Charlotte County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 159,978. Its county seat is Punta Gorda.
Charlotte County comprises the Punta Gorda, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the North Port-Sarasota, FL Combined Statistical Area.
Charlotte County was established April 23, 1921. It was named for the Bay of Charlotte Harbor. "Charlotte" came from "Carlota" (Spanish). In 1565, the Spanish named "Bahia de Carlota," followed by the English in 1775 who named the area Charlotte Harbor in tribute to the Queen Charlotte Sophia, wife of King George III. Punta Gorda is the only incorporated city in Charlotte County.
On August 13, 2004 Charlotte County was devastated when Hurricane Charley came ashore near Port Charlotte as a Category 4 hurricane.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 858 square miles (2,220 km²), of which 680 square miles (1,800 km²) is land and 178 square miles (460 km²) (20.7%) is water. Charlotte Harbor Estuary is an important natural preserve and one of the most productive in Florida.
As of the census of 2010, there were 159,978 people, 73,370 households, and 44,130 families residing in the county. The population density was 234 people per square mile (79/km²). There were 100,632 housing units at an average density of 115 per square mile (44/km²).
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