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Map of the counties in North Central Florida.
Map of the counties in North Central Florida.

North Central Florida is a region of the U.S. state of Florida which comprises the north-central part of the state and encompasses the North Florida counties of Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, Marion, and Union.[1] The region's largest city is Gainesville, home of the University of Florida and center of the Gainesville metropolitan area, which is the largest metro area in North Central Florida. As of 2020, the region had a population of 575,622 people.

Like the rest of North Florida,[2] including the Florida Panhandle, the region is often recognized as part of the Deep South, as compared to the rest of the state.[3]

Map of the counties in the Gainesville Metropolitan Area, the population center of North Central Florida.
Map of the counties in the Gainesville Metropolitan Area, the population center of North Central Florida.

The landscape and climate of North Central Florida are distinct from the sub-tropical environment most associated with the rest of the state. The landscape of North Central Florida has gently rolling hills dominated by magnolia trees and large Southern live oak hammocks draped with Spanish moss. The region also has large expanses of pine forests. The climate is quite mild throughout the year but has very distinct winters with temperatures dropping below freezing quite often.

Cities and towns

North Central Florida has a few cities and many small towns or settlements, some of which are along rivers and lakes.

Designation County Population
Alachua City Alachua 9,272
Belleview Town Marion 4,509
Bell Village Gilchrist 549
Brooker Village Bradford 334
Fort White Village Columbia 556
Gainesville City Alachua 126,047
Greenville Village Madison 824
Hampton Village Bradford 495
Hawthorne Town Alachua 1,428
High Springs Town Alachua 5,494
Interlachen Town Putnam 1,396
Jasper Town Hamilton 5,452
LaCrosse Village Alachua 360
Lake City City Columbia 12,099
Lawtey Village Bradford 730
Lee Village Madison 386
Live Oak City Suwannee 6,919
Madison Town Madison 2,769
Micanopy Village Alachua 606
Ocala City Marion 56,945
Palatka City Putnam 10,472
Pomona Park Village Putnam 908
Reddick Village Marion 508
Starke Town Bradford 5,405
Trenton Town Gilchrist 1,988
Waldo Town Alachua 1,022
Welaka Town Putnam 600

Attractions in North Central Florida

Unlike Central Florida and the Suncoast area, North Central Florida does not have many amusement parks or large theme parks. Instead, it features many parks with nature as their theme. North Central Florida also has many small turn-of-the-century towns that represent the culture of the Deep South. A significant attraction of North Central Florida is that it is the main location of the University of Florida, and the site of the stadiums for its sports teams, the Florida Gators.


  1. ^ "North Central Florida Regional Planning Council". Retrieved 2022-07-21.
  2. ^ "Deep South". The Free Dictionary. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  3. ^ "Gainesville Florida Population and Demographics Resources", Retrieved 2011-06-30