July 23, 2014

community portrait

Daytona Beach & Volusia County

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

Who Lives Here?

New Smyrna Beach
New Smyrna Beach

» Volusia County

Population: 498,036. The population grew by more than 12% between 2000-08, after growing by nearly 20% from 1990-2000.

White Non-Hispanic: 76.4%

Black: 10.5

Hispanic: 10.7

Other: 2.5

The average age of the population varies greatly depending on the municipality; overall the median age of 42 is slightly older than the statewide average.

» Demography

» The county is the 11th-most populous in Florida and the 11th-most densely populated.

» 88% of those 25 and older graduated from high school — a higher percentage than the state average; 22% have a bachelor’s degree or higher — a lower percentage than the state average.

» Only 12% speak a language other than English at home, compared to about 25% of the population statewide. Only 7% of the population is foreign-born, compared to nearly 20% statewide.

» Some 12.5% live below the poverty line.

» The age distribution of the county’s population is dumbbell-shaped, with residents evenly distributed between the two most populous age ranges of 25-34 and 60-69.

Downtown DeLand
Downtown DeLand [Photo:Jeffrey Camp]

» Politics

The county voted Democrat in the last two presidential elections, with Barack Obama getting 52% of the vote to John McCain’s 47%. In 2006, the county voted for Republican Charlie Crist for governor by a similar margin over Democrat Jim Davis.

» Incorporated Communities

Volusia County has 16 incorporated municipalities. The largest:

» Deltona (pop. 84,264) — Starting life in the 1960s as a Mackle brothers master-planned retirement community, Deltona has grown into the county’s largest town, with a young population — the median age is 32.4. Overwhelmingly suburban, Deltona is equidistant from Orlando and Daytona, and its residents work and play in both communities.

» Daytona Beach (65,208) — The center for tourism, educational and cultural activities in the region, Daytona Beach remains the county’s leading brand. You can drive on the beach, and you can listen to the London Symphony Orchestra, which has a longstanding relationship with the town and visits annually.

Historic DeLand
Historic neighborhood in DeLand
» Port Orange (56,732) — south of Daytona Beach, the community has grown rapidly since the 1980s, with a mix of residential and commercial. The city bills itself as a “community of neighborhoods.”

» Ormond Beach (40,832) — The community, once winter home to John D. Rockefeller, provides a less touristy, more peaceful beach experience than Daytona Beach. The Orlando Sentinel calls it a “local town with local flavor.”

» DeLand (27,123) — County seat and home to Stetson University, the town boasts a quaint, busy downtown and oak-shaded residential neighborhoods with a mixture of older and newer homes. The entire west Volusia area is rich in nature-related recreational opportunities.

» New Smyrna Beach (23,449) — The low-key tourist town is a famous surfing destination and has an active arts community. It’s also a big second-home market for many Orlando residents.

» Edgewater (21,394) — South of New Smyrna Beach, the town lies along the Indian River and is home to a boat builder and honey producer.

» DeBary (18,741) — Striving to retain a small-town identity, the southwestern Volusia town stretches from the St. Johns River to Deltona suburbia to the east.

Surfers at New Smyrna Beach
New Smyrna Beach

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