Manatee County is a list of counties in Florida, county in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 US Census, the population was 322,833. Manatee County is part of the North Port, Florida, North Port-Sarasota, Florida, Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida, Bradenton Sarasota metropolitan area, Metropolitan Statistical Area. Its county seat and largest city is Bradenton, Florida, Bradenton. The county was created in 1855 and named for the Florida manatee, Florida's official marine mammal. Features of Manatee County include access to the southern part of the Tampa Bay estuary, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, and the Manatee River. Manatee County ranks 15th among Florida counties in population.


Prehistoric History

The area now known as Manatee County had been inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years.

De Soto Expedition

The southern mouth of the Manatee River was likely the landing site of the Hernando de Soto (explorer)#1539 to early 1540 in Florida, De Soto Expedition and is the location of the U.S. National Park Service's De Soto National Memorial.


The area was opened to settlement in 1842. The first two settlers were Joseph Braden and Hector Braden who moved into an area near the Manatee River. The two had lost their land for their plantations in Northern Florida during the Panic of 1837. They were said to have heard that there was abundant land in the area. The brothers moved into a log cabin 5 miles north of the mouth of the Manatee River. Four years later Hector had drowned while trying to cross the Manatee River on his horse during a hurricane. Despite this tragic event, Joseph decided he would still build his sugar plantation, the Braden sugar mill at the mouth of the Manatee River and the Braden River. He later built a dock where Main Street was and fortified the area near his house building a stockade. A few years later in 1851, he would build the Braden Castle, which was made out of tabby and served as his residence. It would later become a popular tourist attraction in the early 1900s with Tin Can Tourists. He would only stay there for the next six years before moving to Tallahassee, Florida, Tallahassee. Manatee County had the Gamble Plantation Historic State Park, Gamble Plantation, a sugar plantation that was one of the South's finest. When Manatee County was created in 1855, it included all of what are now Charlotte County, Florida, Charlotte County, DeSoto County, Florida, DeSoto County, Glades County, Florida, Glades County, Hardee County, Florida, Hardee County, Highlands County, Florida, Highlands County, Sarasota County, Florida, Sarasota County and part of Lee County, Florida, Lee County


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of , of which is land and (%) is water.

Adjacent counties

* Hillsborough County, Florida, Hillsborough County – north * Polk County, Florida, Polk County – northeast * Hardee County, Florida, Hardee County – east * DeSoto County, Florida, DeSoto County – southeast * Sarasota County, Florida, Sarasota County – south

State & Nationally protected areas

in Myakka River State Park * De Soto National Memorial * Passage Key National Wildlife Refuge * Lake Manatee State Park * Terra Ceia Preserve, Terra Ceia Preserve State Park * Myakka River State Park * Madira Bickel Mound State Archaeological Site


* Manatee River ** Wares Creek ** Braden River *** Gamble Creek


* Ward Lake (Florida), Ward Lake * Lake Parrish * Lake Manatee


In 2017, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that the county's population was 385,571. The racial makeup of the county was 86.2% Race (United States Census), White, 9.2% Race (United States Census), Black or Race (United States Census), African American, 0.5% Race (United States Census), Native American, 1.8% Race (United States Census), Asian, 0.1% Race (United States Census), Pacific Islander, and 1.8% from two or more races. 16.1% of the population were Race (United States Census), Hispanic or Race (United States Census), Latino of any race. As of the census of 2000, there were 264,002 people, 112,460 households, and 73,773 families residing in the county. The population density was 356/sq mi (138/km2). There were 138,128 housing units at an average density of 186/sq mi (72/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 86.36% Race (United States Census), White, 8.19% Race (United States Census), Black or Race (United States Census), African American, 0.28% Race (United States Census), Native American, 0.90% Race (United States Census), Asian, 0.05% Race (United States Census), Pacific Islander, 2.84% from Race (United States Census), other races, and 1.39% from two or more races. 9.30% of the population were Race (United States Census), Hispanic or Race (United States Census), Latino of any race. In 2000 there were 112,460 households, out of which 23.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.70% were Marriage, married couples living together, 9.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.40% were non-families. 28.40% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.78. In the county, the population was spread out, with 20.70% under the age of 18, 6.50% from 18 to 24, 24.60% from 25 to 44, 23.30% from 45 to 64, and 24.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.50 males. The median income for a household in the county was $38,673, and the median income for a family was $46,576. Males had a median income of $31,607 versus $25,007 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,388. About 7.10% of families and 10.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.30% of those under age 18 and 6.20% of those age 65 or over.


