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Hillsborough County, Florida

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hillsborough County
Hillsborough County
Flag of Hillsborough County

Official seal of Hillsborough County

Official logo of Hillsborough County

Map of Florida highlighting Hillsborough County
Location within the U.S. state of Florida
Map of the United States highlighting Florida

Florida's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 27°55′N 82°21′W / 27.91°N 82.35°W / 27.91; -82.35
Country United States
State Florida
FoundedJanuary 25, 1834
Named forWills Hill, Earl of Hillsborough
Largest cityTampa
 • Total1,266 sq mi (3,280 km2)
 • Land1,020 sq mi (2,600 km2)
 • Water246 sq mi (640 km2)  19.4%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,381/sq mi (533/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts12th, 14th, 15th, 16th

Hillsborough County is a county in the U.S. state of Florida. In the 2010 census, the population was 1,229,226,[2] making it the fourth-most populous county in Florida and the most populous county outside the Miami Metropolitan Area. A 2018 estimate has the population of Hillsborough County at 1,436,888 people,[3] which itself is greater than the populations of 12 states according to their 2018 population estimates.[4] Its county seat and largest city is Tampa.[5]

Hillsborough County is part of the Tampa–St. PetersburgClearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Best Places to Live in Tampa {Honest Overview of Areas in Tampa, FL - UPDATED}
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  • ✪ Judge Perry Little, Hillsborough County and Florida Circuit Courts


Hi every one, this is your Tampa Bay Realtor Lance Mohr, and this is an updated video on of some of the best places to live in Tampa, Florida. If you're looking at buying a home, the most important decision you can make for you and your family is where you're going to live. What city, what area, what community, what subdivision? Where you're going to live. Because remember, you buy the area, you'll live in the home. The last thing you want to do is pick an area and then a year or two later find out that wasn't the best area for you and your family. So whether you're looking at relocating, or you just moved to the Tampa area, I'm going to go over the different cities and areas so you can make a wise decision for you and your family on where you want to live. All right everybody, so before I get into the best places to live in Tampa, I just wanted to let you know a couple things. Number one, I'm going to use the words areas and cities interchangeably. The reason is because a lot of these places, like Wesley Chapel, New Tampa, Odessa, Riverview, Brandon, Apollo Beach et cetera, they're not cities. They're just areas. They're unincorporated areas. They don't have a mayor, they don't have a city council, so I just want you to understand that. The second thing is, there's really not a best place to live. There's a best place to live for you, so that's why I'm going over this. Obviously things have changed in our area so I wanted to do an updated video, but a while back I had a gentleman call me and he was looking at flying into town, wanted to look at a very specific home in a subdivision and make an offer on it. Well, I asked him a little more information, what are you looking for, what's important to you, describe your perfect subdivision, your perfect town. I ended up finding out he was working with another realtor for a couple months, he wasn't really happy, and he was flying back into town. And after asking him a lot of questions, we decided another neighborhood was going to be a lot better for him. So he went to work that night, looking into the area that I suggested, and he called me the next day and he said, "I'm completely changing my criteria. Why hasn't anybody told me about this other area? It's perfect, it's exactly where we wanted to live." So the reason why I bring this up is the reason why I'm doing this video. I don't want anybody to make a mistake when they're moving. I don't want you to move here, be in a home, and then go over to a friend's house, maybe for a birthday party or a party, and think to yourself, "Wow. Maybe we should've bought a home down here, this is much nicer." So, I'm gonna go over in this video, and I'm gonna just give you straight to the point, and give you what you need to know on these different areas so you can make a good, wise, informed decision and if you have any questions don't hesitate to reach out. All right, so let's start off, and let's start from the bottom down here in Sun City. So we'll start off in Sun City, it's right off the 75, that's real convenient if you want to get to the beaches in St. Petersburg, or Sarasota, or Anna Maria as a lot of these south of the four are. It's a 55 and older community, it started actually out in the 60s where you had small little condominiums and a lot of their condominiums look like single family homes, they're just zoned as a condominium. It's really, really a nice place if you'd want to be in a 55 and older, they pretty much say if you can't find something to do in Sun City Center then you're not alive or you're not trying, because there are a ton of different things to do. There's the north side which is gonna be a little bit less expensive and a ton of golf courses, and then the south side of Sun City Boulevard which is gonna be gated, and they have homes built in the 60s, the 70s, the 80s, the 90s into the 2000s. So that's Sun City Center. If you go over to the east you can see Wimuama, it's sort of a funny name, we have a lot of funny names down here. So Wimuama is really the new frontier. So much of the new construction was being built in Riverview, and it's pushing and it's going further south. So, Wimuama is basically getting a lot of new homes. It's really, really a developing area. Matter of fact the second crystal lake lagoon in the United States is currently being built in Wimuama, the first one was built up north in Pasco County in Wesley Chapel, but it's sort of the new frontier right now, things are moving to the south. If you go over to the west of that you'll see Ruskin. Ruskin's the same way, a lot of development going on in Ruskin. Now, with Ruskin you have the west of the 75 which is more the, I guess, affordable or less expensive area in Ruskin, because it's not as developed. And if you go over on the east side of 75 next to south Riverview, it's gonna be more developed and a little bit higher price but you get a wad of bang for your buck in Ruskin. Just north of Ruskin is Apollo Beach. Apollo Beach is a really nice area if you want to live on the water, it's so, so affordable compared to South Tampa or St. Petersburg and a lot of people like that to live on the water. There is a power plant in Apollo Beach so just understand that, and it's not really beachy, it says Apollo Beach but it's really brown, murky water. Most of the people are on Apollo Beach because the want to get out to the Gulf of Mexico where the blue and aqua water is. But it is very nice, there's homes in Apollo Beach from gosh, probably the high hundreds or low two hundreds all the way up into the multi millions. There's one of the biggest developments, water set, in all the United States is in Apollo Beach. There's a lot of really nice little finger islands if you want to live on the water. Really, a lot of them were built in the 80s, some of them were built in the 90s, and there's some McMansions out there as well. So if you go over to the west, you'll see northwest it says Riverview. Now where the dot is right here, and if you see where my mouse is right here, where the dot is, Riverview is a pretty large area. So this is the north Riverview right here, and Riverview goes all in this area right here, all the way down into ... If you kept on going on 301, which is where my mouse is, if you go onto the west side over here it's gonna be the Ruskin area, if you go further south and go down here you're in the Wimuama area. Riverview, it started off a few years ago when I moved in 2006 and pretty much just mainly first-time home buyer homes, the big drive back then was New Tampa which is further north in Hillsborough County. There's a lot of first-time home buyer homes, but not anymore. Riverview is completely, really blossomed. There's a lot of development going in in Riverview. There's entrance level homes, there's mid level homes, there's semi custom homes, it's just a lot of new construction. There's not much in Riverview prior to the 2000s, it's pretty much all after. So, a lot of people, if you want a place to live and you want new construction, and you have a family, and you want a lot of amenities, you want Riverview, Wimuama, Ruskin because a lot of new homes are going in there. Now, let's go over to the east and you can see right here it says Fishhawk Ranch Lithia. Okay. If you're looking things up on the internet, or if you're talking to someone it is Lithia, but pretty much the only thing in Lithia, is ... not only thing, but Fishhawk Ranch. Fishhawk Ranch is a master planned community. Now when I say master planned, I'm not like a builder, I'm not talking about a planned unit development, I'm talking about something that had a 10-15 year projection on it where everything was projected. Where all the schools were, where all the strip centers are, everything. Fishhawk is a really, really nice area. There's a lot of different sections in there, so it depends what section and what phase you live in. A lot of people really like Fishhawk Ranch because they have four schools, and every one of them is A graded. Now you are a little further away from the I-75. The other thing that attracts people to the Fishhawk Ranch is military. Down in South Tampa, right down here where my mouse is, is MacDill Air Force Base, there are basically buses and shuttles that take people from Fishhawk to MacDill so a lot of people really like that. But Fishhawk is pretty much completely built out on new construction, not that there's not a few homes left, as of the time of this recording but it's pretty much built out. We'll go north of Fishhawk into Valrico. Valrico was an older area primarily built in the 80s, a little bit in the 70s, maybe some in the early 90s. Valrico is a very nice area, it tends to be a little congested trying to get to the 75 because you have to go through the nucleus of Brandon which is the 60 and that's a very backed up road. But it is an older area. Anybody living south of the four right here is pretty much going to Brandon for everything. Brandon has the mall, the movie theaters in Riverview and Brandon, but just any type of restaurant you could ever think of in any type store shopping is in Brandon. Now, Brandon was built primarily in the 70s and 80s, some of it was built in the 90s, some of it was built in the 2000s, but primarily the 70s and 80s, primarily smaller homes, Valrico is going to be a little bit larger homes overall, but if you're in Apollo Beach, if you're in Ruskin, Riverview, and you're going to diner, there are a lot of restaurants in those areas but everything's in Brandon, so just FYI. There's been a lot of talk about a mall going up in Riverview, but with the mall in Brandon I don't know if that's gonna happen. All right, so that's south of the four. Now let's move over to the Channelside and the whole South Tampa area. So the Channelside area is in the downtown area, it was basically started years ago in the last boom in the early 2000s and they had a lot of really, really, really nice projections for the Channelside area, with the wharfs, and restaurants, and that's where our port is if you want to go on a cruise, and that's where the aquarium is, and convention centers all down in that area. But this is really, really, really booming, especially with all the renovation that's going on with billions and billions of dollars projected to go on in the whole downtown area, they've since put up different hotels, they put up the river walk which is just gorgeous. This area's just exploding. I personally think in the next ... I don't know, probably 10 or 20 years that downtown Tampa area, the Channelside area is gonna be one of the predominant places in the country to go. Just with the stuff that they're going to be doing there. So what's going on in the downtown area in the Channelside area? Jeff Vinik, he's the one that owns the Tampa Bay Lightening, and he owns about 85% of all the land down there. He's going in joint with Bill Gates, and they're putting $3 billion into this area, revamping the entire area. It's gonna be unbelievable, so just letting you know that. South Tampa, just next to Channelside where the mouse is if you can see it. This is really the nucleus of Tampa right here, this is primarily built started after the turn of the century, a lot of cigar factories, and a lot of people from Cuba were coming over. Just below in the tip of South Tampa is MacDill Air Force Base, so there's homes of pretty much any value. Homes built in the early teens, and the 30s, the 50s, the 80s, there's a lot of tear me downs out there. If you'll look where the dot is right here in South Tampa you have Bayshore Boulevard, which is a lot of condos and the lofts, and just everything's in South Tampa. Restaurants, car dealerships, you name it, it's in South Tampa. Just north of South Tampa as you can see is the airport, so it's very convenient for people who live in South Tampa, and where the airport is in the South Tampa there's a couple really, really nice malls, a lot of shopping, a lot of things going on there. If you look just right to the airport where my mouse is, if you can see me hovering and swirling, this road right here is Dale Mabry ... everything's on Dale Mabry. So restaurants, and comedy clubs, and car dealerships, you name it. If you go north of Dale Mabry, just on the north side of 275 isn't quite the nicest area in the world, but if you get up to Carrollwood, Carrollwood's really nice. Carrollwood was primarily built in the 80s, some of the 70s, and they're large homes which is very unusual when you think back to the 80s, most homes that were being built were 1300, 1500 square foot homes. Not in Carrollwood. Lot of 2500, 3000, 3500 square foot homes, really nice area. So if someone wants to be near the South Tampa, not quite the price of the South Tampa or in the South Tampa area, and they want a really nice luxurious, older more mature home and area. Carrollwood is the place for them. It's really nice. Just to the east of Carrollwood is Temple Terrace, now that's where the University of South Florida is. Primarily older, it's sort of the opposite of Carrollwood. It's where the little homes were built. 1100, 1300, 1500, 1700, 2000 square foot homes primarily built in the 70s and 80s, a lot of rentals going on there. Now there are some really nice areas in Temple Terrace, but overall it has a lot of the smaller homes. If you go over to the east and you see Westchase. Westchase is a very, very popular and really, really high demand area. Westchase is really, really nice. It tends to get pricey. A lot of executives will live in Westchase because it's not in the South Tampa area, it's not around the airport area, but it is a very, very nice area with golf courses, gated communities, and it's close to the airport. It's close to South Tampa. It's crazy as far as trying to find a home there, because they just sell so quick in Westchase and it's always been like that. Very nice area. Citrus Park is older, it's not quite what Westchase is. Citrus Park has Citrus Park Mall, so there's of course there's the mall right there, there's restaurants right there, it's primarily built in the 80s, again some in the 70s, maybe a little in the 90s, but Westchase is more of a newer area, more of an upscale area. If you go just over to the east and you'll see Northdale. Northdale is to the east, northeast of Citrus Park and just north of Carrollwood. Northdale, gosh, how would I say this? Really nice area. Everything's right up Dale Mabry right there, but it's almost like the little Carrollwood. So, as they were in Carrollwood and building these big homes, 2500, 3500 square feet, when they went to Northdale those were more the 1300 to 1500 to 1700 square foot homes. Now you do have homes 2500 square feet as well, but Carrollwood is definitely gonna be nicer and more expensive than Northdale. Over to the west you'll have Odessa. Now Odessa is, you can see where the dot is. That's where this highway 54 is, that's pretty much the county line. So when you go north of that by Starkey Wilderness park you're gonna be in Pasco County, if you go south you're gonna be in Hillsborough County. So Odessa is part in Hillsborough, part in Pasco. Now Odessa is a little interesting to explain. So Odessa has a lot of acreage properties, it's sort of a rural area. So if someone says to me, "I have a good amount of money to spend, and I want to be in a rural area but I don't want to be up in the country like Dade City," then Odessa could be a really good choice for them. As you can see, there's a lot of lakes in Odessa, much like Land O' Lakes, and there's also a lot of McMansions in Odessa. Now this is the Odessa south of the 54, if you look at the Odessa north of 54 there's a lot of brand new development going on like Starkey Ranch, and other developments, Ivy Lakes's development it was built '03-'06 area, so it just really depends what you want in Odessa, but overall when I have to describe Odessa to people I'll say it's more of a rural area, but expensive homes with big lots. So just to the east of that is the Lutz. Lutz is, again, very difficult to explain. Most of Lutz is in Hillsborough County, some of the Lutz is actually in Pasco County. Most of Lutz is older, built in the 70s, built in the 80s, I mean there's single family homes, there's modular homes, there's gorgeous mansions out there, some communities are gated, some communities are not. I mean, just all over the board in Lutz, but it is a very convenient location and a lot of people like Lutz so it really depends what you're looking for. I can't really put my finger on Lutz because it is such a diverse area of construction in what's out there. I mean, you could literally go and be going up Livingston in Lutz and you'll see modular home track, modular home track, then million dollar homes. So, pretty interesting. Just north of Lutz is Land O' Lakes, and this is in Pasco County. Called Land O' Lakes because there are tons of lakes. Land O' Lakes is overall, it's a newer area. There are homes there that were built in the 80s, were built in the 90s, but most of Land O' Lakes is newer. There's a lot of new developments in Land O' Lakes. So if you want a new home, you want a new area, Land O' Lakes is the place to be. It's really popular, and why a lot of people like Land O' Lakes is maybe they're working by the airport, maybe they're working in South Tampa and they could just go west on the 54 and shoot down the Veteran's Expressway. If you see my mouse I'm moving around by Odessa. Okay, so this right here is the Veteran's Expressway, it's a tollway, so it's really easy if you live in Land O' Lakes. Over to the west right here, or over to the east is Wesley Chapel. Now Wesley Chapel, this is the boom. Wesley Chapel is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. They're absolutely exploding. There's a ton of stuff going on in Wesley Chapel. When I moved here in 2006, Wesley Chapel was like New Tampa's little brother. Just a lot of little first time homes there, for first-time home buyers, smaller homes, entrance level. But as New Tampa started to get land locked and all the ground started to free up in Wesley Chapel it has exploded. There's malls that have gone in, two new malls that have gone in, there's hotels that have gone in, ice rings that have gone in, hospitals that have gone in. Tons of new construction, homes, not just residential but a lot of commercial growth as well, so a ton of stuff is going on in Wesley Chapel and it's one of the highest demand areas in all of Tampa Bay because of that reason. So if you are looking for a new home, and you want to be where all the action is because of the malls, the restaurants, everything, Wesley Chapel is a good place. A lot of times people say, "Well, I want Wesley Chapel or I want Riverview because there's a ton of new homes in Riverview." Riverview is gonna be more about the home, Wesley Chapel is gonna be more about the area, cause you get to get a lot more bang for your buck in a home in Riverview, in a newer home, than you can in Wesley Chapel. So it really depends what you want. Just south of Wesley Chapel is New Tampa. New Tampa was the Wesley Chapel back in 2006 when I moved here. Everybody was going to New Tampa. They called it New Tampa because at the time everything was just new. It was primarily, virtually everything in Wesley Chapel and in New Tampa was predominately built after the 2000s. Now there are communities in New Tampa like Tampa Palms which is a master planned community, and Hunters Green and Pebble Creek that were built in the 90s, even a couple of them in the late 80s, but overall it's a new area. A lot of new homes. Nice thing about the Wesley Chapel and New Tampa area if people's kids go to University of South Florida, it is real close. You do have a huge, huge park backing up and being right next to New Tampa and Wilderness Lake Park. It's really, really nice if you want to go for walks, if you want to do off road bike riding, if you want to do kayaking, canoeing, there's all kinds of things to do up in the wilderness and where my mouse is here it says Hillsborough River State Park, a lot of stuff to do out there. I hope you enjoyed this video. If you have any questions whatsoever on the different areas in Tampa subdivision, builders, don't hesitate to give me a call. I'd love to help you, I would love to talk to you. And if you can, do me a favor. Let me know in the comments below where you're looking at moving. What different areas are you thinking about? And if you haven't checked out my other YouTube videos, check them out. I have a lot of videos for buying pre-owned homes, buying new homes, selling a home, on how to save time, money, and most importantly frustration. I hope this helps you, I wish you the best of luck.



