Alachua County, Florida

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Alachua County, Florida
Dsg Alachua County Courthouse Family and Civil Justice Center 20050507.jpg
Alachua County Courthouse
Flag of Alachua County, Florida
Logo of Alachua County, Florida
Map of Florida highlighting Alachua County
Location in the U.S. state of Florida
Map of the United States highlighting Florida
Florida's location in the U.S.
Founded February 29, 1824
Named for Chua (Timucuan word for "sinkhole")
Seat Gainesville
Largest city Gainesville
 • Total 969 sq mi (2,510 km2)
 • Land 875 sq mi (2,266 km2)
 • Water 94 sq mi (243 km2), 9.7%
 • (2014) 256,380
 • Density 293/sq mi (113/km²)
Congressional districts 3rd, 5th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

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Alachua County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 247,336.[1] The county seat is Gainesville,[2] the home of the University of Florida.

Alachua County is included in the Gainesville, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county is known for its diverse culture, local music, and artisans. Much of its economy revolves around the university.


The Alachua area appears to have been the first area occupied in 1740 by the immigrant Oconee, who became part of the Seminole. 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.

Lieutenant Diego Peña, describe this area in his journal kept during his expedition to Apalachee and Apalachicola in 1716. Of the area between the Ichetucknee and Suwannee rivers in southern Suwannee County he wrote:

The springs without effluent streams may have been sinkholes, as there are many in the area. The names of these watering places all end with chua, suggesting that chua is the Timucuan name for sinkhole. The residents of the county thought that Alachua means sinkhole.[3]

Alachua County proper was organized in 1824. The original county seat was Newnansville located near the current site of the city of Alachua. In 1854, the new railroad from Fernandina to Cedar Key bypassed Newnansville and Gainesville, a new town located on the railroad, began to draw business and residents away from Newnansville. Gainesville later became the new county seat that same year.[4]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 969 square miles (2,510 km2), of which 875 square miles (2,270 km2) is land and 94 square miles (240 km2) (9.7%) is water.[5]

Adjacent Counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 2,282
1850 2,524 10.6%
1860 8,232 226.1%
1870 17,328 110.5%
1880 16,462 −5.0%
1890 22,934 39.3%
1900 32,245 40.6%
1910 34,305 6.4%
1920 31,689 −7.6%
1930 34,365 8.4%
1940 38,607 12.3%
1950 57,026 47.7%
1960 74,074 29.9%
1970 104,764 41.4%
1980 151,348 44.5%
1990 181,596 20.0%
2000 217,955 20.0%
2010 247,336 13.5%
Est. 2014 256,380 [6] 3.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2013[1]

As of the 2010 United States Census,[11] there were 247,336 people, 100,516 households, and 53,500 families residing in the county. There were 112,766 housing units in the county, an occupancy rate of 89.1%; of the occupied units, 54,768 (54.5%) were owner-occupied and 45,748 (45.5%) were renter-occupied. The population density was 282.91/sq mi (109.24/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 172,156 (69.9%) White, 50,282 (20.3%) Black or African American, 906 (0.3%) Native American, 13,235 (5.4%) Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.7% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. 20,752 (8.4%) of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 100,516 households, 22.0% included children under the age of 18, 36.4% included a married husband and wife couple, 4.0% had a male head of house with no wife present, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.8% were non-families. 24.8% of all households included at least one child under the age of 18, and 19.6% included at least one member 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.91.

The demographic spread showed 17.9% under the age of 18 and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older; 48.4% of the population identified as male and 51.6% as female. The median age was 30.1 years.

The five year American Community Survey completed 2011 gave a median household income of $41,473 (inflation indexed to 2011 dollars) and a median family income of $63,435. Male full-time year round workers had a median income of $42,865, versus $36,351 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,172; 23.6% of the population was living below the poverty line.[12]


As of 2010, 86.43% of the population spoke English as their primary language, while Spanish was spoken by 6.38%, 1.18% spoke Chinese, 0.57% were speakers of Korean, and 0.52% spoke French as their native language.[13]

File:Alachua County (Gainesville).jpg
Alachua County Judicial Center in Gainesville


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.


The Alachua County Library District is an independent special taxing district and the sole provider of public library service to approximately 250,000 citizens of Alachua County, Florida. This includes all of the incorporated municipalities in the county. It maintains a Headquarters Library and four other branches in Gainesville. These locations include the Millhopper Branch in northwest Gainesville, the Tower Road Branch in unincorporated Alachua county southwest of Gainesville, the Library Partnership Branch in northeast Gainesville, and the Cone Park Branch in east Gainesville. The district also operates branches in the Alachua County municipalities of Alachua, Archer, Hawthorne, High Springs, Micanopy, Newberry, and Waldo, as well as a branch at the Alachua County Jail. The district operates two bookmobiles which visit more than 25 locations in the county from two to five times a month.[14][15][16]

