Palm Beach County

 

Palm Beach County is the largest county in the state of Florida in area. As of 2010, the rapidly-growing county's estimated population was 1,320,134, making it the third most populous in the state and the twenty ninth most populous in the United States. Over 40 percent of the county's population lives in unincorporated areas near the Atlantic coast.

Palm Beach County is one of three counties comprising the South Florida metropolitan area, and having been formed in 1909, is the area's second oldest. Its largest city and county seat is West Palm Beach(Central County), which has an incorporated population of over 105,000 and an unincorporated population of 250,000. Boca Raton(South County), is the second largest, having a population approaching 90,000. Boynton Beach(South County), is the third largest city, with a population nearing 70,000 residents. With wealthy coastal towns such as Palm Beach, Jupiter, Manalapan, and Boca Ratonwithin its limits, as well as Wellingtonand Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Beach County is Florida's wealthiest county, with a per capita personal income of $44,518 as of 2004.

 

HISTORY

Among the first residents in Palm Beach County were African-Americans and many of whom were former slaves or immediate descendants of formers slaves who had escaped to the State of Florida from slave plantations located in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. Runaway African slaves started coming to what was then named Spanish Florida in the late 17th century and they found refuge among the Seminole Native Americans. Henry Flagler, who made his home in Palm Beach, was instrumental in the county's development in the early 20th century with the extension of the Florida East Coast Railwaythrough the county from Jacksonville to Key West.

 Palm Beach County was created in 1909. It was named for its first settled community, Palm Beach, in turn named for the palm trees and beaches in the area. The County was carved out of what was then the northern portion of Dade County, comprising part of the areas now occupied by Okeechobee and Broward counties, part of Martin and all of Palm Beach county, initially including all of Lake Okeechobee. The southernmost part of Palm Beach County was separated to create the northern portion of Broward County in 1915, the northwestern portion became part of Okeechobee County 1917 and southern Martin County was created from northernmost Palm Beach County in 1925. About three-quarters of Lake Okeechobee was removed from Palm Beach County in 1963 and divided up among Glades, Hendry, Martin and Okeechobee counties.

 According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 2,386.33 square miles (6,180.6 km2), of which 1,974.11 square miles (5,112.9 km2) (or 82.73%) is land (making it the second-largest Florida county by land area, after Collier County) and 412.22 square miles (1,067.6 km2) (or 17.27%) is water, much of it in the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Okeechobee. The county has 38 municipalities in total, along with many more unincorporated communities and census designated places.

 

 

Local Links:

Palm Beach County Government:   http://www.co.palm-beach.fl.us/

The School District of Palm Beach County:  http://www.palmbeachschools.org/

Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches:  http://www.palmbeaches.org/

Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau:  http://www.palmbeachfl.com/

 

 

(Source – Wikipedia.com, county and municipal websites)