Bradenton is a city in Manatee County, Florida, United States. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's 2012 population to be 50,672.According to the United States Census Bureau, Bradenton has a total area of 14.44 square miles (37.4 km2), of which 12.11 square miles (31.4 km2) is land and 2.33 square miles (6.0 km2) (16.14%) is water.
The area that would become Bradenton (originally spelled "Bradentown") was first explored in 1539 by the Spanish during the famous expedition led by Hernando De Soto. Bradenton was established in 1842. The original town of Bradentown was incorporated in 1903. The city took the name of Dr. Joseph Braden, whose nearby fort-like house was a refuge for early settlers duringSeminole Indian attacks. The current city of Bradenton was formed in 1943, when the Florida legislature merged the cities of Manatee (incorporated in 1888) and Bradentown.