Citrus County, Florida

Citrus County is a county located on the west central coast of the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2020 census, the population was 153,843.[1] Its county seat is Inverness,[2] and its largest community is Homosassa Springs.

Citrus County
Old Citrus County Courthouse
Official seal of Citrus County
Map of Florida highlighting Citrus County
Location within the U.S. state of Florida
Map of the United States highlighting Florida
Florida's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 28°51′N 82°31′W / 28.85°N 82.52°W / 28.85; -82.52
Country United States
State Florida
FoundedJune 2, 1887
Named forCitrus trees (previously a major industry in the county)
Largest communityHomosassa Springs
 • Total773 sq mi (2,000 km2)
 • Land582 sq mi (1,510 km2)
 • Water192 sq mi (500 km2)  24.8%
 • Total153,843
 • Density264/sq mi (102/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
34446, 34442, 34465 and 34461
Area code352
Congressional district12th

Citrus County comprises the Homosassa Springs, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area.[3]

History edit

The area covered by present-day Citrus County is thought to have been first occupied at least 10,000 years ago. About 2,500 years ago, mound-building Native Americans settled in the area and built the complex that now forms the Crystal River Archeological Site. The site was occupied for about 2,000 years. Why the complex was abandoned is currently unknown.[4]

Citrus County was created in 1887. The Citrus County area was formerly part of Hernando County. It was named for the county's citrus groves.[5] Citrus production declined dramatically after the "Big Freeze" of 1894-1895: today, citrus is grown on one large grove, Bellamy Grove; additionally, some residents have citrus trees on their personal property.

After the Big Freeze the next major industry was phosphate mining, which continued until World War I. Planned industrial development surrounding the construction of the Cross Florida Barge Canal never came to fruition when the partially-built canal was terminated after environmental opposition.[6] A later attempt to create a port (Port Citrus) from the portion of the canal that was completed resulted in no significant progress and the county voted in 2015 to scuttle the project.[7]

The original Citrus County seat was Mannfield (incorrectly spelled Mansfield or Mannsfeld in some sources). The county seat was later moved to Inverness; only a street and a pond remain of the original county seat town.[8]

The first library in Citrus County was founded in 1917 in Inverness. Other branches opened in Floral City in 1958, and Hernando in 1959, as well as the freestanding Crystal River and Homosassa Libraries. These libraries joined to create the Central Florida Library System in 1961. Beverly Hills Library opened in 1970 and joined the Central Florida Library System.[9] A Special Library Taxing District was created by the voters in March 1984.[9] In October 1987, the Citrus County Library System was established which allowed the county residents to administer their own system.[9]

Sign on the Withlacoochee State Trail marking the site of the "Great Train Wreck of 1956" at Pineola, Florida.

Geography edit

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 773 square miles (2,000 km2), of which 582 square miles (1,510 km2) is land and 192 square miles (500 km2) (24.8%) is water.[10]

There are a number of uninhabited and/or sparsely inhabited coastal islands that can be accessed via watercraft.[11] While some of the Citrus County islands are state lands thus available for public use for recreational opportunities, many other Citrus County islands are private property and are either wholly or partially owned by private parties.[12]

Adjacent counties edit

National protected areas edit

Fauna edit

According to the US Fish and Wildlife Services' aerial manatee surveys, as many as 400 of these unique creatures can be found in Citrus County at one time. This typically occurs only during the coldest months of the year.

Manatees can also be viewed in the underwater observatory at Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. Most of the park's residents are injured animals either undergoing rehabilitation for future release to the wild, or will be permanent due to their inability to be released to the wild.[13] The notable exception is Lucifer, an African hippopotamus that had prior movie roles. When a permanent home could not be found for Lucifer, then-Governor Lawton Chiles named him an "honorary citizen of the state" thus allowing him to remain at the Park.[14]

Demographics edit

Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[15][1]
1790-1960[16] 1900-1990[17]
1990-2000[18] 2010-2015[1]
Citrus County racial composition as of 2020
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[a]
Race Pop 2010[20] Pop 2020[21] % 2010 % 2020
White (NH) 126,549 131,477 89.6% 85.46%
Black or African American (NH) 3,767 3,891 2.67% 2.53%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 418 466 0.3% 0.3%
Asian (NH) 1,979 2,412 1.4% 1.57%
Pacific Islander (NH) 33 43 0.02% 0.03%
Some Other Race (NH) 129 517 0.09% 0.34%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 1,777 5,796 1.26% 3.77%
Hispanic or Latino 6,584 9,241 4.66% 6.01%
Total 141,236 153,843

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 153,843 people, 64,621 households, and 40,063 families residing in the county.

