Monroe County Real Estate Information

(The Florida Keys)

Monroe County, Florida was established in 1823. The county was named for the fifth president of the United States, James Monroe, who was serving at the time the county was created.

Although the greatest land area of the county is located on mainland Florida, the greatest population of the county is located in a group of islands off the southwest tip of Florida known as the Florida Keys. Over 99% of the population lives on the islands. The mainland portion of the county is mainly inhabited as the Everglades National Park protects most of it from development. Big Cypress National Preserve protects much of the remainder of the mainland portion of the county. This area has the second lowest population density of all the United States, including the remote areas of Alaska.

Not all of the 1700 islands that make up the Florida Keys are located in Monroe County. Keys in Monroe County include Key Largo, Plantation Key, Windley Key, Upper Matecumbe Key, Lignumvitae Key and Lower Matecumbe Key. U.S. Highway 1 connects most of the keys that are inhabited.

Due to high taxes, many young families can no longer afford to live in the Keys. On the average homes sell for over $550,000.

The Keys are located only 90 miles from Cuba. Many Cubans have sought refuge in the Keys and even today, it is not unheard of for a Cuban boat to land in the keys as a refugee seeks asylum in the United States. For many years, this close proximity also lead to drug trafficking through the Keys. Border Patrol officers have heightened security in recent years in order to control the smuggling.

The Keys are also home to Key Limes and Key Lime Pie.