Sumter County, Florida

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Sumter County, Florida
Bushnell Sumter Cty Crths01.jpg
Seal of Sumter County, Florida
Map of Florida highlighting Sumter County
Location in the U.S. state of Florida
Map of the United States highlighting Florida
Florida's location in the U.S.
Founded 8 January 1853
Named for Thomas Sumter
Seat Bushnell
Largest community The Villages
 • Total 580 sq mi (1,502 km2)
 • Land 547 sq mi (1,417 km2)
 • Water 33 sq mi (85 km2), 5.7%
 • (2010) 101,620
 • Density 170.8/sq mi (66/km²)
Congressional district 11th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
General Thomas Sumter

Sumter County is a county located in the state of Florida, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population is 93,420,[1] and it has the oldest median age (62.7 years) of any US county.[2] Its county seat is Bushnell,[3] and the largest community is The Villages.

Sumter County comprises the The Villages, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Orlando-Deltona-Daytona Beach, FL Combined Statistical Area.

Sumter County was affected by the massive Florida tornado outbreak of February 2, 2007, and declared a state of emergency.


Sumter County was created in 1853.[4] It was named for General Thomas Sumter, a general in the American Revolutionary War.[5] The county in the past, and to this day by some, is nicknamed "Hog County" most likely because it is home to a large population of wild hogs. Hog hunting is still a favorite pastime of locals in the more rural portions of the county.

Although long extremely rural, in recent years Sumter County has sustained an exceptionally large increase in population, almost solely due to the expansion of The Villages retirement complex, a significant portion of which is in the county. This has dramatically changed the demographics of the county and has brought in significant income.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 580 square miles (1,500 km2), of which 547 square miles (1,420 km2) is land and 33 square miles (85 km2) (5.7%) is water.[6]

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,549
1870 2,952 90.6%
1880 4,686 58.7%
1890 5,363 14.4%
1900 6,187 15.4%
1910 6,696 8.2%
1920 7,851 17.2%
1930 10,644 35.6%
1940 11,041 3.7%
1950 11,330 2.6%
1960 11,869 4.8%
1970 14,839 25.0%
1980 24,272 63.6%
1990 31,577 30.1%
2000 53,345 68.9%
2010 93,420 75.1%
Est. 2014 114,350 [7] 22.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 53,345 people, 20,779 households, and 15,043 families residing in the county. The population density was 98 people per square mile (38/km²). There were 25,195 housing units at an average density of 46 per square mile (18/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 82.60% White, 13.78% Black or African American, 0.51% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.16% from other races, and 1.49% from two or more races. 6.29% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 20,779 households out of which 18.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.90% were married couples living together, 8.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.60% were non-families. 23.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.62. According to U. S. News & World Report over half the population of Sumter County are now senior citizens.[13]

In the county the population was spread out with 16.10% under the age of 18, 5.90% from 18 to 24, 23.30% from 25 to 44, 27.30% from 45 to 64, and 27.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 49 years. For every 100 females there were 113.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 113.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,073, and the median income for a family was $36,999. Males had a median income of $27,346 versus $21,145 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,830. About 9.60% of families and 13.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.00% of those under age 18 and 7.70% of those age 65 or over. According to The Daily Commercial, Sumter County's unemployment rate as of March 2009 is 13.2 percent.

Unemployment as of 9/14 = 5.0% (Sep 2014)

Government and infrastructure

Federal Correctional Complex, Coleman of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is located in the county.

It includes:



CSX operates one rail line within the county. Amtrak formerly provided passenger rail service to Wildwood, but the stop was terminated in late 2004.[14] Other lines have existed in the past, most notably one from Coleman southeast towards Auburndale in Polk County, part of which includes the General James A. Van Fleet State Trail in Mabel. Amtrak ran along this line until 1988. Another line ran from Croom in Hernando County to Center Hill. Today, part of it is a Forest Road in Withlacoochee State Forest north of the Sumter Rest Area on I-75. A fourth one was part of the Orange Belt Railway, which ran from Trilby in Pasco County to Sylvan Lake in Seminole County. This runs along the south side of State Road 50 east of Tarrytown.

Major roads

  • I-75.svg Interstate 75 runs north and south across the western and northern part of the county, with interchanges at County Roads 476B & 673(Exit 309), SR 48 (Exit 314) CR 470(Exit 321), Florida's Turnpike(Exit 328), and SR 44(Exit 329).
  • Florida's Turnpike shield.png Florida's Turnpike runs north and south from Southeastern and Central Florida. Only two interechanges exist in the county; US 301(Exit 304) and at the northern terminus at I-75(unmarked Exit 309), in Wildwood. Plans are currently under way to reconstruct the interchange, by combining it with I-75 & SR 44.
  • US 301.svg U.S. Route 301 is the main local road through Sumter County, running southwest to northeast.
  • Florida 44.svg State Road 44 runs east and west through the northern part of the county from Rutland into Lake County.
  • 20px County Road 470: runs east and west from SR 44 near the Sumter-Citrus County Line along the west side of Lake Panasoffkee, then briefly joins US 301 in Sumterville before heading east again towards Lake County.
  • Florida 48.svg20px State and County Road 48 runs mostly east and west through Central Sumter County. It spans from Floral City in Citrus County to Howey-in-the Hills in Lake County as a county road, while the segment in Bushnell between I-75(Exit 314) and US 301 remains a state road. Between the western terminus and US 301, it is also shared by the DeSoto Trail.
  • 20px County Road 476: East-West Bi-County road running from Nobleton in Hernando County to Webster. The road spans as far west as US 19 along the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Florida 50.svg State Road 50 runs east and west across the southern part of the county from Withlacoochee State Forest in Hernando County through Tarrytown and Mabel before entering Lake County.
  • Florida 471.svg State Road 471 runs north and south from Polk County north of US 98 into US 301 in Sumterville.
  • 20px County Road 475: Two north-south roads that were previously one until Interstate 75 was built. One section spans from SR 48 in Bushnell to CR 470 on the southeast corner of Exit 321 on I-75 in Lake Panasoffkee. The other starts at SR 44 in Wildwood west of Exit 329 on I-75 and crosses the Marion County line towards Ocala.
  • 20px County Road 466-A:
  • 20px County Road 466:
  • 20px County Road 462:
  • 20px County Road 476-B:

Scenic Sumter Heritage Byway

The Sumter County Chamber of Commerce, the cities of Webster and Bushnell, the Sumter County government, businesses, community leaders, veterans’ groups, and individuals worked to have 62 miles of road in Sumter County designated by the state of Florida as a Florida Scenic Byway.[15] On September 1, 2010, the Scenic Sumter Heritage Byway was designated a candidate for the Florida Scenic Highway Program.[16] The Scenic Sumter Heritage Byway became the 24th highway to be designated a Florida Scenic Highway by the Florida Department of Transportation in June 2013.[15] Points of interest along the route include the Dade Battlefield State Historic Site, the Sumter County Farmer’s Market, Lake Panasoffkee, the Florida National Cemetery.[17] On January 25, 2014, community leaders, supporters of the byway, and Assistant Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation Brian Blanchard cut the ribbon to the highway at the Dade Battlefield State Historic Site in Bushnell.[18]

Public Transportation

Sumter County operates Sumter County Transit, which operates three fixed-route services, as well as paratransit service.[19]


Sumter District Schools operates district public schools in Sumter County.

The Villages Charter Schools is a K-12 charter school in unincorporated northern Sumter County in The Villages CDP.[20] Children are eligible to attend the charter school if one or both of their parents work for The Villages.[21]

Among other schools in the county is South Sumter Middle School, a junior high school for students in grades 6-8, and Lake-Sumter State College has a campus in Sumterville that serves the community.


Sumter County has 5 branches serving its community as well as a Lake-Sumter State College campus library that is open to the public.

  • Bushnell Public Library
  • E.C. Rowell Public Library
  • Panasoffkee Community Library
  • Villages Public Library (Belvedere)
  • Villages Public Library (Pinellas Plaza)
  • Lake-Sumter State College Library (Sumterville)

The Sumter County Library Services began servicing the Wahoo, Center Hill, Linden, Croom-A-Coochee areas through the county’s Library on Wheels program in 2008.[22]



Unincorporated communities

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 16, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Age and Sex Composition: 2010" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 20, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Publications of the Florida Historical Society. Florida Historical Society. 1908. p. 34.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Frisaro, Freida Ratliff (Feb 21, 1988). "Indian heritage runs deep throughout Central Florida". Ocala Star-Banner. p. 63. Retrieved 6 June 2015.<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. "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>
  8. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 16, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 16, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 16, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 16, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "St. Petersburg Times". Loss of Amtrak service shouldn't derail Dade City. Retrieved 2004-10-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. 15.0 15.1 South Lake Press Staff (Jun 21, 2013). "Sumter wins Florida Scenic Byway recognition". South Lake Press. Retrieved Mar 9, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Florida Scenic Highway Program (Jun 2010). "FSHP Designated and Eligible Scenic Highway Information" (PDF). Florida Scenic Highway Program. Retrieved Mar 9, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Locklear, Brenda (Feb 4, 2014). "Byways to benefit businesses, communities". Sumter County Times. Retrieved Mar 9, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Sumter County Times Staff (Jan 22, 2014). "Out and About". Sumter County Times. Retrieved Mar 9, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Welcome." The Villages Charter Schools. Retrieved on December 11, 2008.
  21. "Charter-in-the-Workplace." The Villages Charter Schools. Retrieved on December 11, 2008.
  22. Sumter County Board of County Commissioners (2008). "Annual Report 2008" (PDF). Sumter County Board of County Commissioners. Retrieved Mar 9, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Government links/Constitutional offices

Special districts

Judicial branch

Museum and Library Resources

Business and Visitor Information

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