Relocate to Bay County


Welcome to our beautiful community.

With 27 miles of white, sandy beaches to explore along with snorkeling, fishing, boating and diving, you are sure to get your feet wet. Adventures can hunt for treasure aboard a pirate cruise, encounter dolphins on one of the beach’s sightseeing boats or explore beautiful Shell Island and St. Andrews State Park. Thrill seekers hold on tight to ride the world’s largest speedboat, jet ski along the coast, or take a plunge at the 6-acre Shipwreck Island Water Park.

Beyond the beach, Bay County enriches the lives of visitors and residents with a strong culture presence through many organizations. Art and other exhibits, as well as theatrical productions, are brought to the community through the Panama City Center for the Arts, Bay Arts Alliance, the Marina Civic Center, the Martin Theater, Kaleidoscope Theater, the Science and Discovery Center of NWFL and the Bay County Library. Bay County also enjoys many events such as concerts, triathlons, festivals, motorcycle rallies and more throughout the year.

Those looking to relax can enjoy a round of golf or take a sunset stroll along the many marinas. Families can see tropical animals and beautiful botanical gardens at Zoo World, or catch a sea lion show or swim with dolphins at Gulf World. If shopping is on your agenda, visit one of the many boutiques in the historic downtown districts of St. Andrews and Panama City, or check out the shopping plazas in town or on the beach.

Anglers from all parts of the world visit Bay County to fish and take part in our tournaments. Whether you are in pursuit of “the big one” or just dinner, it can be found in the warm Gulf waters or freshwater Deer Point Lake. Fish from our 1,500 ft. piers or charter a boat to take you deep sea fishing.

After a day in the sun, a taste of our local flavor may be just what you are craving. Bay County has many award-winning restaurants that boast the “seafood you’re eating today was asleep in the Gulf last night.”From downtown cafes and eateries to Gulf-front fine dining, the possibilities are endless. Enjoy a delicious meal at some of the best restaurants on the Gulf Coast.


Population (2020 estimate): 175,216
Median Age: 41.9
Median Household Income (in 2022 dollars): $66,245
Age Distribution:
Under 5: 6.2%
Under 18: 21.6%
19-64: 55.4
65+: 18.2%

Employment Sector Stats

How Bay Compares Nationally


Bay County, Florida UNITED STATES


Population estimates, July 1, 2022, (V2022) 185,134 333,271,411
Population, Census, April 1, 2020 175,216 331,464,948
Population, percent change – April 1, 2020 (estimates base) to July 1, 2022, (V2022) 5.70% 0.50%

Age and Sex

Persons under 5 years, percent 5.50% 5.60%
Persons under 18 years, percent 20.8% 21.70%
Persons 65 years and over, percent 18.5% 17.30%
Female persons, percent 50.30% 50.40%

Race and Hispanic Origin

White alone, percent 81.30% 75.50%
Black or African American alone, percent(a) 11.80% 13.60%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent(a) 0.80% 1.30%
Asian alone, percent(a) 2.40% 6.30%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent(a) 0.20% 0.30%
Two or More Races, percent 3.50% 3.00%
Hispanic or Latino, percent(b) 7.90% 19.10%
White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent 74.70% 58.90%

Population Characteristics

Veterans, 2017-2021 19,979 17,038,807
Foreign born persons, percent, 2014-2018 7.30% 13.70%


Housing units, July 1, 2021, (V2021) 108,678 143,786,655
Owner-occupied housing unit rate, 2017-2021 68.60% 64.80%
Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2017-2021 $246,800 $281,900
Median selected monthly owner costs -with a mortgage, 2017-2021 $1,575 $1,828
Median selected monthly owner costs -without a mortgage, 2017-2021 $501 $584
Median gross rent, 2017-2021 $1,311 $1,268
Building permits, 2021 2,288 1,665,088

