Escambia County is included in the Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area. The county population has continued to increase as the suburbs of Pensacola and other cities have developed.
Escambia County was organized by European Americans on July 21, 1821, after the United States bought the Floridas from Spain. It was named for the Escambia River. The name "Escambia" may have been derived from the Creek name Shambia, meaning "clearwater", or the Choctaw word for "cane-brake" or "reed-brake".
Created on the same date, Escambia and St. Johns counties were Florida's two original counties, covering the entire territory within modern state boundaries. The Suwanee River was the border between them, which follows a winding path from the northern border of the state to the Gulf of Mexico. Essentially, the Escambia county government had jurisdiction over the "panhandle" and "big bend" areas and St. Johns over the remainder of the entire state.
As population increased in the frontier territory, 21 counties were later organized from Escambia county directly or indirectly. They include Jackson (1821), Gadsden (created from Jackson)(1823), Leon (1824), Walton (1824), Washington (created from Jackson and Walton)(1825), Hamilton (1827), Jefferson (1827), Madison (created from Jefferson) (1827), Franklin (1832), Calhoun (1838), Santa Rosa (1842), Wakulla (created from Leon) (1843), Holmes (created from Jackson and Walton) (1848), Liberty (created from Gadsden) (1855), Lafayette and Taylor (created from Madison) (1856), Bay (created from Washington) (1913), Okaloosa (created from Santa Rosa and Walton) (1915), Dixie (created from Lafayette) (1921), and Gulf (created from Calhoun) (1925). The total number of counties in Florida in 2013 is 67.
Note: Escambia's 1830 population comprises 2,518 "west of Escambia River, including Saint Rosa Island" and 868 "between Yellow and Escambia Rivers"; part of this area was in Walton County.