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Walton County, Florida facts for kids

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Walton County
Walton County Courthouse
Walton County Courthouse
Official seal of Walton County
Seal
Map of Florida highlighting Walton County
Location within the U.S. state of Florida
Map of the United States highlighting Florida
Florida's location within the U.S.
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Country  United States
State  Florida
Founded December 29, 1824
Named for George Walton Jr.
Seat DeFuniak Springs
Largest city Miramar Beach
Area
 • Total 1,240 sq mi (3,200 km2)
 • Land 1,038 sq mi (2,690 km2)
 • Water 202 sq mi (520 km2)  16.3%%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2019)
74,071
 • Density 71/sq mi (27/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 1st

Walton County is located on the Emerald Coast in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Florida, with its southern border on the Gulf of Mexico. As of the 2010 census, the population was 55,043. Its county seat is DeFuniak Springs. The county is home to the highest natural point in Florida: Britton Hill, at 345 feet (105 m).

Walton County is included in the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Walton County was created in 1824. It was named for the son of George Walton the Signer, Colonel George Walton, Jr (born 15 Aug 1786 in Augusta, Richmond Co, Georgia; died 20 Mar 1859 in Petersburg, Virginia) who was Secretary of the Florida territory from 1821 to 1826.

The county was settled in the early 18th Century by Scots who migrated from the Carolinas. The original settlements were in the Euchee (Yuchi) Valley near the landing on the Choctawhatchee River maintained by an Indian named Sam Story. They established one of the first Presbyterian churches in Northwest Florida which is still a functioning parish with an historical cemetery.

Geography

Britton Hill, Florida
The summit of Britton Hill, the state of Florida's highest point at 345 feet, is located in northern Walton County

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,240 square miles (3,200 km2), of which 1,038 square miles (2,690 km2) is land and 202 square miles (520 km2) (16.3%) is water. The County is one of the largest in size in the state, stretching from the Alabama state line to the Emerald Coast.

Adjacent counties

National protected area

  • Choctawhatchee National Forest (part)
  • Point Washington State Forest (part)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 1,207
1840 1,461 21.0%
1850 1,817 24.4%
1860 3,037 67.1%
1870 3,041 0.1%
1880 4,201 38.1%
1890 4,816 14.6%
1900 9,346 94.1%
1910 16,460 76.1%
1920 12,119 −26.4%
1930 14,576 20.3%
1940 14,246 −2.3%
1950 14,725 3.4%
1960 15,576 5.8%
1970 16,087 3.3%
1980 21,300 32.4%
1990 27,760 30.3%
2000 40,601 46.3%
2010 55,043 35.6%
2019 (est.) 74,071 34.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015 2019

As of the census of 2000, there were 40,601 people, 16,548 households, and 11,120 families residing in the county. The population density was 38 people per square mile (15/km2). There were 29,083 housing units at an average density of 28 per square mile (11/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 88.41% White, 6.98% Black or African American, 1.28% Native American, 0.45% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.75% from other races, and 2.09% from two or more races. 2.17% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 16,548 households, out of which 26.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.00% were married couples living together, 10.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.80% were non-families. 27.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 21.70% under the age of 18, 7.10% from 18 to 24, 28.50% from 25 to 44, 26.90% from 45 to 64, and 15.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 105.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,407, and the median income for a family was $37,663. Males had a median income of $26,799 versus $21,208 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,198. About 11.60% of families and 14.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.00% of those under age 18 and 10.90% of those age 65 or over.

Libraries

Walton County has 4 branches, including the historic DeFuniak Springs Library.

  • Coastal
  • DeFuniak Springs
  • Freeport
  • Gladys N. Milton Memorial Library

Communities

DeFuniak Springs Hist Dist crths01
Walton County Courthouse, 2008

Cities

Town

Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities

Gallery

Transportation

Airports

  • DeFuniak Springs Airport

Highways

  • US highway 331
  • US highway 90
  • US highway 98
  • State highway 20
  • State highway 83
  • Interstate 10

Notable people

  • Sean Dietrich, writer
  • Mary Vinson, artist
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