Geography and Demographics
Located midway along the west coast of Florida, the county’s boundaries encompass 740 square miles. The county is bordered on the north by Hillsborough County, on the south by Sarasota County, on the east by Hardee and DeSoto Counties, and on the west by the Gulf of Mexico. There are six incorporated municipalities within Manatee County; Palmetto, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, Anna Maria, and Longboat Key. Bradenton is the largest city in Manatee County with a population of 54,437 and serves as the county seat.
The county’s population has grown 28.1 percent from 278,001 in 2002 to 356,133 in 2016, based on estimates from the University of Florida, Bureau of Economics and Business Research (BEBR). While the county is known to be one of the best retirement areas in the nation, the median age has dropped from 49 in 1970 to 46 in 2010. Median household income is now at $44,800 based on information from the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation and US Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Manatee County has a diversified economic base with the three largest industry sectors being services, retail and manufacturing. The county also has a strong tourism and agricultural base. These bases, with the exception of agriculture, have recently been tested, as the county continues to experience the impact of the global economic downturn. Some of the larger industrial firms include an international family entertainment production facility, a citrus juice producer, aerospace electronics, telephone instruments, packaging machinery, boat manufacturers, aluminum and plastic production facilities, and a contact lens manufacturer. According to the latest information, the four largest employers in the public sector are Manatee County School Board, Manatee County Government, Manatee County Sheriff’s Department and City of Bradenton. Major private sector employers include Tropicana Products, Inc., Beall’s, Inc., Manatee Memorial Hospital, Lakewood Ranch Medical Center and Blake Medical Center. The area is served by an international airport (SRQ) in nearby Sarasota, florida and is connected to St. Petersburg, Florida by the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, a 5.5 milecross bay bridge that rises 250 feet at its highest point.
Port Manatee is located in the northwestern corner of Manatee County. It fronts Tampa Bay and borders the Manatee-Hillsborough county line. An access channel from the Port connects with the federal channel in Tampa Bay only ten miles from the Gulf of Mexico. Port Manatee is the fourth largest of Florida’s 14 deep water seaports. As the major shipping gateway to our community, the Port Authority manages the importing and exporting of many agriculture and industrial products. The Port is a leading venue for shipments of citrus juices and beverages and operates in foreign trade zone #169.
Residents can have outdoor fun all year with an average temperature of 82 degrees. There are many boat ramps, fishing (fresh water and salt water), beautiful parks and nature preserves, athletic leagues, a professional golf, football, baseball, and soccer training facility, the Spring Training home of MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates and Class A Bradenton Marauders, collegiate and world class regional Rowing facilities, variety of festivals, events, museums, an arts village, local theaters, craft beer breweries, live music venues, unique restaurants, a world class shopping mall and local boutiques.
With some of the best schools in the area, Manatee County has a large network of Academic Excellence with 50 public schools, 11 Charter Schools, a Technical College, private schools, nearby colleges, State College of Florida, New College, USF Sarasota-Manatee Campus, plus private colleges, such as Kaiser, and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine is now located in the Lakewood Ranch area of Manatee County.
Imagine a world where no one’s worried about their cell phones. Instead, they are eating a grouper sandwich at a funky little beach bar, kayaking or paddle boarding with dolphins on Palma Sola Bay, Fishing from an old wooden pier, or watching the sky turn 10 shades of beautiful as the sun sets into the Gulf of Mexico. Life is good here. Parents Magazine recently named Coquina Beach #7 of the most Family Friendly beaches.
Take a tour of Manatee County! http://tinyurl.com/pxn25fw
Work That Matters:
Our residents rely on us for many services from insuring a safe and consistent water supply to maintaining clean and safe beaches. Manatee County Government employees are key to delivering services to all of our residents including our seniors, children, families and those just starting out on their own.
Our A.C.E. Philosophy is core to our principles, both in serving our citizens and co-workers... Accountability, Civility and Ethics!
Manatee County offers a generous suite of benefits, including a defined benefit retirement plan, liberal time off benefits, award winning health and wellness programs. See for yourself! http://tinyurl.com/k3jp739
Even though most recent hurricane to hit within 150 miles of Manatee County was Irma in 2018, Manatee County has recovered nicely from the damage sustained. With an unemployment rate at just 3.1%, there is an abundance of opportunities for job seekers at Manatee County.