The racial makeup of the CDP was 90.22% White, 5.31% African American, 0.41% Native American, 1.65% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.68% from other races, and 1.66% from two or more races.Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.83% of the population.The county maintains sheriff, fire, and EMS coverage.According to the 2000 Census: There are light industrial fabrication centers on the Merritt Island Airport, and NASA-related industrial activities to support the Space Shuttle, which was retired in summer of 2011, and other rocket launches on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The Merritt Island Public Library, though a part of the Brevard County Library System, is a state-designated Special Library District.The small towns on the island vanished with the coming of the Space Age, and now only live on in the names of streets and historic churches.In 1988, citizens defeated a proposed incorporation into a city, 77% opposed to 23% in favor. The construction of the Crawlerway in the north (for NASA space vehicles to move to the launch pad over Banana Creek) connected Merritt Island to a mainland peninsula.The southern area is heavily residential, with centralized light commercial and light industrial areas. The central part of Merritt Island, previously known as Merritt City, In 1605, Spanish explorer Alvaro Mexia visited while on a diplomatic mission to the local tribes living in the Indian River area. Merritt Island is the prominent island on a color map he drew of the area, a copy of which is in the archives at the Library of Congress and the archives in Seville, Spain.In April 1788, French botanist André Michaux traveled in Merritt Island, near Cape Canaveral. He wrote a letter on April 24, 1788 from St Augustine.
The island is linked by causeways, SR 520 (Merritt Island Causeway), , State Road 404 (Pineda Causeway), and SR 528, to the barrier island to its east and the mainland to the west.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service would like to reduce the population.