Library History

The Alachua County Library District traces its origins to 1905, when the Twentieth Century Club in Gainesville started a subscription library. The Gainesville Public Library, which was a subscription library operated by the Library Association, opened in 1906. The Twentieth Century Club donated the books from its subscription library, and the new library also received books from the library of the East Florida Seminary, which had been absorbed by the newly founded University of Florida. The Gainesville Public Library became a free library in 1918, supported by funds from city taxes, and in a building constructed with the aid of a Carnegie grant. The library became a department of the City of Gainesville in 1949. A branch of the Gainesville Public Library, the Carver Branch Library, was opened in 1953 to provide library services to the African-American population of Gainesville. The Carver Branch closed in 1969, after the main library had been desegregated. In 1958, the City of Gainesville and Alachua County agreed to jointly operate the library for the whole county. Branch libraries were opened in High springs, Hawthorne and Micanopy the next year, and a bookmobile was put into service. Alachua County joined with Bradford County to operate the Santa Fe Regional Library. After Bradford County withdrew from the Regional Library, the Alachua County Library District was formally established in 1986. The Millhopper and Tower Road branches opened in 1992, and the branches in Alachua, Archer, Newberry and Waldo were all opened by 1997. The Library Partnership Branch opened in 2009, and the Cone Park Branch in 2011. A new, permanent location for the Cone Park Branch Library was opened near the Eastside Community Center in Gainesville on December 14, 2013.[17][18][19]


Major highways



Voter Registration

According to the Secretary of State's office, Democrats are a plurality of Alachua County's registered voters.

Alachua County Voter Registration & Party Enrollment as of September 30, 2015[20]
Political Party Total Voters Percentage
  Democratic 73,595 46.58%
  Republican 45,054 28.52%
  Independent 35,266 22.32%
  Third Parties 4,084 2.58%
Total 157,999 100%

Statewide Elections

Like many other counties containing large state universities, Alachua County regularly supports the Democratic Party. It has voted for the Democratic candidate for president in the past five elections. The county last supported a Republican presidential candidate in 1988, when it narrowly went for George H. W. Bush.

Previous Presidential Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2012 40.40% 48,797 57.71% 69,699 1.89% 2,277
2008 38.51% 48,513 59.99% 75,565 1.50% 1,889
2004 42.90% 47,762 56.14% 62,504 0.96% 1,062
2000 39.80% 34,135 55.25% 47,380 4.95% 4,242
1996 33.97% 25,303 53.90% 40,144 12.13% 9,037
1992 29.87% 22,806 49.61% 37,876 20.52% 15,668
Previous Gubernatorial Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2014 39.79% 31,097 56.37% 44,052 3.84% 3,004
2010 38.03% 28,129 59.40% 43,933 2.57% 1,899
2006 42.74% 30,139 54.94% 38,741 2.32% 1,636
2002 41.38% 29,118 57.73% 40,621 0.90% 629
1998 44.79% 23,812 55.19% 29,343 0.03% 14
1994 38.16% 21,624 61.82% 35,030 0.01% 7 56,661


Alachua County is the site of five closed landfills—Southwest Landfill, Southeast Landfill, Northwest Landfill, Northeast Landfill, and Northeast Auxiliary Landfill.[21] Since 1999, all solid waste from Alachua County has been hauled to the New River Solid Waste Facility in Raiford, in neighboring Union County.[22]


# Incorporated Community Designation Population
2 Alachua City 9,561
7 Archer Town 1,158
1 Gainesville City 128,460
5 Hawthorne City 1,471
3 High Springs City 5,672
10 La Crosse Town 372
9 Micanopy Town 622
4 Newberry City 5,412
8 Waldo City 1,024

Unincorporated communities

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 12, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Simpson, J. Clarence (1956). Mark F. Boyd (ed.). Florida Place-Names of Indian Derivation. Tallahassee, Florida: Florida Geological Survey.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "History of Alachua". Alachua Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on 9 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-15. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 12, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 12, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 12, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 12, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "2007-2011 American Community Survey". US Census Bureau.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Modern Language Association Data Center Results, Alachua County, Florida". Modern Language Association. Retrieved 2013-08-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Locations | Alachua County Library District". Retrieved 2015-12-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Alachua County Sheriff's Office". Retrieved 2015-12-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Bookmobile stops | Alachua County Library District". Retrieved 2015-12-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Florida Library History Project".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Alachua County Library District Heritage Collection". Retrieved 2015-12-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Cone Park library hosting grand opening". Retrieved 2015-12-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Landfills". Alachua County, Florida. Archived from the original on January 14, 2009. Retrieved 2008-11-09. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "Brief History of the Environmental Park". Alachua County, Florida. Archived from the original on January 14, 2009. Retrieved 2008-11-09. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Government links/Constitutional offices

Special districts

Judicial branch of State

Conservation and environmental organizations

Tourism links