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Cocoa, Florida
City of Cocoa
Cocoa Welcomes You.JPG
Cocoa City Hall front.JPG
Top row: Cocoa Welcome sign; Bottom row: Cocoa City Hall
Location in Brevard County and the state of Florida
Location in Brevard County and the state of Florida
Country  United States of America
State  Florida
County Flag of Brevard County, Florida.png Brevard
 • Total 15.4 sq mi (39.9 km2)
 • Land 13.3 sq mi (34.5 km2)
 • Water 2.1 sq mi (5.4 km2)
Elevation 36 ft (11 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 17,140
 • Density 1,112.6/sq mi (429.6/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 321
FIPS code 12-13150
GNIS feature ID 0280608

Cocoa is a city in Brevard County, Florida. The population was 17,140 at the 2010 United States Census. It is part of the Palm BayMelbourneTitusville Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Several stories circulate among Cocoa old timers as to how the town got its name. One story says that the mail used to come by river boat and was placed in an empty tin box labeled Baker's Cocoa. The box was nailed to a piling in the river next to downtown. Additionally, an early hotel in the area, located on the Indian River lagoon, was named Cocoa House.

In 1885, the S. F. Travis Hardware store opened. It is still in business in 2014.

Cocoa's business district was destroyed by fire in 1890, but soon, significant development began to occur with the extension of the Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and Indian River Railway to Cocoa.

The city was chartered in 1895. In the winter of 1894-1895, Cocoa experienced a second economic setback when the "Great Freeze" destroyed the citrus crop and forced many citrus workers to seek new occupations. According to one source, by 1903, the population of Cocoa had dropped to 382.

During the second decade of the 20th century, population growth and economic development in Cocoa accelerated. The state business directory of 1911-1912 set the population at 550. By 1925, the population was estimated at 1,800. During the Great Depression, the local economy declined and the two local banks failed. Still, by 1930, the population had risen to 2,200.

The population rose dramatically following the development of the space industry, quadrupling from 3,098 in 1940 to 12,244 in 1960. Cocoa and the surrounding area also became integrated with the tourist industry for the first time as thousands visited the area to witness the launches from Cape Canaveral. By 1980, the population had grown to 16,096.

Education was segregated until the 1960s, at which time Monroe High School and elementary schools for black students were closed.

In 1964, the Cocoa Expo Sports Center (Cocoa Stadium) was built for the Colt 45s spring baseball training and Grapefruit League games. The team later became the Houston Astros. In the early 1980s, the city attempted to upgrade the stadium by asking the Astros to pay for needed repairs. In 1985, the team responded by moving its training to Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee. As a result, it was decided that future negotiations with major league teams would be done by the county government.

Clearlake Middle School was closed in 2013. Students were moved to Cocoa High School, which was converted to a junior and senior high school.


Bridge at Cocoa, Florida
The Hubert H. Humphrey Bridge spans the Indian River Lagoon, linking Cocoa with Merritt Island.

Cocoa is located at 28°22′10″N 80°44′38″W / 28.369334°N 80.743779°W / 28.369334; -80.743779.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.4 square miles (39.9 km2). 13.3 square miles (34.5 km2) of it is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2) of it (13.46%) is water.


The Cocoa Bird Count has annually counted species of birds in or near Cocoa since 1950. In 2010, it counted 150 species. There was an annual "Christmas Bird Count" before this, starting in 1900.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 312
1900 382 22.4%
1910 613 60.5%
1920 1,445 135.7%
1930 2,164 49.8%
1940 3,098 43.2%
1950 4,245 37.0%
1960 12,294 189.6%
1970 16,110 31.0%
1980 16,096 −0.1%
1990 17,722 10.1%
2000 16,412 −7.4%
2010 17,140 4.4%
Est. 2015 17,711 3.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 16,412 people, 6,939 households, and 4,232 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,200.3 inhabitants per square mile (849.4/km2). There were 8,064 housing units at an average density of 1,081.1 per square mile (417.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 62.47% White, 32.28% African American, 0.63% Native American, 0.94% Asian, 0.23% Pacific Islander, 1.58% from other races, and 1.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.93% of the population.

There were 6,939 households out of which 28.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.0% were married couples living together, 19.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.0% were non-families. 32.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city, the population was distributed as follow: 26.4% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.4 males.

Points of interest

  • Florida Solar Energy Center
  • Brevard Museum of History & Natural Science
  • Alma Clyde Field Library of Florida History
  • Historic Cocoa Village
  • Riverfront Park
  • Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse
  • Eastern Florida State College Planetarium and Observatory
  • Porcher House
  • Indian River Queen

Historic sites

  • Aladdin Theater
    Aladdin Theater (also known as Cocoa Playhouse)
  • Community Woman's Club
  • Historic Derby Street Chapel
  • Porcher House
  • St. Mark's Episcopal Church
Porcher House in Cocoa Village

Sister city

  • Israel Beit Shemesh, State of Israel. On October 7, 2007, the city became a sister city with Beit Shemesh. Eastern Florida State College announced that it would participate by exchanging students.

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