Escambia County is the westernmost county in the U.S. state of Florida. The 2000 population was 294,210. The U.S. Census Bureau 2005 estimate for the county is 296,772. Its county seat is Pensacola.
Escambia County was created on July 21, 1821. It was named for the Escambia River. Escambia County and St. Johns County were Florida’s original two counties with the Suwannee River being the boundary between the two. The name “Escambia” may be derived from the Creek name “Shambia”, meaning “clearwater”, or the Choctaw word for “cane-brake” or “reed-brake”.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 876 square miles (2,268 km²).662 square miles (1,715 km²) of it is land and 213 square miles (552 km²) of it (24.35%) is water.
Escambia County is part of the Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent Metropolitan Statistical Area.
- Escambia County, Alabama – north (this is one of the very few instances in the United States where two counties with the same name, but located in adjoining states, share a border)
- Santa Rosa County, Florida – east
- Baldwin County, Alabama – west
National protected areas
As of the census of 2000, there were 294,410 people, 111,049 households, and 74,180 families residing in the county. The population density was 444 people per square mile (172/km²). There were 124,647 housing units at an average density of 188 per square mile (73/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 72.35% White, 21.40% Black or African American, 0.90% Native American, 2.21% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 0.85% from other races, and 2.16% from two or more races. 2.70% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 111,049 households out of which 29.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.80% were married couples living together, 15.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.20% were non-families. 26.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.98.
In the county the population was spread out with 23.50% under the age of 18, 12.20% from 18 to 24, 29.00% from 25 to 44, 22.00% from 45 to 64, and 13.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 98.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.10 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $35,234, and the median income for a family was $41,708. Males had a median income of $31,054 versus $22,023 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,641. About 12.10% of families and 15.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.70% of those under age 18 and 9.60% of those age 65 or over.
Escambia County is governed by a five-member Board of County Commissioners, each commissioner representing one of five districts. The County Commission appoints a County Administrator as chief administrative officer of the county.
The chief law enforcement authority of Escambia County is the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.