kids encyclopedia robot

Hillsborough County, Florida facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Hillsborough County
Hillsborough County
Downtown Tampa skyline
Downtown Tampa skyline
Flag of Hillsborough County
Official seal of Hillsborough County
Official logo of Hillsborough County
Map of Florida highlighting Hillsborough 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 January 25, 1834
Named for Wills Hill, Earl of Hillsborough
Seat Tampa
Largest city Tampa
 • Total 1,266 sq mi (3,280 km2)
 • Land 1,020 sq mi (2,600 km2)
 • Water 246 sq mi (640 km2)  19.4%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,381/sq mi (533/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts 12th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th

Hillsborough County is located in the west central portion of the U.S. state of Florida. In the 2020 census, the population was 1,459,762, making it the fourth-most populous county in Florida and the most populous county outside the Miami metropolitan area. A 2021 estimate has the population of Hillsborough County at 1,512,070 people with a yearly growth rate of 1.34%, which itself is greater than the populations of 12 states according to their 2019 population estimates. Its county seat and largest city is Tampa. Hillsborough County is part of the Tampa–St. PetersburgClearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Hillsborough County was created on January 25, 1834, from Alachua and Monroe counties, during the U.S. territorial period (1822–1845). The new county was named for Wills Hill, the Earl of Hillsborough, who served as British Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1768 to 1772.

The county's 1834 area was much larger and included eight other present-day counties: Charlotte County, DeSoto, Hardee, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota.

The last significant change in Hillsborough County's borders was the separation of its western section to create Pinellas County, in 1911.

On New Year's Day in 1914, the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line initiated the first scheduled commercial airline service in the world, from St. Petersburg to Tampa.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,266 square miles (3,280 km2), of which 1,020 square miles (2,600 km2) is land and 246 square miles (640 km2) (19.4%) is water. There is approximately 158.27 miles (254.71 km) of shoreline on Tampa Bay.

The county's unincorporated area is approximately 888 square miles (2,300 km2), more than 84 percent of the total land area. Municipalities account for 163 square miles (420 km2). The modern boundaries of the county place it midway along the west coast of Florida.

A narrow portion of Hillsborough County to the south, consisting almost exclusively of water, extends west to the Gulf of Mexico roughly along the Tampa Port Shipping Channel. This has the effect of keeping Hillsborough County from being technically landlocked. The central portion of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge is in Hillsborough County. So is Egmont Key, at the entrance to Tampa Bay; this narrow strip of land separates Pinellas County from Manatee County. The northernmost tip of a spoil island just west of Port Manatee also lies in Hillsborough County.

Hillsborough is home to Alafia River State Park and Hillsborough River state parks, and to the C. W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir and Lithia Springs, the largest natural spring in Florida.

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 452
1850 2,377 425.9%
1860 2,981 25.4%
1870 3,216 7.9%
1880 5,814 80.8%
1890 14,941 157.0%
1900 36,013 141.0%
1910 78,374 117.6%
1920 88,257 12.6%
1930 153,519 73.9%
1940 180,148 17.3%
1950 249,894 38.7%
1960 397,788 59.2%
1970 490,265 23.2%
1980 646,960 32.0%
1990 834,054 28.9%
2000 998,948 19.8%
2010 1,229,226 23.1%
2020 1,459,762 18.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2019

2010 Census

U.S. Census Bureau 2010 Ethnic/Race Demographics:

  • White (non-Hispanic) (71.3% when including White Hispanics): 53.7% (12.1% German, 11.0% Irish, 8.9% English, 6.7% Italian, 2.6% French, 2.4% Polish, 1.9% Scottish, 1.6% Scotch-Irish, 1.3% Dutch, 0.8% Russian, 0.8% Swedish, 0.7% Welsh, 0.6% French Canadian, 0.6% Norwegian, 0.5% Hungarian, 0.5% Greek)
  • Black (non-Hispanic) (16.7% when including Black Hispanics): 15.6% (2.4% West Indian/Afro-Caribbean American [0.7% Jamaican, 0.6% Haitian, 0.5% Other or Unspecified West Indian, 0.1% Trinidadian and Tobagonian, 0.1% British West Indian, 0.1% U.S. Virgin Islander] 0.9% Subsaharan African)
  • Hispanic or Latino of any race: 24.9% (7.4% Puerto Rican, 5.3% Cuban, 5.3% Mexican, 1.2% Colombian, 1.1% Dominican, 0.7% Spaniard, 0.5% Honduran)
  • Asian: 3.4% (1.2% Indian, 0.5% Vietnamese, 0.5% Filipino, 0.4% Chinese, 0.4% Other Asian, 0.3% Korean, 0.1% Japanese)
  • Two or more races: 3.1%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.4%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.1%
  • Other Races: 5.0% (0.6% Arab)

In 2010, 6.0% of the Hillsborough's population considered themselves to be of only "American" ancestry (regardless of race or ethnicity.)

Of the 536,092 households, 29.74% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.25% were married couples living together, 14.76% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.69% were not families. About 27.12% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.96% (2.35% male and 5.61% female) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.11.

The age distribution was 23.9% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 25.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.1 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.1 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $49,536, and for a family was $59,886. Males had a median income of $43,125 versus $35,184 for females. The per capita income for the county was $27,062. About 10.7% of families and 14.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.9% of those under age 18 and 9.6% of those aged 65 or over.

In 2010, 15.1% of the county's population was foreign born, with 44.5% being naturalized American citizens. Of foreign-born residents, 67.5% were born in Latin America, 16.7% born in Asia, 9.2% were born in Europe, 3.2% born in Africa, 3.1% in North America, and 0.3% were born in Oceania.


As of 2010, 74.59% of the population spoke only English at home, 19.52% spoke Spanish, 0.56% French Creole (mainly Haitian Creole), and 0.51% spoke Vietnamese as their mother language. In total, 25.41% of the population spoke a language other than English as their primary language.

Museums and libraries



These libraries are part of the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative:

  • Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System
  • Bruton Memorial Library
  • Temple Terrace Public Library

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue services the unincorporated areas of Hillsborough County. Fire service began in the 1950s as an all volunteer force consisting of about a dozen loosely associated community-based organizations. The first full-time career firefighters were hired in 1973. The department now has 1,019 career uniformed and support personnel which continue to set the pace in Fire and Emergency Medical Response making it the third largest department in the state. Since the 1997 consolidation of Hillsborough County Fire Rescue and Emergency Medical Services (EMS), the department has placed paramedics on each career, front-line apparatus: 28 Rescues, 42 Engines, 4 Ladder Trucks and 4 Special Operations Units operating out of 43 Fire Stations throughout Unincorporated Hillsborough County. As nearly 85% of the department's more than 90,000 emergency responses require some level of medical care, having paramedics assigned to each unit assures that the citizens of Hillsborough County are receiving rapid Advanced Life Support care.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue and the Board of County Commissioners has implemented a plan to continue placing new fire rescue stations in areas where growth is occurring or gaps in coverage may exist. Fire Chief Dennis Jones leads a Senior Staff of two Deputy Chiefs (Operations and Administrative branches), the Fire Marshal and the Emergency Manager. All fiscal functions, facilities maintenance and supply, apparatus/equipment procurement, Emergency Dispatch Manager, Personnel Chief, and Training Chief are under the direction of the Deputy Chief of Administration. The three Shift Commanders, as well as the Rescue Chief and the Special Operations Chief, report directly to the Deputy Chief of Operations. The Operations Chief is responsible for the overall response readiness of all front line personnel. The Emergency Manager oversees all Office of Emergency Management (OEM) planning and operations of the EOC.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Office of Emergency Management

The Office of Emergency Management is a division of Hillsborough County Fire Rescue that is directly responsible for planning and coordinating the evacuation and sheltering of all county residents in the event of a natural or manmade disaster. This agency is also responsible for planning, orchestrating and coordinating response actions and continuity of government in the aftermath of a major disaster. Preston Cook has been the Emergency Manager since 2011

The Hurricane Evacuation Assessment Tool (HEAT) has been created to assist residents of Hillsborough County by providing evacuation and sheltering information in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster. This interactive program was designed to assist the public in easily determining if they are in one of the five evacuation zones. It also provides information on shelters, hospitals, fire stations and sandbag locations.

