Leon County, Florida

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Leon County, Florida
Leon County Courthouse (looking at SW corner).JPG
Leon County Courthouse
Flag of Leon County, Florida
Seal of Leon County, Florida
Map of Florida highlighting Leon County
Location in the U.S. state of Florida
Map of the United States highlighting Florida
Florida's location in the U.S.
Founded December 29, 1824
Named for Juan Ponce de León
Seat Tallahassee
Largest city Tallahassee
 • Total 702 sq mi (1,818 km2)
 • Land 667 sq mi (1,728 km2)
 • Water 35 sq mi (91 km2), 5.0%
 • (2010) 275,487
 • Density 413/sq mi (159.51/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.leoncountyfl.gov

Leon County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 275,487.[1] The county seat is Tallahassee,[2] which also serves as the state capital. The county is named after the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León.

Leon County is included in the Tallahassee, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area. Tallahassee is home to two of Florida's major public universities, Florida State University and Florida A&M University. Leon County residents have the highest average level of education among Florida's 67 counties.[3]


Originally part of Escambia and later Gadsden County, Leon County was created in 1824.[4] It was named for Juan Ponce de León, the Spanish explorer who was the first European to reach Florida.[5] During the 1850s - 1860s, Leon County was a "cotton kingdom" and ranked 5th out of all of Florida and Georgia counties in the production of cotton from the 20 major plantations. Unlike all other Confederate capitols east of the Mississippi River in the American Civil War, Tallahassee was never captured by the Union forces, and no Union Soldiers set foot in Leon County until Reconstruction.

Also see Plantations of Leon County.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 702 square miles (1,820 km2), of which 667 square miles (1,730 km2) is land and 35 square miles (91 km2) (5.0%) is water.[6] Unlike much of Florida, most of Leon County has rolling hills, part of north Florida's Red Hills region. The highest point is 280 feet (85 m) located in the north part of the county.

National protected area

Bodies of water

Adjacent counties



Major highways


Geological make-up of Leon County.

Leon County sits atop basement rock composed of basalts of the Triassic and Jurassic from ~251—145 million years ago interlayered with Mesozoic sedimentary rocks. The layers above the basement are carbonate rock created from dying foraminifera, bryozoa, mollusks, and corals from as early as the Paleocene, a period of ~66—55.8 Ma.[8]

During the Eocene (~55.8—33.9 Ma) and Oligocene (~33.9—23 Ma), the Appalachian Mountains began to uplift and the erosion rate increased enough to fill the Gulf Trough with quartz sands, silts, and clays via rivers and streams. The first sedimentation layer in Leon County is the Oligocene Suwannee Limestone in the southeastern part of the county as stated by the United States Geological Survey and Florida Geological Survey.[9]

The Early Miocene (~23.03—15.7 Ma) sedimentation in Leon County is Hawthorn Group, Torreya Formation and St. Marks Formation and found in the northern two-thirds of the county.

The Pliocene (~5.332—2.588 Ma) is represented by the Miccosukee Formation scattered within the Torreya Formation.

Sediments were laid down from the Pleistocene epoch (~2.588 million—12 000 years ago) through Holocene epoch (~12,000—present) and are designated Beach ridge and trail and undifferentiated sediments.

Terraces and shorelines

During the Pleistocene, what would be Leon County emerged and submerged with each glacial and interglacial period. Interglacials created the topography of Leon as it is known now.

Also See Leon County Pleistocene coastal terraces

Also see: Florida Platform and Lithostratigraphy

Geologic formations


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 10,713
1850 11,442 6.8%
1860 12,343 7.9%
1870 15,236 23.4%
1880 19,662 29.0%
1890 17,752 −9.7%
1900 19,887 12.0%
1910 19,427 −2.3%
1920 18,059 −7.0%
1930 23,476 30.0%
1940 31,646 34.8%
1950 51,590 63.0%
1960 74,225 43.9%
1970 103,047 38.8%
1980 148,655 44.3%
1990 192,493 29.5%
2000 239,452 24.4%
2010 275,487 15.0%
Est. 2014 283,988 [10] 3.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
1790-1960[12] 1900-1990[13]
1990-2000[14] 2010-2013[1]


As of the census[15] of 2010, there were 275,487 people, and 108,592 households residing in the county. The population density was 413.2 people per square mile (159.5/km²). There were 123,423 housing units at an average density of 185 per square mile (71.4/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 63.0% White, 30.3% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, and 2.2% from two or more races. 5.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.


There were 108,592 households out of which 24.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.9% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.8% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the county the population was spread out with 20.0% under the age of 18, 26.3% from 18 to 24, 22.7% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 8.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27.8 years. For every 100 females there were 91.57 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.03 males.


The adult citizens of Leon County enjoy the highest level of education in the state of Florida followed by Alachua County with a total of 67.8%.

Level of Education
Level Leon Co. Florida U.S.

Some college or associate degree 28.5% 28.8% 27.4%
Bachelor's Degree 24.0% 14.3% 15.5%
Master's or Ph. D. 17.7% 8.1% 8.9%
Total 70.2% 51.2% 51.8%

Source of above:[3]


The median income for a household in the county was $37,517, and the median income for a family was $52,962. Males had a median income of $35,235 versus $28,110 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,024. About 9.40% of families and 18.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.20% of those under age 18 and 8.20% of those age 65 or over.



Voting trends

Leon County (Florida) courthouse in Tallahassee; 2007.

Leon County is a traditional blue county and has usually voted Democratic. This is likely due to Florida State University and Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, as well as the concentration of government employees in the capital city.

