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Columbia County, Florida facts for kids

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Columbia County
Columbia County Courthouse in Lake City
Columbia County Courthouse in Lake City
Map of Florida highlighting Columbia County
Location within the U.S. state of Florida
Map of the United States highlighting Florida
Florida's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Florida
Founded February 4, 1832
Seat Lake City
Largest city Lake City
 • Total 801 sq mi (2,070 km2)
 • Land 798 sq mi (2,070 km2)
 • Water 3.8 sq mi (10 km2)  0.5%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 87/sq mi (34/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts 2nd, 5th

Columbia County is a county located in the north central portion of the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 67,531. Its county seat is Lake City.

Columbia County comprises the Lake City, FL Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Gainesville-Lake City, FL Combined Statistical Area. Osceola National Forest is partially in Columbia County.


Columbia County was created in 1832. It took the name of Columbia, the poetic form for the United States.

In 1958, the Columbia Amateur Radio Society was formed. This was a group of amateur radio operators who enjoyed the ability to communicate all over the world. This radio club still exists today.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 801 square miles (2,070 km2), of which 798 square miles (2,070 km2) is land and 3.8 square miles (9.8 km2) (0.5%) is water.

Adjacent counties

National protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 2,102
1850 4,808 128.7%
1860 4,646 −3.4%
1870 7,335 57.9%
1880 9,589 30.7%
1890 12,877 34.3%
1900 17,094 32.7%
1910 17,689 3.5%
1920 14,290 −19.2%
1930 14,638 2.4%
1940 16,859 15.2%
1950 18,216 8.0%
1960 20,077 10.2%
1970 25,250 25.8%
1980 35,399 40.2%
1990 42,613 20.4%
2000 56,513 32.6%
2010 67,531 19.5%
2019 (est.) 71,686 6.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015

As of the census of 2000, there were 56,513 people, 20,925 households, and 14,919 families residing in the county. The population density was 71 people per square mile (27/km2). There were 23,579 housing units at an average density of 30 per square mile (11/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 79.72% White, 17.03% Black or African American, 0.53% Native American, 0.67% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.60% from other races, and 1.42% from two or more races. 2.74% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 20,925 households, out of which 32.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.70% were married couples living together, 12.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.70% were non-families. 23.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 25.40% under the age of 18, 9.00% from 18 to 24, 27.70% from 25 to 44, 24.00% from 45 to 64, and 14.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 102.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,881, and the median income for a family was $35,927. Males had a median income of $27,353 versus $21,738 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,598. About 11.40% of families and 15.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.10% of those under age 18 and 13.60% of those age 65 or over.



Columbia County's main airport is Lake City Municipal Airport. Private airports also exist throughout the county.

Major roads

Florida I75nb Exit 435 2021
Driving north on Interstate 75 in Columbia County approaching Interstate 10.
  • I-10.svg Interstate 10 is the main west-to-east interstate highway in the county, and serves as the unofficial dividing line between northern and southern Columbia County. It contains three interchanges within the county; the first being I-75 in Springville (Exits 296 A-B), and the other two in Five Points, north of Lake City, US 41 (Exit 301), and US 441(Exit 303). Beyond this point I-10 runs through Osceola National Forest.
  • I-75.svg Interstate 75 is the southeast-to-northwest interstate highway in the county, which enters from Alachua County at bridges over the Santa Fe River. It has four interchanges in the county with US 41/441 in Ellisville (Exit 414), SR 47 (Exit 423), US 90 in Lake City (Exit 427) and I-10 in Springville (Exits 435 A-B).
  • US 27.svg US 27 is another southeast-to-northwest road in southwestern Columbia County, that enters from a bridge over the Santa Fe River, runs through Fort White, and leaves at another bridge over the Ichetucknee River at Ichetucknee Springs State Park.
  • US 41.svg US 41 runs north from High Springs in a concurrency with US 441 until just before it reaches Lake City, Then the two routes run parallel to each other until US 41 branches off to the northwest on its way to Hamilton County, Valdosta, Georgia, and points north.
  • US 90.svg US 90 was the main west-to-east highway in the county, until it was surpassed by I-10. It enters the county from Wellborn in Suwannee County, and directly enters Lake City. East of the city, it runs along the southern edge of Osceola National Forest and serves as the address of two major prisons before crossing the Baker County Line and entering a portion of the forest itself.
  • US 441.svg US 441 runs north from High Springs in a concurrency with US 41 until just before it reaches Lake City, Then the two routes run parallel to each other, but unlike US 41, US 441 stays in Columbia County and runs straight north and south until it crosses the Georgia State Line.
  • Florida 2.svg State Road 2 is located on the far northeast corner of the county, and has no intersections whatsoever.
  • Florida 47.svg State Road 47 is a northeast-to-southwest road that spans from Trenton in Gilchrist County to US 41 in Lake City. North of there it becomes a hidden state road along US 41 until it reaches US Truck Route 90, then turns east, only to turn north again onto US 441 where it remains for the duration until it crosses the Florida-Georgia State Line.
  • Florida 100.svg State Road 100
  • Florida 238.svg State Road 238
  • Florida 247.svg State Road 247 is a northeast to southwest road that spans from Branford in Suwannee County, and terminates at US 90 in western Lake City, just east of US 90's interchange with I-75.


Columbia County has at least three existing railroad lines. The primary one is a Florida Gulf & Atlantic Railroad line formerly owned by CSX, Seaboard System Railroad, Seaboard Coastline Industries and Seaboard Air Line Railroad that served Amtrak's Sunset Limited until it was truncated to New Orleans in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina. Lake City (Amtrak station) was Columbia County's only active railroad station until that point. Another one is owned by the Georgia Southern and Florida Railway, and runs along US 41 from Lake City through Hamilton County. A third line runs along SR 100 into Union County.




Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities


The Columbia County School District operates public schools.


The Columbia County Public Library consists of 3 branches.

  • Main Branch
  • West Branch
  • Fort White Branch

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Columbia (Florida) para niños

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