 is situated in north Orange, extending north into Seminole and Volusia.

Places include: Lockhart, Maitland, University, and Winter Park.

District 8 is situated in east Orange, extending southeast into Brevard and Indian River.

Places include: Bithlo, Christmas, and Wedgefield.

District 9 is a Hispanic plurality district situated in central Orange, extending southwest into Osceola and Polk.

Places include: Azalea Park, Hunter's Creek, Meadow Woods, and Union Park.

District 10 is situated in central and southwestern Orange. The district takes in a majority of Downtown Orlando and extends west into Lake and Polk.

Places include: Ocoee, Pine Castle, Williamsburg, Windermere and all of Orlando's major theme parks: Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Florida, and SeaWorld.

State Representation

Orange County residents are represented in Tallahassee with 5 Senate seats.

State Senators
District Incumbent Hometown % Voters[19] Next Election
11 Alan Hays Umatilla 1.71 2016
12 Geraldine Thompson Orlando 37.39 2014
13 Andy Gardiner Orlando 32.60 2016
14 Darren Soto Orlando 20.55 2014
15 Kelli Stargel Lakeland 7.76 2016

District 11 is largely based in Lake and Marion. It also includes a small portion of Sumter.

District 12 is wholly composed of Orange.

District 13 is largely composed of Orange, but includes portions of Brevard.

District 14 is largely split between Orange and Osceola. It also includes a small portion of Polk.

District 15 is predominantly centered in Polk, yet includes a small part of Orange and Osceola.

Orange County residents are represented in Tallahassee with 9 House seats.

State Representatives
District Incumbent Hometown % Voters[20] Next Election
30 Karen Castor Dentel Maitland 4.87 2014
31 Bryan Nelson Apopka 5.28 2014
44 Stephen Precourt Orlando 14.49 2014
45 Randolph Bracy Orlando 12.73 2014
46 Bruce Antone Orlando 10.80 2014
47 Linda Stewart Orlando 16.30 2014
48 Victor Torres, Jr. Orlando 12.76 2014
49 Joe Saunders Orlando 13.96 2014
50 Tom Goodson Titusville 8.82 2014

District 30 is largely based in Seminole. One-third of voters are situated in Orange.

District 31 is largely based in Lake. Slightly more than one-third of voters are situated in Orange.

District 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, and 49 are wholly composed of Orange.

District 50 is predominantly composed of Orange and Brevard.

County Representation

Orange County is served by a Board of Commissioners. The board consists of an elected mayor and six commissioners. The mayor is elected At-large, while commissioners are elected from single districts. The mayor and commissioners each serve staggered four year terms. Commissioners from Districts 1, 3, and 5 are elected in presidential election years, while the mayor and commissioners from Districts 2, 4, and 6 are elected in alternate years. The county is also served by a Clerk of Courts, Sheriff, Property Appraiser, Tax Collector, Supervisor of Elections, State Attorney, and Public Defender. All positions are four year terms, requiring direct election by voters in presidential election years.

Orange County Officials
Position Incumbent Next Election
Mayor Teresa Jacobs 2018
District 1 Commissioner Scott Boyd 2016
District 2 Commissioner Fred Brummer 2018
District 3 Commissioner Pete Clarke 2016
District 4 Commissioner Jennifer Thompson 2018
District 5 Commissioner Ted Edwards 2016
District 6 Commissioner Tiffany Moore Russell 2018
Clerk of Courts Eddie Fernandez 2018
Sheriff Jerry Demings 2016
Comptroller Martha Haynie 2016
Property Appraiser Rick Singh 2016
Tax Collector Scott Randolph 2016
Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles 2016
State Attorney Jeff Ashton 2016
Public Defender Bob Wesley 2016


Public Education

The Orange County Public Schools are responsible in delivering public education to students countywide. An elected school board composed of a chairman, elected At-large, and seven members, elected from single-member districts, oversees the functions and expenditures of the school system. Each member is elected to a staggered four-year term. Four are elected in presidential election years, while the chairman and three other members are elected in gubernatorial election years. The school system operates 182 schools (123 elementary, 3 K-8, 35 middle, 19 high, and 4 exceptional learning). In October 2012, the district had 183,562 students, making it the fourth largest school district statewide and eleventh in the nation.[21]

Orange County School Board
Position Incumbent Next Election
Chairman Bill Sublette 2014
District 1 Joie Cadle 2014
District 2 Daryl Flynn 2014
District 3 Rick Roach 2014
District 4 Pam Gould 2016
District 5 Kathleen Butler-Gordon 2016
District 6 Nancy Robbinson 2016
District 7 Christine Moore 2016

Colleges and universities

The University of Central Florida is the sole public university. A Fall 2012 enrollment of 59,767, currently places it second in the nation amongst public colleges and universities for student enrollment.[22] The university's massive campus is situated in northeast Orange County.

