HOME

TheInfoList




Florida is a
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
located in the
Southeastern The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydrostatic equilibrium, rounded by its own gravity ...
region of the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
. Florida is bordered to the west by the
Gulf of Mexico The Gulf of Mexico ( es, Golfo de México) is an ocean basin 400px, Diagrammatic cross-section of an ocean basin, showing the various geographic features In hydrology Hydrology (from Greek: wikt:ὕδωρ, ὕδωρ, "hýdōr" meaning ...

Gulf of Mexico
, to the northwest by
Alabama (We dare defend our rights) , anthem = "Alabama (state song), Alabama" , image_map = Alabama in United States.svg , seat = Montgomery, Alabama, Montgomery , LargestCity = Birmin ...

Alabama
, to the north by
Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country), a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia * Georgia (U.S. state), one of the states of the United States of America Georgia may also refer to: Historical states and entities * Democratic Republ ...
, to the east by
the Bahamas The Bahamas (), known officially as The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, is a sovereign country within the of the in the . It takes up 97% of the Lucayan Archipelago's land area and is home to 88% of the archipelago's population. The consists ...
and
Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
, and to the south by the
Straits of Florida 250px, The Straits of Florida The Straits of Florida, Florida Straits, or Florida Strait ( es, Estrecho de Florida) is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. M ...

Straits of Florida
and
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud Isla de la Juventud (; en, Isle of Youth) is the second-largest Cuban islan ...

Cuba
; it is the only state that borders both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Spanning 65,758 square miles, Florida ranks 22nd in area among the 50 states, and with a population of over 21 million, is the third-most populous. The state capital is
Tallahassee Tallahassee () is the capital city of the U.S. state of Florida Florida (, ) is a U.S. state, state located in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States. With a population of over 21million, Florida is the L ...

Tallahassee
and the most populous city is
Jacksonville Jacksonville is a city located on the Atlantic coast of Florida, the most populous city in the state, and is the List of United States cities by area, largest city by area in the contiguous United States as of 2020. It is the county seat, seat ...
. The
Miami metropolitan area The Miami metropolitan area is the seventh-largest metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories under the same administrative ...
, with a population of almost 6.2 million, is the most populous urban area in Florida and the seventh-most populous in the United States; other urban conurbations with over one million people are
Tampa Bay Tampa Bay is a large natural harbor A harbor (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the U ...
,
Orlando Orlando () is a city in the U.S. state of Florida and is the county seat of Orange County, Florida, Orange County. In Central Florida, it is the center of the Greater Orlando, Orlando metropolitan area, which had a population of 2,509,831, accor ...
, and
Jacksonville Jacksonville is a city located on the Atlantic coast of Florida, the most populous city in the state, and is the List of United States cities by area, largest city by area in the contiguous United States as of 2020. It is the county seat, seat ...
. Various Native American groups have inhabited Florida for at least 14,000 years. In 1513, Spanish explorer
Juan Ponce de León Juan Ponce de León (, , , ; 1474 – July 1521) was a Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = E ...

Juan Ponce de León
became the first known European to make landfall, calling the region ''La Florida'' ( a floˈɾiðafor its lush greenery and the
Easter Easter,Traditional names for the feast in English are "Easter Day", as in the ''Book of Common Prayer''; "Easter Sunday", used by James Ussher''The Whole Works of the Most Rev. James Ussher, Volume 4'' and Samuel Pepys''The Diary of Samuel Pe ...

Easter
season (''Pascua Florida'' in Spanish). Florida subsequently became the first area in the continental U.S. to be permanently settled by Europeans, with the Spanish colony of St. Augustine, founded in 1565, being the oldest continuously inhabited city. Florida was repeatedly contested by
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
and
Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the British Isles, the List of European islands by area, largest European island, and the List of i ...

Great Britain
, before being ceded to the U.S. in 1819; it was admitted as the
27th state 7 (seven) is the natural number following 6 and preceding 8. It is the only prime number preceding a cube (algebra), cube, and is often considered lucky in Western culture, and is often seen as Symbolism of the Number 7, highly symbolic. It is t ...
on March 3, 1845. Florida was the principal location of the
Seminole Wars The Seminole Wars (also known as the Florida Wars) were three related military conflicts in Florida Florida is a U.S. state, state located in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States. Florida is bordered to t ...
(1816–1858), the longest and most extensive of the
Indian Wars The American Indian Wars, also known as the American Frontier Wars, the First Nations Wars in Canada (french: Guerres des Premières Nations) and the Indian Wars were fought by European governments and colonists, and later by the United States an ...
in U.S. history. The state seceded from the Union on January 10, 1861, becoming one of the seven original
Confederate States The Confederate States of America (CSA), commonly referred to as the Confederate States or the Confederacy, was an unrecognized breakaway state in existence from February 8, 1861, to May 9, 1865, that fought against the United States of Ame ...

Confederate States
. After the
Civil War A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same Sovereign state, state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independen ...
, Florida was restored to the Union on June 25, 1868. Since the mid-20th century, Florida has experienced rapid demographic and economic growth. Its $1.0 trillion economy is the fourth-largest of any U.S. state and the 16th-largest in the world; the main sectors are
tourism at the archaeological site of Chichén Itza. in Vienna. Tourism is travel for pleasure or business; also the theory and practice of touring (disambiguation), touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and th ...

tourism
,
hospitality Hospitality is the relationship between a guest and a host, wherein the host receives the guest with some amount of goodwill, including the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers. Louis, chevalier de Jaucourt describes ...
,
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

agriculture
, real estate, and
transportation Transport (in British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval Engl ...
. Florida is world-renowned for its
beach resort A seaside resort is a town A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than city, cities, though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts of the world. Origi ...
s,
amusement park Wonder Mountain at Canada's Wonderland An amusement park is a park that features various attractions, such as rides and games, as well as other events for entertainment purposes. A theme park is a type of amusement park that bases its struc ...
s, warm and sunny climate, and nautical recreation; attractions such as
Walt Disney World The Walt Disney World Resort, also called Walt Disney World or Disney World, is an entertainment resort complex in Bay Lake, Florida, Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, United States, near the cities of Orlando, ...
, the
Kennedy Space Center The John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC, originally known as the NASA Launch Operations Center), located on Merritt Island Merritt Island is a census-designated place A census-designated place (CDP) is a Place (United States Census Bureau ...

Kennedy Space Center
, and
Miami Beach Miami Beach is a coastal in , , . It was incorporated on March 26, 1915. The is located on natural and s between the and , the latter of which separates the Beach from the mainland city of . The of , comprising the southernmost of Miami ...

Miami Beach
draw tens of millions of visitors annually. Florida is a popular destination for
retirees A pensioner is a person who lives on a pension, most commonly because of retirement from the workforce. This is a term typically used in the United Kingdom (along with OAP), Ireland and Australia where someone of pensionable age may also be referr ...
, seasonal vacationers, and both domestic and international migrants; it hosts nine out of the ten fastest-growing communities in the U.S. The state's close proximity to the ocean has shaped its culture, identity, and daily life; its colonial history and successive waves of migration are reflected in
African African(s) may refer to: * Anything from or pertaining to the continent of Africa: ** People who are native to Africa, descendants of natives of Africa, or individuals who trace their ancestry to indigenous inhabitants of Africa *** Ethnic groups ...

African
,
European European, or Europeans, may refer to: In general * ''European'', an adjective referring to something of, from, or related to Europe ** Ethnic groups in Europe ** Demographics of Europe ** European cuisine, the cuisines of Europe and other Western ...
,
Indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a particular place. The term ' ...
,
Latino Latino or Latinos most often refers to: * Latino (demonym), a term used in the United States for people with cultural ties to Latin America * Hispanic and Latino Americans in the United States * The people or cultures of Latin America; ** Latin Am ...
, and
Asian Asian may refer to: * Items from or related to the continent of Asia: ** Asian people, people in or descending from Asia ** Asian culture, the culture of the people from Asia ** Asian cuisine, food based on the style of food of the people from Asi ...
influences. Florida has attracted or inspired writers such as
Marjorie Kinnan RawlingsMarjorie Kinnan Rawlings (August 8, 1896 – December 14, 1953)
accessed December 8, 2014.
was an

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
,
Ernest Hemingway Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American novelist, short-story writer, journalist, and sportsman. His economical and understated style—which he termed the iceberg theory—had a strong influence on 20th- ...
and
Tennessee Williams Thomas Lanier Williams III (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983), known by his pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym (or, in some cases, a variant form of a real name) adopted by an author an ...

