About Pinellas County
Pinellas County, on Florida’s west coast, is a 280-square mile peninsula bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. From tip to tip, the county is 38 miles long and 15 miles wide at its broadest point. Discovered in 1528 by Panfilo de Narvaez, our name comes from the Spanish words punta pinal, meaning “point of pines.”
Early inhabitants of Pinellas were Native Americans, and many large shell mounds have been found throughout the county, including in Philippe Park in Safety Harbor.
Originally a part of Hillsborough County, Pinellas became a separate county in 1912. According to the 2020 Census, our current population is 959,107, which makes us the 7th most populous county in Florida.
Thanks in part to our ideal year-round climate, Pinellas County is a popular destination to visit, live, and work, with attractions and amenities appealing to singles, couples, retirees and families. Three of the Top Ten Beaches in the Nation are located in Pinellas County. Our Parks & Conservation Resources department maintains 4,242 acres of pristine Florida landscapes and 15,525 acres of preserves. Over 45,000 businesses call us home, with an emphasis on health services, tourism, manufacturing, and financial services.
Pinellas County is served by Interstate 4, which runs east and west, and Interstate 75 and Highway U.S. 19, which are north and south connections.
Know Your Government
Pinellas County Government is a unique mix of 25 governmental bodies: one for each of our 24 cities and municipalities and one for the almost one-third of the county that is unincorporated.
Each of the 24 cities and municipalities provide services to their residents, unless there is a contract with Pinellas County or with private companies. Residents who live in unincorporated areas are governed by, pay taxes to, and receive services directly from the Pinellas County government, but are not eligible to vote in municipal elections on municipal issues.
We also have special taxing districts to meet specific needs that are not addressed in the general countywide millage. Residents in these districts vote on a referendum on specific millages to be used for a special purposes — for example, the Palm Harbor Library District, various fire districts, and street lighting districts. To prevent double taxation, we adjust the tax rate to deduct for any of these extra services. For example, any municipalities that have their own police department will not be assessed County millage for the County Sheriff’s Office. For more taxing information, view the Citizens Guide to the Budget.
Post Office addresses do not necessarily correspond to exact city or municipality boundaries. Residents of Belleair, for instance, have a Clearwater address. Palm Harbor and Ozona, on the other hand, are not incorporated municipalities but have their own post offices.
To learn more about your county government, you can take our Citizens University course.
Learn even more about Pinellas County and the people and organizations that call it home: