Mulberry, Florida

Mulberry, Florida
Mulberry, Florida
—  City  —
Location in Polk County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 27°53′56″N 81°58′27″W / 27.89889°N 81.97417°W / 27.89889; -81.97417Coordinates: 27°53′56″N 81°58′27″W / 27.89889°N 81.97417°W / 27.89889; -81.97417
Country United States
State Florida
County Polk
 - Total 3.2 sq mi (8.3 km2)
 - Land 3.1 sq mi (7.9 km2)
 - Water 0.1 sq mi (0.4 km2)
Elevation 112 ft (34 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 3,230
 - Density 1,009.4/sq mi (389.2/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 33860
Area code(s) 863
FIPS code 12-47200[1]
GNIS feature ID 0287439[2]

Mulberry is a city in Polk County, Florida, United States. The population was 3,230 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, the population estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau is 3,228 [1]. Mulberry is home to Badcock Home Furniture. It is part of the LakelandWinter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area.



The first white settlers appeared in the Mulberry area in the 1840s.[3] The first industry in the area was logging the longleaf yellow pine which dominated the area. Eventually the settlement grew to include log homes, stores, and saloons. The nearest sheriff and jail was hours away in Bartow and the town resembled a scene from the Old West as mob rule prevailed. Everyone carried a gun and Monday morning was a busy time for the coroner as he dealt with the victims of Saturday night's "troublemakers."[3]

The town had no official name, but the railroad which came through town stopped at a mulberry tree to let off passengers and drop off the mail. The old mulberry tree became the de facto meeting place in town, and eventually gave the town its name.[3] In 1886, phosphate rock was discovered in the Peace River, and the dominant industry went from forestry to mining. The phosphate industry gave the town stability and Mulberry was incorporated in 1901. In 1910 Mulberry's Masonic lodge was established and still is around today.

Geography and climate

Mulberry is located at 27°53′56″N 81°58′27″W / 27.898855°N 81.974173°W / 27.898855; -81.974173.[4] Mulberry is located within the Central Florida Highlands area of the Atlantic coastal plain with a terrain consisting of flatland interspersed with gently rolling hills.[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.2 square miles (8.3 km²). 3.1 square miles (8.0 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.4 km²) of it (4.36%) is water.

Mulberry is located at the junction of State Road 60 and State Road 37.

Mulberry is located in the humid subtropical zone (Köppen climate classification: Cfa).[6]


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 3,230 people, 1,328 households, and 925 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,053.3 inhabitants per square mile (406.2/km²). There were 1,611 housing units at an average density of 525.3 per square mile (202.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 76.53% White, 19.97% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 1.67% from other races, and 1.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.43% of the population.

There were 1,328 households out of which 25.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.3% were non-families. 25.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 22.3% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 25.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 92.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,247, and the median income for a family was $28,860. Males had a median income of $29,417 versus $20,965 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,828. About 14.7% of families and 16.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.2% of those under age 18 and 9.4% of those age 65 or over.


The economy of Mulberry is dominated by phosphate mining. The Bone Valley is the world's most productive phosphate rock mining area in the world. According to the Chamber of Commerce, Mulberry is the "Official Phosphate Capitol of the World.[7] The Mosaic Company are located east of town. The Master Containers Company, a large styrofoam container company, is based in Mulberry. Mulberry is also the home of Badcock Furniture, which owns 365 stores throughout the southeast United States.[7]



Public schools in Mulberry are operated by the Polk County School Board. The three elementary schools in the area are Kingsford, Purcell, and Sikes. Mulberry Middle and Mulberry High round out the educational system in Mulberry.[8] Mulberry Christian Academy is a private elementary school where financial aid is available to families who qualify.


Mulberry is part of the Tampa/St. Pete television market, the 13th largest in the country and part of the local Lakeland/Winter Haven radio market, which is the 94th largest in the country.[9][10]


External links

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