Tennessee Williams
, and continues to attract celebrities and athletes, particularly in golf, tennis, auto racing, and
water sports Water (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, struc ...
. About two-thirds of Florida occupies a peninsula between the
Gulf of Mexico The Gulf of Mexico ( es, Golfo de México) is an ocean basin 400px, Diagrammatic cross-section of an ocean basin, showing the various geographic features In hydrology Hydrology (from Greek: wikt:ὕδωρ, ὕδωρ, "hýdōr" meaning ...

Gulf of Mexico
and the . It has the longest coastline in the
contiguous United States The contiguous United States or officially the conterminous United States, also known as the Lower 48, consists of the 48 adjoining U.S. states and the Washington, D.C., District of Columbia on the continent of North America. The terms exclude ...
, spanning approximately 1,350 miles (2,170 km), not including its many
barrier island Barrier islands are coastal landforms and a type of dune system that are exceptionally flat or lumpy areas of sand that form by wave and tidal action parallel to the mainland coast. They usually occur in chains, consisting of anything from a f ...
s. Florida has 4,510 islands that are ten acres (4 ha) or larger in area, the second highest number after
Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United States, on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast of the United State ...

Alaska
. Much of the state is at or near sea level, and is characterized by
sediment Sediment is a naturally occurring material that is broken down by processes of weathering Weathering is the deterioration of rocks A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is cate ...

sediment
ary soil. Florida is the flattest state in the country, with the lowest high point of any U.S. state, at just 345 feet (105 meters).
Lake Okeechobee Lake Okeechobee (), also known as Florida's Inland Sea, is the largest freshwater lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a Depression (geology), basin, surrounded by land, and set apart from any river or other outlet that s ...
is its largest freshwater
lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable ove ...

lake
, and the second-largest located entirely within the contiguous 48 states. Several beaches in Florida have turquoise and emerald-colored coastal waters. Florida's climate varies from
subtropical The subtropical zones or subtropics are geographical zone, geographical and Köppen climate classification, climate zones located to the north and south of the tropics, Torrid Zone. Geographically part of the Geographical zone#Temperate zones, ...

subtropical
in the north to
tropical The tropics are the region of Earth surrounding the Equator. They are delimited in latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere at N and the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere at S; these latitudes correspond to ...

tropical
in the south. It is the only state besides
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Hawaii
to have a
tropical climate Tropical climate is one of the five major climate groups in the . Tropical climates are characterized by monthly average temperatures of 18 °C (64.4 °F) or higher year-round and feature hot temperatures. Annual precipitation is often ...
, and is the only continental state with both a tropical climate (at the lower tip of the peninsula) and a
coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient c ...

coral reef
. Consequently, Florida has several unique ecosystems, most notably
Everglades National Park Everglades National Park is an American national park that protects the southern twenty percent of the original Everglades in Florida. The park is the largest tropical wilderness in the United States and the largest wilderness of any kind east o ...

Everglades National Park
, the largest tropical wilderness in the U.S. and among the largest in the Americas. Unique wildlife include the
American alligator The American alligator (''Alligator mississippiensis''), sometimes referred to colloquially as a gator or common alligator, is a large crocodilian reptile native to the Southeastern United States and northeastern Mexico. It is one of two extan ...

American alligator
,
American crocodile The American crocodile (''Crocodylus acutus'') is a species of crocodilian Crocodilia (or Crocodylia, both ) is an order of mostly large, predatory, semiaquatic reptile Reptiles are tetrapod Tetrapods (; from Greek 'four' and ' ...

American crocodile
,
American flamingo The American flamingo (''Phoenicopterus ruber'') is a large species of flamingo Flamingos or flamingoes are a type of wading bird in the family Phoenicopteridae, the only bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constit ...

American flamingo
,
Roseate spoonbill The roseate spoonbill (''Platalea ajaja'') is a gregarious wading bird of the ibis and spoonbill family, Threskiornithidae. It is a resident breeder in South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere an ...

Roseate spoonbill
,
Florida panther The Florida panther is a North American cougar (''P. c. couguar'') population found in South Florida. It lives in pinelands, tropical hardwood hammocks, and mixed freshwater swamp forests. Males can weigh up to and live within a range that incl ...

Florida panther
,
bottlenose dolphin Bottlenose dolphins are in the genus ''Tursiops.'' They are the most common members of the family Delphinidae, the family of oceanic dolphins. Molecular studies show the genus contains three species In biology, a species is the basic u ...
, and
manatee Manatees (family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the well-being of its members and of society. Ideal ...
. The
Florida Reef The Florida Reef (also known as the Great Florida Reef, Florida reefs, Florida Reef Tract and Florida Keys Reef Tract) is the only living Coral reef, coral barrier reef in the continental United States. It is the third largest coral barrier reef ...
is the only living in the continental United States, and the third-largest coral barrier reef system in the world (after the
Great Barrier Reef The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystems, ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of Colony (biology), colonies of coral polyp (zoology), polyps held tog ...

Great Barrier Reef
and
Belize Barrier Reef The Belize Barrier Reef is a series of coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem An ecosystem is a community (ecology), community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interactin ...
). Florida's large population and economy give it considerable influence in national politics; since the late 20th century the state has been a major battleground in presidential elections, most notably in 2000.
Miami Miami (), officially the City of Miami, is a coast, coastal metropolis located in Miami-Dade County, Florida, Miami-Dade County in southeastern Florida, United States. With a population of 467,963 as of the 2020 United States census, 2020 censu ...

Miami
, along with
Orlando Orlando () is a city in the U.S. state of Florida and is the county seat of Orange County, Florida, Orange County. In Central Florida, it is the center of the Greater Orlando, Orlando metropolitan area, which had a population of 2,509,831, accor ...
and
Tampa Tampa () is a major city on the Gulf Coast The Gulf Coast of the United States is the coastline The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the sea or ocean, or as a line that forms the bo ...
, is recognized as a
global city A global city, also called a power city, world city, alpha city or world center, is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996 ...
.


History

People, known as
Paleo-Indians Paleo-Indians, Paleoindians or Paleo-Americans, were the first peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a ...
, entered Florida at least 14,000 years ago. By the 16th century, the earliest time for which there is a historical record, major groups of people living in Florida included the
Apalachee The Apalachee are a Native American people who historically lived in the Florida Panhandle The Florida Panhandle (also West Florida and Northwest Florida) is the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Florida Florida (, ) is a U.S. s ...

Apalachee
of the
Florida Panhandle The Florida Panhandle (also West Florida and Northwest Florida) is the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Florida Florida is a located in the region of the . Florida is bordered to the west by the , to the northwest by , to the ...

Florida Panhandle
, the
Timucua The Timucua were a Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenou ...
of northern and central Florida, the Ais of the central Atlantic coast, and the
Calusa The Calusa ( ) were a Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigen ...

Calusa
of southwest Florida, with many smaller groups throughout what is now Florida.


European arrival

Florida was the first region of the
continental United States The contiguous United States or officially the conterminous United States consists of the 48 adjoining U.S. state In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or Americ ...
to be visited and settled by Europeans. The earliest known European explorers came with the Spanish
conquistador Conquistadors (, ) or conquistadores (, ; meaning 'conquerors') were the invaders, knights, soldiers, and explorers of the Spanish Empire, Spanish and the Portuguese Empires. During the Age of Discovery, conquistadors sailed beyond Europe to t ...

conquistador
Juan Ponce de León Juan Ponce de León (, , , ; 1474 – July 1521) was a Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = E ...

Juan Ponce de León
. Ponce de León spotted and landed on the peninsula on April 2, 1513. He named it '' La Florida'' in recognition of the verdant landscape and because it was the
Easter Easter,Traditional names for the feast in English are "Easter Day", as in the ''Book of Common Prayer''; "Easter Sunday", used by James Ussher''The Whole Works of the Most Rev. James Ussher, Volume 4'' and Samuel Pepys''The Diary of Samuel Pe ...

Easter
season, which the
Spaniards Spaniards, or Spanish people, are a predominantly Romance peoples, Romance-speaking ethnic group native to Spain. Within Spain, there are a number of National and regional identity in Spain, national and regional ethnic identities that reflect th ...
called '' Pascua Florida'' (Festival of Flowers). The following day they came ashore to seek information and take possession of this new land. The story that he was searching for the
Fountain of Youth The Fountain of Youth is a mythical spring that restores the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its waters. Tales of such a fountain have been recounted around the world for thousands of years, appearing in the writings of Herodotus He ...

