- Whether it’s the beaches or the zero state income tax, billionaires love Palm Beach County: It lays claim to 18 of the state’s 42 wealthiest, according to Forbes.
West Palm Beach incorporated in 1894, making it the oldest municipality in the county.
Tourism accounts for more than 70,000 jobs. It has an economic impact of more than $7 billion to the local economy. Tourists account for more than $45 million in
bed-tax revenue, in addition to lodging sales that exceed $700 million a year.
Palm Beach County leads the nation in the production of sugarcane and sweet corn. Approximately 50 percent of the sugarcane produced in the United States is grown in Florida, with most of that production occurring in Palm Beach County.
The Palm Beach County School District is the largest employer in Palm Beach County with more than 22,000 employees, including 12,900 teachers, serving 193,000 students. The district is the fifth largest in Florida, the tenth largest in the country, has a 90 percent graduation rate, and a $2.9 billion budget.
Palm Beach County’s 47 miles of beaches give access to coastal waters scattered with natural coral formations that are part of the Florida Reef Tract, the only living barrier coral reef in the continental United States and the third largest in the world. The creation of 160 “artificial reefs”—made of limestone, concrete, and sunken ships that become habitats for algae, corals, and other marine life—provides additional areas for fishing, diving, and snorkeling, ensuring the natural reefs are protected from overuse.
The first—and last—recorded snowfall in Palm Beach County was in 1977.
Palm Beach County’s Parks and Recreation Department manages 104 parks with more than 8,500 acres of land to explore. Many county parks feature athletic facilities, camp sites, trails, and beaches.
The South Florida Fair in West Palm Beach, which opened in 1912, is Palm Beach County’s oldest and largest annual event.
The first modern-day IBM PC was secretly worked on in Boca Raton under the name “Project Acorn.” The computer was crowned “Machine of the Year” by Time magazine in 1983, overtaking the original cover that was planned to be “Man of the Year” Apple’s Steve Jobs.
A U.S. Army fort built in Jupiter in 1838 is believed to be the first permanent non-Indian settlement in the area. The fort was followed by the first civilian residents, who started maintaining the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse in 1860.