Belle Glade, Florida

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Belle Glade is a city in Palm Beach County, Florida on the southeastern shore of Lake Okeechobee. The population was 14,906 at the 2000 census. According to the U.S Census estimates of 2007, the city had a population of 16,739.[4]

Belle Glade (and the surrounding area) is sometimes referred to as "Muck City" due to the large quantity of muck, in which sugarcane grows, found in the area, residents of this area are known as "Muckians".[5] About half the sugarcane in the nation is grown in the plains around Belle Glade and nearby Clewiston. Despite being located in the South Florida region of the state, Belle Glade is culturally more associated with the Florida Heartland.

For a time during the early to mid-1980s, the city had the highest rate of AIDS infection per capita (37 cases in a population of roughly 19,000) in the United States.[6] According to the FBI in 2003 the city had the second highest violent crime rate in the country at 298 per 10,000 residents.

Contents

History

The existence of Belle Glade is related to the federal project of draining the land around Lake Okeechobee, the acreage to be used for agriculture. The town was built in 1925 and destroyed by a hurricane three years later which killed thousands of people. Since then the town has been rebuilt. The area around Lake Okeechobee is fertile and farming has been an important industry.[7]

Geography

Belle Glade is located at 26°41′07″N 80°40′17″W / 26.685264°N 80.671275°W / 26.685264; -80.671275.[8]

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