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Haines City is a city in Polk County, Florida, United States. The population was 13,174 at the 2000 census. As of 2010, the population estimated by the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida is 18,762. Haines City is the third most populous city in Polk County, Florida. It is part of the Lakeland–Winter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The city was platted in 1885, shortly after the South Florida Railroad reached the area. The city was first known as Clay Cut, but there was no railroad station. It is said that the inhabitants persuaded the railroad company to build a station by agreeing to rename their city Haines City, to honor a senior railroad official, Colonel Henry Haines.
The early settlers planted citrus groves, and citrus growing and processing became the main industry of the city.