As of the census[22] of 2000, 118,085 people, 52,634 households, and 36,317 families resided in the county. The population density was 78 per square kilometre (200/sq mi). The 62,204 housing units averaged 41 per square kilometre (110/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 95.05% White, 2.36% Black or African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.76% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.37% from other races, and 1.07% from two or more races. About 2.66% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race.

Of the 52,634 households, 19% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.30% were married couples living together, 7.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31% were not families. About 26.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.60.

In the county, the population was distributed as 17.20% under the age of 18, 4.60% from 18 to 24, 19.10% from 25 to 44, 26.90% from 45 to 64, and 32.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 53 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.60 males.

Economy edit

Personal income edit

The median income for a household in the county was $31,001, and for a family was $36,711. Males had a median income of $28,091 versus $21,408 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,585. Around 11.70% of the population and 8.50% of families were below the poverty line; 18.10% of those under the age of 18 and 7.00% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Labor edit

More than one-third of residents were senior citizens in 2014. Health care dominates the work force.[23]

Transportation edit

Airports edit

Railroads edit

One rail line operates within the county: A freight line to the Crystal River Energy Complex in northern Citrus County. Other lines that used to run through Citrus were either converted into rail trails such as the Cross Town Trail in Crystal River and Withlacoochee State Trail in eastern Citrus County or abandoned.

Major roads edit

  •   SR 589 (Suncoast Parkway) runs north to south due to the recent expansion of the Suncoast Parkway from Hernando County.
  •   US 19 (SR 55/Suncoast Boulevard) is the main local road through western Citrus County, running south to north.
  •   US 41 (SR 45/Florida Avenue) is the main local road through eastern Citrus County, running south to north. North of CR 48 in Floral City, the road is also shared by the DeSoto Trail.
  •   US 98 (SR 700/Ponce de Leon Boulevard) runs northwest to southeast from Hernando County, Florida, and joins US 19 in Chassahowitzka on its way to Perry.
  •   SR 44 (Gulf-to-Lake Highway) runs east and west through the northern part of the county from Crystal River into Sumter County. A county extension south of the western terminus runs into Fort Island.
  •   CR 48 runs mostly east and west through Southeastern Citrus County. It spans from US 41 Floral City winding southeast along the Withlacoochee River, which it eventually crosses on the way to Bushnell and Center Hill in Sumter County, and Howey-in-the Hills in Lake County. The segment in Bushnell between I-75 (Exit 314) and US 301 was a state road until the end of 2016. Throughout Citrus County, County Road 48 is also shared by the DeSoto Trail.
  •   CR 480 is the southernmost county road in Citrus County. It runs east and west from Chassahowitzka with a short concurrency with US 98, then through the Withlacoochee State Forest where it eventually terminates at US 41 in Floral City, south of CR 48.
  •   CR 490 runs east and west from the Gulf of Mexico along the south side of the Homosassa River until it briefly joins US 19–98 in downtown Homosassa Springs only to head northeast towards SR 44 in Lecanto.
  •   CR 491 (Lecanto Highway): A Bi-County road that begins in unincorporated northwestern Hernando County, then runs north and south along the western side of the Withlacoochee State Forest, and into Lecanto and Beverly Hills where it curves east in northern Citrus County and crosses US 41 in Holder, only to terminate at SR 200 near the Citrus-Marion County Line.
  •   CR 581: Runs north and south along the eastern side of the Withlacoochee State Forest from County Road 481 in Lake Lindsey, into Inverness where it joins SR 44 east towards US 41, only to branch off on its own as a dead end street on the banks of the Withlacoochee River.

Communities edit

Cities edit

Census-designated places edit

Other unincorporated communities edit

Former towns edit

Government edit

Libraries edit

Originally, the libraries within Citrus County were separate and overseen by different local organizations. In 1961, the libraries of Crystal River, Floral City, Hernando, Homosassa, and Inverness joined the Central Florida Regional Library System along with Levy and Marion Counties. The Citrus County Library System was established on October 1, 1987.[29]

The Citrus County Library System offers a PAWS to Read program where elementary school-aged children can enhance their literacy skills by reading aloud to a certified therapy dog.[30] It also has several other children/teen programs and adult recreational classes.[31]

On October 24, 2019, the Citrus County Commissioners voted against the Library System's request for funding to give library users digital access to the New York Times. Commissioner Scott Carnahan said, "I don't want the New York Times in this county. I don't agree with it, I don't like 'em, it's fake news and I'm voting no. They can take that money and do something else with it ... I support Donald Trump."[32]

There are five branches of the Citrus County Library System:[33]

