County Profile

News Room

TeCMEN Committee to Host Industry Day - 08/16/2017

Special to the Daily News FORT WALTON BEACH — In an effort to spotlight the diverse capabilities that exist among the area’s technical businesses, the Economic Develop...

Building For The Future - 07/10/2017

Building For The Future Looking beyond beaches and the military to boost economic development BY LINDA KLEINDIENST ~ Article written by 850 Magazine   Okaloosa and Walton countie...

Okaloosa County, Florida, also identified as the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin MSA, may be best known for the sugar white sands and emerald green waters that draw millions of visitors each year.  Yet the community is far more than just another pretty face.  Eglin Air Force Base, the world’s largest Air Force installation, hosts the headquarters of the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), the 96th Test Wing and the 33rd Fighter Wing (F-35 graduate flying and maintenance training wing) among others.  With research and testing at the forefront of activities taking place at Eglin, numerous technology and defense contractors have located here – including renowned powerhouses Boeing, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and L3 Communications.  All benefit from a pro-business local government, award-winning public schools (including Florida’s first STEM-focused middle school), a myriad of post-secondary education options and a steady stream of young, technically astute military retirees.  


2016 - 202,183

In Okaloosa County, businesses thrive in an environment with favorable tax and regulatory climates that offer bright, talented people the opportunity to innovate.

Age Distribution



Range Total Percent
0-4 13,795 6.82%
5-9 12,692 6.28%
10-19 22,919 11.34%
20-29 31,195 15.43%
30-39 28,163 13.93%
40-49 22,285 11.02%
50-59 27,389 13.55%
60-64 11,745 5.81%
65+ 32,000 15.83%

Labor Force

Okaloosa County provides its business community with the resources and infrastructure needed to optimize business operations and promote growth and expansion. 

Due to the expansive military presence, retired and otherwise separated military personnel make up a large portion of the area's available workforce.  These veterans represent nearly a quarter of Okaloosa County's population. This demographic of the county's workforce are skilled and disciplined and of high value to the local defense contractors.

December 2016
Labor Force - 89,721
Unemployed - 3,707
Unemployment Rate - 4.1%
*For historial employment data, visit the Workforce & Talents Page 


Market Profile

Population (2016) 202,183
Median Age 35.97
Labor Force
College Degree 37.27%
High School Degree or Some College 53.43%
White Collar Workers 64%
Blue Collar Workers 35%
Household Expenditures (Average) $58,421
Household Income (Median) $58,139
Commute Travel Time (minutes) 22
Commercial and General Aviation Airports in Community 3
Airports within 50 miles of Community 22
Distance to Interstate  In Community
Distance to Rail In Community

Cost of Living

Price Level Index
(Population Weighted Category Indices)
Total 98
Food 97.5
Health Care 96
Housing 100
Utilities 100
Other Goods and Services 97
Transportation 95
Source: Sperlings Best Places, as of March 2017 

Best Places for Business and Careers
The Economic Development Council partners with chambers of commerce in order to successfully promote and assist our existing business environment and quality of place.

Business Connections

Crestview Chamber of Commerce
Destin Chamber of Commerce
Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber
Niceville-Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce
Emerald Coast Association of Realtors
Northwest Florida Daily News
Building Industry Association of Okaloosa & Walton County
CareerSource Okaloosa Walton
Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce
Santa Rosa Economic Development Office 
Walton Area Chamber of Commerce
Walton County Economic Development Alliance 


Okaloosa County is host to a wide array of businesses and industries. From Tourism to Aerospace & Defense, our diversity reflects th...
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The Technology Coast Manufacturing and Engineering Network, TeCMEN, was established by the Economic Development Council of Ok...
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