March 1, 2015

Community Portrait

Ocala & Marion County

More than just gathering data, we're trying to capture elements that make each community distinctive.

Who Lives Here?

Population

Ocala/Marion County: 328,547 (city population is approximately 54,000). The county is the state’s 16th most populous.

Key Demographics

White, non-Hispanic: 76.2%

African-American: 11.9%

Hispanic: 9.6%

Compared to the average in Florida, Ocala/Marion’s residents:

» Are older (43.3 vs. 40)

» Are less well educated (16.5% with bachelor’s degree or higher vs. 25.7%)

» Spend less time commuting to work (24.3 minutes vs. 25.9)

» Are more likely to own the home where they live (76.8% vs. 70.3%)

» Are more likely to speak English at home (90% vs. 74%)

» Have a median household income of $41,128 vs. a state average of $48,637

Growth: Marion has been among Florida’s fastest-growing rural counties, with the population increasing nearly 40% from 1990-2000 and another 17% between 2000-06.

Politics

Ocala/Marion mirrors Florida; while a majority of registered voters are Democrats, voters elect mostly Republicans. In the 2008 presidential election, John McCain got 55% of the county’s vote, compared to 43% for Barack Obama.

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Gov Scott has proposed to increase funding to education, and half of those monies will come from property taxes. The debate is: A) is Scott's proposal a tax? Or, B) is Scott just using new monies that would come in because property values are increasing?

  • A) It's a tax
  • B) It's not a tax - only tapping natural increases in revenue

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