The Northeast Florida Regional Council, formed in 1977, serves Regional District 4, and is comprised of seven counties (Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns) and 27 municipalities. The Region’s land area covers 4,428 square miles and the population surpasses 1.5 million. Forty-three percent of the Region is dedicated to agriculture, two percent to industry and commercial use, thirteen percent is otherwise urbanized and the remaining forty-two percent is covered by a variety of other uses.
The Region is characterized by an abundance of natural resources and a diversity of habitats. Its central feature is the lower St. Johns River. With 140 miles of coastline and five barrier islands boasting some of the state’s most magnificent, pristine beaches, the Region is truly “Florida’s First Coast.”
Jacksonville, located in Duval County, is the major urban center, with a good mix of industrial manufacturing, transportation, financial services, health care, and military employment. Land-wise, it is the largest city in the U.S.
Surrounding counties are more rural in nature, relying on agriculture and service sectors, and a limited industrial base, often focused on a single sector. However, the rate of urbanization and development of more economic diversity is increasing.
*Source U.S. Census Bureau