Families & Living Arrangements

Households, 2018-2022 74,678 125,736,353
Persons per household, 2018-2022 2.39 2.57
Living in same house 1 year ago, percent of persons age 1 year+, 2017-2021 80.70% 86.90%

Computer and Internet Use

Households with a computer, percent, 2018-2022 95.90% 94.00%
Households with a broadband Internet subscription, percent, 2018-2022 90.40% 88.30%


High school graduate or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2018-2022 90.40% 89.10%
Bachelor’s degree or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2018-2022 26.60% 34.30%


With a disability, under age 65 years, percent, 2018-2022 15.00% 8.90%
Persons without health insurance, under age 65 years, percent 15.90% 9.30%


In civilian labor force, total, percent of population age 16 years+, 2018-2022 59.90% 63.00%
In civilian labor force, female, percent of population age 16 years+, 2018-2022 56.20% 58.50%
Total accommodation and food services sales, 2017 ($1,000)(c) 757,414 938,237,077
Total health care and social assistance receipts/revenue, 2017 ($1,000)(c) 1,288,895 2,572,903,275
Total manufacturers shipments, 2017 ($1,000)(c) 275,309 895,225,411
Total merchant wholesaler sales, 2012 ($1,000)(c) 514,829 5,208,023,478
Total retail sales, 2017 ($1,000)(c) 3,219,279 4,949,601,481
Total retail sales per capita, 2017(c) $17,416 $15,224


Mean travel time to work (minutes), workers age 16 years+, 2013-2017 24.4 26.7

Income & Poverty

Median household income (in 2018 dollars), 2017-2021 $65,999 $75,149
Per capita income in past 12 months (in 2018 dollars), 2017-2021 $36,868 $41,261
Persons in poverty, percent 11.90% 11.50%


Total employer establishments, 2020 4,994 8,148,606
Total employment, 2020 57,266 128,346,299
Total annual payroll, 2020 ($1,000) 2,516,972 8,272,573,947
Total employment, percent change, 2019-2206 -4.60% -4.30%
Total non-employer establishments, 2016 16,410 27,151,987
All firms, 2017 3,573 5,744,643
Men-owned firms, 2017 1,973 3,480,438
Women-owned firms, 2017 587 1,134,549
Minority-owned firms, 2017 473 1,014,958
Nonminority-owned firms, 2017 2,598 4,371,152
Veteran-owned firms, 2017 360 351,237
Nonveteran-owned firms, 2017 2,705 4,968,606


Population per square mile, 2020 231 93.8
Land area in square miles, 2020 758.64 3,533,038.28

The source for this information is the United States Census Bureau.

Geographically Speaking

Bay County is located on the Gulf of Mexico in the panhandle region of Northwest Florida. Average elevation is 13 ft. above sea level. Panama City, the county seat, is located approximately 100 miles southwest of Tallahassee, Florida’s capital, 80 miles south of Dothan, AL, 105 miles east of Pensacola, FL, approximately 300 miles from Alanta, GA, 270 miles west of Jacksonville, FL, and 315 miles east of New Orleans, LA.

St. Andrew Bay surrounds much of Panama City, providing a protected harbor for Port Panama City. Deer Point Lake, located in the central part of the county, provides an abundant source of freshwater for county residents and industries. The sand on Bay County’s 27 miles of beaches is startlingly white, a perfect foreground for the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The sand is actually quartz crystals which have been broken down, polished and deposited on the shore.


The average annual temperature in Bay County is a cool 67 degrees. The average temperature is 89 degrees i the summer and 59 degrees in the winter, making the climate very comfortable for most all of the visitors and residents. Bay County receives approximately 67 inches of annual precipitation. Snowfall is rare. Winds are southerly in the summer and northerly in the winter.

The water of the Gulf can be described as nothing but breath taking. The crystal clear waters stay an average of 72 degrees year around, making it the perfect way to cool off in the summer. Visitors can experience a variety of sea life in the warm waters year round.

Learn more in our Guide to Discovering Bay County.

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