Sarasota County, Florida

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Sarasota County, Florida
Logo of Sarasota County, Florida
Map of Florida highlighting Sarasota County
Location in the state of Florida
Map of USA FL
Florida's location in the U.S.
Founded 14 May 1921
Seat Sarasota
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

725.18 sq mi (1,878 km²)
571.55 sq mi (1,480 km²)
153.63 sq mi (398 km²), 21.19%
 - (2010)
 - Density

664/sq mi (256.38/km²)

Sarasota County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. Its 2010 population was 379,448.[1] Its county seat is Sarasota and its largest city is North Port.[2] Sarasota County is a part of the North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota Metropolitan Statistical Area and along with Manatee County and other counties to the north is often considered part of the Tampa Bay Area.

History Edit


Downtown Sarasota from the John Ringling Bridge

Great Egret - Myakka River State Park

A Great Egret in Myakka River State Park

Black-necked Stilt - Myakka River State Park

Black-necked Stilt in Myakka River State Park.

Young Boy Watching Birds, Siesta Beach, Sarasota, FL 2011-11-05

Sunset at Siesta Beach

Sarasota County was created in 1921. After acquisition by the United States as a territory and once Florida obtained state status, the area now included in the county had been governed by Hillsborough County, then Manatee County as the state was divided into smaller and smaller governmental organization. Manatee County was carved up to allow the creation of three more counties as well.

Although the name was associated with the area from the beginning of European contacts the origin of the name, Sarasota, is unknown. It may be named for a word in the indigenous Calusa language, whose meaning may be Point of Rocks or Place of the Dance. Some believe a fanciful story created for a popular early twentieth-century pageant held in Sarasota, that it was named after the daughter of famous explorer Hernando de Soto's daughter Sara.

According to the Florida League of Cities FLC, the name first appeared in print as "Zarazote" on a 1763 land grant map.


According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 725.18 square miles (1,878.2 km2), of which 571.55 square miles (1,480.3 km2) (or 78.81%) is land and 153.63 square miles (397.9 km2) (or 21.19%) is water.[3]

Adjacent countiesEdit

Places Edit

Incorporated Edit

  1. City of Sarasota
  2. City of North Port
  3. City of Venice
  4. Town of Longboat Key

Unincorporated Edit

Parks and preservesEdit

In addition to local parks there are several preserve areas including:


Primary and secondary education Edit

Higher education Edit

Local mediaEdit



Sarasota County is part of the Tampa/St. Petersburg/Sarasota DMA. Most of the television stations are located in Saint Petersburg or Tampa except:

  • WWSB - A local ABC affiliate based in Sarasota
  • SNN News 6 - Local twenty-four hour news station based in Sarasota
  • Various government and local access channels. Access 19 (Local Government channel), Education Channel (School Board) and BLAB TV (local programming)



Airports Edit

Major highways and state roads Edit

Public transportation Edit

  • Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) provides public transportation for Sarasota County, Florida. SCAT is operated by Sarasota County. It maintains 19 fixed-line bus routes plus a dial-a-ride paratransit service (SCAT Plus).


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1930 12,440
1940 16,106 29.5%
1950 28,827 79.0%
1960 76,895 166.7%
1970 120,413 56.6%
1980 202,251 68.0%
1990 277,776 37.3%
2000 325,957 17.3%
2010 379,448 16.4%
Casey Key house

Some areas of Sarasota County, such as Casey Key near Nokomis, are very wealthy.

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 325,957 people, 149,937 households, and 94,460 families residing in the county. The population density was 570 people per square mile (220/km²). There were 182,467 housing units at an average density of 319 per square mile (123/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 92.65% White, 4.18% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.77% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.14% from other races, and 1.02% from two or more races. 4.34% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 89.7% spoke English, 4.4% Spanish, 1.3% German and 1.0% French as their first language.

Census Estimates for 2005 show the county population as being 87.5% non-Hispanic whites, 6.3% Latinos, 4.5% African-American and 1.1% Asian.[8]

In 2000 there were 149,957 households out of which 18.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.70% were married couples living together, 7.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.00% were non-families. 30.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.13 and the average family size was 2.61.

In the county the population was spread out with 16.20% under the age of 18, 5.00% from 18 to 24, 21.70% from 25 to 44, 25.60% from 45 to 64, and 31.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50 years. For every 100 females there were 90.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $41,957, and the median income for a family was $50,111. About 5.10% of families and 7.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.70% of those under age 18 and 4.50% of those age 65 or over.

The per capita income for the county was $28,326. Females had a median income of $25,721 versus $32,114 for males.

  • Population in Sarasota County as of 2006 had reached 369,535 people.[9]

Notable pioneer honored on sign Edit

Joseph Daniel Anderson was one of the pioneers of the Sarasota area. He established his homestead in the Forked Creek area in 1886 and became an early leader in what now is southern Sarasota County (having been Manatee County from 1855 until 1921).

The following is a transcript from a Sarasota County historical marker that was erected in a park dedicated to Anderson on Manasota Key.

"After the Civil War, many Georgians moved their families to Southern Florida. Joseph Daniel "Jody" Anderson, born in Georgia in 1867, was a child when his father moved to the Tampa/Sara Sota area. In 1884, Joseph became the head of the Anderson family. Two years later, he moved his family to Southern Manatee County. He homesteaded the land in the Mystic River (Forked Creek) Valley. In 1890 he married Helen Alice Johnson of Sarasota. They had eleven children. Eight survived.
With only hand tools, Anderson converted the Florida wilderness into an agricultural industry. This fertile land produced vegetables, sugar cane and citrus. In the vast Myakka/Pinedale area, he raised his cattle and swine. He and brother Moses "Lee" prospered in ranching until the Range Law Act curtailed the right to use this land for grazing.
Sleds (later wagons) were used to move the farm produce, fruit and cattle to Lemon Bay where they were transferred to draft boats and transported to ships at Boca Grande. Some of the wagons were rafted across the bay to Manasota Beach where the produce was ferried to Cuban smacks and later to American schooners.
Anderson pioneered commercial fishing in North Lemon Bay which teemed with schools of mullet and other fish. The Andersons fished with nets made of cotton and flax twine over which they poured a heavy lime solution to prevent rot. Their base of operation included land storage facilities on the shore and on the beach (Manasota) to salt, dry and pack the fish in barrels. Upon the arrival of run boats with ice from Tampa, the Andersons could ship fresh fish and produce.
Joseph Daniel "Jody" Anderson was a quiet family man who never sought publicity. However, before Sarasota County was organized, he served as deputy sheriff and game warden in the Pinedale/Manasota area. The Anderson family built the area's first school (Pinedale) of which Jody was trustee. He also organized the first church in the area. Anderson actively supported the creation of Sarasota County from Manatee County and in 1922, became the first elected county commissioner from District 4. After the death of his first wife, he married Mary Ethel Morgan with whom he raised four more children. Joseph Daniel Anderson died in 1939."

See alsoEdit


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Sarasota County, Florida. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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