Fountain of Youth
is mythical and appeared only long after his death. In May 1539, Conquistador
Hernando de Soto Hernando de Soto (; ; 1500 – May 21, 1542) was a Spanish explorer and ''conquistador'' who was involved in expeditions in Nicaragua and the Yucatan Peninsula. He played an important role in Pizarro's conquest of the Inca Empire in Peru, but is ...

Hernando de Soto
skirted the coast of Florida, searching for a deep harbor to land. He described a thick wall of red mangroves spread mile after mile, some reaching as high as , with intertwined and elevated roots making landing difficult. The Spanish introduced
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...
, cattle, horses, sheep, the Castilian language, and more to Florida. Spain established several settlements in Florida, with varying degrees of success. In 1559, Don
Tristán de Luna y Arellano Tristán de Luna y Arellano (1510 – September 16, 1573) was a Spanish explorer and Conquistador Conquistadors (, ) or conquistadores (, ; meaning 'conquerors') were the invaders, knights, soldiers, and explorers of the Spanish Empire, Spanish ...
established a settlement at present-day Pensacola, Florida, Pensacola, making it the first attempted settlement in Florida, but it was mostly abandoned by 1561. In 1564-65 there was a French settlement at Fort Caroline, in present Duval County, Florida, Duval County, which was destroyed by the Spanish. In 1565, the settlement of St. Augustine, Florida, St. Augustine (San Agustín) was established under the leadership of admiral and governor Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, creating what would become one of the oldest, continuously-occupied European settlements in the continental U.S. and establishing the first generation of Floridanos and the List of colonial governors of Florida, Government of Florida. Spain maintained strategic control over the region by Spanish missions in Florida, converting the local tribes to Christianity. The marriage between Luisa de Abrego, a free black domestic servant from Seville, and Miguel Rodríguez, a white Segovian, occurred in 1565 in St. Augustine. It is the first recorded Christian marriage in the continental United States. Some Spanish married or had unions with Pensacola, Creek or List of ethnic groups of Africa, African women, both slave and free, and their descendants created a mixed-race population of mestizos and mulattos. The Spanish encouraged Slavery in the colonial United States, slaves from the Thirteen Colonies to come to Florida as a refuge, promising freedom in exchange for conversion to Catholic Church, Catholicism. Charles II of Spain, King Charles II of Spain issued a royal proclamation freeing all slaves who fled to Spanish Florida and accepted conversion and baptism. Most went to the area around St. Augustine, Florida, St. Augustine, but Fugitive slaves in the United States, escaped slaves also reached Pensacola. St. Augustine had mustered an all-black militia unit defending Spanish Florida as early as 1683. The geographical area of Spanish claims in ''La Florida'' diminished with the establishment of English settlements to the north and French claims to the west. English colonists and buccaneers launched several attacks on St. Augustine in the 17th and 18th centuries, razing the city and its cathedral to the ground several times. Spain built the Castillo de San Marcos in 1672 and Fort Matanzas in 1742 to defend Florida's capital city from attacks, and to maintain its strategic position in the defense of the Captaincy General of Cuba and the Spanish West Indies. In 1738, the List of colonial governors of Florida, Spanish governor of Florida Manuel de Montiano established Fort Mose Historic State Park, Fort Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose near St. Augustine, a fortified town for escaped slaves to whom Montiano granted citizenship and freedom in return for their service in the Florida militia, and which became the first free black settlement legally sanctioned in North America. In Timeline of Florida History, 1763, Spain traded Florida to the Kingdom of Great Britain for control of Havana, Captaincy General of Cuba, Cuba, which Siege of Havana, had been captured by the British during the Seven Years' War. The trade was done as part of the Treaty of Paris (1763), 1763 Treaty of Paris which ended the Seven Years' War. Spain was granted Louisiana (New Spain), Louisiana from France due to their loss of Florida. A large portion of the Florida population left, taking along large portions of the remaining indigenous population with them to Cuba. The British soon constructed the King's Road (Florida), King's Road connecting St. Augustine to Province of Georgia, Georgia. The road crossed the St. Johns River at a narrow point called ''Wacca Pilatka,'' or the British name "Cow Ford", reflecting the fact that cattle were brought across the river there. The British divided and consolidated the Florida provinces (''Las Floridas'') into British East Florida, East Florida and British West Florida, West Florida, a division the Spanish government kept after the brief British period. The British government gave land grants to officers and soldiers who had fought in the French and Indian War in order to encourage settlement. In order to induce settlers to move to Florida, reports of its natural wealth were published in England. A number of British settlers who were described as being "energetic and of good character" moved to Florida, mostly coming from South Carolina,
Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country), a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia * Georgia (U.S. state), one of the states of the United States of America Georgia may also refer to: Historical states and entities * Democratic Republ ...
and England. There was also a group of settlers who came from the colony of Bermuda. This was the first permanent English-speaking population in what is now Duval County, Florida, Duval County, Baker County, Florida, Baker County, St. Johns County, Florida, St. Johns County and Nassau County, Florida, Nassau County. The British constructed good public roads and introduced the cultivation of sugar cane, indigo and fruits, as well as the export of lumber.''A History of Florida''. Caroline Mays Brevard, Henry Eastman Bennett''The Land Policy in British East Florida''. C. L. Mowat, Charles L. Mowat, 1940 The British governors were directed to call general assemblies as soon as possible in order to make laws for the Floridas, and in the meantime they were, with the advice of councils, to establish courts. This was the first introduction of the English-derived legal system which Florida still has today, including Jury trial, trial by jury, habeas corpus and county-based government. Neither East Florida nor West Florida sent any representatives to Philadelphia to draft the United States Declaration of Independence, Declaration of Independence. Florida remained a Loyalist stronghold for the duration of the American Revolution. Spain regained both East and West Florida after Britain's defeat in the American Revolutionary War, Revolutionary War and the subsequent Treaty of Versailles (1783), Treaty of Versailles in 1783, and continued the provincial divisions until 1821.


