About Ocala, Florida
Horse Capital of the World
From natural wonders and outdoor adventure to world class sporting facilities and culture, every experience is close by. Internationally renowned among equestrians, cyclists and geologists, Ocala / Marion County still feels like a hidden gem to those who aren’t already insiders. And yet, when you’re here, you’re never an outsider.
Ocala’s history dates back to the 16th century and a major Timucua village named Ocale, and it derives its name Ocala from it. In the late 18th century, Native Americans and fugitive African Americans sought refuge in Florida and the Seminole people were formed.
The modern city of Ocala was established in 1849 around Fort King, which was built in 1827 by the US Army. Greater Ocala is known as the “Kingdom of the Sun” In the late 19th century, Ocala was an important center of citrus production. The railroads reached Ocala in 1881 which encouraged economic development and gave access to more markets of production. On Thanksgiving day in 1883 a great fire destroyed most of the city, which was then rebuilt mostly in brick, granite and steel, giving it a name “The Brick City”.
In 1943 the first thoroughbred horse farm in Florida was established in Marion County by Carl G. Rose. This led to further horse farm development in Ocala and surrounding towns, making Ocala a horse breeding area.
Ocala is now one of only 5 cities (4 in the US and 1 in France) permitted under Chamber of Commerce to use the tile “Horse Capital of the World”.
Based on annual revenue produced by the horse industries, there are over 44,000 jobs created for the breeding, training, maintaining and other equine related jobs in the farms of Ocala. These jobs generate over $2.2 billion in annul revenue. Ocala and Postime Farms host one of the larges horse shows in the country called “Horses in the Sun”. Other equine events include endurance rides, mounted shooting by the Florida Outlaws, barrel races, jumper shows, extreme cowboy events, trick shows, parades, rodeo events and draft pulls.
Currently Ocala’s population is 65,047. The city is growing at a rate of 1.13%.
Average household income in Ocala is $65,713 with a poverty rate of 19.17%. The median cost in rent is $973 per month and the median house value is $149,800.
As of 2014 census, Ocala’s demographics were as follows:
- 72.93% White non-Hispanic
- 18.63% African American
- 4.54% Two or more races
- 0.7% Asian
- 0.18 Native American
- Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.07%
For more Ocala Demographic information please visit: WorldPopulationReview.com
The public schools in Ocala are run by the Marion County School Board. There are 30 elementary, ten middle and ten public high schools in Marion County, which include the following schools in Ocala:
- Anthony Elementary School
- College Park
- Dr. N. H. Jones
- Eighth Street
- Wyomina Park
- Emerald Shores Elementary School
- Fessenden Elementary School
- Fort McCoy School (K–8)
- Hammett Bowen Jr. Elementary School
- Madison Street Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (Magnet)
- Maplewood Elementary School
- Marion Oaks Elementary School
- Oakcrest Elementary School
- Ocala Springs Elementary School
- Reddick-Collier Elementary School
- Saddlewood Elementary School
- Shady Hill Elementary School
- South Ocala Elementary School
- Sparr Elementary School
- Sunrise Elementary School
- Fort King
- Liberty Middle School
- Horizon Academy at Marion Oaks (5–8)
- Osceola Middle School
- North Marion Middle School
- Ambleside School Of Ocala grades K–8
- Blessed Trinity School grades K–9
- Children’s Palace East & Academy grades K–2
- The Cornerstone School grades PK–8
- Crossroads Academy grades 3–12
- Grace Academy Grades K–2
- Grace Christian School grades PK–8
- Meadowbrook Academy grades K–12
- Montessori Preparatory School grades K–5
- New Generation School grades K–12
- Ocala Christian Academy grades PK–12
- Ocean’s High School grades PK–12
- Promiseland Academy grades K–7
- First Assembly Christian School grades K–12
- The Reading Clinic grades 2–6
- Redeemer Christian School grades K3–12
- The Rock Academy grades PK–9
- The School of the Kingdom grades 1–12
- Shiloh SDA Church School
- Belleview Christian Academy grades PK–12
- St John Lutheran School grades PK–12
- Trinity Catholic grades 9–12
Colleges and universities
Ocala is home to the College of Central Florida, a member of the Florida College System, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. CF offers bachelor’s degrees in Business and Organizational Management, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, as well as associate degrees and certificates. The college offers specialty programs in equine studies, agribusiness, and logistics and supply chain management. It also has one of 21 campuses of Rasmussen College, a Higher Learning Commission regionally accredited post secondary institution. Webster University offers on-site, regionally accredited graduate degree programs in business and counseling at their Ocala Metropolitan Campus.
