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Union County, Florida facts for kids

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Union County
Union County Courthouse
Union County Courthouse
Map of Florida highlighting Union 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 20, 1921
Named for Concept of Unity
Seat Lake Butler
Largest city Lake Butler
 • Total 250 sq mi (600 km2)
 • Land 244 sq mi (630 km2)
 • Water 6.2 sq mi (16 km2)  2.5%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 64/sq mi (25/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 3rd

Union County is a county located in the north central portion of the U.S. state of Florida, the smallest in the state. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,535. The county seat is Lake Butler. With a personal per capita income of $20,396 (as of 2017), it is the fourth-poorest county in the United States.


Union County was created in 1921 from part of Bradford County. It was named to honor the concept of unity. Union County is the location of Union Correctional Institution and the Reception and Medical Center (RMC). Union CI is a maximum security prison and is home to part of Florida's Death Row. The death chamber is located at nearby Florida State Prison (FSP) in Bradford County. Florida State Prison also houses some death-row inmates.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 250 square miles (650 km2), of which 244 square miles (630 km2) is land and 6.2 square miles (16 km2) (2.5%) is water. It is the smallest county by area in Florida.

Bradford County, Florida is southeast Alachua County, Florida is south Columbia County, Florida is west Baker County is north


Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 7,428
1940 7,094 −4.5%
1950 8,906 25.5%
1960 6,043 −32.1%
1970 8,112 34.2%
1980 10,166 25.3%
1990 10,252 0.8%
2000 13,442 31.1%
2010 15,535 15.6%
2019 (est.) 15,237 −1.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2019

At the 2000 census, there were 13,442 people, 3,367 households and 2,606 families residing in the county. The population density was 56 per square mile (22/km2). There were 3,736 housing units at an average density of 16 per square mile (6/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 73.62% White, 22.84% Black or African American, 0.66% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.04% from other races, and 1.50% from two or more races. 3.55% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Of the 3,367 households, 41.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.70% were married couples living together, 15.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.60% were non-families. 19.50% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.76 and the average family size was 3.13.

The age distribution was 21.80% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 39.80% from 25 to 44, 22.20% from 45 to 64, and 7.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 183.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 215.20 males. This extremely skewed gender distribution is the result of the county's male prison population.

The median household income was $34,563, and the median family income was $37,516. Males had a median income of $28,571 versus $22,083 for females. The county's per capita income was $12,333. About 10.50% of families and 14.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.60% of those under age 18 and 16.20% of those age 65 or over.

The county suffers a death rate of about 1600 per 100,000 residents, the highest in the nation.

Cause of Death (2017) Union County (Adjusted Rate) Florida (Adjusted Rate)
Overall 1,516 681
Cancer 470 153
Heart Disease 298 152
Respiratory Infection 121 39
Stroke 59 36
Hepatitis 54 2

Government and infrastructure

Union Correctional Institution

The Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) operates Region II Correctional Facility Office in an unincorporated area in Union County. FDOC also maintains the Union Correctional Institution in an unincorporated area in the county. Union Correctional Institution houses one of two death rows for men in Florida. About a third of the county's population is imprisoned, compared to a statewide figure of one-half percent.

The Union Juvenile Residential Facility of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice is in an unincorporated area in Union County.


Union County School District serves the county.


The Union County Public Library serves the county. The branch is at 250 SE 5th Avenue, Lake Butler, Florida 32054. Its director is Mary C. Brown. The branch is open Monday, Wednesday–Friday 9 am–6 pm, Tuesday 9 am–8 pm, and Saturday 9 am–3 pm.


# Incorporated Community Designation Population
1 Lake Butler City 1,813
2 Worthington Springs Town 390
3 Raiford Town 242
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