Boca Raton, Florida
Boca Raton /ˈboʊkə rəˈtoʊn/ is the southernmost city in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States, incorporated in May 1925 (first incorporation in 1924). The 2014 population estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau was 91,332. However, approximately 200,000 people with a “Boca Raton” postal address reside outside its municipal boundaries. Such areas include newer developments such as West Boca Raton. As a business center, the city’s daytime population increases significantly. It is one of the wealthiest communities in South Florida. Boca Raton is located 43 miles (69 km) north of Miami and is considered one of the principal cities in the Miami metropolitan area.
Boca Raton is home to the main campus of Florida Atlantic University and the corporate headquarters of Office Depot and ADT. It is also home to the Evert Tennis Academy, owned by professional tennis player Chris Evert. Town Center Mall, an upscale shopping center in West Boca Raton, is the largest indoor mall in Palm Beach County. Another major attraction to the area is Boca Raton’s downtown, known as Mizner Park.
Many buildings in the area have a Mediterranean Revival or Spanish Colonial Revival architectural theme, initially inspired by Addison Mizner, a resort architect who heavily influenced the city’s early development. Still today, Boca Raton has a strict development code for the size and types of commercial buildings, building signs, and advertisements that may be erected within the city limits. No outdoor car dealerships are allowed in the municipality. Additionally, no billboards are permitted; the city’s only billboard was grandfathered in during annexation. The strict development code led to McDonald’s subduing its Golden Arches and has resulted in several major thoroughfares without large signs or advertisements in the traveler’s view.
The name originated on maps in Spanish as “Boca de Ratones” [ˈboka ðe raˈtones]. The origin of the name Boca Raton is uncertain, as is its intended meaning. In Spanish boca means “mouth” and ratón means “mouse” (not “rat” as it is commonly mistranslated). However, at that time the word boca in nautical terms often referred to an inlet and ratón often referred to a cowardly thief. Thus, “Boca de Ratones” most likely was meant to refer to a “Thieves Inlet” than to a literal “Mouse’s Mouth”.
The original name “Boca de Ratones” appeared on eighteenth-century maps associated with an inlet in the Biscayne Bay area of Miami. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the term was mistakenly moved north to its current location on most maps and applied to the inland waterway from the closed inlet north for 8.5 miles (13.7 km), which was called the “Boca Ratones Lagoon.” The word “ratones” appears in old Spanish maritime dictionaries referring to “rugged rocks or stony ground on the bottom of some ports and coastal outlets, where the cables rub against.” Therefore, the abridged translation defining “Boca de Ratones” is “a shallow inlet of sharp-pointed rocks which scrape a ship’s cables.”
Pronunciation of Boca Raton
Residents of the city have kept the pronunciation of Boca Raton similar to its Spanish origins in the words boca and ratón. In particular, the “Raton” in “Boca Raton” is pronounced as /rəˈtoʊn/ instead of /rəˈtɑːn/. The latter is a common mispronunciation made by foreigners to the region.
|Boca Raton Demographics|
|2010 Census||Boca Raton||Palm Beach County||Florida|
|Population, percent change, 2000 to 2010||+12.9%||+16.7%||+17.6%|
|Population density||2,877.2/sq mi||670.2/sq mi||350.6/sq mi|
|White or Caucasian (including White Hispanic)||88.5%||73.5%||75.0%|
|(Non-Hispanic White or Caucasian)||79.1%||60.1%||57.9%|
|Black or African-American||5.2%||17.3%||16.0%|
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||11.9%||19.0%||22.5%|
|Native American or Native Alaskan||0.2%||0.5%||0.4%|
|Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian||0.1%||0.1%||0.1%|
|Two or more races (Multiracial)||1.6%||2.3%||2.5%|
|Some Other Race||2.0%||3.9%||3.6%|
Boca Raton is known for its affluent and educated social community and high income demographic.
As of 2010, there were 44,539 households, out of which 17.4% were vacant. As of 2000, 24.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.1% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.2% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.81.
In 2000, the city’s age distribution was as follows: 18.9% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 26.7% from 45 to 64, and 19.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 95.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.8 males.
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $67,531, and the median income for a family was $92,057. Males had a median income of $52,287 versus $33,347 for females. The per capita income for the city was $45,628. About 4.1% of families and 6.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.0% of those under age 18 and 4.9% of those age 65 or over.
According to Forbes, Boca Raton has three of the ten most expensive gated communities in the U.S. The Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club holds the #1 spot, The Sanctuary takes #6, and Le Lac takes the #8 spot.
As of 2000, English was the only language spoken at home by 79.9% of the population, while Spanish was spoken by 9.3%, French by 1.5%, Portuguese by 1.5%, French Creole by 1.3%, and Italian by 1.1% of the population.
There is a substantial Jewish population in Boca Raton, a small percentage of whom add to the linguistic variety, with 0.36% of Boca Raton residents speaking Hebrew and 0.27% of the population speaking Yiddish at home. Certain areas of Boca Raton also have significant populations of Brazilian and other Latino immigrants.