Hillsborough County Courthouse, circa 1891
Hillsborough County Courthouse, circa 1891
Hillsborough County Courthouse and Confederate Monument in Tampa
Hillsborough County Courthouse and Confederate Monument in Tampa

Hillsborough County was created on January 25, 1834, from Alachua and Monroe Counties,[6] during the U.S. territorial period (1822–1845). The new county was named for Wills Hill, the Earl of Hillsborough, who served as British Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1768 to 1772.[7] The County was created through efforts by Augustus Steele.[8]

The county's 1834 area was much larger and included eight other present-day counties: Charlotte County, DeSoto, Hardee, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota.[9]

The last significant change in Hillsborough County's borders was the separation of its western section to create Pinellas County in 1911.

On New Year's Day in 1914, the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line initiated the first scheduled commercial airline service in the world, from St. Petersburg to Tampa.[10]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,266 square miles (3,280 km2), of which 1,020 square miles (2,600 km2) are land and 246 square miles (640 km2) (19.4%) are covered by water.[11] About 158.27 miles (254.71 km) of shoreline are on Tampa Bay.

The county's unincorporated area is around 888 square miles (2,300 km2), more than 84% of the total land area. Municipalities account for 163 square miles (420 km2). The modern boundaries of the county place it midway along the west coast of Florida.

A narrow portion of Hillsborough County to the south, consisting almost exclusively of water, extends west to the Gulf of Mexico roughly along the Tampa Port Shipping Channel. This has the effect of keeping Hillsborough County from being technically landlocked. The central portion of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge is in Hillsborough County. So is Egmont Key, at the entrance to Tampa Bay; this narrow strip of land separates Pinellas County from Manatee County. The northernmost tip of a spoil island just west of Port Manatee also lies in Hillsborough County.

Hillsborough is home to Alafia River State Park and Hillsborough River state parks, and to the C. W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir and Lithia Springs, one of the largest natural springs in Florida.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20181,436,888[12]16.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]
1790-1960[14] 1900-1990[15]
1990-2000[16] 2010-2015[2]

2010 Census

U.S. Census Bureau 2010 Ethnic/Race Demographics:[17][18]

In 2010, 6.0% of the Hillsborough's population considered themselves to be of only "American" ancestry (regardless of race or ethnicity.)[17]

Of the 536,092 households, 29.74% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.25% were married couples living together, 14.76% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.69% were not families. About 27.12% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.96% (2.35% male and 5.61% female) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.11.[21][22]

The age distribution was 23.9% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 25.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.1 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.1 males.[21][22]

