North Port is a city in southern Sarasota County, Florida, United States. The population was 22,797 at the 2000 census. As of 2007, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 54,308. It is part of the BradentonSarasotaVenice Metropolitan Statistical Area. It was originally developed by General Development Corporation as the northern or Sarasota County part of its Port Charlotte development. GDC dubbed it North Port Charlotte, and it was incorporated under that name through a special act of the Florida Legislature in 1959. By referendum in 1974 the city's residents approved a change to simply North Port to proclaim its separate identity.