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Hardee County, Florida facts for kids

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Hardee County
Hardee County Courthouse
Hardee County Courthouse
Official seal of Hardee County
Map of Florida highlighting Hardee 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 April 23, 1921
Named for Cary A. Hardee
Seat Wauchula
Largest city Wauchula
 • Total 638 sq mi (1,650 km2)
 • Land 638 sq mi (1,650 km2)
 • Water 0.6 sq mi (2 km2)  0.1%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 43/sq mi (17/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 17th

Hardee County is a county located in the Florida Heartland, Central Florida region U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 27,731. Its county seat is Wauchula.

Hardee County comprises the Wauchula, FL Micropolitan Statistical Area.


It was named for Cary A. Hardee, Governor of Florida from 1921 to 1925. Hardee County was created in 1921.

On August 13, 2004, Hurricane Charley went directly through Hardee County. Maximum sustained winds in downtown Wauchula were clocked at 149 mph (240 km/h) with higher gusts. Most buildings in the county sustained damage, and many were totally destroyed.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 638 square miles (1,650 km2), of which 638 square miles (1,650 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) (%) is water.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 10,348
1940 10,158 −1.8%
1950 10,073 −0.8%
1960 12,370 22.8%
1970 14,889 20.4%
1980 19,379 30.2%
1990 19,499 0.6%
2000 26,938 38.2%
2010 27,731 2.9%
2019 (est.) 26,937 −2.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2019

As of the census of 2000, there were 26,938 people, 8,166 households, and 6,255 families residing in the county. The population density was 42 people per square mile (16/km2). There were 9,820 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile (6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 70.66% White, 8.33% Black or African American, 0.68% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 17.99% from other races, and 1.97% from two or more races. 35.68% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

According to 2005 Census Estimates the county's population was 50.6% non-Hispanic white, 39.8% Latino, 9.0% African-American and 1.3% Native American. (source=

In 2000 there were 8,166 households, out of which 34.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.00% were married couples living together, 11.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.40% were non-families. 18.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.06 and the average family size was 3.40.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 27.60% under the age of 18, 11.00% from 18 to 24, 28.30% from 25 to 44, 19.20% from 45 to 64, and 13.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 119.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 123.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,183, and the median income for a family was $32,487. Males had a median income of $23,793 versus $18,823 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,445. About 17.00% of families and 24.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.20% of those under age 18 and 16.10% of those age 65 or over.


Hardee County is part of the Heartland Library Cooperative which has 7 branches that serve Hardee county and some of the surrounding counties, including Glades, Highlands, DeSoto, and Okeechobee.

  • Avon Park
  • DeSoto
  • Glades
  • Hardee
  • Lake Placid
  • Okeechobee
  • Sebring

The mission of the Hardee County Public Library is to provide quality materials and services to fulfill educational, informational, cultural, and recreational needs of the county residents. The library works to maintain a spacious, modern, and inviting environment to accommodate multiple activities and services to the patrons. County patrons are about to search through the provided Historical Resources to find county historical information. Obituaries requests are available for all five countries in the Heartland region with no charge. American genealogical sources are accessible through the HeritageQuest Online database where family history can be found. Museums and Historical Societies are on the library's website such as Depot Museum, the Cracker Trail Museum Pioneer Park, DeSoto County, Florida Historical Society, and the Sebring Historical Society. Also, the library provide E-Books, Audiobooks, and other online resources on their website. These resources are available for us on Apple, Kindle, Android, and Windows devices. Additionally, Ask a Librarian, the on-line Florida librarian reference service is available through the Heartland Library Cooperative Library. Here the patrons can chat, text, and email with a librarian. The library offers language and learning programs like basic ESL to improve listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Other online continuing education classes are easy to access through the library's website. Another program that the library offers is the Little Free Library where patrons can take and leave a book at designated location throughout the county that are free to use. <>

Hours of Operation: Monday 10:00am-6:30pm Tuesday 9:00am-5:30pm Wednesday 9:00am-5:00pm Thursday 9:00am-5:00pm Friday 9:00am-4:00pm Saturday Closed Sunday Closed


Wauchula crths01
Hardee County Courthouse



Census-designated places

  • Fort Green
  • Fort Green Springs
  • Gardner
  • Lemon Grove
  • Limestone
  • Ona

Other unincorporated communities



  • Wauchula Municipal Airport


The Hardee County School District has one high school, one junior high, and five elementary schools. Hardee Senior High and Hardee Junior High are in Wauchula. The elementary schools are Bowling Green, Hilltop, North Wauchula, Wauchula, and Zolfo Springs.

South Florida State College is a public college serving Hardee, Highlands and DeSoto Counties. Its Hardee campus is in Bowling Green.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Hardee para niños

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