Hernando County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 172,778. Its county seat is Brooksville, and its largest community is Spring Hill.
Hernando County is included in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2005, Hernando was the 35th fastest-growing county in the country.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 589 square miles (1,530 km²), of which 473 square miles (1,230 km²) is land and 116 square miles (300 km²) (19.8%) is water. According to the World Atlas USA, Hernando County is the geographic center of Florida. Elevation in the county ranges from mean sea level along the Gulf coast to its highest natural point of 269 feet at Chinsegut Hill.
As of the census of 2000, there were 130,802 people, 55,425 households, and 40,016 families residing in the county. The population density was 106/sq mi (274/km²). There were 62,727 housing units at an average density of 51/sq mi (131/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 92.85% White, 4.07% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.64% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.98% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. 5.04% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race. 91.1% spoke English, 4.5% Spanish, 1.1% German and 1.1% Italian as their first language.
There were 55,425 households, which 21.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.40% were married couples living together, 8.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.80% were non-families. 23.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.70.
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