The median income for a household in the county was $49,536, and for a family was $59,886. Males had a median income of $43,125 versus $35,184 for females. The per capita income for the county was $27,062. About 10.7% of families and 14.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.9% of those under age 18 and 9.6% of those aged 65 or over.[23]

In 2010, 15.1% of the county's population was foreign born, with 44.5% being naturalized American citizens. Of foreign-born residents, 67.5% were born in Latin America, 16.7% born in Asia, 9.2% were born in Europe, 3.2% born in Africa, 3.1% in North America, and 0.3% were born in Oceania.[citation needed]

2000 Census

As of the census of 2000, 998,948 people, 391,357 households, and 255,164 families resided in the county. The population density was 951 people per square mile (367/km²). The 425,962 housing units averaged 405 per square mile (156/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 75.17% White (63.3% Non-Hispanic White),[24] 14.96% Black or African American, 0.39% Native American, 2.20% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 4.66% from other races, and a 2.56% from two or more races. 17.99% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The county was the thirty-second most populous county in the nation.

Of the 391,357 households, 31.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.70% were married couples living together, 13.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.80% were not families. Roughly 26.90% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.07.

The age distribution was: 25.30% under the age of 18, 9.30% from 18 to 24, 31.70% from 25 to 44, 21.70% from 45 to 64, and 12.00% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 95.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $40,663, and for a family was $48,223. Males had a median income of $34,111 versus $26,962 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,812. About 9.10% of families and 12.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.20% of those under age 18 and 10.00% of those age 65 or over.

Level of Education
Level Hillsborough Co. Florida U.S.

College/Associate Degree 29.0% 28.8% 27.4%
Bachelor's Degree 16.7% 14.3% 15.5%
Master's or PhD 8.4% 8.1% 8.9%
Total 54.1% 51.2% 51.8%

Source: U.S. Census[25]


As of 2010, 74.59% of the population spoke only English at home, 19.52% spoke Spanish, 0.56% French Creole (mainly Haitian Creole), and 0.51% spoke Vietnamese as their mother language.[26] In total, 25.41% of the population spoke a language other than English as their primary language.[26]

Politics and government

Hillsborough County tends to lean Democratic, having not been won by a Republican presidential candidate since the 2004 election. However, for the last quarter-century, it has been a powerful swing county in one of the nation's most important swing states. It is part of the politically important I-4 Corridor between Tampa Bay and Orlando, an area that historically decides most elections in Florida. Hillsborough was considered a bellwether county, voting for the statewide winner in every presidential election from 1964-2012. It has also voted for the winner of the presidency in every election since 1928 except twice, voting for the loser only in 1992 and 2016.

In 2008, Barack Obama won the county by seven points, the first Democrat to capture the county since Bill Clinton's re-election victory in 1996.[27] Obama won Hillsborough again in 2012 over Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney by roughly the same margin.

In 2016, Donald Trump became the first Republican since Calvin Coolidge in 1924 to win the election without carrying the county.

Presidential elections results
Hillsborough County vote[28]
by party in presidential elections
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 44.19% 266,870 50.99% 307,896 4.82% 29,124
2012 46.04% 250,186 52.71% 286,467 1.25% 6,776
2008 45.94% 236,355 53.05% 272,963 1.01% 5,183
2004 53.01% 245,576 46.23% 214,132 0.76% 3,514
2000 50.17% 180,794 47.06% 169,576 2.77% 9,984
1996 44.33% 136,656 46.80% 144,266 8.87% 27,349
1992 42.07% 130,643 37.13% 115,282 20.80% 64,577
1988 59.89% 150,151 39.49% 99,014 0.62% 1,551
1984 64.67% 157,926 35.31% 86,230 0.02% 52
1980 51.71% 106,160 42.99% 88,271 5.30% 10,883
1976 44.82% 78,504 54.01% 94,589 1.17% 2,052
1972 70.13% 106,956 29.71% 45,305 0.16% 249
1968 34.77% 49,441 32.24% 45,848 32.99% 46,913
1964 41.52% 50,616 58.48% 71,289
1960 43.99% 48,887 56.01% 62,240
1956 52.04% 41,889 47.96% 38,610
1952 52.20% 36,316 47.80% 33,252
1948 32.77% 13,529 45.67% 18,854 21.57% 8,903
1944 24.76% 10,252 75.24% 31,146
1940 20.25% 7,805 79.75% 30,738
1936 20.97% 5,361 79.03% 20,202
1932 19.75% 4,711 80.25% 19,143
1928 52.98% 11,703 45.24% 9,993 1.77% 392
1924 22.08% 1,585 62.26% 4,470 15.66% 1,125
1920 30.54% 3,772 56.49% 6,976 12.96% 1,601
1916 10.45% 691 69.95% 4,627 19.61% 1,297
1912 4.07% 159 67.63% 2,641 28.30% 1,105
1908 9.94% 367 73.17% 2,703 16.89% 624
1904 16.38% 516 62.71% 1,976 20.91% 659

A home rule charter for Hillsborough County was approved by voters in a county-wide referendum held in September 1983, and the first county commissioners elected under this new charter took office on May 28, 1985.

The charter divides the power of county government between legislative and executive branches. The Board of County Commissioners, which composes the legislative branch, sets overall policy by means of ordinances, resolutions, and motions.

