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Gulfport, Florida
City of Gulfport
Official seal of Gulfport, Florida
Seal
Location in Pinellas County and the state of Florida
Location in Pinellas County and the state of Florida
Country United States
State Florida
County Pinellas
Incorporated October 12, 1910
Area
 • Total 3.87 sq mi (10.02 km2)
 • Land 2.77 sq mi (7.16 km2)
 • Water 1.10 sq mi (2.86 km2)
Elevation
16 ft (5 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 11,783
 • Density 4,261.48/sq mi (1,645.41/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
33707, 33711, 33737
Area code(s) 727
FIPS code 12-28175
GNIS feature ID 0283501

Gulfport is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States, bordering St. Petersburg, South Pasadena and Boca Ciega Bay. The population of Gulfport was 12,029 at the 2010 census. Gulfport is part of the Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater metropolitan statistical area.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.8 square miles (9.8 km2), of which 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2) is land and 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2) (26.30%) is water.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 851
1940 1,581 85.8%
1950 3,702 134.2%
1960 9,730 162.8%
1970 9,976 2.5%
1980 11,180 12.1%
1990 11,727 4.9%
2000 12,527 6.8%
2010 12,029 −4.0%
2020 11,783 −2.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the 2010 U.S. Census, there were 12,527 people, 6,246 households, and 3,154 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,422.2 inhabitants per square mile (1,707.4/km2). There were 7,306 housing units at an average density of 2,579.1 per square mile (995.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.40% White, 7.06% African American, 0.5% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.78% from other races, and 1.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.47% of the population.

There were 6,246 households, out of which 16.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.3% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 49.5% were non-families. 39.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 19.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.98 and the average family size was 2.63.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 15.8% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 25.7% from 45 to 64, and 28.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,809, and the median income for a family was $37,016. Males had a median income of $25,756 versus $23,347 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,801. About 9.5% of families and 13.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.2% of those under age 18 and 8.2% of those age 65 or over.

Boating and fishing

The city owns a full-service marina adjacent to Clam Bayou Nature Park.

Gulfport's police force operates on the water, as well as on the land.

There is a long municipal fishing pier, called Williams Pier, on Boca Ciega Bay. It's near the Casino Ballroom and not far from two Gulfport city parks, Veterans Park and the waterfront park and beach.

In December there is usually an evening holiday boat parade on the bay, with colorful lights decorating the boats.

Culture

Gulfport has a trolley bus which passengers can ride around the city and the surrounding area for free.

The city is still a sleepy beach town but is gaining interest for its culinary and arts scene, and for its colorful ambiance. The downtown area has a few art galleries, as well as the Catherine A. Hickman Theater, a small performing arts center.

The Gulfport Community Players present several plays each year at the Hickman Theater.

Beach in Gulfport
Gulfport's beach on Boca Ciega Bay, with 'Welcome to Gulfport' sign on the back of the Casino Ballroom; the Williams Pier is just outside the photo on the right.

Gulfport is distinguished by its high concentration of artisans inspired by the intense light and tropical scenery. A celebration the first Friday and third Saturday of each month called Art Walk attracts locals and tourists. Many street performers, artists, and craftspeople show up to create a relaxed cultured atmosphere in the warm balmy evening breezes coming off the beach at the end of the street.

Tuesdays are Fresh Market days in the Gulfport Waterfront district from 9 am to 3 pm, on Beach Blvd. Annual festivals include "Get Rescued in Gulfport" on the fourth Saturday of February, a charitable street festival featuring pet rescue organizations from throughout the region, vendors of pet products and demonstrations.

The Catherine A. Hickman Theater of Gulfport is located on Beach Boulevard at 26th Avenue South and is a venue for live theatrical performances. The nearby Gulfport Senior Center offers activities throughout the week for residents within and outside of the city limits.

The Gulfport Casino Ballroom, located on the waterfront, is one of the main event venues in the city. The Casino hosts Swing, Latin, Argentine Tango, and Ballroom Dance events five days a week with a large turnout from all across the Tampa area. The venue is available for rent to the public and is popular for weddings, company functions, and holiday parties. The ballroom features a 5,000-square-foot (460 m2) authentic 1930s style dance floor.

In 2011 Gulfport was named a finalist by Rand McNally for best food town in the U.S.


Education

Public education is provided by Pinellas County Schools. Gulfport has two public schools, Boca Ciega High School and Gulfport Elementary School. The closest middle school to Gulfport is Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School, located in St. Petersburg.

Gulfport Elementary was the first Montessori school in Pinellas County.

The Gulfport Public Library is located on Beach Boulevard, not far from the Gulfport Multi-Purpose Senior Center and the Catherine Hickman Theater. It is a member of the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative, which facilitates inter-library borrowing of materials in the county.

St. Petersburg College, a state college, has multiple campuses in the county and is available for those who aspire to a college degree. In addition, the city of St. Petersburg has a campus of the University of South Florida.

Stetson University College of Law, founded in 1900, is located in Gulfport (having moved there in 1954 from its original location in DeLand). Its tower is one of the best-known images to locals and has become an iconic part of the skyline.

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