Bealls (Florida), Bealls of Florida has its headquarters and was founded 1915 in unincorporated area, unincorporated Manatee County. Tropicana was founded here in the 1950s. They were later bought by PepsiCo but continue to produce products there today.


The Manatee County Public Library System offers a collection of adult, young adult, and children's materials, as well as a genealogy section and the Eaton Florida History Reading Room. Public computers for all to use are available at all library locations. The library's online resources include licensing to OverDrive, Inc., Hoopla (digital media service), and Freegal Music. The library also hosts an online digital collection featuring historic images and documents from Manatee County during the late nineteenth century to the early 1980

Additionally, Ask a Librarian, the on-line Florida librarian reference service is available through the Manatee County Public Library System. The library system also offers E-Books, E-Audio, music, and movies through five databases located on their website. The libraries also offer extensive programming that includes author luncheons, children's story-times, summer reading programs, job fairs, and book discussion groups. Special events held annually include Mana-con, a comic book convention, and the Teen Recycled Fashion Show. Manatee County participates in the Little Free Library program. The Palmetto Branch will place their Little Free Library in 2015, and then all six Manatee County Libraries will have them. Several Manatee County Parks have Little Free Libraries including Emerson Point Preserve, Robinson Preserve, Greenbrook Park, Bennett Park, Jigg's Landing and Conservatory Park. The library system serves the residents of Manatee County with six locations: * Central - Bradenton * Palmetto - Palmetto, Florida, Palmetto * Braden River - Bradenton * Island - Holmes Beach * South Manatee - Bradenton * Rocky Bluff - Ellenton, Florida, Ellenton * Talking Book Library is administered through the Bureau of Braille and Talking Books Library, Dayton

Library cards are free to those who reside, own property, attend school, and/or work in Manatee County. Non-residents may obtain a temporary card upon payment of a $20.00 annual fee.

History of libraries

Manatee County's first public library was a privately owned rental library created by Julia Fuller at the Mrs. Bass Dry Goods store in 1898. The county's first independent library opened in Bradenton in 1907, followed a Carnegie Library in Palmetto in 1914 and another in Bradenton in 1918. For much of the 20th century, both cities' libraries were free to city residents while county residents had to pay a non-resident fee. In 1964, Bradenton's and Palmetto's library associations merged with the Manatee County government to create the Manatee County Public Library System. This was followed by the establishment of a bookmobile for rural areas in 1964 and a Talking Books program for the blind in 1966. As demands on the bookmobile grew and the library collection outstripped the existing buildings in Bradenton and Palmetto, the first branch of the Manatee County Public Library system was built in Bayshore in 1967, followed by a new branch on East Ninth Street in 1969 and an Island branch in 1971, the last of which later moved into a new building in 1983. A new building for the Palmetto Library was built in 1969, followed by the modern Central Public Library in downtown Bradenton in 1978. The 1990s saw a period of rapid growth in Manatee County, and the library system grew accordingly, with the Braden River, Rocky Bluff, and South Manatee branches opening in 1991, 1994, and 1998, respectively. The Braden River branch moved to a new building in 1997, bringing the Manatee County Library System to its modern state.

Awards and Recognition

2016 Library of the Year- Florida Library Association
''in recognition of the Manatee County Public Library System for the outstanding service it provides to the community''
Link found in "Awards History" for current winners.
2016 Betty Davis Miller Youth Services Award- Florida Library Association
''in recognition of Teen Recycled Fashion Show''
Link found in "Awards History" for current winners.
2016 Lifetime Achievement Award- Florida Library Association
''in recognition of Kevin Beach, for a long-standing, distinguished record of professional achievements and accomplishments.''
Link found in "Awards History" for current winners.
2016 Outstanding Friends Member- Florida Library Association
''in recognition of the outstanding service of Doris Pope, president of the Friends of the Rocky Bluff Library''
Link found in "Awards History" for current winners.
2015 Keep Manatee Beautiful Recycling Award- Government Category
''in recognition of the Recycled Dreams Teen Fashion Show of Recycled Materials''
Listed under 2015 Awards Celebration Winners.
2014 Libraries Change People's Lives Award- Florida Library Association
''in recognition of expanded Hispanic Services''
Link to 2014 award winners.
2013 Library Innovation Award- Florida Library Association
''in recognition of expanded services, programs, and activities focusing on community needs''
Link to 2013 award winners.
2013 Betty Davis Miller Youth Services Award- Florida Library Association
''in recognition of Mana-Con Comics Convention''
Link to 2013 award winners.


