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Bay County, Florida facts for kids

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Bay County
The Bay County Courthouse in March 2008
The Bay County Courthouse in March 2008
Flag of Bay County
Official seal of Bay County
Map of Florida highlighting Bay County
Location within the U.S. state of Florida
Map of the United States highlighting Florida
Florida's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 610: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
Country  United States
State  Florida
Founded April 24, 1913
Named for St. Andrews Bay
Seat Panama City
Largest city Panama City
 • Total 1,033 sq mi (2,680 km2)
 • Land 758 sq mi (1,960 km2)
 • Water 275 sq mi (710 km2)  26.6%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 242/sq mi (93/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 2nd

Bay County is a county on the Gulf coast in northwestern Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 168,852 (Estimate of 185,287 as of 1 July  2018 (2018 -07-01)). Its county seat is Panama City.

Bay County is included in the Panama City, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county is best known for its white sand beaches and emerald green water, where large pods of dolphins swim year-round. These beaches attract hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world each year.


On February 12, 1913, representatives from five towns on St. Andrews Bay met in Panama City to select a name for a proposed new county. The name Bay was selected because it was satisfactory to the majority of the citizens and was descriptive of the territory that would be included. On July 1, 1913, Bay County was created by the Legislature from portions of Washington, Calhoun and Walton counties.

It was the site of Gideon v. Wainwright, which gave all persons accused of a crime the right to an attorney.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,033 square miles (2,680 km2), of which 758 square miles (1,960 km2) is land and 275 square miles (710 km2) (26.6%) is water.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Apalachicola National Forest (part)


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 11,407
1930 12,091 6.0%
1940 20,686 71.1%
1950 42,689 106.4%
1960 67,131 57.3%
1970 75,283 12.1%
1980 97,740 29.8%
1990 126,994 29.9%
2000 148,217 16.7%
2010 168,852 13.9%
2019 (est.) 174,705 3.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

As of the census of 2000, there were 148,217 people, 59,597 households, and 40,466 families residing in the county. The population density was 194 people per square mile (75/km2). There were 78,435 housing units at an average density of 103 per square mile (40/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 84.17% White, 10.64% Black or African American, 0.78% Native American, 1.73% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 0.66% from other races, and 1.94% from two or more races. 2.42% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 59,597 households, out of which 30.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.00% were married couples living together, 12.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.10% were non-families. 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 24.00% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 30.20% from 25 to 44, 23.70% from 45 to 64, and 13.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 98.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,092, and the median income for a family was $42,729. Males had a median income of $30,116 versus $21,676 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,700. About 9.80% of families and 13.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.30% of those under age 18 and 11.00% of those age 65 or over.

Public Transportation


Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport

Public Surface Transportation

The county operates the Baytown Trolley, which runs several routes in and around Panama City.


Bay County is part of the Northwest Regional Library System (NWRLS), which serves Gulf and Liberty Counties as well.


  • Bay County Public Library
  • Panama City Beach Public Library
  • Parker Public Library
  • Springfield Public Library
  • Gulf County Public Library
  • Charles Whitehead Public Library
  • Harrell Memorial Library of Liberty County
  • Jimmy Weaver Memorial Library



Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities


Bay District Schools operates public schools serving all portions of the county except Mexico Beach, which is served by Gulf County Schools.

Schools in Bay County

Pre-K – 12 schools

Deane Bozeman School

North Bay Haven Charter Academy

Palm Bay Preparatory Academy

PreK-8 Schools

Breakfast Point Academy

Bay Haven Charter Academy

University Academy

High schools


J. R. Arnold High School (Panama City Beach)

Bay High School (Panama City)

A. Crawford Mosley High School (Lynn Haven)

Rutherford High School (Springfield) Optional

A.D. Harris High School (Panama City)

Haney Technical High School (Panama City)

New Horizons Learning Center(Lynn Haven)

Rosenwald High School(Panama City)

Middle schools

Everitt Middle Schoo

Jinks Middle School

Merritt Brown Middle School

Mowat Middle School

Surfside Middle School (Panama City Beach)

Elementary schools

Callaway Elementary School

Cedar Grove Elementary School

Hiland Park Elementary School

Hutchison Beach Elementary School (Panama City Beach)

Lucille Moore Elementary School

Lynn Haven Elementary School

M. Cherry Street Elementary School

Millville Elementary School

Northside Elementary School

Oakland Terrace Elementary School

Parker Elementary School

Patronis Elementary School (Panama City Beach)

Patterson Elementary School

Southport Elementary School

Springfield Elementary School

St. Andrew Elementary School

Tommy Smith Elementary School

Tyndall Elementary School

Waller Elementary School

West Bay Elementary School

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