Nearby Winter Park is home to Rollins College, a private college situated only a few miles from Downtown Orlando. In 2012, it was ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report amongst regional universities in the South.[23]

With six campuses spread throughout the county, Valencia Community College offers two-year degree programs.

The law schools for Barry University and Florida A&M are also conveniently located in Downtown Orlando.

Full Sail University is a for-profit university in Winter Park, Florida. Full Sail is not regionally accredited, but is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) to award associate's, bachelor's degrees, and master's degrees in audio, film, design, computer animation, business, and other fields.[10] The school offers 35 degree programs and 2 graduate certificates and has a student population of more than 16,800.


Walt Before Mickey, a feature film about Walt Disney creating Mickey Mouse, was shot locally.


Orange County is served by the Orange County Library System.


Orange County is located along the pivotal Interstate 4 corridor, the swing part of the state. Many close elections are won or lost depending on the voting outcome along the corridor. Voters are considered independent, traditionally splitting their votes, electing Democrats and Republicans on the same ballot. As a result of such independence, voters are inundated with non-stop television and radio ads months preceding a general election.

In September 2000,[24] Democrats overtook Republicans in voter registration. This was a factor in Al Gore becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the county since 1948. In the years since, Republicans have yet to retake the advantage they once enjoyed. In the twelve years that followed, Democrats experienced a modest increase in their voter registration percentage from 41.40% to 42.73% of the electorate. Minor party voters also had modest growth, increasing from 2.17% to 2.37%. In contrast, Republicans experienced a sharp decrease in registered voters, sliding from 40.95% in 2000 down to 29.85% in 2012. The beneficiary of the Republican losses have been unaffiliated voters. The percentage of the electorate identifying as an unaffiliated voter increased from 15.47% to 25.06% during this same period.

Voter Registration

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of April 14, 2015[25]
Party Total Percentage
  Democratic 299,794 41.53%
  Republican 204,852 28.38%
  Minor Parties 45,236 6.27%
  Unaffiliated 172,039 23.83%
Total 721,921 100.00%

Presidential Results

Orange County, Florida: Presidential Results (1980–2012)[26]
Year Democrat Vote Pct Republican Vote Pct Third Parties Vote Pct
2012 Obama 273,665 58.68% Romney 188,589 40.44% Third Parties 4,105 0.88%
2008 Obama 273,009 59.00% McCain 186,832 40.38% Third Parties 2,870 0.62%
2004 Kerry 193,354 49.83% Bush 192,539 49.62% Third Parties 2,151 0.55%
2000 Gore 140,220 50.06% Bush 134,517 48.02% Third Parties 5,388 1.92%
1996 Clinton 105,513 45.66% Dole 106,026 45.89% Third Parties 19,522 8.45%
1992 Clinton 82,656 34.89% Bush 108,738 45.90% Third Parties 45,523 19.21%
1988 Dukakis 53,991 31.28% Bush 117,141 67.86% Third Parties 1,486 0.86%
1984 Mondale 48,737 28.52% Reagan 122,007 71.39% Third Parties 165 0.09%
1980 Carter 48,732 34.06% Reagan 87,375 61.06% Third Parties 6,983 4.88%




Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

See also


  1. ^
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  3. ^ Petuch, Edward J., Roberts, Charles; The geology of the Everglades and adjacent areas, 2007, ISBN 1-4200-4558-X.
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  11. ^ a b c d e f g h
  12. ^ a b c d
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External links

  • Photographs From the State Archives of Florida.
  • Central Florida Memory is a unique digital collection where visitors can discover the history of Orange County and surrounding areas of Central Florida.
  • Orange County Regional History Center
  • The West Orange Times newspaper that serves Orange County, Florida available in full-text with images in Florida Digital Newspaper Library
  • Orange County Health Department
  • Orange County Collection on RICHES Mosaic Interface
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