Area Info

Relocating to Ocala/Marion County?

The Ocala/Marion County area enjoys a strategic location in the center of Florida. This strategic location is among the refasons why Kmart Corporation chose Ocala as the site for a 1.5 million square foot distribution facility in 1991 with an additional 463,000 foot expansion in 1999. This structure is the largest of its kind in the Southeastern U.S.

Industries located in Marion County have access to major markets and population centers using several intefrstate and US highways as well as railroads. Access to global markets is provided through Ocala's Foreign Trade Zone, as well as two deep-water seaports and four international airports within 100 miles of Ocala.

A Welcoming Atmosphere
Every year thousands of new residents begin calling Marion County home, keeping it among the three fastest growing areas in the nation. The county's welcoming atmosphere makes transitions easy. The variety and affordability of housing ensures that there are homes to suit every taste, lifestyle and budget.

City life
Surrounded by scenic countryside, Ocala has the vitality and diversity of a much larger city. Named the county seat in 1845, it has a wonderful history, yet the ability to move ahead into the next century. Ocala's historic district is a neighborhood of charming tree-lined streets and exquisite Victorian and Tudor homes. Throughout the city and in nearby suburbs are newer developments of single-family homes, condos, townhouses and apartments.

Country life
For those who long for the country life, Marion County offers many possibilities from newly built country communities to weathered farm houses, horse farms, and grand estates. The region's highway system makes outlying areas convenient to Ocala's business and shopping districts. From Belleview in the south, to Dunnellon in the west, and McIntosh or Reddick in the north, homes of brick and frame abound, with new construction continuously expanding the selection for newcomers.

A growing trend in housing is toward attractively designed gated communities. These areas feature luxurious, yet surprisingly affordable custom-built homes. Communities such as Oak Run, On Top of the World, Ocala Palms, Lake Diamond, Spruce Creek, and in nearby Lady Lake, The Villages of Marion, and others offer every imaginable type of recreation, often with clubhouses, golf courses, pools, tennis courts, fitness centers, scenic walking trails, restaurants and a host of indoor activities and opportunities for social interaction.

Modern, affordably priced, single-family homes, condominiums, villas or patio homes are available. More apartment complexes are being built every day, offering rental opportunities with monthly rates running from $350 to $900 for luxurious multi-room units. Houses are priced from $60,000 for a starter home to rural estates and horse farms that begin in the neighborhood of $350,000. The average three-bedroom, two-bath residence is more likely to fall between $75,000 and $80,000.

Whether the choice is a home in town or in the country, residents are never far from schools, health care providers, churches, shopping and commercial centers, governmental services, cultural and recreation activities and above all, the beauty that nature has bestowed upon Marion County.

The scenic countryside, shady forests, and crystal-clear waterways are treasured and protected, but also willingly shared with visitors and newcomers who quickly realize that Marion County, with Ocala at its heart, is more than a place to live…it's a place to be experienced.
County Seat:Ocala
Nearest MSA:Ocala MSA
Largest Cities:

Time Zone:
Local Area Code
1 Ocala
2 Belleview
3 Dunnellon
Miles* To:
New York...................................919
*Miles are calculated from county seat.
Labor Force131,653
Labor Force % of County Population41.6
Number in County Unemployed4,453
Unemployment Rate3.4%
Average Annual Employment98,2107,747,729
Natural Resources & Mining2.6%1.3%
Education & Health Services11.7%18.4%
Trade, Transportation and Utilities22.7%20.8%
Other Services2.6%3.1%
Leisure & Hospitality9.5%11.5%
Financial Activities5.3%6.8%
Professional & Business Services7.8%17.1%
Public administration6.1%5.8%

