September 23, 2014

community portrait

Daytona Beach & Volusia County

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

Quality of Life

Canaveral National Seashore
Canaveral National Seashore

» Transportation: Average time spent commuting is less than national and state averages. Daytona Beach International Airport serves more than half a million passengers.


Ponce Inlet Lighthouse
Ponce Inlet Lighthouse [Photo: iStock]

» History: In addition to various Indian shell mounds, the second-tallest lighthouse in the country is at Ponce DeLeon Inlet. The county also is home to the ruins of several sugar and indigo plantations. The Mary McLeod Bethune Home, built in 1914 and located on the campus of Bethune-Cookman, is also the gravesite of Bethune.


» Nature: Between the beaches, rivers, springs and various state parks, Volusia has one of the most diverse and extensive inventories of natural lands in the state. Blue Spring on the St. Johns River is a designated Manatee Refuge and one of the most beautiful springs in the state. The county also is home to Bulow Creek State Park, Canaveral National Seashore, DeLeon Springs State Park, Hontoon Island State Park, Lake George State Forest, Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge, North Peninsula State Park, Tiger Bay State Forest and Tomoka State Park. In 2000, the citizens of Volusia County enacted a tax that created the Volusia Forever program, dedicated to acquiring and preserving recreational and environmentally sensitive lands and biodiversity. The program works with federal, state and local agencies and has acquired more than 32,000 acres.

Blue Spring
Manatees flock to Blue Spring [Photo: Kimberly Eisele - Florida DEP]

» Arts: The county has a notable arts presence, from the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts and Sciences and its collection of Cuban art, to the Ormond Memorial Art Museum and Gardens, the African-American Museum of the Arts, the Museum of Florida Art, the Southeast Museum of Photography at Daytona State College and the Homer and Dolly Hand Art Center at Stetson University and its collection of art by Modernist painter Oscar Bluemner. Some 31 arts organizations funded by the Cultural Council of Volusia County have combined budgets of more than $10 million and serve more than 1.2 million — twice the county’s population.

London Symphony Orchestra
The London Symphony Orchestra performs during the Daytona Beach International Festival.

In addition, a new organization, the Volusia Performing Arts Consortium, will absorb the Daytona Beach International Festival and take over ticketing and coordination of performing arts events at all major venues in Daytona Beach, including the Peabody Auditorium, Ocean Center Daytona Beach, News-Journal Center at Daytona State College and Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center.

Southeast Museum of Photography
The Southeast Museum of Photography at Daytona State College

» Health: Reflecting the presence of strong medical organizations, the county ranks in the most favorable quartiles of most of the health indicators tracked by the state. The state notes positive trends in death and hospitalization rates for both heart attacks and strokes, along with positive trends in death rates for lung cancer, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer. Negative trends were noted for diabetes and asthma hospitalization rates and reported cases of syphilis and chlamydia. The county has a higher percentage of births to unwed teenage mothers than the state average.


» Schools: The Volusia County School District received an “A” districtwide from the Florida Department of Education for the 2008-09 school year. Among the county’s high schools, there were 3 D’s, 3 C’s and 3 B’s.

LPGA Legends Course
The LPGA Legends course

» Sports: In addition to every kind of water sport and the massive motorsports presence created by NASCAR, Daytona International Speedway and other racetracks, Volusia also has a Chicago Cubs Class A minor league baseball team and is home to the LPGA headquarters and the Florida Tennis Center.

FL Tennis Center
The Florida Tennis Center hosts many junior and adult tournaments.
[Photo: Lynn Parfitt]

» Government: In 2008, Fitch Ratings gave the county’s sales tax revenue bonds an “A” and called the county’s financial position “stable” with sufficient coverage levels and reserves.

A 2007 consultant’s report said the county needed to evaluate its organizational structure and become “less bureaucratic and more ‘customer’ focused.”


» Crime: The rate of crime per 100,000 residents places Volusia County 22nd in the state.

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