The executive powers of county government are vested in the county administrator, appointed by county commissioners and charged by the charter to faithfully implement the powers of the board. The charter provides for a county attorney, to be hired by the county administrator with the advice and consent of the county commissioners. The charter contains a provision for a charter review board appointed by County Commissioners every five years to conduct a study of county government and propose amendments to the charter. These amendments must be presented to voters for approval. One amendment was approved in November 2002, adding the position of County Internal Performance Auditor to the government structure. This position reports directly to the County Commission.

Of the seven members of the Board of County Commissioners for Hillsborough County, four are elected from single-member districts, and three are elected county-wide. The board approves the county's operating and capital budgets and the county's capital-improvement program. It may take action on any programs for the improvement of the county and the welfare of its residents.

Government officials

These five countywide elected positions have specific responsibilities under the county charter:

  • Clerk of the Circuit Court: Pat Frank (D)
  • Sheriff: Chad Chronister (R)
  • Property Appraiser: Bob Henriquez (D)
  • Tax Collector: Doug Belden (R)
  • Supervisor of Elections: Craig Latimer (D)

Under a charter ordinance that went into effect May 1985, county commissioners are directed to perform legislative functions of government by developing policy for the management of Hillsborough County. The county administrator, a professional appointed by the board, and the administrative staff are responsible for the implementation of these policies.

The board also serves as the Environmental Protection Commission. Individual board members serve on various other boards, authorities, and commissions such as the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority, Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, Tampa Bay Water, Aviation Authority, Expressway Authority, Sports Authority, Port Authority, Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Children's Board, Metropolitan Planning Organization, and Council of Governments.


Hillsborough County's discretionary sales tax rate increased from 1% to 2.5% in January 2019. When combined with the state of Florida's 6%, the rate is 8.5%, the highest in Florida. The rate includes two surcharges approved by voter referendum in November 2018, 1% for transportation and 1/2% for schools.[29] It is only collected on the first $5000 of any large purchase.

Voter registration

Registration as of 7-11-2018.

Voter Registration and Party membership
Political party Number of registered voters Percentage
Democratic 322,472 38.78%
Republican 263,033 31.64%
Others 245,931 29.58%
Total 831,436 100%



In the early 20th century, Hillsborough's economy was predominantly based on cigar-making and agriculture. In 2012, Hillsborough had the second-largest agricultural output among Florida's counties. As of 2010, the average annual employment in Hillsborough County was 563,292. The percentages of total employment by industry were:

  • Natural resources and mining 2.0%
  • Construction 4.6%
  • Manufacturing 4.1%
  • Trade, transportation, and utilities 19.5%
  • Information 3.0%
  • Financial activities 9.2%
  • Professional and business services 18.1%
  • Education and health services 14.6%
  • Leisure and hospitality 10.3%
  • Other services 2.7%
  • Public administration 4.7%



In 2011, sales of all agricultural commodities produced in Hillsborough County were over $832,410,300. The largest crop by value was strawberries at over $388 million.[32] Values of various crops included:

Hillsborough County Agricultural Production 2011
Crop Sales in dollars Acreage
Strawberries $388,125,702 11,625
Vegetables $150,000,000 13,092
Ornamental plants $139,232,407 3,977
Aquaculture $23,546,112 876
Beef cattle/pasture $18,934,207 91,904
Citrus $18,893,572 10,750
Poultry $18,701,100 22
Sod $7,438,855 2,286
Dairy $6,433,206 1,500
Blueberries $5,500,000 591
Hay $2,374,195 635
Forestry $1,000,000 108,634
Bees/honey $598,767 45
Goats $154,177 518
Miscellaneous $51,478,000 3677
Total $832,410,300 255,532

List of companies with headquarters in Hillsborough County


Hillsborough County Public Schools operate the public schools in the county. Hillsborough County has the eighth-largest school district in the United States consisting of 206 schools (133 elementary schools, 42 middle schools, two K-8 schools, 27 traditional high schools, and four career centers, with 73 additional schools including charter, ESE, etc.).[35] In 2013, 12 of Hillsborough County's 27 public high schools were ranked in Newsweek's list of America's Best High Schools.[36] In 2012 and 2013, all 27 public high schools were included on the Washington Post's list of the 2000 most challenging schools in America.[37]

School enrollment

  • 1997–1998    149,658    3,151 increase
  • 1998–1999    152,809    3,437 increase
  • 1999–2000    156,246    4,500 increase
  • 2000–2001    160,746    5,315 increase
  • 2001–2002    166,061    5,261 increase
  • 2002–2003    171,322    6,235 increase
  • 2003–2004    177,557    7,113 increase
  • 2004–2005    184,670    7,113 increase
  • 2005–2006    190,835    6,165 increase
  • 2006–2007    191,151    316 increase
  • 2007–2008    191,219    68 increase (projected)

Source: Tampa Tribune

Museums and libraries



These libraries are part of the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative:

Federal agencies

State agencies

Local agencies

Several agencies provide law enforcement to the residents of Hillsborough County. They are all accredited and fully certified law enforcement agencies by the FDLE.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

The HCSO is the largest local law enforcement agency in Hillsborough County. Headquartered in the Ybor City District of Tampa, it is responsible for law enforcement services in the unincorporated areas of the county. The county is divided into four districts, each containing multiple sectors identified with a letter (example: H - hotel sector, G - golf sector). The districts and sectors are cut to exclude areas covered by other local agencies.

