Home to over 1,000 pristine lakes and rivers, it’s obvious how Lake County got its name. But beyond the bountiful lakes swimming with fish is a landscape found nowhere else in Florida. Rolling hills and stunning vistas comprise Lake County’s unique terrain, leading up to the highest point in peninsular Florida, Sugarloaf Mountain.
Acres of preserves, state parks and a national forest full of flora and fauna attract hikers and avid bird watchers to these undisturbed lands where protected species like the Florida Scrub-jay and gopher tortoise peacefully reside. Any of the county’s many waterfront parks, situated beneath a canopy of oak tree hammocks, are a soothing locale for a Sunday afternoon picnic or to stop for a water break while biking one of the area’s many trails.
Lake County boasts 14 distinct municipalities, each with its own small town personality and unique historic downtown district. Dotted with art galleries, antique stores, mom and pop shops and restaurants to please every palate, from home-cooked comfort food at Lake County’s popular diners to fine dining at intimate lakeside retreats, Lake County’s downtown districts are a refreshing reminder of the way life should be.
The county spotlights its love of the outdoors with the annual Wings & Wildflowers Festival, which has secured Lake’s spot on the map as a premier birding destination.
Farmers markets are not just weekend events in Lake County, where acres of farmland line winding roads through the countryside. The markets’ offerings are cultivated locally at U-pick fruit farms, citrus groves and nurseries.
Quaint bed and breakfasts paying stellar attention to service and detail are a draw for travelers from near and far. Whether for a special event or quiet getaway, economical accommodations and a family-friendly atmosphere make Lake County an ideal destination for an extended weekend trip.
For families, heritage museums, lively festivals and nostalgic train rides add to the allure of scenic Lake County, which has a character all its own.
Sumter County is a county located in the state of Florida, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population is 93,420, and it has the oldest median age (62.7 years) of any US county. Its county seat is Bushnell, and the largest community is The Villages.
Sumter County comprises the The Villages, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Orlando-Deltona-Daytona Beach, FL Combined Statistical Area.
Sumter County was created in 1853. It was named for General Thomas Sumter, a general in the American Revolutionary War. The county in the past, and to this day by some, is nicknamed “Hog County” most likely because it is home to a large population of wild hogs. Hog hunting is still a favorite pastime of locals in the more rural portions of the county.
Although long extremely rural, in recent years Sumter County has sustained an exceptionally large increase in population, almost solely due to the expansion of The Villages retirement complex, a significant portion of which is in the county. This has dramatically changed the demographics of the county and has brought in significant income.
As of the census of 2000, there were 53,345 people, 20,779 households, and 15,043 families residing in the county. The population density was 98 people per square mile (38/km²). There were 25,195 housing units at an average density of 46 per square mile (18/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 82.60% White, 13.78% Black or African American, 0.51% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.16% from other races, and 1.49% from two or more races. 6.29% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 20,779 households out of which 18.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.90% were married couples living together, 8.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.60% were non-families. 23.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.62. According to U. S. News & World Report over half the population of Sumter County are now senior citizens.
In the county the population was spread out with 16.10% under the age of 18, 5.90% from 18 to 24, 23.30% from 25 to 44, 27.30% from 45 to 64, and 27.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 49 years. For every 100 females there were 113.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 113.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $32,073, and the median income for a family was $36,999. Males had a median income of $27,346 versus $21,145 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,830. About 9.60% of families and 13.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.00% of those under age 18 and 7.70% of those age 65 or over. According to The Daily Commercial, Sumter County’s unemployment rate as of March 2009 is 13.2 percent.
In March 2016, the county’s unemployment rate was 6.7%.