NAVIGATION

July 28, 2016

Community Portrait

Escambia, Okaloosa and Bay Counties

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

Destin, Florida
Destin’s white-sand beaches draw tourists from Atlanta, Nashville and much of the mid-South. [Photo: DestinChamber.com]

A Different Feel

In general, northwest Florida:

  • Is less urban and more Southern in character than the rest of Florida.
  • Includes a higher percentage of African-Americans and a lower percentage of Hispanics than the rest of Florida.
  • Tends to be more politically conservative than the rest of Florida; McCain garnered from 59% to 72% of the votes in the three counties in the 2008 presidential election.
  • Has a higher percentage of people who identify themselves as religious; Protestants make up a significantly higher share of the religious population than in most of Florida’s larger urban areas.
  • Has a higher percentage of residents who are native Floridians than elsewhere in the state. Smaller percentages of the population are foreign-born than elsewhere in Florida; fewer residents speak a language other than English at home.
  • Has an economy that’s more influenced by military spending than other areas of Florida.

Panama City-Bay County

Panama City Bay County Florida

White

73% 85% 80%

Black

22 12 16
Hispanic 3.7 3.5 20
City population: 38,533

County population: 163,984

Notable: Nearly 47% of the population of Panama City earns less than $35,000 a year, compared to about 36% of Florida’s population overall.

> In a Nutshell

Bay County is betting big that the world will beat a path to its door, constructing a $318-million international airport scheduled to open next year at a 75,000-acre West Bay green site that’s also blueprinted to contain one of the country’s biggest mixed-use planned communities. Meanwhile, Port Panama City is looking to handle a bigger share of cargo from abroad; St. Joe Co. is re-creating ruralism at River Camps; and retail developer Simon Property has spread the welcome mat at Panama City Beach with upscale Pier Park. The issue now: Will it all pan out as planned?

Pier Park in Panama City Beach, Florida
The upscale Pier Park complex in Panama City Beach. [Photo: Simon Property Group]

Tags: North Central

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single digital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Professors train local police
Professors train local police

Police departments have reached out to FIU’s Department of Communication, in the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts, to create programs that facilitate more effective communication between officers and the South Florida community. 

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Florida regulators have approved new water quality standards that they say will give them more control over chemicals in our water supply. But - the new standards allow more cancer-causing toxins into water systems. Your opinion?

  • I oppose the new water standards
  • Unsure
  • I support the new water standards

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe