Palm Beach County was created in 1909. It was named for its first settled community, Palm Beach, in turn named for the palm trees and beaches in the area. The County was carved out of what was then the northern portion of Dade County, comprising part of the areas now occupied by Okeechobee and Broward counties. The southernmost part of Palm Beach County was separated to create the northern portion of Broward County in 1915, the northwestern portion became part of Okeechobee County 1917 and southern Martin County was created from northernmost Palm Beach County in 1925. Palm Beach County is the largest county in the state of Florida with a total area of 2,386.33 square miles. Palm Beach County borders Martin County to the North, the Atlantic Ocean to the East, Broward County to the South, Hendry County to the West, and extends into Lake Okeechobee in the Northwest, where it borders Okeechobee County and Glades County at one point in the center of the lake.
Tourism is Palm Beach County's number one industry, generating over $2.6 billion dollars annually. Palm beach county is the third in county in population, as of the 2010 census, the estimated population was 1,320,134, making it the twenty-eighth most populous in the United States. With wealthy coastal towns such as Palm Beach, Jupiter, Manalapan, and Boca Raton within its limits, as well as equestrian mecca Wellington and golfing haven Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Beach County is Florida's wealthiest county, with a per capita personal income of $44,518 as of 2004.
There are 14 natural areas in the County with public use facilities for passive, natural resource-based recreation activities such as hiking, bird watching, nature study, and photography, as well as for environmental education and scientific research. Other recreation uses, such as horseback riding, bicycling, and fishing, are permitted in designated areas. The Palm Beach International Airport serves about 5,769,583 passengers anually and was voted third finest in the nation by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler Magazine, and also the sixth best in the world. It counts with three runways and covers 2,120 acres.