Cocoa Beach, Florida
Cocoa Beach on a cloudy morning
The area that is now Cocoa Beach was home to a family of freed slaves from shortly after the Civil War until a group of businessmen from Cocoa bought it in 1888. They had thought they were going to develop the property but nothing happened until after Gus Edwards, then Cocoa's city attorney, bought everyone else out in 1923. Edwards quit the day job and started working full time to make a return on his investment. One of the first buildings erected was the Cocoa Beach Casino, and for a while, that building also served as the town hall. Next a fishing pier was built, then he started making real plans for promoting tourism.
The Florida Department of Transportation first opened State Route A1A as a one-lane dirt road through the area in 1935. By 1939, Cocoa Beach officially had 49 residents. On May 1, 1942, a German U-boat sank a freighter just offshore from Cocoa Beach.
The town experienced many troubles staying alive during World War II, then growth started again after the war. The decade of the 1950's saw a 1000% increase in population as operations ramped up at the Cape Canaveral Space Center. The town became a city in 1957 in order to float more bonds on Wall Street to prepare for an even greater influx of people.
In the gap between the ending of the Apollo Program and the beginning of Space Shuttle launches, unemployment in Cocoa Beach reached 14.3%, prompting many former space center employees to just walk away from their homes. That's happened again with the end of the Space Shuttle program: since 2000, the population of Cocoa Beach is down about 10%.
High School or Higher: %
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: %
Graduate or Professional Degree: %
Median Resident Age: 55.7 Years
2012 Cost of Living Index for Cocoa Beach: 92.8
Estimated Median Household Income: $46,050
Estimated Median Home Value: $293,340
Population Density: 2,425 People per Square Mile
Manufacturing, Professional Services, Retail Services, Lodging & Food Services, Construction, Transportation Services, Government, Health Care, Social Services, Educational Services, Real Estate Services
Unemployed (March 2012): 9.5%
Population Demographics 2010
|Population by Age|
|18 & over||9,983|
|65 & over||3,835|
|Population by Ethnicity|
|Hispanic or Latino||354|
|Non Hispanic or Latino||10,877|
|Population by Race|
|Hawaiian or Pacific Islander||2|
|Two or more||131|