The school district uses two agencies for security. The sheriff's office employs deputies assigned to various schools throughout the county. They, along with the Hillsborough County Public Schools Security Service officers, are known as school resource officers. Generally, deputies are assigned to schools outside of the incorporated cities and HCPSSS officers are assigned to schools within city limits. For extended services, other local agencies may be called in for support. Most crossing guards are employed in a unsworn capacity by the sheriff's office.

Plant City Police Department

Plant City maintains its own police department and is the third-largest police agency in terms of sworn officers following HCSO and TPD. The agency provides law-enforcement services to the residents of Plant City and occasionally provides backup to HCSO, answering calls close to their jurisdiction.

Seminole Police Department

The Seminole Indian Tribe operates the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino located in Tampa. The tribe has its own police department that operates on the grounds and at tribe events. They also respond to altercations that involves members of the tribe.

Tampa Airport Police Department

Tampa International Airport operates the Tampa Airport Police. They are a full-service agency providing services to the airport and surrounding areas where services to the airport take place.

Tampa Police Department

The TPD is the second-largest agency in the county. They serve the cities of Tampa, New Tampa, Port of Tampa, and other areas surrounding.

Temple Terrace Police Department

The city of Temple Terrace operates a police department with over 50 sworn officers.

University of South Florida Police Department

The USF Police Department has jurisdiction throughout the grounds of USF and other facilities operated by the university. They provide services to anyone located on the property and have full police authority granted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

County jails and courthouse security

The sheriff's office operates the only two county jail facilities and one work release center. The Falkenburg Road Jail is the larger of the two jails. Orient Road Jail was the first in the nation to use open-booking areas.[citation needed] With these being the only jails in the county, other than juvenile detention facilities, the work release center, or holding cells located at multiple police stations and sheriff offices, all local agencies transport persons being arrested to one of the county jails. The sheriff's office also provides security and protective services at the county courthouses in Tampa. With a majority of transportation of inmates to and from the courthouse being handled by the sheriff's office, the inmates remain in the custody of HCSO during the duration of the process until handed over to another jurisdiction, state, or federal custody.

Auxiliary and reserve officers

Some of these agencies also have auxiliary (reserve) deputies, officers, or troopers (here-in known as officer). They are volunteer (unpaid) citizens and generally sworn positions with a lesser certification that requires assignment to a fully certified officer to exercise. Some auxiliary officers are fully certified law-enforcement officers by the state and are permitted by the hosting agency to operate without assignment to a fully certified officer. The services they provide to the community are equal to that of a full-service officer and each agency sets how much service time is required to maintain status as an auxiliary officer. As of March 2016 the following agencies have auxiliary or reserve deputy, officer, or trooper positions.

  • FHP Auxiliary
  • FWC Reserve
  • HCSO Reserve
  • TPD Auxiliary
Special Events

During special events, multiple agencies provide off-duty officers for security and support. They work with the agency within whose jurisdiction the event is taking place. For example, college football games held at Raymond James Stadium are served primarily by TPD and FHP. Other agencies may also support the event.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue serves the unincorporated areas of Hillsborough County. Fire service began in the 1950s as an all-volunteer force consisting of about a dozen loosely associated community-based organizations. The first full-time career firefighters were hired in 1973. The department now has 1,019 career uniformed and support personnel who continue to set the pace in fire and emergency medical response, making it the fourth-largest department in the state. Since the 1997 consolidation of Hillsborough County Fire Rescue and Emergency Medical Services (EMS), the department has placed paramedics on each career, front-line apparatus: 28 rescues, 42 engines, four ladder trucks, and four special operations units operating out of 43 fire stations throughout unincorporated Hillsborough County. As nearly 85% of the department's more than 90,000 emergency responses require some level of medical care, having paramedics assigned to each unit assures that the citizens of Hillsborough County are receiving rapid advanced life-support care.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue and the Board of County Commissioners have implemented a plan to continue placing new fire rescue stations in areas where growth is occurring or gaps in coverage may exist. Fire Chief Dennis Jones leads a senior staff of two deputy chiefs (operations and administrative branches), the fire marshal, and the emergency manager. All fiscal functions, facilities maintenance and supply, apparatus/equipment procurement, emergency dispatch manager, personnel chief, and training chief are under the direction of the deputy chief of administration. The three Shift Commanders, as well as the Rescue Chief and the Special Operations Chief, report directly to the Deputy Chief of Operations. The Operations Chief is responsible for the overall response readiness of all front line personnel. The Emergency Manager oversees all Office of Emergency Management (OEM) planning and operations of the EOC.[38]

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Office of Emergency Management

The Office of Emergency Management is a division of Hillsborough County Fire Rescue that is directly responsible for planning and coordinating the evacuation and sheltering of all county residents in the event of a natural or manmade disaster. This agency is also responsible for planning, orchestrating and coordinating response actions and continuity of government in the aftermath of a major disaster. Preston Cook has been the Emergency Manager since 2011.

The Hurricane Evacuation Assessment Tool has been created to assist residents of Hillsborough County by providing evacuation and sheltering information in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster. This interactive program was designed to assist the public in easily determining if they are in one of the five evacuation zones. It also provides information on shelters, hospitals, fire stations, and sandbag locations.