Statehood and Indian removal

Defense of Florida's northern border with the United States was minor during the second Spanish period. The region became a haven for escaped slaves and a base for Indian attacks against U.S. territories, and the U.S. pressed Spain for reform. Americans of English Americans, English and Scotch-Irish Americans, Scots-Irish descent began moving into northern Florida from the backwoods of
Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country), a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia * Georgia (U.S. state), one of the states of the United States of America Georgia may also refer to: Historical states and entities * Democratic Republ ...
and South Carolina. Though technically not allowed by the Spanish authorities and the Floridan government, they were never able to effectively police the border region and the backwoods settlers from the United States would continue to immigrate into Florida unchecked. These migrants, mixing with the already present British settlers who had remained in Florida since the British period, would be the progenitors of the population known as Florida Crackers. These American settlers established a permanent foothold in the area and ignored Spanish authorities. The British settlers who had remained also resented Spanish rule, leading to a rebellion in 1810 and the establishment for ninety days of the so-called Free and Independent Republic of West Florida on September 23. After meetings beginning in June, rebels overcame the garrison at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Baton Rouge (now in Louisiana), and unfurled the flag of the new republic: a single white star on a blue field. This flag would later become known as the "Bonnie Blue Flag". In 1810, parts of West Florida were annexed by the proclamation of President James Madison, who claimed the region as part of the Louisiana Purchase. These parts were incorporated into the newly formed Territory of Orleans. The U.S. annexed the Mobile District of West Florida to the Mississippi Territory in 1812. Spain continued to dispute the area, though the United States gradually increased the area it occupied. In 1812, a group of settlers from Georgia, with de facto support from the U.S. federal government, attempted to overthrow the Floridan government in the province of East Florida. The settlers hoped to convince Floridians to join their cause and proclaim independence from Spain, but the settlers lost their tenuous support from the federal government and abandoned their cause by 1813. Seminoles based in East Florida began raiding Georgia settlements, and offering havens for runaway slaves. The United States Army led increasingly frequent incursions into Spanish territory, including the 1817–1818 campaign against the Seminole Indians by Andrew Jackson that became known as the First Seminole War. The United States now effectively controlled East Florida. Control was necessary according to Secretary of State John Quincy Adams because Florida had become "a derelict open to the occupancy of every enemy, civilized or savage, of the United States, and serving no other earthly purpose than as a post of annoyance to them." Florida had become a burden to Spain, which could not afford to send settlers or troops due to the devastation caused by the Peninsular War. Madrid, therefore, decided to cede the territory to the United States through the Adams–Onís Treaty, which took effect in 1821. President James Monroe was authorized on March 3, 1821, to take possession of East Florida and West Florida for the United States and provide for initial governance. Andrew Jackson, on behalf of the U.S. federal government, served as a military commissioner with the powers of governor of the newly acquired territory for a brief period. On March 30, 1822, the U.S. Congress merged East Florida and part of West Florida into the Florida Territory. By the early 1800s, Indian removal was a significant issue throughout the southeastern U.S. and also in Florida. In 1830, the U.S. Congress passed the Indian Removal Act and as settlement increased, pressure grew on the U.S. government to remove the Indians from Florida. Seminoles offered sanctuary to blacks, and these became known as the Black Seminoles, and clashes between whites and Indians grew with the influx of new settlers. In 1832, the Treaty of Payne's Landing promised to the Seminoles lands west of the Mississippi River if they agreed to leave Florida. Many Seminole left at this time. Some Seminoles remained, and the U.S. Army arrived in Florida, leading to the Second Seminole War (1835–1842). Following the war, approximately 3,000 Seminole and 800 Black Seminole were removed to Indian Territory. A few hundred Seminole remained in Florida in the Everglades. On March 3, 1845, only one day before the end of President John Tyler's term in office, Florida became the 27th state, admitted as a slave state and no longer a sanctuary for runaway slaves. Initially its population grew slowly. As European settlers continued to encroach on Seminole lands, the United States intervened to move the remaining Seminoles to the West. The Third Seminole War (1855–58) resulted in the Trail of Tears, forced removal of most of the remaining Seminoles, although hundreds of Seminole Indians remained in the Everglades. The first settlements and towns in South Florida were founded much later than those in the northern part of the state. The first permanent European settlers arrived in the early 19th century. People came from the Bahamas to South Florida and the Florida Keys, Keys to hunt for treasure from the ships that ran aground on the treacherous Great
Florida Reef The Florida Reef (also known as the Great Florida Reef, Florida reefs, Florida Reef Tract and Florida Keys Reef Tract) is the only living Coral reef, coral barrier reef in the continental United States. It is the third largest coral barrier reef ...
. Some accepted Spanish land offers along the Miami River. At about the same time, the Seminole Indians arrived, along with a group of runaway slaves. The area was affected by the Second Seminole War, during which Major William S. Harney led several raids against the Indians. Most non-Indian residents were soldiers stationed at Fort Dallas. It was the most devastating Indian war in American history, causing almost a total loss of population in Miami. After the Second Seminole War ended in 1842, William English re-established a plantation started by his uncle on the Miami River. He charted the "Village of Miami" on the south bank of the Miami River and sold several plots of land. In 1844, Miami became the county seat, and six years later a census reported there were ninety-six residents in the area. The Seminole Wars#Third Seminole War, Third Seminole War was not as destructive as the second, but it slowed the settlement of southeast Florida. At the end of the war, a few of the soldiers stayed.


Civil War and Reconstruction

American settlers began to establish cotton plantations in the American South, plantations in north Florida, which required numerous laborers, which they supplied by buying slaves in the domestic market. By 1860, Florida had only 140,424 people, of whom 44% were enslaved. There were fewer than 1,000 free free black, African Americans before the American Civil War. On January 10, 1861, nearly all delegates in the Florida Legislature approved an ordinance of secession, declaring Florida to be "a sovereign and independent nation"—an apparent reassertion to the preamble in Florida's Constitution of 1838, in which Florida agreed with Congress to be a "Free and Independent State." The ordinance declared Florida's secession from the Union (American Civil War), Union, allowing it to become one of the founding members of the
Confederate States The Confederate States of America (CSA), commonly referred to as the Confederate States or the Confederacy, was an unrecognized breakaway state in existence from February 8, 1861, to May 9, 1865, that fought against the United States of Ame ...

Confederate States
. The Confederacy received little military help from Florida; the 15,000 troops it offered were generally sent elsewhere. Instead of troops and manufactured goods, Florida did provide salt and, more importantly, beef to feed the Confederate armies. This was particularly important after 1864, when the Confederacy lost control of the Mississippi River, thereby losing access to Texas beef. The largest engagements in the state were the Battle of Olustee, on February 20, 1864, and the Battle of Natural Bridge, on March 6, 1865. Both were Confederate victories. The war ended in 1865. Following the American Civil War, Florida's United States Congress, congressional representation was restored on June 25, 1868, albeit forcefully after Reconstruction era, Reconstruction and the installation of unelected government officials under the final authority of federal military commanders. After the Reconstruction period ended in 1876, white Democrats regained power in the state legislature. In 1885, they created a new constitution, followed by statutes through 1889 that Disfranchisement after Reconstruction era, disfranchised most blacks and many poor whites. In the pre-automobile era, railroads played a key role in the state's development, particularly in coastal areas. In 1883, the Pensacola and Atlantic Railroad connected Pensacola and the rest of the Florida Panhandle, Panhandle to the rest of the state. In 1884 the South Florida Railroad (later absorbed by Atlantic Coast Line Railroad) opened full service to Tampa. In 1894 the Florida East Coast Railway reached West Palm Beach; in 1896 it reached Biscayne Bay near
Miami Miami (), officially the City of Miami, is a coast, coastal metropolis located in Miami-Dade County, Florida, Miami-Dade County in southeastern Florida, United States. With a population of 467,963 as of the 2020 United States census, 2020 censu ...

Miami
. Numerous other railroads were built all over the interior of the state.


20th and 21st century

Historically, Florida's economy has been based primarily upon agricultural products such as citrus fruits, strawberries, nuts, sugarcane and cattle. The boll weevil devastated cotton crops during the early 20th century. Until the mid-20th century, Florida was the least populous state in the southern United States. In 1900, its population was only 528,542, of whom nearly 44% were African American, the same proportion as before the Civil War. Forty thousand blacks, roughly one-fifth of their 1900 population levels in Florida, left the state in the Great Migration (African American), Great Migration. They left due to lynchings and racial violence, and for better opportunities in the North and the West. Disfranchisement for most African Americans in the state persisted until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s gained federal legislation in 1965 to enforce protection of their constitutional suffrage. In response to segregation in Florida, a number of protests occurred in Florida during the 1950s and 1960s as part of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1956–1957, students at Florida A&M University organized a bus boycott in Tallahassee to mimic the Montgomery bus boycott and succeeded in integrating the city's buses. Students also held sit-ins in 1960 in protest of segregated seating at local lunch counters, and in 1964 an incident at St. Augustine motel pool, in which the owner poured acid into the water during a demonstration, influenced the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Economic prosperity in the 1920s stimulated tourism to Florida and related development of hotels and resort communities. Combined with its sudden elevation in profile was the Florida land boom of the 1920s, which brought a brief period of intense land development. In 1925, the Seaboard Air Line broke the FEC's southeast Florida monopoly and extended its freight and passenger service to West Palm Beach; two years later it extended passenger service to Miami. Devastating hurricanes in 1926 Miami hurricane, 1926 and 1928 Okeechobee hurricane, 1928, followed by the Great Depression, brought that period to a halt. Florida's economy did not fully recover until the military buildup for World War II. In 1939, Florida was described as "still very largely an empty State." Subsequently, the growing availability of air conditioning, the climate, and a low cost of living made the state a haven. Migration from the Rust Belt and the Northeast sharply increased Florida's population after 1945. In the 1960s, many refugees from Cuba fleeing Fidel Castro's communist regime arrived in Miami at the Freedom Tower (Miami), Freedom Tower, where the federal government used the facility to process, document and provide medical and dental services for the newcomers. As a result, the Freedom Tower was also called the "Ellis Island of the South." In recent decades, more migrants have come for the jobs in a developing economy. With a population of more than 18million, according to the 2010 census, Florida is the most populous state in the southeastern United States and the third-most populous in the United States. The population of Florida has boomed in recent years with the state being the recipient of the largest number of out-of-state movers in the country as of 2019. Florida's growth has been widespread, as cities throughout the state have continued to see population growth. Florida was the site of the killing of Trayvon Martin, a young black man killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, Sanford. The incident drew national attention to Florida's stand-your-ground laws, and it sparked African American activism nationally, including the Black Lives Matter movement. After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017, a large population of Puerto Ricans began moving to Florida to escape the widespread destruction. Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans arrived in Florida after Maria dissipated, with nearly half of them arriving in Orlando and large populations also moving to Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. A handful of high-profile mass shootings have occurred in Florida in the twenty-first century. In June 2016, a gunman killed 49 people at a Orlando nightclub shooting, gay nightclub in Orlando. In February 2018, 17 people were killed in a Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, school schooling at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, leading to new gun control regulations at both the state and federal level. On June 24, 2021, a condominium in Surfside, Florida, Surfside,
Miami Miami (), officially the City of Miami, is a coast, coastal metropolis located in Miami-Dade County, Florida, Miami-Dade County in southeastern Florida, United States. With a population of 467,963 as of the 2020 United States census, 2020 censu ...

