Panama City is a city in the county seat of Bay County, Florida, United States.[5] Located along U.S. Highway 98 (US 98), it is the largest city between Tallahassee and Pensacola. It is also the most populated city of the Panama City–Lynn Haven, Florida metropolitan statistical area. Panama City was severely damaged when Hurricane Michael made landfall as a Category 5 hurricane on October 10, 2018. As of the 2020 census, the population was 32,939, down from the figure of 36,484 at the 2010 census.

Panama City, Florida
City of Panama City
Panama City's Old city hall in November 2013, prior to Hurricane Michael.
Panama City's Old city hall in November 2013, prior to Hurricane Michael.
Flag of Panama City, Florida
Official seal of Panama City, Florida
Map
Interactive map outlining Panama City
Panama City, FL is located in Florida
Panama City, FL
Panama City, FL
Location in Florida
Panama City, FL is located in the United States
Panama City, FL
Panama City, FL
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 30°10′28″N 85°39′52″W / 30.17444°N 85.66444°W / 30.17444; -85.66444
Country United States of America
State Florida
CountyBay
Incorporated1909
Named forPanama City, Panama
Government
 • MayorMichael “Doc” Rohan (R)[1]
Area
 • City41.27 sq mi (106.90 km2)
 • Land35.12 sq mi (90.97 km2)
 • Water6.15 sq mi (15.93 km2)
 • Metro
1,312 sq mi (3,400 km2)
Elevation
26 ft (8 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • City32,939
 • Density937.82/sq mi (362.09/km2)
 • Metro
202,236
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Codes
32401–32409, 32411–32413, 32417, 32461
Area code(s)850, 448
FIPS code12-54700[3]
GNIS feature ID0288448[4]
Websitewww.pcgov.org

Name edit

The development in this once unincorporated part of Northwest Florida had previous names such as Floriopolis, Park Resort, and Harrison.[6] In 1906, the development was named Panama City and it was first incorporated as Panama City in 1909. When Panama City was incorporated, its original city limits were 15th Street (Hwy 98) on the north, Balboa Avenue on the west and Bay Avenue on the east. According to the Panama City Public Library's A History of Panama City,[7] George Mortimer West hoped to spur real estate development in Bay County during a period of intense popular interest in the construction of the Panama Canal by changing the town's name from Harrison to Panama City, because a straight line between Chicago and the Central American country Panama's national capital intersected the Florida town. Additionally, since required meanders around land formations in a seaborne route to the canal added distance when starting at other ports, Panama City was the closest developed port in the US mainland to the Caribbean entrance of the Panama Canal.

Geography edit

Panama City is located at 30°10′28″N 85°39′52″W / 30.17444°N 85.66444°W / 30.17444; -85.66444 (30.174451, –85.664480)[8] within the Florida Panhandle and along the Emerald Coast. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city limits encompass an area of 35.4 square miles (91.8 km2), of which 29.3 square miles (75.8 km2) is land and 6.2 square miles (16.0 km2), or 17.39%, is water.[9]

Climate edit

Panama City has a humid subtropical climate, with short, mild winters and long, hot and humid summers. In January, the average low is 42.6 °F (5.9 °C), and in July the average high is 91.1 °F (32.8 °C).

Due to its location on the Gulf Coast, the city is susceptible to tropical cyclones. In 2018, Panama City was directly hit by Hurricane Michael, which caused catastrophic damage to the city and surrounding communities, with winds of 160 mph (260 km/h) at landfall. The city previously suffered significant indirect impacts from Hurricane Ivan (2004) and Hurricane Opal (1995). The city was also heavily damaged by an EF2 tornado on March 18, 2022.

Climate data for Panama City 5N, Florida, 1991–2020 normals, extremes 1972–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 80
(27)
88
(31)
89
(32)
93
(34)
100
(38)
101
(38)
101
(38)
102
(39)
98
(37)
97
(36)
91
(33)
84
(29)
102
(39)
Mean maximum °F (°C) 75.5
(24.2)
77.2
(25.1)
81.9
(27.7)
85.7
(29.8)
91.9
(33.3)
95.1
(35.1)
96.4
(35.8)
95.6
(35.3)
94.2
(34.6)
89.4
(31.9)
83.3
(28.5)
77.7
(25.4)
97.8
(36.6)
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 64.4
(18.0)
67.4
(19.7)
72.9
(22.7)
78.7
(25.9)
85.3
(29.6)
89.3
(31.8)
91.1
(32.8)
90.9
(32.7)
89.0
(31.7)
82.2
(27.9)
73.3
(22.9)
66.5
(19.2)
79.2
(26.2)
Daily mean °F (°C) 53.5
(11.9)
56.7
(13.7)
62.2
(16.8)
68.2
(20.1)
75.5
(24.2)
81.1
(27.3)
83.0
(28.3)
82.8
(28.2)
80.1
(26.7)
71.7
(22.1)
61.7
(16.5)
55.8
(13.2)
69.4
(20.8)
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 42.6
(5.9)
46.0
(7.8)
51.5
(10.8)
57.8
(14.3)
65.6
(18.7)
72.9
(22.7)
75.0
(23.9)
74.7
(23.7)
71.1
(21.7)
61.2
(16.2)
50.1
(10.1)
45.1
(7.3)
59.5
(15.3)
Mean minimum °F (°C) 25.3
(−3.7)
29.2
(−1.6)
34.7
(1.5)
43.1
(6.2)
52.1
(11.2)
64.6
(18.1)
68.7
(20.4)
67.4
(19.7)
59.7
(15.4)
45.5
(7.5)
34.0
(1.1)
29.3
(−1.5)
24.3
(−4.3)
Record low °F (°C) 6
(−14)
15
(−9)
23
(−5)
34
(1)
40
(4)
46
(8)
56
(13)
59
(15)
45
(7)
33
(1)
25
(−4)
11
(−12)
6
(−14)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 4.79
(122)
4.95
(126)
5.03
(128)
4.09
(104)
3.31
(84)
5.82
(148)
7.41
(188)
7.44
(189)
6.98
(177)
3.45
(88)
3.70
(94)
4.30
(109)
61.27
(1,556)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 8.7 7.6 6.9 6.0 5.4 10.8 12.4 13.6 9.6 5.6 5.7 7.9 100.2
Source 1: NOAA[10]
Source 2: WRCC (extremes)[11]