The Office of Emergency Management also provides information to the public on: Hurricane information, procedures for hazardous-materials spills, and flooding, tornado, wildfire, and terrorism preparedness.


The Sunshine Skyway (I-275) connects Pinellas to Manatee Counties. The middle span is in Hillsborough County.
The Sunshine Skyway (I-275) connects Pinellas to Manatee Counties. The middle span is in Hillsborough County.


The county's primary commercial aviation airport is Tampa International Airport in Tampa. Other important airports include the Tampa Executive Airport near Brandon, Peter O. Knight Airport near downtown Tampa, and the Plant City Airport near Plant City.

Major highways

Interstate Highways U.S Routes State Routes

Public surface transportation

Hillsborough County is served by Hillsborough Area Regional Transit buses.

Nationally protected areas




County subdivisions in Hillsborough County. Incorporated cities in bold; unincorporated CDPs in small font.
County subdivisions in Hillsborough County. Incorporated cities in bold; unincorporated CDPs in small font.


Only three cities are incorporated in Hillsborough County:

Census-designated places

Despite its large population, most of the area of the county is unincorporated and falls under the jurisdiction of the Hillsborough County board of commissioners.[40]

Unincorporated communities

Historic towns

  • Bullfrog Corner
  • Bone Valley
  • Branchton
  • Callsville
  • Chataocolea
  • Chicora
  • Clarkwild
  • Coronet
  • Cork (now Dover, not to be confused with two other places named Cork)
  • Cork (now Plant City)
  • Cosme
  • Dillon
  • Diston
  • Drew Park, absorbed by Tampa
  • East Cove
  • Edeson
  • Flora
  • Fort Brooke
  • Fort Foster
  • Fort Sullivan
  • Gardenville
  • Gary
  • Gulf City
  • Harney
  • Hillsboro
  • Ichipucksassa, aka Ichepucksassa, Hitchipucksassa (now Plant City)
  • Idlewild Park
  • Jackson Springs
  • Keystone Park
  • Knights Station
  • Knowles
  • Lake Fern
  • Lighthall
  • Lillibridge
  • Magdalene
  • Magnolia
  • Mangrove Point
  • Manhattan (absorbed by Tampa)
  • Marvinia
  • Midway
  • Mullins City
  • Nicholls
  • Oliphant
  • Orient
  • Peck
  • Pelot
  • Peru
  • Prairie
  • Riverhead
  • Rocky Point
  • Sparkman
  • Stemper
  • St Helena
  • Trapnell (absorbed by Plant City)
  • Welcome
  • Weldon
  • Willow
  • Youmans[43]

See also


  1. ^ "American FactFinder". Archived from the original on June 25, 2011.
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 25, 2011. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  3. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  4. ^ "American FactFinder" (XLSX). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  6. ^ "Hillsborough County Census". Archived from the original on June 26, 2006.
  7. ^ Publications of the Florida Historical Society. Florida Historical Society. 1908. p. 31.
  8. ^ McCarthy, Kevin (January 1, 2011). Hillsborough River Guidebook. Pineapple Press Inc. ISBN 9781561644872.
  9. ^ Florida Center for Instructional Technology. "Exploring Florida Hillsborough County Maps".
  10. ^ "World's First Commercial Airline - The Greatest Moments in Flight".
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  13. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  14. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  15. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  16. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h "Hillsborough County: Selected Social Characteristics in the United States 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  18. ^ a b c "Hillsborough County Demographic Characteristics". Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  19. ^ "Hillsborough County, Florida First Ancestry Reported Universe: Total population - 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  20. ^ "Hispanic or Latino by Type: 2010 -- 2010 Census Summary File 1". Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  21. ^ a b "Hillsborough County: Age Groups and Sex: 2010 - 2010 Census Summary File 1". Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  22. ^ a b "Hillsborough County: Age Groups and Sex: 2010 - 2010 Census Summary File 1". Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  23. ^ "Hillsborough County, Florida: SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS - 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  24. ^ "Demographics of Hillsborough County, FL". Archived from the original on November 15, 2006. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  25. ^ 2004 U.S. Census
  26. ^ a b "Modern Language Association Data Center Results of Miami-Dade County, Florida". Modern Language Association. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  27. ^ David Leip. "2004 Presidential General Election Results - Florida".
  28. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  29. ^ Grigg, Nicole (December 28, 2018). "Hillsborough County's sales tax to increase Jan. 1, will be the highest in the state". Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  30. ^ "Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections".
  31. ^ "Community Search".
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Contact Us - Shriners International". Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  34. ^ "Contacts Archived May 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine." Delhaize Group. Retrieved on May 17, 2012. "Sweetbay Supermarkets, 3801 Sugar Palm Drive Tampa – FL 33619 - U.S.A."
  35. ^ Hillsborough County Public Schools Archived March 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ America's Best High Schools
  37. ^ "National Schools".
  38. ^ Hillsborough Fire Rescue Summary Archived June 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  39. ^ "Find A Park". Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  40. ^ "Hillsborough County, FL - Official Website - Board of County Commissioners".
  41. ^ "Community Atlas" (PDF).
  42. ^ "Community Atlas" (PDF).
  43. ^ Florida Center for Instructional Technology. "Florida Maps - Hillsborough County".

External links

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