Miami
Surfside condominium building collapse, collapsed, killing at least 97 people.


Geography

Much of Florida is on a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean and the
Straits of Florida 250px, The Straits of Florida The Straits of Florida, Florida Straits, or Florida Strait ( es, Estrecho de Florida) is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. M ...

Straits of Florida
. Spanning two time zones, it extends to the northwest into a Salient (geography), panhandle, extending along the northern Gulf of Mexico. It is bordered on the north by
Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country), a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia * Georgia (U.S. state), one of the states of the United States of America Georgia may also refer to: Historical states and entities * Democratic Republ ...
and
Alabama (We dare defend our rights) , anthem = "Alabama (state song), Alabama" , image_map = Alabama in United States.svg , seat = Montgomery, Alabama, Montgomery , LargestCity = Birmin ...

Alabama
, and on the west, at the end of the panhandle, by Alabama. It is the only state that borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Florida also is the southernmost of the 48 contiguous states,
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Hawaii
being the only one of the fifty states reaching farther south. Florida is west of The Bahamas and north of
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud Isla de la Juventud (; en, Isle of Youth) is the second-largest Cuban islan ...

Cuba
. Florida is one of the largest states east of the Mississippi River, and only
Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United States, on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast of the United State ...

Alaska
and Michigan are larger in water area. The water boundary is offshore in the Atlantic Ocean and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. At above mean sea level, Britton Hill is the List of U.S. states and territories by elevation, highest point in Florida and the lowest highpoint of any U.S. state. Much of the state south of
Orlando Orlando () is a city in the U.S. state of Florida and is the county seat of Orange County, Florida, Orange County. In Central Florida, it is the center of the Greater Orlando, Orlando metropolitan area, which had a population of 2,509,831, accor ...
lies at a lower elevation than northern Florida, and is fairly level. Much of the state is at or near sea level. However, some places such as Clearwater, Florida, Clearwater have Promontory, promontories that rise above the water. Much of Central and North Florida, typically or more away from the coastline, have rolling hills with elevations ranging from . The highest point in peninsular Florida (east and south of the Suwannee River), Sugarloaf Mountain (Florida), Sugarloaf Mountain, is a peak in Lake County, Florida, Lake County. On average, Florida is the flattest state in the United States.


Climate

The climate of Florida is tempered somewhat by the fact that no part of the state is distant from the ocean. North of
Lake Okeechobee Lake Okeechobee (), also known as Florida's Inland Sea, is the largest freshwater lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a Depression (geology), basin, surrounded by land, and set apart from any river or other outlet that s ...
, the prevalent climate is humid subtropical climate, humid subtropical (Köppen climate classification, Köppen: ''Cfa''), while areas south of the lake (including the Florida Keys) have a true
tropical climate Tropical climate is one of the five major climate groups in the . Tropical climates are characterized by monthly average temperatures of 18 °C (64.4 °F) or higher year-round and feature hot temperatures. Annual precipitation is often ...
(Köppen: ''Aw'', ''Am'', and ''Af''). Mean high temperatures for late July are primarily in the low 90s Fahrenheit (32–34°C). Mean low temperatures for early to mid January range from the low 40s Fahrenheit (4–7°C) in north Florida to above from Miami on southward. With an average daily temperature of , it is the warmest state in the U.S. In the summer, high temperatures in the state rarely exceed . Several record cold maxima have been in the 30s °F (−1 to 4°C) and record lows have been in the 10s (−12 to −7°C). These temperatures normally extend at most a few days at a time in the northern and central parts of Florida. South Florida, however, rarely encounters below freezing temperatures. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Florida was , which was set on June 29, 1931, in Monticello, Florida, Monticello. The coldest temperature was , on February 13, 1899, just away, in Tallahassee. Due to its subtropical and tropical climate, Florida rarely receives measurable Snow in Florida, snowfall. However, on rare occasions, a combination of cold moisture and freezing temperatures can result in snowfall in the farthest northern regions like Jacksonville, Gainesville, Florida, Gainesville or Pensacola. Frost, which is more common than snow, sometimes occurs in the panhandle. The USDA Plant hardiness zones for the state range from zone 8a (no colder than ) in the inland western Florida panhandle, panhandle to zone 11b (no colder than ) in the lower Florida Keys. Fog also occurs all over the state or climate of Florida. Florida's nickname is the "Sunshine State", but severe weather is a common occurrence in the state. Central Florida is known as the lightning capital of the United States, as it experiences more lightning strikes than anywhere else in the country. Florida has one of the highest average precipitation levels of any state, in large part because afternoon thunderstorms are common in much of the state from late spring until early autumn. A narrow eastern part of the state including Orlando and Jacksonville receives between 2,400 and 2,800 hours of sunshine annually. The rest of the state, including Miami, receives between 2,800 and 3,200 hours annually. Florida leads the United States in tornadoes per area (when including waterspouts), but they do not typically reach the intensity of those in the Midwest and Great Plains. Hail often accompanies the most severe thunderstorms. Tropical cyclone, Hurricanes pose a severe threat each year from June1 to November 30, particularly from August to October. Florida is the most hurricane-prone state, with subtropical or tropical water on a lengthy coastline. Of the Category 4 typhoon, category4 or higher storms that have struck the United States, 83% have either hit Florida or Texas. From 1851 to 2006, Florida was struck by 114 hurricanes, 37 of them major—Saffir–Simpson scale, category3 and above. It is rare for a hurricane season to pass without any impact in the state by at least a tropical storm. In 1992, Florida was the site of what was then the costliest weather disaster in U.S. history, Hurricane Andrew, which caused more than $25billion in damages when it struck during August; it held that distinction until 2005, when Hurricane Katrina surpassed it, and it has since been surpassed by six other hurricanes. Andrew is currently the second-costliest hurricane in Florida's history.


Fauna

Florida is host to many types of wildlife including: * Marine mammals:
bottlenose dolphin Bottlenose dolphins are in the genus ''Tursiops.'' They are the most common members of the family Delphinidae, the family of oceanic dolphins. Molecular studies show the genus contains three species In biology, a species is the basic u ...
, short-finned pilot whale, North Atlantic right whale, West Indian manatee * Mammals:
Florida panther The Florida panther is a North American cougar (''P. c. couguar'') population found in South Florida. It lives in pinelands, tropical hardwood hammocks, and mixed freshwater swamp forests. Males can weigh up to and live within a range that incl ...

Florida panther
, northern river otter, mink, eastern cottontail rabbit, marsh rabbit, raccoon, striped skunk, squirrel, white-tailed deer, Key deer, bobcats, red fox, gray fox, coyote, wild boar, Florida black bear, nine-banded armadillos, Virginia opossum * Reptiles: Crotalus adamanteus, eastern diamondback and Sistrurus miliarius barbouri, pygmy rattlesnakes, Gopherus polyphemus, gopher tortoise, Green turtle, green and leatherback sea turtles, brown anoles, and Drymarchon, eastern indigo snake. In 2012, there were about one million
American alligator The American alligator (''Alligator mississippiensis''), sometimes referred to colloquially as a gator or common alligator, is a large crocodilian reptile native to the Southeastern United States and northeastern Mexico. It is one of two extan ...

American alligator
s and 1,500 American crocodile, crocodiles. * Birds: peregrine falcon, bald eagle,
American flamingo The American flamingo (''Phoenicopterus ruber'') is a large species of flamingo Flamingos or flamingoes are a type of wading bird in the family Phoenicopteridae, the only bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constit ...

