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Sumter County is a county located in the central portion of the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population is 93,420. It has the oldest median age (62.7 years) of any US county and the highest percentage of residents aged 65 and older--at 55.6% in 2014-2018 (in 2009-2013). Its county seat is Bushnell, and the largest community is The Villages.
Sumter County was created in 1853. It was named for General Thomas Sumter, a general in the American Revolutionary War. The county in the past, and to this day by some, is nicknamed "Hog County" most likely because it is home to a large population of wild hogs. Hog hunting is still a favorite pastime of locals in the more rural portions of the county.
Although long extremely rural, in recent years Sumter County has sustained an exceptionally large increase in population, almost solely due to the expansion of The Villages retirement complex, a significant portion of which is in the county. This has dramatically changed the demographics of the county and has brought in significant income.
There were 20,779 households, out of which 18.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.90% were married couples living together, 8.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.60% were non-families. 23.50% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.62. According to U. S. News & World Report over half the population of Sumter County are now senior citizens.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 16.10% under the age of 18, 5.90% from 18 to 24, 23.30% from 25 to 44, 27.30% from 45 to 64, and 27.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 49 years. For every 100 females, there were 113.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 113.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $32,073, and the median income for a family was $36,999. Males had a median income of $27,346 versus $21,145 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,830. About 9.60% of families and 13.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.00% of those under age 18 and 7.70% of those age 65 or over. According to The Daily Commercial, Sumter County's unemployment rate as of March 2009 is 13.2 percent.
Interstate 75 runs north and south across the western and northern part of the county, with interchanges at County Roads 476B & 673(Exit 309), SR 48 (Exit 314) CR 470(Exit 321), Florida's Turnpike(Exit 328), and SR 44(Exit 329).
Florida's Turnpike runs north and south from Southeastern and Central Florida. Only two interchanges exist in the county; US 301(Exit 304) and at the northern terminus at I-75(unmarked Exit 309), in Wildwood. Plans are currently under way to reconstruct the interchange, by combining it with I-75 & SR 44.
U.S. Route 301 is the main local road through Sumter County, running southwest to northeast.
State Road 44 runs east and west through the northern part of the county from Rutland into Lake County.
County Road 470: runs east and west from SR 44 near the Sumter-Citrus County Line along the west side of Lake Panasoffkee, then briefly joins US 301 in Sumterville before heading east again towards Lake County.
County Road 48 runs mostly east and west through Central Sumter County. It spans from Floral City in Citrus County to Howey-in-the Hills in Lake County. Until December 2016 the segment in Bushnell between I-75 (Exit 314) and US 301 was designated as a state road. Between the western terminus and US 301, it is also shared by the DeSoto Trail.
State Road 471 runs north and south from Polk County north of US 98 into US 301 in Sumterville.
County Road 475: Two north-south roads that were previously one until Interstate 75 was built. One section spans from SR 48 in Bushnell to CR 470 on the southeast corner of Exit 321 on I-75 in Lake Panasoffkee. The other starts at SR 44 in Wildwood west of Exit 329 on I-75 and crosses the Marion County line towards Ocala.
County Road 466-A:
County Road 466:
County Road 462:
County Road 476-B:
Scenic Sumter Heritage Byway
The Sumter County Chamber of Commerce, the cities of Webster and Bushnell, the Sumter County government, businesses, community leaders, veterans' groups, and individuals worked to have 62 miles of road in Sumter County designated by the state of Florida as a Florida Scenic Byway. On September 1, 2010, the Scenic Sumter Heritage Byway was designated a candidate for the Florida Scenic Highway Program. The Scenic Sumter Heritage Byway became the 24th highway to be designated a Florida Scenic Highway by the Florida Department of Transportation in June 2013. Points of interest along the route include the Dade Battlefield State Historic Site, the Sumter County Farmer's Market, Lake Panasoffkee, the Florida National Cemetery. On January 25, 2014, community leaders, supporters of the byway, and Assistant Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation Brian Blanchard cut the ribbon to the highway at the Dade Battlefield State Historic Site in Bushnell.