Monroe County, Florida

Monroe County, Florida
Monroe County, Florida
Seal of Monroe County, Florida
Map of Florida highlighting Monroe County
Location in the state of Florida
Map of the U.S. highlighting Florida
Florida's location in the U.S.
Founded July 3, 1823
Seat Key West
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

3,737.15 sq mi (9,679 km²)
996.91 sq mi (2,582 km²)
2,740.24 sq mi (7,097 km²), 73.32%
 - (2010)
 - Density

73/sq mi (28.3/km²)

Monroe County is a county located in the state of Florida. As of 2000, the population was 79,589. The U.S. Census Bureau 2006 estimate for the county was 74,737.[1]

Monroe County includes the islands of the Florida Keys. Its county seat is Key West.[2] The Key West Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Monroe County.



Monroe County was created in 1823. It was named for James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States, who served from 1817 to 1825.


The Florida Keys Council for the Arts is the primary cultural umbrella for the Florida Keys, and serves the population from Key Largo to Key West. A non-profit local arts agency, it makes grants, operates the Monroe County Art in Public Places program, sponsors seminars, and manages the on-line cultural calendar for the region. It also manages the County's Tourism Development Council arts marketing grants and serves as a leading advocate for cultural tourism in lower Florida. In 1998, the Florida Keys Council of the Arts was designated by the Board of Monroe County Commissioners as the area's Local Arts Agency as provided by Florida Statute 286.011. Established in 1997 as the Monroe Council of the Arts Corporation. The name was changed to the Florida Keys Council of the Arts in 2001. Today the organization is the liaison among cultural organizations, all levels of government and the private sector in encouraging and promoting the arts throughout Monroe County. The council endeavors to make the arts a part of the fabric of daily life. From its inception through fiscal year end 2006, FKCA has awarded $433,916 in privately-raised funds and grants to literary, visual and performing artists and cultural organizations. Add to that sum the Cultural Umbrella event funding, the South Florida Cultural Consortium Visual & Media Artists Fellowships and The Art in Public Places commissions, and the total distributed in the Keys cultural community through FKCA’s efforts come to $2.5 million to date. The annual economic impact of the non-profit cultural community in the Keys is estimated at over $22 million. The Florida Keys Council of the Arts, a non-profit,501(c) (3) corporation in a public-private partnership with local county government since 1997 serves 76,329 local residents and three million visitors annually. A ten-member board of directors guides the council, assisted by three alternate directors, two directors Emeritus and twenty-five advisory board members.

Other notable Monroe County cultural organizations are the Key West Literary Seminar, The Studios of Key West, the Red Barn Theatre, Key West Symphony, Sculpture Key West, Fantasy Fest, the San Carlos Institute, Hemingway House and Museum, Customs House Museum, and Key West Art and Historical Society.


Monroe County Courthouse in Key West

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 3,737.15 square miles (9,679.2 km2), of which 996.91 square miles (2,582.0 km2) (or 26.68%) is land and 2,740.24 square miles (7,097.2 km2) (or 73.32%) is water.[3]

More than 99 percent of the Monroe County population lives in the island chain known as the Florida Keys.

Two thirds of the large area in what local residents call "mainland Monroe" is protected by virtue of being part of the Everglades National Park, and the remainder by the Big Cypress National Preserve in the northeastern interior. The area, officially named Cape Sable Census County Division, is virtually uninhabited. As of the Census of 2000, this area had 86.9 percent of the county's land area (2243.58 out of 2,582.00 km2 (997 sq mi)), but only 0.075 percent of its population (60 out of 79,589). The Census Bureau defines this area as Census Tract 9701 of Monroe County, Florida. With a population density of only 0.0267/km² (0.0693/sq mi), if it were a separate county or county-equivalent, only the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area of central Alaska would have a lower population density out of all U.S. counties.[4] The only three populated places appearing on detailed maps and in the USGS geographic name database are Flamingo, Pinecrest (not to be confused with much larger Pinecrest of neighboring Miami-Dade County), and Trail City. Flamingo, located on the south coast and at the end of State Road 9336 (Flamingo Lodge Highway), is the location of the Flamingo Lodge and the Flamingo Ranger Station (with Visitor Center & Marina). 11 km (7 mi) northeast on the highway is the West Lake Trail (station). Pinecrest, located in the northern interior of the county (in the Big Cypress National Preserve) on Loop Road (given that name since it forms a loop with U.S. Highway 41 further north), hosts the Loop Road Education Center. Trail City is 6 km (4 mi) west of Pinecrest on Loop Road. Loop Road can be found on most maps as CR 94, although the roadway no longer has a numbered designation and is now managed by the National Park Service.

