Highlands County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 98,786. Its county seat is Sebring.
Highlands County comprises the Sebring, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Highlands County was created in 1921 along with Charlotte, Glades, and Hardee, when they were separated from DeSoto County. Highlands was named for the terrain of the county. Highlands County boasted the fifth-oldest population in America in 2012.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,106 square miles (2,860 km²), of which 1,017 square miles (2,630 km²) is land and 89 square miles (230 km²) (8.1%) is water. In area, it is the 14th largest county in Florida. Highlands County is bounded on the east by the Kissimmee River. Lake Istokpoga, the largest lake in the county, is connected to the Kissimmee River by two canals; the Istokpoga canal, and the C41 (outflow) canal.
As of 2015, there were 99,491 people and 39,931 households residing in the county. The population density was 97.2 people per square mile. The racial makeup of the county was 85.8% White, 10.4% Black or African American, 0.7% Native American, 1.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, and 1.6% from two or more races. 18.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 51.3% of the entire population are female. The median household income was $35,560 with 20.1% of the population being below the poverty level from 2009-2013. The poverty line for Florida was $11,490 in 2013.
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