A Summary Economic Analysis of Florida’s Big Bend Region

The Big Bend region of Florida—Jefferson, Taylor, Dixie, and Levy Counties—is a land of abundant natural resources. Productive working forests and farms, freshwater rivers and springs, and an extensive Gulf coastline define the work and lives of the people who call this place home. The growth of more and better jobs and further economic development in the Big Bend hinges on continued careful management of these natural resources in the years ahead. The people of this rural region rely more on the natural resources for their livelihood and recreation than in most places in Florida. A recent study of the region’s population and economy based on secondary data, bolstered by on-site visits and interviews of local officials and state economic professionals, finds a region rich in the traditions of “Old Florida” but striving to keep pace with rapid changes and growth in other areas of the state.

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