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Manatee County, Florida facts for kids

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Manatee County
Manatee County Administration Building
Manatee County Administration Building
Official seal of Manatee County
Official logo of Manatee County
Map of Florida highlighting Manatee County
Location within the U.S. state of Florida
Map of the United States highlighting Florida
Florida's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: Coordinates: 27°29′N 82°22′W / 27.48°N 82.36°W / 27.48; -82.36
Country  United States
State  Florida
Founded January 9, 1855
Named for Florida manatee
Seat Bradenton
Largest city Bradenton
 • Total 893 sq mi (2,310 km2)
 • Land 743 sq mi (1,920 km2)
 • Water 150 sq mi (400 km2)  16.8%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 519/sq mi (200/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Area code 941
Congressional district 16th

Manatee County is a county in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 US Census, the population was 322,833. Manatee County is part of the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton Metropolitan Statistical Area. Its county seat and largest city is Bradenton. The county was created in 1855 and named for the Florida manatee, Florida's official marine mammal. Features of Manatee County include access to the southern part of the Tampa Bay estuary, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, and the Manatee River. Manatee County ranks 15th among Florida counties in population.


Manatee County Fair - Manatee County, Florida
Manatee County Fair

The area now known as Manatee County had been inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years before the southern mouth of the Manatee River was likely the landing site of the De Soto Expedition and is the location of the U.S. National Park Service’s De Soto National Memorial. The area was opened to settlement in 1842 and Manatee County had the Gamble Plantation, a sugar plantation that was one of the South’s finest. The area that Manatee County is in today had a major feature for pioneers – the Manatee River. Most pioneers chose to settle here because of the fertile soil of the Manatee River Valley. The Manatee River was also a deep river which made it a valuable place to settle at. The area Manatee County once had where Hardee County, Highlands County, Sarasota County, DeSoto County, Charlotte County and Glades County.

Every January, the Manatee County Fair takes place at the fairgrounds.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 893 square miles (2,310 km2), of which 743 square miles (1,920 km2) is land and 150 square miles (390 km2) (%) is water.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas




Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 854
1870 1,931 126.1%
1880 3,544 83.5%
1890 2,895 −18.3%
1900 4,663 61.1%
1910 9,550 104.8%
1920 18,712 95.9%
1930 22,502 20.3%
1940 26,098 16.0%
1950 34,704 33.0%
1960 69,168 99.3%
1970 97,115 40.4%
1980 148,442 52.9%
1990 211,707 42.6%
2000 264,002 24.7%
2010 322,833 22.3%
2019 (est.) 403,253 24.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2019

In 2017, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that the county's population was 385,571. The racial makeup of the county was 86.2% White, 9.2% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.8% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, and 1.8% from two or more races. 16.1% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

As of the census of 2000, there were 264,002 people, 112,460 households, and 73,773 families residing in the county. The population density was 356/sq mi (138/km2). There were 138,128 housing units at an average density of 186/sq mi (72/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 86.36% White, 8.19% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.90% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.84% from other races, and 1.39% from two or more races. 9.30% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

In 2000 there were 112,460 households, out of which 23.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.70% were married couples living together, 9.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.40% were non-families. 28.40% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.78.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 20.70% under the age of 18, 6.50% from 18 to 24, 24.60% from 25 to 44, 23.30% from 45 to 64, and 24.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.50 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,673, and the median income for a family was $46,576. Males had a median income of $31,607 versus $25,007 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,388. About 7.10% of families and 10.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.30% of those under age 18 and 6.20% of those age 65 or over.


Manatee County Public Library System
Country USA
Type Public
Established 1964
Location 1301 Barcarrota Blvd West
Bradenton, Florida 14203
Coordinates 27°29′55.2″N 82°34′29″W / 27.498667°N 82.57472°W / 27.498667; -82.57472
Branches 6
Items collected Books, Movies, Newspapers
Size 30,000
Access and use
Population served 322,000
Members 20,000
Other information
Budget $25,000
Staff 120

The Manatee County Public Library System offers a collection of adult, young adult, and children's materials, as well as a genealogy section and the Eaton Florida History Reading Room. Public computers for all to use are available at all library locations. The library's online resources include licensing to OverDrive, Inc., Hoopla (digital media service), and Freegal Music. The library also hosts an online digital collection featuring historic images and documents from Manatee County during the late nineteenth century to early 1980's.[1] Additionally, Ask a Librarian, the on-line Florida librarian reference service is available through the Manatee County Public Library System. The library system also offers E-Books, E-Audio, music, and movies through five databases located on their website .