Primary and secondary education

* Manatee County School District – Public K-12 School district serving all of Manatee County

Higher education

* Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) Bradenton – Private, non-profit graduate school of medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy * State College of Florida, Manatee–Sarasota (SCF) – Public, four-year state college, branch campus of State College of Florida


Image:Cities of Manatee County.svg, 400px, Map of Manatee County indicating incorporated municipalities:


* Anna Maria, Florida, Anna Maria * Bradenton, Florida, Bradenton * Bradenton Beach, Florida, Bradenton Beach * Holmes Beach, Florida, Holmes Beach * Palmetto, Florida, Palmetto


* Longboat Key, Florida, Longboat Key

Census-designated places

* Bayshore Gardens, Florida, Bayshore Gardens * Cortez, Florida, Cortez * Ellenton, Florida, Ellenton * Memphis, Florida, Memphis * Samoset, Florida, Samoset * South Bradenton, Florida, South Bradenton * West Bradenton, Florida, West Bradenton * West Samoset, Florida, West Samoset * Whitfield, Manatee County, Florida, Whitfield

Unincorporated places

* Cedar Hammock, Florida, Cedar Hammock * Duette, Florida, Duette * Elwood Park, Florida, Elwood Park * Fort Hamer, Florida, Fort Hamer * Foxleigh, Florida, Foxleigh * Gillette, Florida, Gillette * Lake Manatee, Florida, Lake Manatee * Lakewood Ranch, Florida, Lakewood Ranch * Manavista, Florida, Manavista * Manhattan, Florida, Manhattan * Marsh Island (Manatee River), Marsh Island * Memphis Heights, Florida, Memphis Heights * Myakka City, Florida, Myakka City * Oak Knoll, Florida, Oak Knoll * Oneco, Florida, Oneco * Palm View, Florida, Palm View * Palma Sola, Florida, Palma Sola * Parrish, Florida, Parrish * Rattlesnake Key (Tampa Bay), Rattlesnake Key * Rubonia, Florida, Rubonia * Rye, Florida, Rye * Snead Island, Florida, Snead Island * Tara, Florida, Tara * Terra Ceia, Florida, Terra Ceia * Verna, Florida, Verna * Village of the Arts * Ward Lake (Florida), Ward Lake * Waterbury, Florida, Waterbury * Willow, Florida, Willow


Manatee County has a county transportation service, Manatee County Area Transit, MCAT. It serves this county, Pinellas County, Florida, Pinellas County, and Sarasota County, Florida, Sarasota County.


* Sarasota–Bradenton International Airport

Major Roads

* Interstate 75 in Florida, I-75 * Interstate 275 (Florida), I-275 * U.S. Route 19 * Tamiami Trail, U.S. Route 41 * U.S. Route 301 in Florida, U.S. Route 301 * Florida State Road 64, State Road 64 * Florida State Road 70, State Road 70 * Florida State Road 684, State Road 684 (Cortez Road) * List of county roads in Sarasota County, Florida, University Parkway


* Intracoastal Waterway * Manatee River


* Port Manatee


Political history

Manatee County is part of the strongly Republican Party (United States), Republican Sun Belt. The area became a Republican stronghold following World War II and has remained so since: the last Democrat to win Manatee County was Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944 United States presidential election, 1944.

Law enforcement and justice

Sheriff's Office

Unincorporated Manatee County is served by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.


= Circuit Court

= Manatee County is a part of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, Twelfth Circuit Court of Florida.

= Court of Appeals

= Manatee County is part of the Florida Second District Court of Appeal, Second District of Appeals.

Recent presidential election results

Government officials

United States Senate

United States House of Representatives

Florida State Senate

Florida House of Representatives

Manatee County Board of County Commissioners

The Board of Commissioners include the following:

Public education

Other offices

Voter registration

Information as of January 12, 2019.

See also

* National Register of Historic Places listings in Manatee County, Florida


External links

Government links/Constitutional offices

Manatee County Board of County Commissioners
official website
Manatee County Supervisor of Elections

Manatee County Property Appraiser

Manatee County Sheriff's Office

Manatee County Tax Collector

Manatee County Search & Rescue

Special districts

Manatee County Public Schools

Southwest Florida Water Management District

Port Authority of Manatee County, Florida
Economic Development
Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation

Judicial branch

Manatee County Clerk of Courts

Office of the State Attorney, 12th Judicial Circuit of Florida
serving DeSoto County, Florida, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota County, Sarasota counties
Circuit and County Court for the 12th Judicial Circuit of Florida

Education and cultural resources

South Florida Museum, Bishop Planetarium and Parker Aquarium

Tourism links

Manatee Chamber of Commerce

Florida Gulf Islands
Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
Village of the Arts
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