  • On December 31, 2007 there were 85,546 Democrats and 42,744 Republicans. Other affiliations accounted for 22,284 voters.
  • On March 1, 2009 there were 103,334 Democrats and 48,507 Republicans. Other affiliations accounted for 28,191 voters.[16]
  • As of September 8, 2014 there were 100,655 Democrats and 51,444 Republicans. Other affiliations accounted for 36,575 voters.[17]
Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic Other
2012 37.7% 61.2% 1.1%
2008 37.4% 61.6% 1.0%
2004 37.8% 61.5% 0.7%
2000 37.9% 59.6% 2.5%
1996 37.0% 54.6% 8.4%
1992 32.7% 49.1% 18.0%
1988 51.4% 47.7% 0.9%
1984 55.0% 44.9% 0.1%
1980 43.5% 49.6% 6.9%
1976 44.4% 53.8% 1.8%
1972 63.7% 36.1% 0.2%

Voter turnout

Leon County has had the highest voter turnout of all counties in Florida. For the 2008 general election, Leon County had a record setting early voting and vote by mail with a voter turnout of 85%.[18]

County representation

Leon County Government
Position Name Party

Commissioner Nick Maddox Democratic
Commissioner Jane Sauls Democratic
Commissioner John Dailey Democratic
Commissioner Kristen Dozier Democratic
Commissioner Bill Proctor Democratic
Commissioner Bryan Desloge Republican
Commissioner Mary Ann Lindley Democratic
Elections Supervisor Ion Sancho NPA
Tax Collector Doris Maloy Democratic
Property Appraiser Bert Hartsfield Democratic
Court Clerk Bob Inzer Democratic
Sheriff Larry Campbell Democratic
School Superintendent Jackie Pons Democratic
Soil and Water Supervisor 1 Blas Gomez Non Partisan

Consolidation with Tallahassee

Voters of Leon County have gone to the polls four times to vote on consolidation of Tallahassee and Leon County governments into one jurisdiction combining police and other city services with already shared (consolidated) Tallahassee Fire Department, Tallahassee/Leon County Planning Department, and Leon County Emergency Medical Services. Tallahassee's city limits would (at current size) increase from 98.2 square miles (254 km2) to 702 square miles (1,820 km2). Roughly 36 percent of Leon County's 250,000 residents live outside the Tallahassee city limits.

Leon County Voting On Consolidation

1968 10,381 (41.32%) 14,740 (58.68%)
1973 11,056 (46.23%) 12,859 (53.77%)
1976 20,336 (45.01%) 24,855 (54.99%)
1992 37,062 (39.8%) 56,070 (60.2%)

The proponents of consolidation have stated that the new jurisdiction would attract business by its very size. Merging of governments would cut government waste, duplication of services, etc. However Professor Richard Feiock states that no discernible relationship exists between consolidation and the local economy.[19]

U.S. Congressional representatives

All of Leon County is located in the 2nd Congressional District, which is currently represented by Gwen Graham (D). map.

State Representatives

Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda (D), District 9, represents the northern half of Leon County including most of Tallahassee. Rep. Halsey Beshears (R), District 7, represents the southern portion of the county. Rep. Alan Williams (D), District 8, also represents a west-central portion of the county.

State Senator

All of Leon County is represented by Bill Montford (D) District 3 in the Florida Senate.

Public safety

The law enforcement agency charged with countywide policing is the Leon County Sheriff's Office. Fire and Emergency medical services provided by the Tallahassee Fire Department and Leon County Emergency Medical Services respectively.


Public schools in Leon County are administered and under the operation of the Leon County School District. LCS is operated by a superintendent, 5 board members, and 1 Student Representative. There are:

  • 25 Elementary Schools
  • 10 Middle Schools
  • 7 High Schools
  • 8 Special / Alternative Schools
  • 2 Charter Schools

High schools

Newsweek Magazine's "The Top of the Class" (1300 schools) for 2008 lists 4 out of 5 Leon County's 5 public high schools in the top 400 in the United States.


Leon County has 7 branches that serve the area.

  • Collins Main Library
  • Northeast Branch Library
  • Eastside Branch Library
  • Dr. B.L. Perry, Jr. Branch Library
  • Lake Jackson Branch Library
  • Woodville Branch Library
  • Fort Braden Branch Library

The official name of the library system is the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library. The name was changed on September 17, 1993 from the original name of the Leon County Public Library in honor of LeRoy Collins, the 33rd Governor of Florida.[20]

Points of interest


Three sites within Leon County have yielded fossil remnants of the Miocene epoch. The article Leon County, Florida paleontological sites includes the Griscom Plantation Site, Seaboard Air Line Railroad Site, and Tallahassee Waterworks Site with fossils by genus and species.



Unincorporated communities

Defunct entity

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 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. 3.0 3.1 2000 U.S. Census at EPodunk.com - An examination of all Florida counties
  4. Publications of the Florida Historical Society. Florida Historical Society. 1908. p. 32.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 185.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "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>
  7. "Tallahassee's airport goes international". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved July 8, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Geology of Florida, University of Florida
  9. USGS Publications, Florida
  10. "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>
  11. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 14, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Leon County Supervisor of Elections updated registered voter counter
  17. Leon County Supervisor of Elections Active Registered Voters
  18. Leon County Supervisor of Elections graphic
  19. http://www.fsu.edu/~localgov/publication_files/Feiock&Park&Kang_Consolidation_K3.pdf
  20. "Governor Thomas LeRoy Collins". LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library. Retrieved 27 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Bloxham, Florida. Google Maps. Retrieved 2013-09-04.

External links

Government links/Constitutional offices

Special districts

Judicial branch

Tourism links

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