Fort Pierce, also spelled Ft. Pierce, is a city in St. Lucie County, Florida, USA. It is known as the Sunrise City. The population was 37,959 at the 2004 census. As of 2008, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 41,000. It is the county seat of St. Lucie County. Fort Pierce is part of the Port St. Lucie, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area which have population of 400,121. According to the U nited States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 53.8 km² (20.8 sq mi). 14.7 square miles (38.2 km²) of it is land and 6.0 square miles (15.6 km²) of it (35.00%) is water.
Demographics As of the census of 2008, there were 41,000 people residing in the city. The population density was2,212.4/sq mi (697.3/km²) . The racial makeup of the city was 49.54% White, 40.85% African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 5.36% from other races, and 3.05% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.00% of the population. There were 14,407 households out of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.1% were married couples living together, 19.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.8% were non-families. 31.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.19. In the city the population was spread out with 27.2% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 19.5% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.9 males. The median income for a household in the city was $25,121, and the median income for a family was $29,458. Males had a median income of $21,274 versus $20,012 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,345. About 25.4% of families and 30.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 45.1% of those under age 18 and 17.5% of those age 65 or over. Ecology The Experimental Oculina Research Reserve preserves the Oculina Banks, a reef of ivory bush coral (Oculina varicosa) off the coast of Fort Pierce, Florida. In 1984, a 92 square-nautical-mile (316 km²) portion of these reefs was designated the “Oculina Habitat Area of Particular Concern”. In 1994, the area was closed to all manner of bottom fishing and was redesignated a research reserve. In 2000, the marine protected area was expanded to 300 square nautical miles (1,030 km²) and prohibited all gears that caused mechanical disruption to the habitat. The city is also known for its large manatee population.