About the County

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Okeechobee County will provide responsive government services to its citizens in a well-managed, cost effective, fiscally sound, policy driven manner. All services provided shall benefit the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens.

Okeechobee County is the 54th County in the State of Florida, established on May 8, 1917, from segments of Osceola, St. Lucie and Palm Beach counties. Our current population is approximately 40,000 with a community having a small-town environment that fosters a desirable place to live, work and play.

"Okeechobee” (pronounced slowly, with long vowel sounds throughout) is a Seminole word meaning “Big Water”.  It is an appropriate name for the second largest fresh water lake in the United States.  The lake covers nearly half a million acres and is a part of the Okeechobee Waterway. which runs from Ft. Myers on Florida's west coast, up through Caloosahatchee, past Moore Haven through the Lake, and to the St. Lucie canal, to Stuart on the east coast of Florida.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Okeechobee County has a total area of 892 square miles (2,310 km2), of which 769 square miles (1,990 km2) is land and 123 square miles (320 km2) (13.8%) is water. The lake is approximately 37 miles long and 30 miles wide.  The lake is 22 feet deep at its deepest point and averages 12 feet in depth.  At present this is the state's only cross state waterway and accommodates commercial vessels as well as pleasure boats.

Okeechobee is the name of the county, the only city, the lake, and the school district.  Okeechobee is located in south central Florida, about 90 miles south of Orlando and 40 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. As you can imagine, the County enjoys year-round sunshine as well as year-round fishing and outdoor activities. With no state income tax and a cost of living that is 96% of the Florida statewide average, many seniors have decided to make Okeechobee their permanent home.

The City of Okeechobee is the only incorporated area within Okeechobee County.  

Along with tracts of farmland for agriculture and agribusiness, Okeechobee County has an industrial park. The Airport Commerce Park, with almost 100 acres, is home to more than a dozen companies, including aeronautical and non-aeronautical businesses. The available lots are all shovel-ready with roads, power, water, natural gas and high-speed broadband service.

Okeechobee County’s strategic plan includes the following targeted industry sectors, which retrofit into our current business environment: Agriculture, Health Care & Life Sciences, Logistics & Distribution, ManufacturingTourism, and Aviation

Indian River State College has a campus located in Okeechobee to help educate workers for future growth in the region.  Within a 60-mile drive, Okeechobee has a labor force of over 600,000 people, a local work force of over 16,000.  

Our rural labor force has a heritage of hard, honest work with hands-on skills. For generations, people in our community have provided for their families through jobs in agriculture and agri-business, manufacturing, logistics and more.

Okeechobee County sits on the north shore of Lake Okeechobee, which is the largest lake in Florida and the second-largest body of freshwater in the contiguous United States.  The lake is also a key driver in the county’s economy, drawing visitors and residents alike on the strength of its unparalleled opportunities for anglers, and is known as “Bass Fishing Capital of the World”. The Okeechobee Waterway connects the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. We are located 30 minutes from Florida’s Turnpike and I-95. Okeechobee County has long served as the driving force in the dairy and agricultural business, as well as a world-renowned fishing destination. We are a  prime location for global logistics and distribution. The region is centrally located, with easy access to metropolitan areas and a strong transportation network including seaports, airports, railroads and roadways. Major markets from Miami to Orlando to Tampa are reached by state and interstate highways. We are currently home to several international businesses specializing in everything from roof tile manufacturing to online automobile auctions to using fermentation to help produce renewable chemicals for industries across the world.