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According to historians, it is believed that the name “St. Lucie” was first given to this area by the Spanish. The name was given after the Spanish began construction of a fort on December 13 – the feast day of the Roman Catholic Saint Lucia.
The “Santa Lucia” colony was established somewhere between Vero Beach and Stuart around 1567, as old Spanish maps identify this area as Santa Lucia, which included roughly what is now known as Vero Beach to Stuart. The Spanish held Florida from 1783 to 1819. Seminoles (Creek Indians from Alabama and Georgia) and runaway slaves began to settle on the Treasure Coast. The Anglo-Saxon version, “St. Lucie,” would not be officially used to identify the area until the 1900s.
Between 2000 and 2010, St. Lucie was one of the fastest growing counties in the U.S. With a total population increase of more than 80,000 during that time frame, the demographics and labor force are diversifying into a more knowledge based economy. It has been voted the 9th largest friendly big city.
As of the 2013 Census Estimate, St. Lucie County is at a population of 286,832.
Incorporated in 1905, St. Lucie County is included in the Port St. Lucie, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Port St. Lucie, FL Combined Statistical Area. It is comprised of the City of Fort Pierce (county seat), City of Port St. Lucie and St. Lucie Village.
St. Lucie County Quick Facts
- Square Miles: 572
- Population (2009): 272,864
- Labor Force (2009): 125,281
- Average Wage Rate: $15.78/hour