Between the south coast of Florida's mainland and the Florida Keys is Florida Bay, which is also protected by the Everglades National Park and contains numerous islets or keys.

Adjacent counties

Major highways


As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 79,589 people, 35,086 households, and 20,384 families residing in the county. The population density was 80 people per square mile (31/km²). There were 51,617 housing units at an average density of 52 per square mile (20/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.65% White, 4.77% Black or African American, 0.38% Native American, 0.83% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.55% from other races, and 1.78% from two or more races. 15.77% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In 2005 Monroe County had a population that was 75.1% non-Hispanic white, 17.7% Latino, 5.4% African-American and 1.1% Asian.[6]

In 2000 there were 35,086 households out of which 20.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.80% were married couples living together, 7.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.90% were non-families. 28.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.73.

In the county the population was spread out with 17.10% under the age of 18, 6.30% from 18 to 24, 31.10% from 25 to 44, 30.90% from 45 to 64, and 14.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 113.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 114.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $42,283, and the median income for a family was $50,734. Males had a median income of $31,266 versus $25,709 for females. The per capita income for the county was $26,102. About 6.80% of families and 10.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.80% of those under age 18 and 8.80% of those age 65 or over.

Population History of Monroe County, FL:

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1840 688
1850 2,645 284.4%
1860 2,913 10.1%
1870 5,657 94.2%
1880 10,940 93.4%
1890 18,786 71.7%
1900 18,006 −4.2%
1910 21,563 19.8%
1920 19,550 −9.3%
1930 13,624 −30.3%
1940 14,078 3.3%
1950 29,957 112.8%
1960 47,921 60.0%
1970 52,586 9.7%
1980 63,188 20.2%
1990 78,024 23.5%
2000 79,589 2.0%
2010 73,090 −8.2%

School Enrollment:[7]

  • 2005–2006: 8,328
  • 2006–2007: 8,058
  • 2007–2008: 7,836
  • 2007–2008(actual): 8,280
  • 2010–2011: 8,320

The drop in enrollment is due to high insurance and taxes and homes are becoming too expensive for families to purchase, although the median price has dropped, the median price of a home in Monroe County remains high at $589,000 according to The enrollment has been dropping for 10 years from a peak of 10,000 students. But these predictions could be changed as insurance has been lowered and property taxes could possibly be rolled back to the 2001 or the 2003 levels.[citation needed] The enrollment in Monroe County, Florida rose by 129 for the first time in 9 years, and is expected to keep rising.[8]


As of 2000, 79.23% spoke English as a first language, while 16.08% spoke Spanish as theirs, 1.01% spoke French, and 0.98% spoke German as their mother tongue.[9]

Municipalities and unincorporated areas

Map of Monroe County Florida.svg


  1. City of Key West
  2. City of Marathon
  3. City of Key Colony Beach
  4. City of Layton
  5. Village of Islamorada

Unincorporated islands and areas

a. Stock Island
b. Big Coppitt Key
c. Cudjoe Key
d. Big Pine Key
e. Duck Key
f. Tavernier
g. Key Largo
h. North Key Largo
i. Flamingo
j. Bay Point
k. Sugarloaf Shores

Parks and recreational areas

l. Marquesas Keys
m. Bahia Honda State Park
n. Everglades National Park
Not pictured

National Wildlife Refuges


Monroe County School District serves the county.

See also


External links

Government links/Constitutional offices

Special districts

Judicial branch

Tourism links

Coordinates: 25°07′N 81°09′W / 25.12°N 81.15°W / 25.12; -81.15

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