Hardee County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. As of 2000, the population was 26,938. The U.S. Census Bureau 2005 estimate for the county is 28,286 http://www. census. gov/popest/counties/tables/CO-EST2005-01-12. xls. Its county seat is Wauchula, Florida. The county comprises the Wauchula, Florida, Micropolitan Statistical Area.