Palm Beach County is located in the state of Florida. As of 2007, the county had a population of 1,351,236 according to the University of Florida, Bureau of Economic and Business Research. The county is the third most populous in the state of Florida and the twenty ninth most populous in the United States. Over 40 percent of the county's population lives in unincorporated areas.
Palm Beach County is one of three counties that comprise the South Florida metropolitan area, and being formed in 1909, is the area's second oldest county. Its largest city and county seat is West Palm Beach (Central County), which has an incorporated population of over 105,000 and an unincorporated population of 250,000. Boca Raton (South County), is the second largest city, and has a population approaching 90,000. Boynton Beach (South County), is the third largest city, with a population nearing 70,000 residents.
Palm Beach County was created in 1909. It was named for its first settled community, Palm Beach, in turn named for the palm trees and beaches in the area. The County was carved out of what was then the northern portion of Dade County, and stretched northward to Brevard county, comprising part of the areas now occupied by Okeechobee and Broward counties, and all of Martin and Palm Beach counties, initially including all of Lake Okeechobee, making it the largest county in Florida at the time. The southernmost part of Palm Beach County was separated to create the northern portion of Broward County in 1915, the northwestern portion of Palm Beach County became part of Okeechobee County 1917 and Martin County was created from northernmost Palm Beach County in 1925. About three-quarters of Lake Okeechobee was removed from Palm Beach County in 1963 and divided up among Glades, Hendry, Martin and Okeechobee counties. Henry Flagler, who made his home in Palm Beach, was instrumental in the county's development in the early 1900s with the extension of the Florida East Coast Railway through the county from Jacksonville to Key West.
Palm Beach County Government