Time zone edit

Panama City is part of the Central Time Zone, unlike the city of Tallahassee to its east.

Demographics edit

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
1910422
19201,722308.1%
19305,402213.7%
194011,610114.9%
195025,814122.3%
196033,27528.9%
197032,096−3.5%
198033,3463.9%
199034,3783.1%
200036,4175.9%
201036,4840.2%
202032,939−9.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
Panama City racial composition
(Hispanics excluded from racial categories)
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race Pop 2010[13] Pop 2020[14] % 2010 % 2020
White (NH) 25,021 20,358 68.58% 62.00%
Black or African American (NH) 7,921 6,248 21.71% 18.97%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 152 741 0.45% 0.46%
Asian (NH) 587 713 1.61% 2.16%
Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian (NH) 22 20 0.06% 0.06%
Some other race (NH) 58 170 0.16% 0.52%
Two or more races/Multiracial (NH) 868 1,742 2.38% 5.29%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 1,844 3,536 5.05% 10.73%
Total 36,484 32,939 100.00% 100.00%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 32,939 people, 15,733 households, and 8,856 families residing in the city.[15]

As of the 2010 United States census, there were 36,484 people, 15,419 households, and 8,893 families residing in the city.[16]

As of the census[3] of 2010, the population density was 1,245.2 inhabitants per square mile (480.8/km2). There were 17,438 housing units at an average density of 595.2 per square mile (229.8/km2).

In 2010, there were 15,419 households, out of which 23.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.3% were headed by married couples living together, 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.8% were non-families. 34.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.0% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28, and the average family size was 2.91.[17]

In 2010, in the city, the population was 20.7% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 26.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.7 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.2 males.[17]

As of the 2000 census, the city's median household income was $31,572, and the median income for a family was $40,890. Males had a median income of $30,401 versus $21,431 for females. The city's per capita income was $17,830. About 12.1% of families and 17.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.5% of those under age 18 and 14.9% of those age 65 or over.

Economy edit

Industry edit

 
The WestRock paper mill.

Two military bases make the federal government the largest employer. As of 2024, industrial employers in the Bay County area include Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Oceaneering, Florida Power & Light, Trane, L-3 Communications, and Jensen-Group.[18]

Real estate edit

In 2006, Panama City was named the best place to invest in real estate in the US by CNN's Business 2.0 magazine.[19]

Military edit

Tyndall Air Force Base to the east, is undergoing a $5.3 billion rebuild to make it the "installation of the future" after Hurricane Michael hit the base in 2018. [20] The HHT 1-153 CAV is stationed there. It is part of Florida Army National Guard's 53rd Infantry Brigade. Naval Support Activity Panama City and Coast Guard Station Panama City are just over the Hathaway Bridge in Panama City Beach. Panama City is also approximately 100 miles south of Fort Novosel, Alabama, home to the US Army's Aviation Center of Excellence.

Retail edit

The city's main retail center was the Panama City Mall until it was permanently closed after Hurricane Michael. In August 2020, owners of the Panama City Mall released plans to demolish the mall and build a new commercial complex. The plans included a hotel, shops, and restaurants. As of 2023, those plans have not come to fruition.[21] Another local retail center is the Bay City Pointe, on FL 368 (locally known as 23rd St.). Pier Park, on the beach across the Hathaway Bridge spanning St. Andrews Bay, is a third local retail center. Other retail areas in the Panama City Metro are the 15th Street Shopping Strip (A area between Harrison Ave/US Highway 231 and Beck Ave/US Bus 98/State Road 390), 23rd Street Shopping Strip, Downtown Panama City, Historic St. Andrews, and Millville Historic District.

Hospitals edit

The city has two hospitals, Ascension Sacred Heart Bay (known as Bay Medical Sacred Heart until Hurricane Michael destroyed a large portion of it) and HCA Florida Gulf Coast Medical Center.