American flamingo
, crested caracara, snail kite, osprey, American white pelican, white and brown pelicans, Larus, sea gulls, Whooping crane, whooping and sandhill cranes, roseate spoonbill, American white ibis, Florida scrub jay (state endemism, endemic), and others. One subspecies of wild turkey, ''Meleagris gallopavo'', namely subspecies ''osceola'', is found only in Florida. The state is a wintering location for many species of eastern North American birds. :As a result of climate change, there have been small numbers of several new species normally native to cooler areas to the north: snowy owls, snow buntings, harlequin ducks, and razorbills. These have been seen in the northern part of the state. * Invertebrates: carpenter ants, termites, American cockroach, Africanized bees, the Miami blue butterfly, and the gonatista grisea, grizzled mantis. Florida also has more than 500 nonnative animal species and 1,000 nonnative insects found throughout the state. Some exotic species living in Florida include the Burmese python, green iguana, veiled chameleon, Argentine black and white tegu, peacock bass, mayan cichlid, lionfish, White-nosed coati, rhesus macaque, vervet monkey, Cuban tree frog, cane toad, Indian peafowl, monk parakeet, tui parakeet, and many more. Some of these nonnative species do not pose a threat to any native species, but some do threaten the native species of Florida by living in the state and eating them.


Flora

The state has more than of forests, covering about half of the state's land area. There are about 3,000 different types of wildflowers in Florida. This is the third-most diverse state in the union, behind California and Texas, both larger states. In Florida, wild populations of coconut palms extend up the East Coast from Key West to Jupiter Inlet, and up the West Coast from Marco Island to Sarasota. Many of the smallest coral islands in the Florida Keys are known to have abundant coconut palms sprouting from coconuts deposited by ocean currents. Coconut palms are cultivated north of south Florida to roughly Cocoa Beach on the East Coast and the Tampa Bay Area on the West Coast. On the east coast of the state, mangroves have normally dominated the coast from Cocoa Beach, Florida, Cocoa Beach southward; salt marshes from St. Augustine, Florida, St. Augustine northward. From St. Augustine south to Cocoa Beach, the coast fluctuates between the two, depending on the annual weather conditions. All three mangrove species flower in the spring and early summer. Propagules fall from late summer through early autumn. Florida mangrove plant communities covered an estimated in Florida in 1981. Ninety percent of the Florida mangroves are in southern Florida, in Collier County, Florida, Collier, Lee County, Florida, Lee, Miami-Dade County, Florida, Miami-Dade and Monroe County, Florida, Monroe Counties.


Florida Reef

The Florida Reef is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States. It is also the third-largest coral barrier reef system in the world, after the
Great Barrier Reef The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystems, ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of Colony (biology), colonies of coral polyp (zoology), polyps held tog ...

Great Barrier Reef
and the
Belize Barrier Reef The Belize Barrier Reef is a series of coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem An ecosystem is a community (ecology), community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interactin ...
. The reef lies a little bit off of the coast of the Florida Keys. A lot of the reef lies within John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which was the first underwater park in the United States. The park contains a lot of tropical vegetation, marine life, and seabirds. The Florida Reef extends into other parks and sanctuaries as well including Dry Tortugas National Park, Biscayne National Park, and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Almost 1,400 species of marine plants and animals, including more than 40 species of stony corals and 500 species of fish, live on the Florida Reef. The Florida Reef, being a delicate ecosystem like other coral reefs, faces many threats including overfishing, plastics in the ocean, coral bleaching, rising sea levels, and changes in sea surface temperature.


Environmental issues

Florida is a low per capita energy user. , it is estimated that approximately 4% of energy in the state is generated through renewable resources. Florida's energy production is 6% of the nation's total energy output, while total production of pollutants is lower, with figures of 6% for nitrogen oxide, 5% for carbon dioxide, and 4% for sulfur dioxide. Wildfires in Florida occur at all times of the year. All potable water resources have been controlled by the state government through five regional water authorities since 1972. Red tide has been an issue on the southwest coast of Florida, as well as other areas. While there has been a great deal of conjecture over the cause of the toxic algae bloom, there is no evidence that it is being caused by pollution or that there has been an increase in the duration or frequency of red tides. Red tide is now killing off wildlife or Tropical fish and coral reefs putting all in danger. The
Florida panther The Florida panther is a North American cougar (''P. c. couguar'') population found in South Florida. It lives in pinelands, tropical hardwood hammocks, and mixed freshwater swamp forests. Males can weigh up to and live within a range that incl ...

Florida panther
is close to extinction. A record 23 were killed in 2009, mainly by automobile collisions, leaving about 100 individuals in the wild. The Center for Biological Diversity and others have therefore called for a special protected area for the panther to be established. West Indian manatee, Manatees are also dying at a rate higher than their reproduction. American flamingos are rare to see in Florida due to being hunted in the 1900s, where it was to a point considered completely extirpated. Now the flamingos are reproducing toward making a comeback to South Florida since it is adamantly considered native to the state and also are now being protected. Much of Florida has an elevation of less than , including many populated areas. Therefore, it is susceptible to Current sea level rise, rising sea levels associated with global warming. The Atlantic beaches that are vital to the state's economy are being washed out to sea due to rising sea levels caused by climate change. The Miami beach area, close to the continental shelf, is running out of accessible offshore sand reserves. Elevated temperatures can damage coral reefs, causing coral bleaching. The first recorded bleaching incident on the Florida Reef was in 1973. Incidents of bleaching have become more frequent in recent decades, in correlation with a rise in sea surface temperatures. White band disease has also adversely affected corals on the Florida Reef.


Geology

The Florida peninsula is a porous plateau of karst limestone sitting atop bedrock known as the Florida Platform. The largest deposits of potash in the United States are found in Florida. The largest deposits of Phosphorite, rock phosphate in the country are found in Florida. Most of this is in Bone Valley. Extended systems of underwater caves, sinkholes and spring (hydrosphere), springs are found throughout the state and supply most of the water used by residents. The limestone is topped with sandy soils deposited as ancient beaches over millions of years as global sea levels rose and fell. During the last glacial period, lower sea levels and a drier climate revealed a much wider peninsula, largely Temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands, savanna. While there are sinkholes in much of the state, modern sinkholes have tended to be in West-Central Florida. Everglades National Park covers , throughout Miami-Dade County, Florida, Dade, Monroe County, Florida, Monroe, and Collier County, Florida, Collier counties in Florida. The Everglades, an enormously wide, slow-flowing river encompasses the southern tip of the peninsula. Sinkhole damage claims on property in the state exceeded a total of $2billion from 2006 through 2010. Winter Park, Florida#The Winter Park Sinkhole, Winter Park Sinkhole, in central Florida, appeared May 8, 1981. It was approximately 350 feet (107m) wide and 75 feet (23m) deep. It was notable as one of the largest recent sinkholes to form in the United States. It is now known as Lake Rose. The Econlockhatchee River (Econ River for short) is an U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data
The National Map
, accessed April 21, 2011
north-flowing blackwater river, blackwater tributary of the St. Johns River, the longest river in the U.S. state of Florida. The Econ River flows through Osceola County, Florida, Osceola, Orange County, Florida, Orange, and Seminole County, Florida, Seminole counties in Central Florida, just east of the Orlando Metropolitan Area (east of Florida State Road 417, State Road 417). It is a designated Outstanding Florida Waters.(2013-01-02)
"Econlockhatchee River"
Saint Johns River Water Management District. Retrieved on August 4, 2014.
Earthquakes are rare because Florida is not located near any plate tectonics, tectonic plate boundaries.


Regions

*
Florida Panhandle The Florida Panhandle (also West Florida and Northwest Florida) is the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Florida Florida is a located in the region of the . Florida is bordered to the west by the , to the northwest by , to the ...

Florida Panhandle
** Emerald Coast ** Forgotten Coast ** North Florida ** Pensacola metropolitan area ** Tallahassee metropolitan area * North Central Florida ** Big Bend (Florida), Big Bend ** Nature Coast ** North Florida ** Gainesville metropolitan area, Florida, Gainesville metropolitan area * Northeast Florida ** First Coast ** Jacksonville metropolitan area ** North Florida * Central West Florida ** Nature Coast ** Tampa Bay Area ** Florida Suncoast * Central Florida ** Greater Orlando * Central East Florida ** Deltona–Daytona Beach–Ormond Beach metropolitan area ** Halifax area, Surf Coast/Fun Coast/Halifax Area ** Space Coast ** Treasure Coast * Southwest Florida ** Florida Heartland ** Florida Everglades ** Florida Suncoast ** Sarasota metropolitan area ** Ten Thousand Islands * South Florida ** Glades (Florida), Everglades ** Gold Coast (Florida), Gold Coast ** Florida Keys **
Miami metropolitan area The Miami metropolitan area is the seventh-largest metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories under the same administrative ...


