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Florida Counties

There are sixty-seven counties in the state of Florida. In 1821, there were only two Counties in Florida: Escambia to the west and St. Johns to the east. From these two Counties were formed 67 today. Its last county was created in 1925 with the formation of Gilchrist County from a segment of Alachua County.

Hillsborough County, Florida

Hillsborough County Education, Geography, and HistoryHillsborough County, Florida Courthouse

Hillsborough County is a county located in the State of Florida. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 1,229,226, making it the fourth-most populous county in Florida. Hillsborough County was created on January 25, 1834 from Alachua County and unorganized territory. The county seat and largest city is Tampa. This county is named for Wills Hill, 1st Marquess of Downshire (1718-1793), former Secretary of State of the American Colonies.

Hillsborough County is included in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Hillsborough County Name

This county is named for Wills Hill, 1st Marquess of Downshire (1718-1793), former Secretary of State of the American Colonies.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Hillsborough County History

Hillsborough County was created on January 25, 1834 from Alachua and Monroe counties. The county is named for Wills Hill, Viscount Hillsborough of England. The county's boundaries of 1834 included the present-day counties of Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,266 square miles (3,279 km2), of which, 1,051 square miles (2,722 km2) of it is land and 215 square miles (558 km2) of it (17.00%) is water.

Hillsborough county is located close to the center of Florida. A narrow strip of Hillsborough County extends to the west to the Gulf of Mexico roughly along the Tampa Port Shipping Channel. This has the impression of keeping Hillsborough County from being landlocked. The central portion of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge is in Hillsborough County as is Egmont Key at the entrance to Tampa Bay. This narrow strip of land actually separates Pinellas County from Manatee County.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Pasco County
  • East: Polk County
  • Southeast: Hardee County
  • South: Manatee County
  • West: Tampa Bay; Pinellas County


Hillsborough County Public Schools operates public schools in the county. Hillsborough County has the eighth largest school district in the United States consisting of 206 schools (133 elementary schools, 42 middle schools, 2 K-8 schools, 27 traditional high schools and 4 career centers; 73 additional schools including charter, ESE, etc.). In 2013, twelve out of Hillsborough County's 27 public high schools were ranked in Newsweek's list of America's Best High Schools. In 2012 and 2013, all 27 public high schools were included on the Washington Post's list of the 2000 most challenging schools in America

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