The Office of Emergency Management also provides information to the public on the following: Hurricane Information, Procedures for Hazardous Materials Spills, Flooding Preparedness, Tornado Preparedness, Wildfire Preparedness, and Terrorism Preparedness.


The Sunshine Skyway (I-275) connects Pinellas to Manatee Counties. The middle span is in Hillsborough County.


The county's primary commercial aviation airport is Tampa International Airport in Tampa. Other important airports include the Tampa Executive Airport near Brandon, Peter O. Knight Airport near downtown Tampa, and the Plant City Airport near Plant City.

Major freeways and roadways

Interstate Highways

I-4.svg Interstate 4
I-75.svg Interstate 75
I-275.svg Interstate 275

U.S Routes

US 41.svg U.S. Route 41
US 92.svg U.S. Route 92
US 301.svg U.S. Route 301

State Routes

Toll Florida 618.svg State Route 618
Florida 60.svg State Road 60
Toll Florida 589.svg State Road 589
Florida 580.svg State Road 580

Public surface transportation

Hillsborough County is served by Hillsborough Area Regional Transit buses.

Nationally-protected areas


  • Alafia River Boat Ramp
  • Alafia River Corridor Preserve
  • Alafia River North Prong Reserve
  • Alafia Scrub Preserve
  • Alderman's Ford Regional Park
  • Alexander Park
  • All People's Life Center
  • All Person's Rotary Park
  • Antioch Park
  • Apollo Beach Dog Park
  • Apollo Beach Nature Preserve
  • Bahia Beach Nature Preserve
  • Bakas Equestrian Center
  • Baker Creek Boat Ramp
  • Balm-Boyette Scrub Nature Preserve
  • Balm Park
  • Balm Scrub Preserve
  • Beacon Meadows Park
  • Bealsville Park
  • Bell Creek Nature Preserve
  • Bethune Park
  • Blackwater Creek Preserve
  • Blackwater Hammock Preserve
  • Bloomingdale East Park
  • Bloomingdale Hills Park
  • Bloomingdale West Park
  • Boy Scout Preserve
  • Boyette Springs Park
  • Branchton Park
  • Brandon Park
  • Brandon Senior Center
  • Brooker Creek Buffer Preserve
  • Brooker Creek Headwaters Preserve
  • Buckhorn Park
  • Bullfrog Creek Scrub Preserve
  • Burnett Sports Complex
  • Bypass Park
  • Edward Medard Park and Reservoir
  • Lithia Springs Regional Park


Hillsborough County
County subdivisions in Hillsborough County. Incorporated cities in bold; unincorporated CDPs in small font.


There are only three cities incorporated in Hillsborough County.

Census-designated places

Despite its large population most of the area of the county is unincorporated and falls under the jurisdiction of the Hillsborough county board of Commissioners.

Unincorporated communities

Historic towns

  • Bullfrog Corner
  • Bone Valley
  • Branchton
  • Callsville
  • Chataocolea
  • Chicora
  • Clarkwild
  • Coronet
  • Cork (now Dover, not to be confused with two other places named Cork)
  • Cork (now Plant City)
  • Cosme
  • Dillon
  • Diston
  • Drew Park, absorbed by Tampa
  • East Cove
  • Edeson
  • Flora
  • Fort Brooke
  • Fort Foster
  • Fort Sullivan
  • Gardenville
  • Gary
  • Gulf City
  • Harney
  • Hillsboro
  • Ichipucksassa, aka Ichepucksassa, Hitchipucksassa (now Plant City)
  • Idlewild Park
  • Jackson Springs
  • Keystone Park
  • Knights Station
  • Knowles
  • Lake Fern
  • Lighthall
  • Lillibridge
  • Magdalene
  • Magnolia
  • Mangrove Point
  • Manhattan (absorbed by Tampa)
  • Marvinia
  • Midway
  • Mullins City
  • Nicholls
  • Oliphant
  • Orient
  • Peck
  • Pelot
  • Peru
  • Prairie
  • Riverhead
  • Rocky Point
  • Sparkman
  • Stemper
  • St Helena
  • Trapnell (absorbed by Plant City)
  • Welcome
  • Weldon
  • Willow
  • Youmans


