Key West is a city located in Monroe County Florida. Key West has a 2023 population of 25,816. It is also the county seat of Monroe County.Key West is currently declining at a rate of -1.35% annually and its population has decreased by -3.99% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 26,890 in 2020.
The average household income in Key West is $117,210 with a poverty rate of 11.57%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Key West is 44.2 years, 44.1 years for males, and 44.4 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.
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 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.
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.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Key West was:
Black or African American
Two or more races
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Average Family Size
Average Household Size
Rate of Home Ownership
Less Than 9th Grade
9th to 12th Grade
High School Graduate
High School Graduation Rate
The highest rate of high school graduation is among 2+ races people with a rate of 89.94%.
The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among white people with a rate of 44.35%.
Other Indo-European Languages
Asian and Pacific Island Languages
78.32% of Key West residents speak only English, while 21.68% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 15.87% of the population.
Overall Poverty Rate
Male Poverty Rate
Female Poverty Rate
The race most likely to be in poverty in Key West is Islander, with 100% below the poverty level.
The race least likely to be in poverty in Key West is Asian, with 5% below the poverty level.
The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 1.9%. Among those working part-time, it was 13.63%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 25.69%.
Overall Marriage Rate
Male Marriage Rate
Female Marriage Rate
The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 55-64.
Second Gulf War
First Gulf War
World War II
Less Than 9th Grade
High School Graduate
Bachelors or Greater
Veteran Poverty Rate
Veteran Disability Rate
Labor Force Participation
Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.
Born in Key West
82.36% of Key West residents were born in the United States, with 30.87% having been born in Florida. 11.59% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Latin America.