Avon Park is a city in Highlands County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 8,836, and in 2015 the estimated population was 10,086. It is the oldest city in Highlands County, and was named after Stratford-upon-Avon, England.
The first permanent settler in Avon Park was Oliver Martin Crosby, a Connecticut native who moved to the area in 1884 to study the wildlife of the Everglades. By 1886, enough people had followed that the town of "Lake Forest" was founded. As president of the Florida Development Company, he recruited settlers to the area, many of whom were from England, including many from the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, who gave the town its name.
Avon Park is located in northwestern Highlands County at 27°35′40″N 81°30′12″W (27.594418, -81.503437). 27/98 is the main highway through the city, leading north 23 miles (37 km) to Lake Wales and south 10 miles (16 km) to Sebring. Florida State Road 17 (Main Street) leads east through the center of Avon Park, then south 10 miles to the center of Sebring. Florida State Road 64 leads west from Avon Park 19 miles (31 km) to Zolfo Springs.
At the 2000 census, there were 8,542 people, 3,218 households and 2,114 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,841.8 per square mile (710.8/km²). There were 3,916 housing units at an average density of 844.4 per square mile(325.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 58.90% White, 29.2% African American, 0.32% Native American, 0.69% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 8.35% from other races, and 2.28% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.71% of the population.
There were 3,218 households of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.6% were married couples living together, 17.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% were non-families. 28.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.08.
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