Average Annual Wage
All Industries $32,643
Education & Health Services$35,854
Financial Activities$38,408
Leisure & Hospitality$14,098
Natural Resources & Mining$24,832
Other Services$23,029
Professional & Business Services$30,695
Public administration$35,365
Trade, Transportation and Utilities$28,019
Major Private Sector Employers
Munroe Regional Medical Center
Business Line: Regional Hospital
Number of Employees......... 2,100
Emergency One, Inc.
Business Line: Fire apparatus manufacturing
Number of Employees........ 1,309
Ocala Regional Medical Center
Business Line: Regional hospital
Number of Employees....... 983
Business Line: Wire shelving manufacturing
Number of Employees........ 915
K-Mart Corporation
Business Line: Distribution
Number of Employees........ 650
Cingular Wireless
Business Line: Customer support center
Number of Employees....... 500
Lockheed Martin
Business Line: Defense contractor
Number of Employees........ 500
Mark IV Automotive - Dayco Ocala
Business Line: Automobile parts manufacturing
Number of Employees........ 476
Swift Transportation Company, Inc.
Business Line: Trucking
Number of Employees...... 440
Class 1
Business Line: Wire harness manufacturing
Number of Employees..... 390
(p) Denotes Projected Population
*Estimates based on IRS Statistics of Income data

Average TemperatureHighLow
Florida Mean Annual Precipitation........53
Average Annual Rain Days.......116

Federal InterstatesInterstate 75
Federal HighwaysUS-27; US-301; US-441
State HighwaysSR-40; SR-200; SR-464; SR-326; SR-35
RailroadsCSX ; Florida Northern Railroad
Nearest Airport with Scheduled Commercial Airline Service:Gainesville Regional Airport
# Runways2
Longest Paved Runway(ft.)7501
General Aviation AirportsOcala International Airport, Dunnellon/Marion County Airport
Local Deep Water PortTampa
Miles to Closest Port90
Private Schools Available: Yes
  • University of Florida
  • Southern College
  • Webster College
  • St. Leo College
  • Webster University
    Junior/Community Colleges:
  • Central Florida Community College
    Vocational/Technical Schools:
  • Marion County Adult Vo-Tech
    Other Schools:
  • none
    Countywide Ad Valorem
    fMillage Rates:

    Ad Valorem Tax Exemption: Yes
    Retail Sales Tax (Local Option)0.50
    Federal Enterprise ZoneNo
    State Enterprise Zone
    Corporate Income Tax6.0%
    Personal Income Tax0.0%
    Retail Sales Tax6.0%
    Cost of Living
    Price Level Index, (2005)
    Florida State Average = 100
    Health Care81.86
    Personal Goods and Services 97.93
    Medical Services:
  • Munroe Regional Health Care
  • Ocala Regional Health Care
    Recreational Opportunities:
  • 15 Golf courses
  • Ocala Jai-Alai
  • Ocala National Forest
  • Rainbow River
  • Silver Springs
  • Silver Springs State Park
  • Wild Waters
    Historical Points Of Interest:
  • Ft. King
  • Ocala Historic District
    Cultural Events/Festivals:
  • Appleton Museum of Art
  • Brick City Center for the Arts
  • Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing
  • Marion County Museum of History
  • Southeastern Pro Rodeo
    People MapStatsMarion CountyFlorida
    Population, 2006 estimate 316,18318,089,888
    Population, percent change, April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006 22.1%13.2%
    Population, net change, April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006 57,2672,107,064
    Population, 2000 258,91615,982,378
    Persons under 5 years old, 2005 16,0921,118,829
    Persons under 5 years old, percent, 2005 5.3%6.3%
    Persons under 18 years old, 2005 62,7334,067,877
    Persons under 18 years old, percent, 2005 20.7%22.9%
    Persons 65 years old and over, percent, 2005 23.6%16.8%
    Persons 65 years old and over, 2005 71,5412,993,160
    Female persons, percent, 2005 51.5%51.0%
    White persons, 2005 (a)260,55414,307,154
    Black persons, 2005 (a)35,1682,799,489
    American Indian and Alaska Native persons, 2005 (a)1,49176,405
    Asian persons, 2005 (a)3,153371,895
    Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 2005 (a)11814,715
    Persons reporting two or more races, 2005 2,958220,206
    Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, 2005 (b)23,9033,467,455
    White persons not Hispanic, 2005 238,50411,052,321
    White persons, percent, 2005 (a)85.9%80.4%
    Black persons, percent, 2005 (a)11.6%15.7%
    American Indian and Alaska Native persons, percent, 2005 (a)0.5%0.4%
    Asian persons, percent, 2005 (a)1.0%2.1%
    Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, percent, 2005 (a)0.0%0.1%
    Persons reporting two or more races, percent, 2005 1.0%1.2%
    Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin, percent, 2005 (b)7.9%19.5%
    White persons not Hispanic, percent, 2005 78.6%62.1%
    Births, 2004 3,182218,053
    Deaths, 2004 3,853169,008
    Infant deaths, 2004 271,537
    Living in same house in 1995 and 2000, pct 5 yrs old & over 50.3%48.9%
    Foreign born persons, percent, 2000 5.2%16.7%
    Language other than English spoken at home, pct age 5+, 2000 8.8%23.1%
    High school graduates, percent of persons age 25+, 2000 78.2%79.9%
    Bachelor's degree or higher, pct of persons age 25+, 2000 13.7%22.3%
    Persons with a disability, age 5+, 2000 62,1803,274,566
    Mean travel time to work (minutes), workers age 16+, 2000 25.826.2
    Housing units, 2005 145,6938,256,847
    Housing units, net change, April 1, 2000 to July, 2005 23,030953,739
    Housing units, percent change, April 1, 2000 to July, 2005 18.8%13.1%
    Homeownership rate, 2000 79.8%70.1%
    Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2000 $81,300$105,500
    Households, 2000 106,7556,337,929
    Persons per household, 2000 2.362.46
    Median household income, 2004 $34,948$40,900
    Persons below poverty, percent, 2004 12.2%11.9%
    Business MapStatsMarion CountyFlorida
    Personal income, 2005 ($millions) 8,161604,131
    Personal income per capita, 2005 $26,893$34,001
    Civilian labor force, 2006 131,6538,988,611
    Unemployment rate, 2006 3.4%3.3%
    Full-time and part-time employment by place of work, 2005 135,05410,121,675
    Full-time and part-time employment, net change 2000 to 2005 21,7791,188,561
    Employment in government, 2005 16,6751,161,853
    Earnings, 2005 ($1000) 4,277,134407,350,735
    Average earnings per job, 2005 $31,670$40,245
    Private nonfarm establishments, 2005 6,892504,6621
    Private nonfarm employment, 2005 81,4957,107,3781
    Private nonfarm employment, percent change 2000-2005 11.4%14.3%1
    Total number of firms, 2002 20,6241,539,207
    Black-owned firms, percent, 2002 5.8%6.6%
    American Indian and Alaska Native owned firms, percent, 2002 S0.6%
    Asian-owned firms, percent, 2002 1.3%2.7%
    Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander owned firms, percent, 2002 F0.1%
    Women-owned firms, percent, 2002 26.1%28.4%
    Hispanic-owned firms, percent, 2002 S17.3%
    Manufacturers shipments, 2002 ($1000) 1,381,48878,474,770
