One of the smaller counties in all of Florida, Polk County is one of the more important parts of the “Tampa Bay area”, as well as a key component to the Greater Orlando area, which really makes it an interesting part of Florida’s dynamic.
Situated right smack dab in the middle of the state – literally, right smack dab in the middle of the state – it doesn’t have the same kind of “seaside attractions” and many other areas of Florida have, but there’s a lot to see and do here in Polk County all the same.
Population of Polk County
As of 2010, the general population for Polk County was just a touch above 600,000 people. Its largest city is Lakeland, Florida – though it is relatively close to both the Tampa Bay region as well as the Orlando, Florida metropolitan area. Enjoying a long history as the “center of population” for Florida since 1960, Polk County is a true “slice of life” when it comes to all of the different kinds of people, demographics, and attractions that brings so many millions to Florida on an annual basis.
Short History of Polk County
Not surprisingly, Polk County takes its name from United States Pres. James Knox Polk, though he was hardly the first person to have a hand in developing this part of Florida.
In fact, the Seminole Indians were a major force all throughout this county until the Spanish decided to take as much of the land is humanly possible – led initially by Ponce de Leon. For around 250 years after Ponce de León had arrived on the peninsula the area was strictly controlled by the Spanish, but in the late 17th century Florida started to have a bit of a showdown between French and British factions that wanted a slice of the action.
The Spanish were pushed out, French and British swept in, and they contributed immensely to the general “culture” of Polk County – culture that you can still see today.
Major attractions of Polk County
Though there are a handful of relatively smaller colleges and businesses throughout Polk County, it continues to be a hotbed for people who are looking to set down roots in Florida – as the population numbers continue to grow and almost annual basis. At the same time, there are deep historical roots that you can explore when you spend your time in Polk County, and you’ll also have nearly instant access to the other more “exciting” regions of Florida in both Tampa and Orlando.