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Osceola County, Florida facts for kids

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Osceola County
The Osceola County courthouse in October 2009
The Osceola County courthouse in October 2009
Flag of Osceola County
Flag
Official seal of Osceola County
Seal
Map of Florida highlighting Osceola 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 May 12, 1887
Named for Osceola
Seat Kissimmee
Largest city Kissimmee
Area
 • Total 1,506 sq mi (3,900 km2)
 • Land 1,327 sq mi (3,440 km2)
 • Water 178 sq mi (460 km2)  11.9%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 388,656
 • Density 258/sq mi (99.7/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 9th

Osceola County ( o-si-OH-lə) is a county located in the central portion of the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2020 census, the population was 388,656. Its county seat is Kissimmee. Osceola County is included in the OrlandoKissimmeeSanford, Fla. Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Being 54.3% Hispanic, Osceola is one of three Hispanic-majority counties in Florida, owing to its large Puerto Rican American population. It also is the 12th-largest majority-Hispanic county in the nation.

Etymology

Osceola County is named for the Indian leader Osceola, whose name means "Black Drink Cry [Asi Yaholo]".

History

Osceola County was created in 1887. On July 21, 1821, Florida was divided into two counties, named Escambia County to the west and St. John's County to the east. In 1824, the southern part of St. John's County became Mosquito County, with Enterprise as the county seat. In 1844, Brevard County was carved out from Mosquito County. When Florida became a state in 1845, Mosquito County was renamed Orange County. On May 12, 1887, Osceola was named a county, having been created from both Orange and Brevard Counties. Osceola County reached all the way down to Lake Okeechobee until 1917 when Okeechobee County was formed.

Since the late 20th century, Osceola County has experienced a significant influx of migrants from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the unincorporated territory of the United States, and in the 2000 U.S. Census Puerto Rican was the largest self-reported ancestry group.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,506 square miles (3,900 km2), of which 1,327 square miles (3,440 km2) is land and 178 square miles (460 km2) (11.9%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Transportation

Rail

SunRail Train leaves Kissimmee Amtrak-SunRail station
SunRail commuter train at Kissimmee Station

CSX's A-line, formerly the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad mainline, and originally built by the South Florida Railroad in the 1880s, runs through the urbanized northern part of the county. CSX has leased the line to the FDOT. Intercity passenger service is provided by Amtrak at Kissimmee station and commuter passenger service is operated by SunRail, with stops at Kissimmee and Poinciana.

Airports

  • Kissimmee Gateway Airport

Major highways

  • I-4.svg Interstate 4
  • Florida's Turnpike shield.svg Florida's Turnpike
  • Toll Florida 417.svg State Road 417
  • Toll Florida 429.svg State Road 429
  • Osceola County Road 522 FL.svg Osceola Parkway
  • US 441.svg US 441
  • US 17.svg/US 92.svg US 17/92 (Orange Blossom Trail)
  • US 192.svg US 192
  • County 15.svg CR 15
  • Florida 60.svg SR 60
  • John Young Parkway

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 3,133
1900 3,444 9.9%
1910 5,507 59.9%
1920 7,195 30.7%
1930 10,699 48.7%
1940 10,119 −5.4%
1950 11,406 12.7%
1960 19,029 66.8%
1970 25,267 32.8%
1980 49,287 95.1%
1990 107,728 118.6%
2000 172,493 60.1%
2010 268,685 55.8%
2020 388,656 44.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2019

As of the census of 2020, there were 388,656 people, 111,539 households, and 97,038 families, residing in the county. The population density was 292 people per square mile (139/km2). There were 162,661 housing units at an average density of 122 per square mile (83/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 40.6% White, 10.5% Black or African American, 0.6% Native American, 3.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 20.1% from some other race, and 25.1% from two or more races. 54.3% of the population identified as Hispanic or Latino of any race, majority of which are Puerto Ricans, who account for an estimated 33.7% of the population and are the largest ancestral group in the county.

38.2% of the county population is affiliated with a religious congregation. There are 206 or more religious congregations in the county. 16.5% are Catholic; 1.3% are Mormons; 3.5% are Baptist, 3.7% are Pentecostal, 1.4% are Methodist, 8.3% are members of other Christian faiths, 0.1% are Jewish, 0.2% affiliate with an eastern faith, and 3.2% affiliate with Islam.

There were 111,539 households, 57% were married couples living together, 23% had a female householder with no spouse present, 7% had a male householder with no spouse present, and 13% were non-families. The average household size was 3.4 persons per household.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 12% being 0 to 9 years old, 15% 10 to 19, 14% 20 to 29, 15% from 30 to 39, 13% from 40 to 49, 11% 50 to 59, and 19% who were 60 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $52,279. The per capita income for the county was $22,196. About 13.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.00% of those under age 18 and 10.00% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

Cities

Census-designated places

Other inincorporated communities

Planned development

Currently, a new suburb is planned in Osceola County called Destiny. If completely built, it would house up to 240,000 residents.

Special districts

Education

The School District of Osceola County, Florida serves the county. The county is home to 47 schools, not including colleges.

Colleges

  • Johnson University Florida
  • Florida Technical College
  • Heritage University & Seminary
  • Stetson University
  • Valencia College - Osceola Campus & Poinciana Campus

Libraries

There are currently six branches of the Osceola County Library System:

  • Buenaventura Lakes Library - Kissimmee, FL
  • Hart Memorial Library - Kissimmee, FL
  • Kenansville Library - Kenansville, FL
  • Poinciana Library - Kissimmee, FL
  • St. Cloud Veterans Memorial Library - St. Cloud, FL
  • West Osceola Library - Celebration, FL

The Hart Memorial Library is home to the Ray Shanks Law Library, and TechCentral the library system's "creative space".

History

Until 1989, there was no independent Osceola Library System. Instead, Osceola patrons were taken care of by Orange County Library System. Before that, there were two libraries, which are still named after the original independent libraries, run by women's organizations: Veteran's Memorial in Saint Cloud and Hart Memorial Library in Kissimmee.

In 1910, land for the Hart Memorial Library was donated by a widow of a former Florida Governor, Carrie S. Hart. It was located on North Stewart Avenue in Kissimmee . In 1914, women pooled money together from themselves and other community members to build the actual building and Annie Palmer Fell, another widow of a prominent Florida man, donated furnishings and books from her personal collection to begin building inventory in the new library. In 1968, the location moved to a 4,000 square foot building on Broadway and Dakin. Hart Memorial Library is the Osceola headquarters and is now located in a 43,000 square building .

Veteran's Memorial Library was at first a reading room until enough funds were raised to build the first official location on Massachusetts Avenue in Saint Cloud. In the early 70's the location moved to a former SunBank location on 10th Street and New York Avenue. In 1995, this branch moved for its final time to a larger building on Indiana Avenue and 13th street where it is still located today.

The first Poinciana Branch was opened in 1988. It was a modular building and consisted of a 14,000 book collection. This branch was eventually moved into a larger location with a collection of 40,000 books and computer access for patrons.

Osceola Library Systems began as an independent organization on April 1, 1989.

In 1990, the Buenaventura Library opened.

In 1991, volunteers helped open the Kenansville Branch Library in a shared space with the old Kenansville school. During the 2004 hurricanes, the collection was a total loss. It was rebuilt in 2007 with a larger collection, including books, DVDs, and computer/wifi access.

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