    Accommodation and foodservices sales, 2002 ($1000) 240,96729,366,940
    Wholesale trade sales, 2002 ($1000) 1,392,032219,490,896
    Retail sales, 2002 ($1000) 2,860,280191,805,685
    Retail sales per capita, 2002 $10,496$11,498
    Building permits, 2006 7,063203,238
    Valuation of building permits, 2006 ($1000) 1,060,22835,716,293
    Farm land, 2002 (acres) 270,56210,414,877
    Federal spending, 2004 ($1000) 1,774,507121,933,5021
    Federal spending per capita, 2004 $6,091$7,0091
    Geography MapStatsMarion CountyFlorida
    Land area, 2000 (square miles) 1,578.8653,926.82
    Persons per square mile, 2000 164.0296.4
    FIPS Code 08312
    Major Employers In Marion County 2005
    NameType# Employees
    Marion County Public School SystemEducational Services5,175
    State of Florida (all departments)Public Administration2,400
    Munroe Regional Medical CenterHealth Care2,100
    Wal-Mart (combined)Retail Trade1,935
    Publix Super Market (combined)Retail Trade1,400
    Emergency One, Inc.Manufacturing1,309
    City of Ocala (all departments)Public Administration1,191
    Ocala Regional Medical CenterHealth Care983
    Marion County Board of County CommissionersPublic Administration952
    Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. (combined)Retail Trade895
    Marion County Sheriff's OfficePublic Administration748
    U.S. Government (all departments)Public Administration700
    Kmart CorporationWholesale Trade650
    Cingular WirelessSupport Services500
    Lockheed MartinManufacturing500
    Mark IV Automotive - Dayco OcalaManufacturing476
    Swift Transportation Company, Inc.Transportation440
    Advantage Medical Staffing (combined)Health Care400
    Class 1 (combined with Class 1 Harness Plant)Manufacturing/Wholesale Trade390
    Central Florida Community CollegeEducational Services368
    Burger King (combined)Food Services350
    Florida Smart Parks - Silver Springs/Wild WatersRecreation350
    McDonalds (combined)Food Services350
    Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage CorporationFinance350
    Skyline Corporation (combined)Manufacturing315
    AMCO Water Metering Systems, Inc.Manufacturing300
    Dial America Marketing, Inc.Support Services300
    Hospice of Marion County, Inc. (combined)Health Care300
    Walgreen Drug Stores (combined)Retail Trade300
    On Top of the World Communities, Inc.Construction298
    Merillat CorporationManufacturing293
    Home DepotRetail Trade280
    Kmart Stores (combined)Retail Trade277
    Marion-Citrus Mental Health CenterHealth Care268
    Sonny's Real Pit BBQ (combined)Food Services268
    TimberRidge Nursing and Rehabilitation CenterHealth Care265
    Kash N' Karry Food Stores, Inc. (combined)Retail Trade258
    Sears, Roebuck & CompanyRetail Trade250
    Time Customer Service, Inc.Support Services250
    Kwik King Food Stores, Inc. (combined)Retail Trade247
    Childhood Development Services, Inc.Social Assistance246
    Sam's ClubRetail Trade235
    Ocala Health and Rehabilitation CenterHealth Care230
    Oakhurst Rehabilitation and Nursing CenterHealth Care225
    Radiology Associates (combined)Health Care225
    Signature Brands, LLCManufacturing225
    West Marion Community HospitalHealth Care217
    Palm Garden Nursing Care Rehabilitation CenterHealth Caref213
    Flair CorporationManufacturing210
    Brown SchoolEducational Services200
    New Horizon Rehabilitation CenterHealth Care200
    Pizza Hut (combined)Food Services200
    SPRINT Florida, Inc.Telecommunications200
    Star Banner CorporationWholesale Trade/Information200
    Townley Manufacturing Company, Inc.Manufacturing200
    Wendy's Restaurants (combined)Food Services200
    DECCA/Development & Construction Corp. of AmericaConstruction196
    ARC Marion, Inc.Social Assistance190
    Marion County Clerk of Courts OfficePublic Administration185
    Adena Springs SouthAgriculture180
    Custom Window Systems, Inc.Manufacturing180
    Ocala Electric UtilityUtilities180
    Lowe's of OcalaRetail Trade171
    Capris FurnitureManufacturing170
    Life Care Center of OcalaHealth Care167
    Ocala Breeders Sales Company, Inc.Wholesale Trade166
    Hamilton Products, Inc.Manufacturing160
    Ford of Ocala, Inc.Retail Trade159
    Bank of America (combined)Finance158
    Chariot Eagle, Inc.Manufacturing155
    Central Florida Heart Center (combined)Health Care153
    Ocala Hilton (includes Restaurant)Hotel/Food Services153
    Associated GrocersWholesale Trade152
    Central Security ServiceSupport Services150
    Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.Food Services/Retail Trade150
    Del Webb's Spruce Creek Country ClubConstruction150
    J.C. PenneyRetail Trade150
    Margie Wood TruckingTransportation150
    Porter's Nursery and Crafts (combined)Retail Trade150
    SunTrust Bank (combined)Finance150
    Eckerd Drug Stores (combined)Retail Trade145
    Surrey Place Health and Rehabilitation CenterHealth Care145
    Taco Bell (combined)Food Services145
    TargetRetail Trade145
    Cone Distributing, Inc.Wholesale Trade140
    Nobility Homes, Inc. (combined)Manufacturing139
    Ocala Critical Care & Kidney Group, Inc. (combined)Health Care139
    Ocala Eye (combined)Health Care137
    Georgia-Pacific CorporationManufacturing135
    Sullivan Pontiac Cadillac GMC (combined)Retail Trade135
    American Panel CorporationManufacturing130
    AmSouth Bank (combined)Finance130
    Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & BarFood Services130
    MFM Industries, Inc.Manufacturing130
    Carlton Manufacturing, Inc.Manufacturing125
    Clairson Industries, LLCManufacturing125
    Dixie Metal Products, Inc.Manufacturing125
    Kentucky Fried Chicken (combined)Food Services125
    Marion Medical AssociatesHealth Care125
    Ocala Freightliner, Inc.Wholesale Trade125
    Olive GardenFood Services125
    RMS Communications Group, Inc.Re-Manufacturing125
    Carmichael's Restaurant & Catering Co. (combined)Food Services120
    Checkers Drive-In, Inc. (combined)Food Services120
    Family Care Specialists, Inc. (combined)Health Care120
    Progress EnergyUtilities120
    Marion House Health Care CenterHealth Care120
    Oakwood Nursing CenterHealth Care120
    Waffle House (combined)Food Services120
    Marion County Tax Collector's OfficePublic Administration118
    Park Place of Ocala (combined)Health Care115
    Bennigan's Grill & Tavern (combined)Food Services113
    Buchanan-Jenkins Honda-HyundaiRetail Trade110
    Palm Chevrolet & Palm KIARetail Trade110
    Bernie Little Distributing, Inc.Wholesale Trade105
    Blockbuster Video (combined)Retail Trade100
    Bo Williams BuickRetail Trade100
    CCS Mechanical, Inc.Scientific Services100
    Coldwell Banker/Ellison Realty, Inc.Real Estate100
    Our community has emerged into a thriving manufacturing base, a regional commercial center and has witnessed dramatic jumps in our workforce. This diversification along with a central location, mild climate, close proximity to universities and international airports and an available workforce are all factors which have contributed to the expansion and attraction of new businesses to our county. This sustained economic growth has resulted in a strong, stable economy and a good quality of life which all our residents have come to enjoy.
    Effective Buying Income
    Total EBI$4,005,349,000
    Median Hsld. EBI$27,582
    % of Hslds. by EBI Group
    $20,000 - $34.99932.8%
    $35,000 - $49,99919.1%
    Buying Power Index.0832
    Retail Sales by Type
    Retail Store GroupTotal Amount
    Food/Beverage Stores$446,479,000
    Food Service/ Drinking Est.$169,674,000
    General Merchandise$600,655,000
    Furniture, Home Furnishings,
    Electronic & Appliances
    Motor Vehicle & Parts Dealers$812,956,000
    Total Retail Salesf$3,187,434,000
    Building Permit Annual Activity
    Total Residential Value$341,537,000
    Single Family3,092
    Number of Housekeeping Units2
    Government and Taxes
    Local Government in Mafrion County has a reputation for rolling out the red carpet, not the red tape. State and local business assistance programs compliment administrations which are already friendly to business. The City of Ocala is one of five Florida communities which has received the Sustainable Community designation from the State of Florida’s Department of Community Affairs. This designation provides the city officials greater control and flexibility in the land use planning process. This will in turn enable our local government to cut through red tape in an era when many businesses suffer in an extensively regulated business environment.

    You won't find these taxes in Florida:

    • NO personal income tax NO annual corporate franchise tax levied on stock
    • NO inventory tax NO property tax on goods in transit up to 180 days
    • NO sales tax on boiler fuels NO corporate income tax on subchapter S corporations
    • NO state level property tax NO sales tax on raw materials incorporated into product
    Local Property Taxes
    GOVERNMENTAL JURISDICTION20022001200019991998
    Marion County6.04006.06006.18006.15006.1500
    School Board9.43609.50009.656010.524010.5240
    City of Ocala5.77845.77845.83685.27435.2743
    City of Belleview4.02724.36604.55704.55704.5570
    City of Dunnellon6.50006.50006.50006.30006.3000
    City of McIntosh1.58001.75001.89872.25302.2530
    Water Mgmt District (SJRWMD)¹0.46200.46200.47200.48200.4820
    Water Mgmt District (SWFWMD)²0.42200.42200.42200.7200N/A
    MSTU (Law Enforcement)³