Demographics


Population

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Florida was 21,477,737 on July 1, 2019, a 14.24% increase since the 2010 United States Census. The population of Florida in the 2010 census was 18,801,310. Florida was the seventh fastest-growing state in the U.S. in the 12-month period ending July 1, 2012. In 2010, the center of population of Florida was located between Fort Meade, Florida, Fort Meade and Frostproof, Florida, Frostproof. The center of population has moved less than to the east and approximately to the north between 1980 and 2010 and has been located in Polk County, Florida, Polk County since the 1960 United States Census, 1960 census. The population exceeded 19.7million by December 2014, surpassing the population of the state of New York (state), New York for the first time, making Florida the third most populous state. The Florida population was 21,477,737 residents or people according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2019 Population Estimates Program. Florida contains the highest percentage of people over 65 (17%) in the US. There were 186,102 military retirees living in the state in 2008. About two-thirds of the population was born in another state, the second-highest in the U.S. In 2010, Illegal immigration, undocumented immigrants constituted an estimated 5.7% of the population. This was the sixth highest percentage of any U.S. state. There were an estimated 675,000 illegal immigrants in the state in 2010. Florida has banned Sanctuary city, sanctuary cities. In 2020, Hispanic and Latinos of any race(s) made up 26.4% of the population, while Native Hawaiians Pacific Islander, and Pacific Islanders made up 0.1% of all Broward County residents.


Cities and towns

The largest metropolitan area in the state as well as the entire southeastern United States is the
Miami metropolitan area The Miami metropolitan area is the seventh-largest metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories under the same administrative ...
, with about 6.06million people. The Tampa Bay Area, with more than 3.02million, is the second largest; the Orlando metropolitan area, with more than 2.44million, is third; and the Jacksonville metropolitan area, with more than 1.47million, is fourth. Florida has 22 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) defined by the United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Forty-three of Florida's 67 counties are in an MSA. The legal name in Florida for a city, town or village is "municipality". In Florida there is no legal difference between towns, villages and cities. Florida is a highly urbanized state, with 89 percent of its population living in urban areas in 2000, compared to 79 percent nationally. In 2012, 75% of the population lived within of the coastline.


Ancestry

In 2010, 6.9% of the population (1,269,765) considered themselves to be of only American people, American ancestry (regardless of race or ethnicity). Many of these were of English or Scots-Irish American, Scotch-Irish descent; however, their families have lived in the state for so long they choose to identify as having "American" ancestry or do not know their ancestry. In the 1980 United States census, the largest ancestry group reported in Florida was English with 2,232,514 Floridians claiming they were of English or mostly English American ancestry. Some of their ancestry dated to the original thirteen colonies. , those of (non-Hispanic white) European ancestry accounted for 57.9% of Florida's population. Out of the 57.9%, the largest groups were 12.0% Germans, German (2,212,391), 10.7% Irish people, Irish (1,979,058), 8.8% English (1,629,832), 6.6% Italians, Italian (1,215,242), 2.8% Polish people, Polish (511,229), and 2.7% French people, French (504,641). White Americans of all European backgrounds are present in all areas of the state. In 1970, non-Hispanic whites constituted nearly 80% of Florida's population. Those of English American, English and Irish American, Irish ancestry are present in large numbers in all the urban/suburban areas across the state. Some native white Floridians, especially those who have descended from long-time Florida families, may refer to themselves as "Florida crackers"; others see the term as a derogatory one. Like whites in most other states of the southern U.S., they descend mainly from English and Scots-Irish American, Scots-Irish settlers, as well as some other British American settlers. As of 2010, those of Hispanic or Latino ancestry accounted for 22.5% (4,223,806) of Florida's population. Out of the 22.5%, the largest groups were 6.5% (1,213,438) Cuban Americans, Cuban, and 4.5% (847,550) Stateside Puerto Ricans, Puerto Rican. Florida's Hispanics in the United States, Hispanic population includes large communities of Cuban Americans in Miami and Tampa, Puerto Ricans in the United States, Puerto Ricans in Orlando and Tampa, and Mexican/Central American migrant workers. The Hispanic community continues to grow more affluent and mobile. Florida has a large and diverse Hispanic population, with Cubans and Puerto Ricans being the largest groups in the state. Nearly 80% of Cuban Americans live in Florida, especially South Florida where there is a long-standing and affluent Cuban community. Florida has the second-largest Puerto Rican population after New York, as well as the fastest-growing in the nation. Puerto Ricans are more widespread throughout the state, though the heaviest concentrations are in the Orlando area of Central Florida. Florida has one of the largest and most diverse Hispanic/Latino populations in the country, especially in South Florida around Miami, and to a lesser degree Central Florida. Aside from the dominant Cuban and Puerto Rican populations, there are also large populations of Mexicans, Colombians, Venezuelans and Dominicans, among numerous other groups, as most Latino groups have sizable numbers in the state. , those of African ancestry accounted for 16.0% of Florida's population, which includes African Americans. Out of the 16.0%, 4.0% (741,879) were West Indian or Afro-Caribbean American. During the early 1900s, black people made up nearly half of the state's population. In response to segregation, disfranchisement and agricultural depression, many African Americans migrated from Florida to northern cities in the Great Migration (African American), Great Migration, in waves from 1910 to 1940, and again starting in the later 1940s. They moved for jobs, better education for their children and the chance to vote and participate in society. By 1960, the proportion of African Americans in the state had declined to 18%. Conversely, large numbers of northern White people, whites moved to the state. Today, large concentrations of black residents can be found in northern and central Florida. Aside from blacks descended from African slaves brought to the southern U.S., there are also large numbers of blacks of West Indian American, West Indian, African immigration to the United States, recent African, and Black Hispanic and Latino Americans, Afro-Latino immigrant origins, especially in the Miami/South Florida area. Florida has the largest West Indian population of any state, originating from many Caribbean countries, with Haitian Americans being the most numerous. In 2016, Florida had the highest percentage of West Indians in the United States at 4.5%, with 2.3% (483,874) from Haitians, Haitian ancestry, 1.5% (303,527) Jamaicans, Jamaican, and 0.2% (31,966) Bahamians, Bahamian, with the other West Indian groups making up the rest. , those of Asian ancestry accounted for 2.4% of Florida's population.


Languages

In 1988, English was affirmed as the state's official language in the Florida Constitution. Spanish language, Spanish is also widely spoken, especially as immigration has continued from Latin America. Twenty percent of the population speak Spanish as their first language. Twenty-seven percent of Florida's population reports speaking a mother language other than English, and more than 200 first languages other than English are spoken at home in the state. The most common languages spoken in Florida as a first language in 2010 are: * 73% English * 20% Spanish * 2% Haitian Creole * Other languages less than 1% each


Religion

Florida is mostly Christians, Christian, although there is a large irreligious and relatively significant Jewish community. Protestantism, Protestants account for almost half of the population, but the Catholic Church is the largest single denomination in the state mainly due to its large Hispanic population and other groups like Haitians. Protestants are very diverse, although Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals and nondenominational Protestants are the largest groups. Smaller Christian groups include The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Florida, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Jehovah's Witness. There is also a sizable American Jews, Jewish community in South Florida. This is the largest Jewish population in the Southern United States, southern U.S. and the third-largest in the U.S. behind those of New York (state), New York and California. In 2010, the three largest denominations in Florida were the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the United Methodist Church. The Pew Research Center survey in 2014 gave the following religious makeup of Florida:


Governance

The basic structure, duties, function, and operations of the government of the State of Florida are defined and established by the Florida Constitution, which establishes the basic law of the state and guarantees various rights and freedoms of the people. The state government consists of three separate branches: judicial, executive, and legislative. The legislature enacts bills, which, if signed by the Governor of Florida, governor, become Florida Statutes, law. The Florida Legislature comprises the Florida Senate, which has 40 members, and the Florida House of Representatives, which has 120 members. The current governor of Florida is Ron DeSantis. The Florida Supreme Court consists of a chief justice and six justices. Florida has 67 County (United States), counties. Some reference materials may show only 66 because Duval County, Florida, Duval County is consolidated with the City of Jacksonville. There are 379 cities in Florida (out of 411) that report regularly to the Florida Department of Revenue, but there are other incorporated municipalities that do not. The state government's primary revenue source is sales tax. Florida does not impose a personal income tax. The primary revenue source for cities and counties is property tax; unpaid taxes are subject to tax sales, which are held (at the county level) in May and (due to the extensive use of online bidding sites) are highly popular. There were 800 Federal Corrupt Practices Act, federal corruption convictions from 1988 to 2007, more than any other state.


