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Wildwood, Florida
Wildwood City Hall
Wildwood City Hall
Location in Sumter County and the state of Florida
Location in Sumter County and the state of Florida
Country  United States
State  Florida
County  Sumter
 • Total 42.48 sq mi (110.01 km2)
 • Land 41.59 sq mi (107.73 km2)
 • Water 0.88 sq mi (2.29 km2)
66 ft (20 m)
 • Total 6,709
 • Estimate 
 • Density 174.93/sq mi (67.54/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 352
FIPS code 12-77675
GNIS feature ID 0293301

Wildwood is a city in Sumter County, Florida, United States. The population was 6,709 at the 2010 census. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2018 estimates, the city had a population of 7,024.


Wildwood is located at 28°51′31″N 82°2′19″W / 28.85861°N 82.03861°W / 28.85861; -82.03861 (28.858610, -82.038499).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.4 [[km2]] (5.2 mi2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 419
1900 244 −41.8%
1910 329 34.8%
1920 480 45.9%
1930 1,409 193.5%
1940 1,346 −4.5%
1950 2,019 50.0%
1960 2,170 7.5%
1970 2,082 −4.1%
1980 2,665 28.0%
1990 3,421 28.4%
2000 3,924 14.7%
2010 6,709 71.0%
2019 (est.) 7,276 8.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 3,924 people, 1,640 households, and 1,074 families residing in the city. The population density was 759.7 inhabitants per square mile (293.0/km2). There were 2,062 housing units at an average density of 399.2 per square mile (154.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 64.76% White, 32.93% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.97% from other races, and 1.10% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.42% of the population.

There were 1,640 households, out of which 23.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 17.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.5% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 20.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the city the population was spread out, with 22.3% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 18.4% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 33.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48 years. For every 100 females, there were 83.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $23,357, and the median income for a family was $27,247. Males had a median income of $23,250 versus $18,103 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,758. About 17.3% of families and 21.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.6% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over.


A post office called Wildwood has been in operation since 1881. The town was so named on account of its remote location in the woods.

Rejected Villages Expansion

In April 2015, The Villages and their corporate representation petitioned the city of Wildwood with plans to build 785 new homes on County Road 466A, across from Pinellas Plaza. Wildwood leaders rejected the expansion efforts citing concerns of the city losing its identity when it was to become overwhelmed by The Villages. On April 27, 2015, The Villages formally withdrew their plans for expansion, indicating that the City of Wildwood officials made too many requests that would be a “disservice to our residents and business partners.” There are currently no known plans for further expansion of The Villages into the city of Wildwood at this time.

Crossroads of Florida

Wildwood Amtrak station pano01
Old railroad station

Wildwood is located at the juncture of Interstate 75, Florida's Turnpike, State Road 44, and U.S. Highway 301. For many years Wildwood was the northern control city on Turnpike road signs however this was replaced with Ocala, Florida beginning in 2007. Because of its centralized location and easy access to both coasts, it is often referred to as "The Crossroads of Florida". CSX railroad also has a station located on Main Street in Wildwood. The station was also a stop along Amtrak's national commuter route until 2004. Today, the former station is a CSX maintenance yard. In addition there is an abandoned railroad spur owned by the Florida Midland Railroad that once led to Leesburg, but now runs along County Road 44A and was the home for some abandoned freight cars until some point in the first decade of the 21st Century.

In the 20th Century Wildwood was the dividing yard for the Seaboard Airline Railroad (Seaboard Coastline in later years) where southbound passenger trains were divided up into east coast (Miami) and west coast (Tampa and south) sections and northbound trains from both coasts joined together.

Notable people

  • Elizabeth Cook, country music singer and radio personality
  • Ron Dixon, former player of the National Football League
  • Dana Fuchs, singer, songwriter, actress and voice-over artist, portrayed Sadie in 2007 film Across the Universe
  • Ellis Johnson, former player of the National Football League
  • Dan Sikes, former professional golfer
  • Barbara J. Stephenson, Diplomat
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