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Welcome to Lee County
County Information
The county makes up the entirety of the Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, and is the most populous county in Southwest Florida.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2000, the population of Lee County was 440,888. The population estimate for 2008 was 623,725.

Its county seat is Fort Myers, and its largest city is Cape Coral

Cities in Lee County include Alva, Boca Grande, Bonita Springs, Bokeelia, Captiva, Cape Coral, Cypress Lake, Estero, Forest Island Park, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, Fort Myers Shores, Fort Myers Villas, Gateway, Iona, Lehigh Acres, Lochmoor Waterway Estates, McGregor, Morse Shores, North Fort Myers, Page Park, Pine Island Center, Punta Rassa, San Carlos Park, St James City, Sanibel, St. James City, Suncoast Estates, Tice, Waterway Estates, Villas and Whiskey Creek.

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  County Demographics  
  As of the census of 2000, there were 440,888 people, 188,599 households, and 127,681 families residing in the county. The population density was 549 people per square mile . There were 245,405 housing units at an average density of 305 per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 87.69% White, 6.59% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.77% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 3.07% from other races, and 1.55% from two or more races. 9.54% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 86.7% spoke English, 8.7% Spanish and 1.1% German as their first language.

In 2005 the population was 76.6% non-Hispanic white, 14.3% Latino, 7.5% African-American and 1.1% Asian.

There were 188,599 households out of which 22.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.50% were married couples living together, 8.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.30% were non-families. 25.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.73. In the county the population was spread out with 19.60% under the age of 18, 6.20% from 18 to 24, 24.00% from 25 to 44, 24.80% from 45 to 64, and 25.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.2 years. For every 100 females there were 95.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $40,319, and the median income for a family was $46,430. Males had a median income of $31,247 versus $24,380 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,542. About 6.70% of families and 9.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.20% of those under age 18 and 5.60% of those age 65 or over.
  County History  
  Lee County was created in 1887 from Monroe County. It was named for Robert E. Lee, Confederate general in the American Civil War.

Incorporated in 1886, Fort Myers is the center of a popular tourist area in Southwest Florida and the seat of Lee County. It is located about 120 miles south of Tampa at the meeting point of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caloosahatchee River. Fort Myers was the frequent winter home of Thomas Edison, as well as Henry Ford.Lee County has been the host to several Major League Baseball teams for Spring Training, over the past several decades. Currently, it is the spring home of the Boston Red Sox, as well as the Minnesota Twins.

Fort Myers, built in 1850 as a military fort to fend off Seminole Indians that were massacring the areas few settlers, was named after Col. Abraham C. Myers, who was stationed in Florida for seven years and was the son-in-law of the fort’s establisher and commander. In 1858, after years of elusive battle, chief Billy Bowlegs and his warriors were persuaded to surrender and move west, and the fort was abandoned. Billy’s Creek, which flows into the Caloosahatchee River, was named after a temporary camp where Billy Bowlegs and his men awaited ships to take them west.

In 1863, the fort was reoccupied by Federal troops during the Civil War. In 1865 the fort was attacked unsuccessfully by a small group of Confederates. After the war, the fort was again deserted.

The first settlers arrived in 1866, but it was not until 1882 when the city experienced a significant influx of settlers. By 1885, when Fort Myers was incorporated, it was the second largest city only to Tampa on Floridas west coast south of Cedar Key, even larger than Clearwater and Sarasota, also growing cities at the time.

Fort Myers first became a nationally known winter resort with the building of The Royal Palm Hotel in 1898. But what really sparked the citys growth was the construction of the Tamiami Trail Bridge built across the Caloosahatchee River in 1924. After the bridge’s construction, the city experienced its first real estate boom and many subdivisions sprouted around the city.

In 1923, Collier and Hendry Counties were created by splitting these areas from Lee County. As recently as 2004, discussion had taken place surrounding the possibility of the city of Cape Coral becoming its own county, citing in particular a perceived lack of infrastructure support from the Lee County government. However a new county has not as of yet been created.




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