- Interstate 75 runs north and south across the western edge of the city, with interchanges at SR 200 (exit 350), SR 40 (exit 352), and US 27 (exit 354).
- U.S. Route 27 runs north and south throughout Ocala. It is multiplexed with US 301 and 441 until it reaches SR 492(Northwest 10th Street), then makes a sharp turn onto NW 10th Street then curves northwest through Williston, Perry, Tallahassee, and beyond.
- U.S. Route 301 is the main local north and south road through Ocala. It is multiplexed with US 27 until it reaches Northwest 10th Street, and with US 441 throughout the city.
- U.S. Route 441 is the main local north and south road through Ocala. It is multiplexed with US 27 until it reaches Northwest 10th Street, and with US 301 throughout the city.
- State Road 492 runs east and west through the northern part of the city from the northern terminus of the US 27 multiplex with US 301–441 to SR 40 just southwest of the Silver Springs city limit.
- State Road 40 runs east and west through Ocala. It spans from Rainbow Lakes Estates through Ocala National Forest to Ormond Beach in Volusia County, although a bi-county extension exists, spanning from Yankeetown in Levy County to Dunnellon, south of the western terminus of SR 40.
- State Road 464 runs east and west from SR 200 through the southeastern part of the city. Beyond the city limits, it continues southeast towards State Road 35, and continues as County Road 464.
- State Road 200 runs northeast and southwest from Hernando in Citrus County through US 27-301-441 where it becomes a “hidden state road” along US 301 until it reaches Callahan, and is multiplexed with SR A1A into Fernandina Beach.
- Antonio Allen, NFL player
- Arthur I. Appleton, businessman, racehorse owner
- Elizabeth Ashley, actress
- Tony Beckham, NFL cornerback
- Thelma Berlack Boozer, journalist, publicist
- Brittany Bowe, Olympic speed skater
- Emery N. Brown, Anesthesiologist and Neuroscientist
- Farris Bryant, former Governor
- Daunte Culpepper, NFL quarterback
- James Dean, first African-American judge in Florida
- Caydee Denney, figure skater
- Haven Denney, figure skater
- Drayton Florence, NFL cornerback
- P. J. Williams, NFL cornerback for the New Orleans Saints
- Dory Funk Jr., professional wrestler
- Don Garlits, professional drag racer
- Santana Garrett, professional wrestler
- Joey Gilmore, blues musician
- Troy Glaus, former Major League Baseball player
- Mitch Harris, Major League Baseball pitcher
- Josh Hart (racer), professional drag racer
- Val James, professional ice hockey player
- Erin Jackson, Olympic Gold Medalist speed skater
- Eddie Johnson, NBA Basketball player
- Frank Johnson, NBA Basketball player
- John R. MacDougall, broadcast hijacker best known for the Captain Midnight broadcast signal intrusion
- Travis Mays, NBA basketball player
- Buddy McKay, former Governor
- Jeremy McKinnon, musician
- Chris Meffert, politician
- James Melton, opera singer
- Eugene Milton, NFL football player
- Maxey Dell Moody, businessman
- Slomon Moody, physician and farmer
- Steve Morse, composer/guitarist
- Reid Nichols, Major League Baseball player
- Martha O’Driscoll, actress
- Patrick O’Neal, actor
- Ted Potter Jr., professional golfer
- Kelly Preston, actress
- Jason Schappert, flight instructor
- Jamie Shupe, US Army sergeant, first in the US to obtain legal recognition of a non-binary gender
- Lamar Thomas, NFL player and commentator
- Mava Lee Thomas, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player
- Lee James, Olympic weightlifter 1976 silver medalist
- John Travolta, actor
- Jim Williams, former Lt. Governor
- Walter Ray Williams Jr., professional PBA bowler
- Tyrone Young, NFL wide receiver
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