Transportation edit

Major highways edit

Roads edit

The two main east–west thoroughfares in Panama City proper are 23rd Street and US 98. SR 368 runs east–west across the northern part of the city as a bypass. US 98 runs east–west through the city itself, leading southeast 24 miles (39 km) to Mexico Beach and west 10 miles (16 km) to Panama City Beach.

The two main north–south thoroughfares in the city are Martin Luther King Boulevard, otherwise known as SR 77 and US 231. SR 77 leads north six miles (9.7 km) to the Panama City suburb of Lynn Haven. US 231 begins its national journey northward in the city, leading northeast 83 miles (134 km) to Dothan, Alabama.

Other more local highways run through the city, including many county roads.

Bridges edit

Because of the city's position on St. Andrews Bay, bridges are very important to the area, and most directions into or out of the city require the use of one of three large bridges to cross parts of the bay. These are the Bailey Bridge to the north on Hwy 77, the Dupont Bridge to the south on Hwy 98 and the Hathaway Bridge to the west on Hwy 98. The largest of these is the Hathaway Bridge, which is the only direct connection between Panama City and Panama City Beach.

Rail edit

The Bay Line Railroad has an 82-mile (132 km) rail line running north to Dothan, Alabama, to a connection with CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern. Until some point between 1955 and 1956 the Atlanta and St. Andrews Bay Railroad ran passenger trains from Panama City to Dothan, Alabama. Additionally, the A&StA operated sleeping car service to Atlanta from Panama City.[22][23]

Bus transportation edit

Local transit is handled by the Bayway.[24] Service generally runs Monday–Saturday from 6 AM to 7 PM.

Air transportation edit

The city was served by the Panama City-Bay County International Airport (PFN) until May 22, 2010. It was replaced by the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) with Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines. In June 2018, ECP also added American Airlines. In 2020, ECP was ranked the fourth fastest growing airport in the U.S.[25]

Port edit

The Port of Panama City is on St. Andrews Bay.

Notable people edit

Media edit

Sports Talk

Education edit

Panama City's public schools are operated by Bay District Schools. A system of charter schools: Bay Haven (K-8) North Bay Haven (K-12) Palm Bay Academy(6-12) The Collegiate School (9th as of 2024), and University Academy (K-8) also service the Panama City area. Private schools in the city include, Holy Nativity Episcopal School, St. John Catholic School, Jacob Austin Prep. Academy, Covenant Christian School. Gulf Coast State College, formerly Gulf Coast Community College, is now a 4-year state college. Florida State University Panama City Campus and a satellite campus of Troy University are located in the city. Embry Riddle Aeronautical University has a satellite campus on Tyndall Air Force Base. Tom P. Haney Technical College is a local alternative to traditional college, offering a variety of vocational training programs. The school operates under the auspices of Bay District Schools.[27] Public high schools in the Panama City metro-area include Rutherford High School, Bay High School, A. Crawford Mosley High School, Arnold High School, Deane Bozeman Learning Center, and Rosenwald High School.

Twinned City edit

Panama City, Florida is twinned with one city:

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Panama City Mayoral Race: A Look at the Candidates". WMBB - mypanhandle.com. March 22, 2019. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  2. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  6. ^ <www.arincitservices.com>, Aaron Rich: ARINC IT Services. "Bay County Centennial Celebration - A Proud Past, A Bright Future". www.baycounty100.com. Archived from the original on October 12, 2018. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  7. ^ Morris, Allen Covington & Joan Perry Morris. Florida Place Names: Alachua to Zolfo Springs, Pineapple Press Inc, 1995, pg. 190.
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  9. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Panama City city, Florida". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
  10. ^ "Summary of Monthly Normals 1991-2020". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  11. ^ "PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA (086842)". Western Regional Climate Center. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Panama City city, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  14. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Panama City city, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  15. ^ "S1101 HOUSEHOLDS AND FAMILIES - 2020: Panama City city, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  16. ^ "S1101 HOUSEHOLDS AND FAMILIES - 2010: Panama City city, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  17. ^ a b "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Panama City city, Florida". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
  18. ^ "Major Employers". Archived from the original on June 29, 2017. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  19. ^ "Top 10 cities: Where to buy now - 1 - Business 2.0". money.cnn.com. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  20. ^ "Five Years After Cat-5 Hurricane Hit, Florida AFB's $5B Rebuild Focuses on Resilience". ENR Southeast. Retrieved January 31, 2024.
  21. ^ "Will the Panama City Mall Ever See Progress?". WJHG News. Retrieved January 31, 2024.
  22. ^ 'Official Guide,' September 1955, 678
  23. ^ 'Official Guide,' October 1956, 680, freight only
  24. ^ "Bay Town Trolley to be rebranded as Bay Way". WMBB. Retrieved January 31, 2024.
  25. ^ "Bay County has fourth fastest growing airport in the U.S., national publication says". Panama City News Herald. Retrieved January 31, 2024.
  26. ^ Panama City Beach TV Archived 2008-10-25 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ "History of Tom P. Haney Technical Center in Bay County, Florida". Archived from the original on December 13, 2021.

External links edit