Rural Definition

Section 288.0656, Florida Statutes, defines a rural county as:

  • A county with a population of 75,000 or less
  • A county with a population of 125,000 or less which is contiguous to a county with a population of 75,000 or less
  • Any municipality within a county as described above

The Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) was established to better serve Florida's economically distressed rural communities. An "economically distressed" county/community is eligible to request a "Waiver or Reduction of Match" of jobs or wage requirements, eligible company criterion, inducement requirement and grants. Each state agency determines which grant programs will allow for a waiver of match based on their annual budget and federal and state guidelines.

The following counties are eligible to request a reduction or waiver of match.

Baker Franklin Hendry Liberty Union
Bradford Gadsden Highlands Madison Wakulla
Calhoun Gilchrist Holmes Nassau Washington
Columbia Glades Jackson Okeechobee Walton
DeSoto Gulf Jefferson Putnam
Dixie Hamilton Lafayette Suwannee
Flagler Hardee Levy Taylor


An unincorporated federal enterprise community or an incorporated rural city with a population of 25,000 or less and an employment base focused on traditional agricultural or resource-based industries, located in a county not defined as rural, which has multiple economic distress factors may qualify for a reduction or waiver of match and technical assistance from REDI. To learn more, please visit our Rural Communities page.

Communities not located in a designated rural county, are eligible for a reduction or waiver of match based upon documentation submitted, verified and approved by the Department of Economic Opportunity.

For a current list of eligible communities, please contact the Bureau of Economic Development at (850) 717-8428, or (850) 717-8497.


  • Joshua Askey

    Program Manager
    (850) 717-8506
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