Manatee County, Florida
Manatee County Administration Building
Location within the U.S. state of Florida
Florida's location within the U.S.
|Founded||January 9, 1855|
|Named for||Florida manatee|
|• Total||893 sq mi (2,310 km2)|
|• Land||743 sq mi (1,920 km2)|
|• Water||150 sq mi (400 km2) 16.8%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||519/sq mi (200/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
Manatee County is a county in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 US Census, the population was 322,833. Manatee County is part of the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton Metropolitan Statistical Area. Its county seat and largest city is 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Libraries
- 6 Education
- 7 Communities
- 8 Transportation
- 9 Government
- 9.1 Political history
- 9.2 Law enforcement and justice
- 9.3 Recent presidential election results
- 9.4 Government officials
- 9.5 Voter registration
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The area now known as Manatee County had been inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years.
De Soto Expedition
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 about 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 that 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 at 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.
Manatee County had the Gamble Plantation, a sugar plantation that was one of the South's finest.
- Hillsborough County – north
- Polk County – northeast
- Hardee County – east
- DeSoto County – southeast
- Sarasota County – south
State & Nationally protected areas
- De Soto National Memorial
- Passage Key National Wildlife Refuge
- Lake Manatee State Park
- Terra Ceia Preserve State Park
- Myakka River State Park
- Madira Bickel Mound State Archaeological Site
|U.S. Decennial Census|
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% White, 9.2% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.8% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, and 1.8% from two or more races. 16.1% of the population were Hispanic or 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% White, 8.19% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.90% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.84% from other races, and 1.39% from two or more races. 9.30% of the population were Hispanic or 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 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.
Tropicana was founded here in the 1950s. They were later bought by PepsiCo but continue to produce products there today.
|Location||1301 Barcarrota Blvd West|
Bradenton, Florida 14203
|Items collected||Books, Movies, Newspapers|
|Access and use|
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 1980s. 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
- Braden River - Bradenton
- Island - Holmes Beach
- South Manatee - Bradenton
- Rocky Bluff - Ellenton
- Talking Book Library is administered through the Bureau of Braille and Talking Books Library, Daytona 
History of libraries
Public libraries in Manatee County began in the year 1898 with a privately owned rental library created by Mrs. Julia Fuller in the Mrs. Bass Dry Goods store. The first independent library building in the county was opened in Bradenton in 1907, followed by Palmetto building a Carnegie Library in 1914 and Bradenton doing the same in 1918. For much of the 20th century, libraries in both cities were free to city residents while county residents had to pay a non-resident fee. In 1964, the city library associations in Bradenton and Palmetto merged with the Manatee County government to create what is now known as the Manatee County Public Library System. This was followed by the establishment of a bookmobile for rural areas in late 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, eventually followed by the modern Central Public Library in downtown Bradenton in 1978.
The 1990s saw a period of rapid growth for Manatee County, and the library system grew to accommodate, with the Braden River, Rocky Bluff, and South Manatee branches opening in 1991, 1994, and 1998, respectively, and the Braden River branch subsequently 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
2016 Betty Davis Miller Youth Services Award- Florida Library Association
in recognition of Teen Recycled Fashion Show
2016 Lifetime Achievement Award- Florida Library Association
in recognition of Kevin Beach, for a long-standing, distinguished record of professional achievements and accomplishments.
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
2015 Keep Manatee Beautiful Recycling Award- Government Category
in recognition of the Recycled Dreams Teen Fashion Show of Recycled Materials
2014 Libraries Change People's Lives Award- Florida Library Association
in recognition of expanded Hispanic Services 
2013 Library Innovation Award- Florida Library Association
in recognition of expanded services, programs, and activities focusing on community needs
2013 Betty Davis Miller Youth Services Award- Florida Library Association
in recognition of Mana-Con Comics Convention
Primary and secondary education
- Manatee County School District – Public K-12 School district serving all of Manatee County
- 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
- Cedar Hammock
- Elwood Park
- Fort Hamer
- Lake Manatee
- Lakewood Ranch
- Marsh Island
- Memphis Heights
- Myakka City
- Oak Knoll
- Palm View
- Palma Sola
- Rattlesnake Key
- Snead Island
- Terra Ceia
- Village of the Arts
- Ward Lake
- U.S. Route 19
- U.S. Route 41
- U.S. Route 301
- State Road 64
- State Road 70
- State Road 684 (Cortez Road)
- University Parkway
Manatee County is part of the strongly 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.
Law enforcement and justice
Manatee County is a part of the Twelfth Circuit Court of Florida.
Court of Appeals
Manatee County is part of the Second District of Appeals.
