Key West is a city located in Monroe County Florida. It is also the county seat of Monroe County. With a 2023 population of 26,984, it is the 160th largest city in Florida and the 1719th largest city in the United States.Key West is currently growing at a rate of 0.67% annually and its population has increased by 2.04% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 26,444 in 2020. Spanning over 7 miles, Key West has a population density of 4,827 people per square mile.
The average household income in Key West is $98,784 with a poverty rate of 11.78%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Key West is 42.1 years, 42.1 years for males, and 42.2 years for females.
Key West includes the island of Key West, part of Stock Island and other nearby islands. This city is a popular tourist destination and is known for its stunning beaches and many points of interest.
Key West Population and Diversity
Over three-quarters of the population speak English, while over 17% speak Spanish. Other languages spoken in Key West include French, German and Italian.
Key West Population Growth
Key West has seen its share of highs and lows when it comes to its population. The city reached over 18,000 residents in 1890 before dropping by over 5%. The community began to grow again before declining again in 1920 and 1930. This pattern has continued, with the population reaching its peak in 1960. While the population was down in 2010, recent data show that it is on the rise again, growing 9.5% since the 2010 census.
The Calusa tribe first inhabited the island of Key West. The Europeans first discovered it in 1521. When Florida came under the control of Spain, a fishing village was established.
Great Britain gained control of the state in 1763, and the Spanish and Native American inhabitants were moved to Havana, Cuba. Though the Spanish regained control 20 years later, the city was not officially resettled. It only became a place for the Cuban and British to use for fishing.
It was in 1815 when the governor of Cuba deeded the island to Juan Pablo Salas. When the state was sold to the U.S. six years later, Salas sold the island. He sold it twice, and the two men moved quickly to beat each other at securing the rights to the island. The island went to businessman John Simonton, who subdivided the island.
Throughout the 1800s, the city began to grow and was the wealthiest city per capita, in the country. A naval base was constructed, leaving the island in the hands of the Union during the Civil War. Major industries during this time were salvaging, fishing and salt manufacturing. Salt production halted during the Civil War but resumed at the end of the war until the industry was affected by a hurricane and never recovered.
By the end of the 19th century, Key West was the wealthiest and largest city in the state. At the beginning of the 20th century, the island was connected to the mainland in 1912 via the Overseas Railroad. The Overseas Highway was built in the 1930s which encouraged further growth. Pan American Airlines was also founded during the early 20th century.
In recent years, the city has continued to expand with the addition of shopping centers, malls, schools, and an airport. The city is a popular tourist destination and is a port of call for many cruise lines. The Naval Air Station Key West remains in business and is a training center for naval aviation.