850: By the Numbers

850: By the Numbers

  • 1.3 million people in 2007 – about 7.3 percent of the state – an increase of more than 11,000 from 2006.
  • Almost half of the population’s age is less than 35. More than two-thirds are under the age of 55.
  • More than 661,000 workers.

Economic Sectors

  • Major economic drivers are tourism and hospitality, military and defense, retail, construction, real estate, financial and business services.
  • Second largest drive-in tourist market in Florida, behind Orlando.


  • Four commercial airports, 14 public airports and two deep-water ports, both of which are designated Foreign Trade Zones.
  • First international airport in decades, to open in 2010.


  • One naval and six aviation-related military installations.
  • More than 1,900 business and government establishments directly involved in aerospace and defense with more than 30,000 private sector and non-military government employees.
  • Combined with uniformed personnel, the aerospace/defense industry has a workforce of approximately 70,000.
  • 30 percent of all defense-spending related jobs in Florida are in the Northwest.

Higher Education

  • Three major state universities: University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida State University and Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.
  • Five community colleges.
  • National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and the Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials at FSU in Tallahassee, the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition in Pensacola, University of Florida’s Research and Engineering Education Facility (R.E.E.F.) in Okaloosa County.


Source: Florida’s Great Northwest