In the early 20th century, Hillsborough's economy was predominantly based on cigar-making and agriculture. In 2012, Hillsborough had the second-largest agricultural output among Florida's counties. As of 2010, the average annual employment in Hillsborough County was 563,292. The percentages of total employment by industry were:

  • Natural resources and mining 2.0%
  • Construction 4.6%
  • Manufacturing 4.1%
  • Trade, transportation, and utilities 19.5%
  • Information 3.0%
  • Financial activities 9.2%
  • Professional and business services 18.1%
  • Education and health services 14.6%
  • Leisure and hospitality 10.3%
  • Other services 2.7%
  • Public administration 4.7%


In 2011, sales of all agricultural commodities produced in Hillsborough County were over $832,410,300. The largest crop by value was strawberries at over $388 million. Values of various crops included:

Hillsborough County Agricultural Production 2011
Crop Sales in dollars Acreage
Strawberries $388,125,702 11,625
Vegetables $150,000,000 13,092
Ornamental plants $139,232,407 3,977
Aquaculture $23,546,112 876
Beef cattle/pasture $18,934,207 91,904
Citrus $18,893,572 10,750
Poultry $18,701,100 22
Sod $7,438,855 2,286
Dairy $6,433,206 1,500
Blueberries $5,500,000 591
Hay $2,374,195 635
Forestry $1,000,000 108,634
Bees/honey $598,767 45
Goats $154,177 518
Miscellaneous $51,478,000 3677
Total $832,410,300 255,532

List of companies with headquarters in Hillsborough County

  • Beef O'Brady's Restaurants
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
  • Bloomin' Brands Restaurants, including Outback Steakhouse, Carrabbas, and others.
  • Checkers and Rally's Restaurants
  • Front Burner Brands Restaurants, including The Melting Pot, Burger 21, and Grillsmith.
  • International Softball Federation
  • Lykes Brothers
  • MisterCertified
  • Mosaic's Phosphate Division
  • Odyssey Marine Exploration
  • Patterson Companies
  • Rooms To Go Furniture
  • Shriners International
  • Sweetbay Supermarkets (since absorbed by BI-LO's Winn-Dixie chain) had its headquarters in an unincorporated area in the county, near Tampa.
  • Sykes Enterprises


Hillsborough County Public Schools operate the public schools in the county. Hillsborough County has the eighth-largest school district in the United States consisting of 206 schools (133 elementary schools, 42 middle schools, two K-8 schools, 27 traditional high schools, and four career centers, with 73 additional schools including charter, ESE, etc.). In 2013, 12 of Hillsborough County's 27 public high schools were ranked in Newsweek's list of America's Best High Schools. In 2012 and 2013, all 27 public high schools were included on the Washington Post's list of the 2000 most challenging schools in America.

School enrollment

Year Enrollment Change
1997–1998 149,658 3,151 increase
1998–1999 152,809 3,437 increase
1999–2000 156,246 4,500 increase
2000–2001 160,746 5,315 increase
2001–2002 166,061 5,261 increase
2002–2003 171,322 6,235 increase
2003–2004 177,557 7,113 increase
2004–2005 184,670 7,113 increase
2005–2006 190,835 6,165 increase
2006–2007 191,151 316 increase
2007–2008 191,219 68 increase (projected)

Source: Tampa Tribune

Images for kids

See also

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

kids search engine
Hillsborough County, Florida Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.