  • Beverly Hills (Central Ridge)

The library in Beverly Hills began as a few shelves in the Beverly Hills recreational hall. A proper library was made possible by the local residents. In 1965, those that wished to expand the library visited homes asking for donations of $1 from each. The new library was built and its materials relocated to a building on Beverly Hills Boulevard. In 1969, the library moved slightly south to inhabit part of the Fire House. Nine years later, when the Fire House was moved, the library expanded to use the entire space. The Beverly Hills Library became the Central Ridge Branch on Roosevelt Boulevard during its dedication in 1995.[34]

  • Crystal River (Coastal Region)

On April 8, 1959, the first public library opened in Crystal River at 639 Citrus Ave. Much of the funding for this building was donated by the Crystal River Women's Club. A year later, the library moved into the old post office space. After the libraries joined the Central Florida Regional Library System, the City of Crystal River donated two lots of land for the building of a new library. The building was later expanded in 1972, which remained until 1983 when the current library was built at 8619 W Crystal St. The library was then renamed to The Coastal Region Library.[35]

  • Floral City

The Floral City Public Library branch is located in the town center of Floral City. Oak trees[36] lead up to the library. Surrounding the library is the Floral City Heritage Museum and Country Store, the Floral City Masonic Lodge, and Community House. The library is managed by the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and receives governmental funding and donations to operate. The Lion's Club started the library in 1958 in a former gift shop.[37] A new branch location was built and opened on May 1, 2009. The building was part of a $1.5 million town center and linear park on Orange Avenue and replaced the old facility. The branch offers adult literacy, early childhood literacy, family & youth, self enrichment, and technology education classes.[38] The library has many craft class offerings for children, teens, adults, and seniors. Popular programs include adult coloring, tissue paper flowers, recycled book art, and card making. Close to holidays, the branch hosts themed activities and small parties for children. Staff of the Floral City branch create monthly book displays to entice patrons to new areas and titles. Every year the library hosts two book sales (spring and fall) to raise funds for more materials and programs. Staff participates in Heritage Days which is a weekend-long celebration of the founding of Floral City. Heritage days take place in early December and staff members dress up in garb from the late 1800s.

  • Homosassa
  • Inverness (Lakes Region)

Elections edit

Voter registration edit

According to the Secretary of State's office, Republicans comprise a plurality of registered voters in Citrus County.

Citrus County Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of November 6, 2021[39]
Political party Total voters Percentage
Republican 60,821 51.73%
Democratic 27,112 23.06%
other party affiliation 29,634 25.21%
Total 117,564 100.00%

Federal and state offices edit

Citrus County has voted Republican in national elections since 2000 and has voted Republican in state and local races before the 21st century. As of 2015, Republicans held the federal representative, state senator, and state representative seats serving the county, occupied all seats on the Citrus County Commission, and held nearly all other separately elected offices in the county. In 2016 the county broke heavily for Donald Trump, giving him 67% of the vote, the largest of any candidate since President Nixon in 1972.

The county has been trending heavily Republican for the past few decades, with Democratic registration actually declining for at least the past 15 years.

United States presidential election results for Citrus County, Florida[40]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 65,352 69.98% 27,092 29.01% 944 1.01%
2016 54,456 67.72% 22,789 28.34% 3,167 3.94%
2012 44,662 60.22% 28,460 38.37% 1,047 1.41%
2008 43,706 57.13% 31,460 41.12% 1,343 1.76%
2004 39,500 56.86% 29,277 42.15% 690 0.99%
2000 29,801 52.06% 25,531 44.60% 1,916 3.35%
1996 20,125 40.57% 22,044 44.44% 7,431 14.98%
1992 16,412 36.68% 15,937 35.62% 12,397 27.71%
1988 21,072 62.95% 12,184 36.40% 218 0.65%
1984 20,764 66.47% 10,468 33.51% 4 0.01%
1980 14,286 58.48% 9,162 37.50% 982 4.02%
1976 7,973 45.03% 9,438 53.30% 296 1.67%
1972 8,848 77.22% 2,607 22.75% 3 0.03%
1968 2,767 38.71% 1,775 24.83% 2,606 36.46%
1964 2,329 48.02% 2,521 51.98% 0 0.00%
1960 1,861 51.82% 1,730 48.18% 0 0.00%
1956 1,570 50.69% 1,527 49.31% 0 0.00%
1952 1,249 47.85% 1,361 52.15% 0 0.00%
1948 461 27.91% 940 56.90% 251 15.19%
1944 264 16.58% 1,328 83.42% 0 0.00%
1940 194 11.05% 1,561 88.95% 0 0.00%
1936 159 10.43% 1,366 89.57% 0 0.00%
1932 147 10.84% 1,209 89.16% 0 0.00%
1928 505 37.77% 816 61.03% 16 1.20%
1924 30 5.94% 423 83.76% 52 10.30%
1920 94 11.93% 651 82.61% 43 5.46%
1916 46 6.62% 601 86.47% 48 6.91%
1912 11 2.19% 417 82.90% 75 14.91%
1908 33 7.43% 371 83.56% 40 9.01%
1904 21 5.04% 369 88.49% 27 6.47%
1900 16 3.57% 413 92.19% 19 4.24%
1896 35 8.54% 347 84.63% 28 6.83%
1892 0 0.00% 316 80.82% 75 19.18%

