Pensacola is a city located in Escambia County Florida. It is also the county seat of Escambia County. With a 2020 population of 54,790, it is the 76th largest city in Florida and the 793rd largest city in the United States. Pensacola is currently growing at a rate of 0.44% annually and its population has increased by 0.88% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 54,312 in 2020. Spanning over 41 miles, Pensacola has a population density of 2,420 people per square mile.
The average household income in Pensacola is $76,739 with a poverty rate of 15.94%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $998 per month, and the median house value is $199,300. The median age in Pensacola is 36.9 years, 35.3 years for males, and 38.9 years for females.
Pensacola is a seaport located along Pensacola Bay. Pensacola is known as The City of Five Flags because of the five governments that have governed the city throughout history. It is known for its beautiful white sand beaches, which thousands of tourists visit each year.
Pensacola Population and Diversity
A little less than 46% of the population practice a religion, falling below the national average. Almost half of those that practice a religion are Baptist, making up over 22% of the total population. Other faiths include Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, and Methodist, to name a few. The city also has a small community of Jewish residents.
Pensacola has over 24,000 households, with almost 25% having children. The average household size is 2.27. Over 16% of the city’s population lives below the federal poverty line.
Pensacola Population Growth
For the most part, Pensacola has seen significant growth in its population. By 1960, the city had over 50,000 inhabitants. This number fell slightly during the 1980s before climbing again in the 1990s. At the time of the 2000 census, the population had dropped again, and recorded an even higher decline at the time of the 2010 census. This could be due to the effects of Hurricane Ivan which drove up the price of housing and led to a shortage of affordable housing. However, the estimated population reflects an increase of over 3%, indicating that this city is once again becoming an appealing home for many new residents.
The Pensacola people originally inhabited what is now Pensacola upon the arrival of the Europeans. However, the city’s history extends far beyond that. Mounds that served as a ceremonial center were discovered close to the city and were thought to be occupied as far back as 1250 AD. The first Europeans reached Pensacola in the 1500s, with the written history showing that Pensacola Bay was called “Bay of Ochuse” by explorers. It was in 1559 when ships carrying about 1,500 people arrived in the area to establish an outpost during which an area in South Carolina was going to be colonized. However, the colony was hit by a hurricane, leaving survivors struggling to live.
Many of these survivors moved to central Alabama before returning. Another attempt to colonize what is now Parris Island was held up again with another storm. Survivors at this time moved to Cuba before heading back to Florida and eventually back to Spain. It was decided that Florida was too dangerous for settlement.
The French began their exploration of the area during the late 17th century. A fortified town was established in 1698 and was the foundation for settlement in the area. During its earliest years of European settlement, Pensacola served as a trading post. In 1763, the British took control of the area following the French and Indian War. The city was captured by the Spanish and went back under its authority following the American Revolution.
The city began to become a major center for trade in the late 1700s. It was in 1819 when the U.S. purchased Florida for $5 million. At the time, there were over 180 households, primarily consisting of French and Spanish Creole inhabitants. In 1821, Pensacola became part of the U.S. Tensions between the white people and the Indians inhabiting the area grew, leading to discrimination. In 1853, Indians were prohibited from living in the state and were removed from Pensacola.
Over the years, the city has seen its share of major hurricanes, including Hurricane Ivan in 2004 that devastated the area. There was over $6 billion in damage, and tens of thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed. Housing prices went up because of this.
Pensacola is also the site of the Naval Air Station Pensacola, which was the first air station in the U.S. The Blue Angels are also stationed here. Today, the city is known for its beautiful historic neighborhoods, landmarks, and annual events. It is also a popular tourist destination because of its beaches, which have been nicknamed the World’s Whitest Beaches.