Recent presidential election results
United States Senate
|Class 3 Senator||Marco Rubio||Republican|
|Class 1 Senator||Rick Scott||Republican|
United States House of Representatives
|Florida's 16th Congressional District||Vern Buchanan||Republican|
Florida State Senate
Florida House of Representatives
Manatee County Board of County Commissioners
The Manatee County Board of Commissioners include the following:
|Manatee County Board of County Commissioners|
|District 1||Priscilla W. Trace|
|District 2||Reggie Bellamy|
|District 3||Stephen R. Jonsson|
|District 4||Misty Servia|
|District 5||Vanessa Baugh|
|District 6[note 1]||Carol Whitmore|
|District 7[note 1]||Betsy Benac|
- At-large, representing the entire county.
|Manatee County School Board|
|District 1||Gina Messenger||November 2020|
|District 2||Charlie Kennedy||November 2018|
|District 3||Dave “Watchdog” Miner||November 2020|
|District 4||Dr. Scott L. Hopes||November 2018[note 1]|
|District 5||John A. Colón||November 2018[note 2]|
- On July 21, 2017, Governor Rick Scott appointed Hopes to fill the then-vacant seat on the Manatee board following resignation of Karen Carpenter's seat effective June 1, 2017.
- On September 4, 2015, Governor Rick Scott appointed Colón to fill the then-vacant seat on the Manatee board following the death of Mary S. Cantrell.
|Clerk of the Circuit Court||Angelina M. Colonneso||Republican||2015†|
|Property Appraiser||Charles E. Hackney||Republican||1992|
|Supervisor of Elections ||Mike Bennett||Republican||2013|
|Tax Collector ||Ken Burton, Jr||Republican||1992|
Information as of January 12, 2019.
|Voter registration and party enrollment|
|Party||Number of voters||Percentage|
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- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- Publications of the Florida Historical Society. Florida Historical Society. 1908. p. 33.
- "World Population Review | Manatee County, Florida Population 2019". worldpopulationreview.com. Retrieved March 25, 2019.[permanent dead link]
- "Manatee History Matters: Braidentown, Bradentown, Bradenton - What's in a name?". bradenton. Archived from the original on May 22, 2017. Retrieved April 5, 2017.
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- ""Manatee County Public Library System" Retrieved March 15, 2015". Archived from the original on February 25, 2013. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
- Palmetto Friends of the Library. (Spring 2015). Palmetto Friends of the Library Newsletter.
- Aronson, Claire. "Manatee County creates model for local Little Free Library program". bradenton.com. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
- ""Library Card Policies" Retrieved March 15, 2015". Archived from the original on March 26, 2015. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
- http://www.mymanatee.org/home/government/departments/neighborhood-services/library/locations-hours.html%7C Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine "Locations and Hours: Manatee County Public Library System" Retrieved April 19, 2013
- "2016 Library of the Year". FLA. Archived from the original on August 3, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
Link found in "Awards History" for current winners.
- "2016 Betty Davis Miller Youth Services Award". FLA. Archived from the original on August 3, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
Link found in "Awards History" for current winners.
- "2016 Lifetime Achievement Award". FLA. Archived from the original on August 3, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
Link found in "Awards History" for current winners.
- "2016 Outstanding Friends Member". FLA. Archived from the original on August 3, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
Link found in "Awards History" for current winners.
- "2015 Keep Manatee Beautiful Recycling Award". FLA. Archived from the original on August 7, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
Listed under 2015 Awards Celebration Winners.
- "2014 Libraries Change People's Lives Award". FLA. Archived from the original on August 3, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
Link to 2014 award winners.
- "2013 Library Innovation Award". FLA. Archived from the original on August 3, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
Link to 2013 award winners.
- "2013 Betty Davis Miller Youth Services Award". FLA. Archived from the original on August 3, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
Link to 2013 award winners.
- "MCAT". www.ridemcat.org. Archived from the original on April 2, 2017. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
- Sullivan, Robert David (June 29, 2016). "How the red and blue map evolved over the past century". America: The Jesuit Review of Faith & Culture. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
- "Manatee County Sheriff's office". Manatee County Sheriff. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
- David Leip. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
- "Board of County Commissioners". Manatee County Government. Archived from the original on May 9, 2017. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
- "School Board Members". School District of Manatee County. Archived from the original on July 26, 2018. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
- Anderson, Zac (July 21, 2017). "Governor appoints Scott Hopes to Manatee School Board seat". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Archived from the original on July 26, 2018. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
- Delaney, Meghin (September 4, 2015). "Gov Rick Scott appoints John Colon to Manatee School Board". Bradenton Herald. Archived from the original on April 22, 2017. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
- "Manatee County Supervisor of Elections > Home". VoteManatee.com. Archived from the original on April 13, 2017. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
- Collector, Manatee County Tax. "Manatee County Tax - Welcome". TaxCollector.com. Archived from the original on May 12, 2017. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
- "Manatee County Supervisor of Elections > Home". Manatee County Supervisor of Elections. Archived from the original on February 1, 2019. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Manatee County, Florida.|
|Wikisource has the text of an 1879 American Cyclopædia article about Manatee County, Florida.|
- 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
- Manatee County Public Schools
- Southwest Florida Water Management District
- Port Authority of Manatee County, Florida
- Manatee County Clerk of Courts
- Office of the State Attorney, 12th Judicial Circuit of Florida serving DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties
- Circuit and County Court for the 12th Judicial Circuit of Florida