Media edit

The Citrus County newspaper of record is the Citrus County Chronicle, a daily. It is published by Landmark Media Enterprises. A second paper, The Newscaster, also circulates in Citrus County but is located in neighboring Marion County.

Other online news sources include the Groundhog News, Citrus Daily, Real News Real Fast, Sunshine Standard and Citrus Times Online.

The local TV station is WYKE-CD.

The county is part of the Nielsen-designated Tampa-Saint Petersburg-Sarasota television market.[41] Spectrum and Comcast serve different areas of Citrus County, with Spectrum serving the western part of the county, including Crystal River; and Comcast serving Inverness, and the eastern county communities; these systems offer most Tampa Bay stations, plus selected channels from the Orlando and Gainesville markets.

Radio stations in Citrus County are part of the Arbitron-designated Gainesville/Ocala radio market.

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.[19]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Citrus County, Florida". Retrieved November 6, 2021.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Revised Delineations of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, and Guidance on the Uses of the Delineations of These Areas" (PDF). Executive Office of the President. July 21, 2023. p. 56. Retrieved July 21, 2023.
  4. ^ Crystal River State Archaeological Site Archived June 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Publications of the Florida Historical Society. Florida Historical Society. 1908. p. 30.
  6. ^ "Citrus County - A Little History". Archived from the original on August 24, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  7. ^ "Port Citrus Scuttled". February 1, 2015. Archived from the original on April 2, 2016. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  8. ^ "Citrus County Florida INDEPENDENT History & Genealogy Page". Archived from the original on August 3, 2009. Retrieved May 25, 2009.
  9. ^ a b c "Citrus County Library". Archived from the original on May 24, 2016. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  11. ^ "Hurricane Evacuation Routes-Citrus County". Archived from the original on February 16, 2008. Retrieved February 2, 2008.
  12. ^[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Florida State Parks". Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved March 6, 2009.
  14. ^ Florida Places, Homosassa Springs: Florida Environment Radio Archived November 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  16. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Archived from the original on August 11, 2012. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  17. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  18. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
  19. ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  20. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved May 27, 2022.
  21. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved May 27, 2022.
  22. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  23. ^ Mike Schneider (September 16, 2014). "'Gray belt' glimpse at future". Florida Today. Florida Today. Archived from the original on September 20, 2014. Retrieved September 20, 2014.
  24. ^ "Mannfield - Ghost Town".
  25. ^ "Orleans - Ghost Town".
  26. ^ "Stage Pond - Ghost Town".
  27. ^ "Arlington - Ghost Town".
  28. ^ "Fairmount - Ghost Town".
  29. ^ vickyleon. "History of the Citrus County Library System". Citrus Libraries. Retrieved September 29, 2021.
  30. ^ "Early Childhood". Archived from the original on March 13, 2015. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
  31. ^ website Archived September 13, 2002, at the Library of Congress Web Archives
  32. ^ "Florida county refuses to pay for New York Times in libraries: 'It's fake news'". November 5, 2019.
  33. ^ "Techedu – Home 3". Citrus Libraries.
  34. ^ vickyleon. "History of the Citrus County Library System". Citrus Libraries. Retrieved September 30, 2021.
  35. ^ Bash, Evelyn C. (2006). A history of Crystal River, Florida. Marge K. Pritchett. Crystal River, FL: Crystal River Heritage Council. ISBN 1-59872-315-4. OCLC 159920347.
  36. ^ "Donations help historic tree project |". Chronicle Online. Archived from the original on April 26, 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  37. ^ "Citrus County Library". Archived from the original on April 15, 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  38. ^ "Citrus Libraries – Citrus County Library System". Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  39. ^ "Home". Retrieved November 6, 2021.
  40. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Archived from the original on April 14, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  41. ^ "Top 50 TV markets ranked by households". Northwestern University Media Management Center. Archived from the original on August 7, 2007. Retrieved September 3, 2007.

External links edit