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November 25, 2015


Northwest Florida

Charlotte Crane | 4/9/2013

Walton County

» Housing starts regained their 2006 level in 2012, tourism through November was up 18% from the prior year, and the year-end unemployment rate was among the lowest in the state, at 5.7%. A new county administrator was recently hired and a new economic development executive will be added this year.

» Walton County voters approved a half-cent sales tax last year to add a two-lane bridge over the Choctawhatchee Bay and to widen Highway 331, an important link between Interstate 10 and the beaches.

Walton Population: 60,271
Population Growth Rate (2009-13): 2.53%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
17.24% 5.01% 24.09% 35.90% 17.76%
Per Capita Income: $32,625


Gulf County

» The components needed to re-create the port of Port St. Joe are falling into place, says port authority Chairman Leonard Costin. “The St. Joe Co. relooked at its assets — 5,000 acres along the canal — and decided to change their model to development of the port; Genesee & Wyoming Rail is putting up matching funds with St. Joe to bring the rail line up to standards, and the next step is to get dredging on the ship channel to the approved depth,” Costin says.

Gulf Population: 16,016
Population Growth Rate (2009-13): 0.13%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
12.89% 4.28% 28.26% 37.18% 17.38%
Per Capita Income: $28,108


Jackson/Calhoun/Liberty Counties

» Jackson County gained manufacturing jobs when Home Source International announced plans to open a Marianna factory last year, with employment set for 300 by the end of 2015, and through expansion of Mowrey Elevator.

» A theater venue also was added with construction of Chipola Center for the Arts.

» Calhoun County retailers report increased sales, new retailers have opened and some existing businesses have expanded. Construction and real estate sales are also improving.

» Liberty County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Johnny Eubanks anticipates announcing a new business later this year that would add numerous jobs. Unemployment continues to remain low.

Jackson Population: 49,922
Population Growth Rate (2009-13): -0.07%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
16.10% 5.50% 26.60% 35.06% 16.75%
Per Capita Income: $30,814

Calhoun Population: 14,892
Population Growth Rate (2009-13): 0.34%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
18.31% 5.38% 26.13% 33.72% 16.46%
Per Capita Income: $24,869

Liberty Population: 8,777
Population Growth Rate (2009-13): 1.27%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
17.65% 5.65% 30.23% 35.11% 11.36%
Per Capita Income: $25,000

Tags: Economic Yearbook, Northwest

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