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Hillsborough County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. Its 2010 population was 1,229,226.[1] Its county seat and largest city is Tampa.[2] Hillsborough, together with Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties comprise the Tampa-St.Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area, and along with various combinations of Manatee and Sarasota counties to the south, Citrus County to the north, and Polk County to the east is often referred to as the Tampa Bay Area. Hillsborough is the largest county in the metropolitan area, with Tampa forming the region’s hub, and the fourth most populous county in Florida.

Hillsborough County was created on January 25, 1834 from Alachua and Monroe counties.[3] It was named for Wills Hill, the Earl of Hillsborough and British Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1768–1772. The county’s original boundaries in 1834 were much larger and included 8 other present-day counties: Charlotte County, DeSoto, Hardee, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota County.[4] The last significant change in Hillsborough County’s borders was the separation of its western section to create Pinellas County in 1911. On New Year’s Day in 1914 the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line initiated the first scheduled commercial airline service in history, from St Petersburg to Tampa.