Leon County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. According to a 2012 population estimate by the United States Census Bureau, the county's population was 283,769. The county seat of Leon County is Tallahassee which also serves as the state capital. The county seat is home to two of Florida's major public universities, Florida A&M University and Florida State University. Leon County residents have the highest average level of education among Florida's 67 counties.
The county forms the nucleus of the Tallahassee, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Originally part of Escambia and later Gadsden County, Leon County was created in 1824. It was named for Juan Ponce de León, the Spanish explorer who was the first European to reach Florida. During the 1850s - 1860s, Leon County was a "cotton kingdom" and ranked 5th out of all of Florida and Georgia counties in the production of cotton from the 20 major plantations. Unlike all other Confederate capitols in the American Civil War, Tallahassee was never captured by the Union forces, and no Union Soldiers set foot in Leon County until Reconstruction.