The libraries also offer extensive programming that includes author luncheons, children's story-times, summer reading programs, job fairs, and book discussion groups. Special events held annually include Mana-con, a comic book convention, and the Teen Recycled Fashion Show.

Manatee County participates in the Little Free Library program. The Palmetto Branch will place their Little Free Library in 2015, and then all six Manatee County Libraries will have them. Several Manatee County Parks have Little Free Libraries including Emerson Point Preserve, Robinson Preserve, Greenbrook Park, Bennett Park, Jigg's Landing and Conservatory Park.

The library system serves the residents of Manatee County with six locations:

Library cards are free to those who reside, own property, attend school, and/or work in Manatee County. Non-residents may obtain a temporary card upon payment of a $20.00 annual fee.

History of libraries

Bradentown Library
Original Bradentown Library
Palmetto Carnegie Library
Palmetto's Carnegie Library, built in 1914.
Bradenton Carnegie Library
Bradenton's Carnegie Library, built in 1918.

Public libraries in Manatee County began in the year 1898 with a privately owned rental library created by Mrs. Julia Fuller in the Mrs. Bass Dry Goods store. The first independent library building in the county was opened in Bradenton in 1907, followed by Palmetto building a Carnegie Library in 1914 and Bradenton doing the same in 1918. For much of the 20th century, libraries in both cities were free to city residents while county residents had to pay a non-resident fee. In 1964, the city library associations in Bradenton and Palmetto merged with the Manatee County government to create what is now known as the Manatee County Public Library System. This was followed by the establishment of a bookmobile for rural areas in late 1964 and a Talking Books program for the blind in 1966.

As demands on the bookmobile grew and the library collection outstripped the existing buildings in Bradenton and Palmetto, the first branch of the Manatee County Public Library system was built in Bayshore in 1967, followed by a new branch on East Ninth Street in 1969 and an Island branch in 1971, the last of which later moved into a new building in 1983. A new building for the Palmetto Library was built in 1969, eventually followed by the modern Central Public Library in downtown Bradenton in 1978.

The 1990s saw a period of rapid growth for Manatee County, and the library system grew to accommodate, with the Braden River, Rocky Bluff, and South Manatee branches opening in 1991, 1994, and 1998, respectively, and the Braden River branch subsequently moved to a new building in 1997, bringing the Manatee County Library System to its modern state.

Awards and Recognition

2016 Library of the Year- Florida Library Association
in recognition of the Manatee County Public Library System for the outstanding service it provides to the community

2016 Betty Davis Miller Youth Services Award- Florida Library Association
in recognition of Teen Recycled Fashion Show

2016 Lifetime Achievement Award- Florida Library Association
in recognition of Kevin Beach, for a long-standing, distinguished record of professional achievements and accomplishments.

2016 Outstanding Friends Member- Florida Library Association
in recognition of the outstanding service of Doris Pope, president of the Friends of the Rocky Bluff Library

2015 Keep Manatee Beautiful Recycling Award- Government Category
in recognition of the Recycled Dreams Teen Fashion Show of Recycled Materials

2014 Libraries Change People's Lives Award- Florida Library Association
in recognition of expanded Hispanic Services

2013 Library Innovation Award- Florida Library Association
in recognition of expanded services, programs, and activities focusing on community needs

2013 Betty Davis Miller Youth Services Award- Florida Library Association
in recognition of Mana-Con Comics Convention


Cities of Manatee County
Map of Manatee County indicating incorporated municipalities. Number corresponds to list at left.



Census-designated places

Unincorporated places



  • Sarasota–Bradenton International Airport

Major Roads

  • Tamiami Trail
  • I-75
  • State Road 70
  • U.S. Route 301
  • Manatee Ave
  • Cortez Road
  • University Boulevard



Bealls of Florida has its headquarters and was founded 1915 in unincorporated Manatee County.

Tropicana was founded here in the 1950s. They were later bought by PepsiCo but continue to produce products there today.


Primary and secondary education

  • Manatee County School District – Public K-12 School district serving all of Manatee County

Higher education

  • Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) Bradenton – Private, non-profit graduate school of medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy
  • State College of Florida, Manatee–Sarasota (SCF) – Public, four-year state college, branch campus of State College of Florida

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