Elections history

From 1952 to 1964, most voters were registered Democrats, but the state voted for the Republican presidential candidate in every election except for 1964 United States presidential election, 1964. The following year, Congress passed and President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, providing for oversight of state practices and enforcement of constitutional voting rights for African Americans and other minorities in order to prevent the discrimination and disenfranchisement which had excluded most of them for decades from the political process. From the 1930s through much of the 1960s, Florida was essentially a one-party state dominated by white conservative Democrats, who together with other Democrats of the Solid South, exercised considerable control in Congress. They have gained slightly less federal money from national programs than they have paid in taxes. Since the 1970s, conservative white voters in the state have largely shifted from the Democratic to the Republican Party. Though the majority of registered voters in Florida are Democrats, it continued to support Republican presidential candidates through 2004, except in 1976 United States presidential election, 1976 and 1996 United States presidential election, 1996, when the Democratic nominee was from Southern United States, the South. In the 2008 United States presidential election, 2008 and 2012 United States presidential election, 2012 presidential elections, Barack Obama carried the state as a northern Democrat, attracting high voter turnout, especially among the young, Independents, and minority voters, of whom Hispanics comprise an increasingly large proportion. 2008 marked the first time since 1944, when Franklin D. Roosevelt carried the state for the fourth time, that Florida was carried by a Northern Democrat for president. The first post-Reconstruction era Republican elected to Congress from Florida was William C. Cramer in 1954 from Pinellas County on the Gulf Coast, where demographic changes were underway. In this period, African Americans were still Disfranchisement after Reconstruction era, disenfranchised by the state's constitution and discriminatory practices; in the 19th century, they had made up most of the Republican Party. Cramer built a different Republican Party in Florida, attracting local white conservatives and transplants from northern and midwestern states. In 1966, Claude R. Kirk, Jr. was elected as the first post-Reconstruction Republican governor, in an upset election. In 1968, Edward J. Gurney, also a white conservative, was elected as the state's first post-reconstruction Republican US senator. In 1970, Democrats took the governorship and the open US Senate seat and maintained dominance for years. Florida is sometimes considered a bellwether state in presidential elections because every candidate who won the state from 1996 until 2020 won the election. The 2020 election broke that streak when Donald Trump won Florida but lost the election. In 1998, Democratic voters dominated areas of the state with a high percentage of racial minorities and transplanted white liberals from the northeastern United States, known colloquially as "snowbirds". South Florida and the
Miami metropolitan area The Miami metropolitan area is the seventh-largest metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories under the same administrative ...
are dominated by both racial minorities and white liberals. Because of this, the area has consistently voted as one of the most Democratic areas of the state. The Daytona Beach area is similar demographically and the city of Orlando has a large Hispanic population, which has often favored Democrats. Republicans, made up mostly of white conservatives, have dominated throughout much of the rest of Florida, particularly in the more rural and suburban areas. This is characteristic of its voter base throughout the Deep South. The fast-growing I-4 corridor area, which runs through Central Florida and connects the cities of Daytona Beach, Florida, Daytona Beach,
Orlando Orlando () is a city in the U.S. state of Florida and is the county seat of Orange County, Florida, Orange County. In Central Florida, it is the center of the Greater Orlando, Orlando metropolitan area, which had a population of 2,509,831, accor ...
, and
Tampa Tampa () is a major city on the Gulf Coast The Gulf Coast of the United States is the coastline The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the sea or ocean, or as a line that forms the bo ...
/St. Petersburg, Florida, St. Petersburg, has had a fairly even breakdown of Republican and Democratic voters. The area is often seen as a merging point of the conservative northern portion of the state and the liberal southern portion, making it the biggest swing area in the state. Since the late 20th century, the voting results in this area, containing 40% of Florida voters, has often determined who will win the state in federal presidential elections. The Democratic Party has maintained an edge in voter registration, both statewide and in 18 of the 67 counties, including Miami-Dade County, Florida, Miami-Dade, Broward County, Florida, Broward, and Palm Beach County, Florida, Palm Beach counties, the state's three most populous.


2000–present

In 2000, George W. Bush won the 2000 United States presidential election, U.S. presidential election by a margin of 271–266 in the Electoral College (United States), Electoral College. Of the 271 electoral votes for Bush, 25 were cast by electors from Florida. The Florida results were contested and a recount was ordered by the court, with the results settled in a Supreme Court of the United States, Supreme Court decision, ''Bush v. Gore''. Reapportionment following the 2010 United States Census gave the state two more seats in the House of Representatives.Leary, Alex
"Florida gains two U.S. House seats in Census"
, ''St. Petersburg Times'', December 21, 2010
The legislature's redistricting, announced in 2012, was quickly challenged in court, on the grounds that it had unfairly benefited Republican interests. In 2015, the Florida Supreme Court ruled on appeal that the congressional districts had to be redrawn because of the legislature's violation of the Fair District Amendments to the state constitution passed in 2010; it accepted a new map in early December 2015. The political make-up of congressional and legislative districts has enabled Republicans to control the governorship and most statewide elective offices, and 17 of the state's 27 seats in the 2012 United States House of Representatives elections in Florida, 2012, House of Representatives. Florida has been listed as a swing state in presidential elections since 1952, voting for the losing candidate only twice in that period of time. In the closely contested 2000 United States presidential election in Florida, 2000 election, the state played a pivotal role. Out of more than 5.8million votes for the two main contenders Bush and Al Gore, around 500 votes separated the two candidates for the all-decisive Florida electoral votes that landed Bush the election win. Florida's felony disenfranchisement law is more severe than most European nations or other American states. A 2002 study in the ''American Sociological Review'' concluded that "if the state's 827,000 disenfranchised felons had voted at the same rate as other Floridians, Democratic candidate Al Gore would have won Florida—and the presidency—by more than 80,000 votes."Matt Ford, "Restoring Voting Rights for Felons in Maryland"
''The Atlantic'', February 9, 2016, accessed March 23, 2016
In 2008, delegates of both the Republican Party (United States) presidential primaries, 2008#GOP February 5 rule, Republican Florida primary election and Democratic Party (United States) presidential primaries, 2008#Nullified primaries, Democratic Florida primary election were stripped of half of their votes when the conventions met in August due to violation of both parties' national rules. In the 2010 elections, Republicans solidified their dominance statewide, by winning the governor's mansion, and maintaining firm majorities in both houses of the state legislature. They won four previously Democratic-held seats to create a 19–6 Republican majority delegation representing Florida in the federal House of Representatives. In 2010, more than 63% of state voters approved the initiated Amendments5 and6 to the state constitution, to ensure more fairness in districting. These have become known as the Fair District Amendments. As a result of the 2010 United States Census, Florida gained two House of Representative seats in 2012. The legislature issued revised congressional districts in 2012, which were immediately challenged in court by supporters of the above amendments. The court ruled in 2014, after lengthy testimony, that at least two districts had to be redrawn because of gerrymandering. After this was appealed, in July 2015 the Florida Supreme Court ruled that lawmakers had followed an illegal and unconstitutional process overly influenced by party operatives, and ruled that at least eight districts had to be redrawn. On December 2, 2015, a 5–2 majority of the Court accepted a new map of congressional districts, some of which was drawn by challengers. Their ruling affirmed the map previously approved by Leon County, Florida, Leon County Judge Terry Lewis, who had overseen the original trial. It particularly makes changes in South Florida. There are likely to be additional challenges to the map and districts. According to The Sentencing Project, the effect of Florida's felony disenfranchisement law is such that in 2014, "[m]ore than one in ten Floridians—and nearly one in four African-American Floridians—are [were] shut out of the polls because of felony convictions", although they had completed sentences and parole/probation requirements. The state switched back to the GOP in the 2016 United States presidential election in Florida, 2016 presidential election, and again in 2020 United States presidential election in Florida, 2020, when Donald Trump headed the party's ticket both times. 2020 marked the first time Florida sided with the eventual loser of the national election since 1992 United States presidential election in Florida, 1992. In the 2018 United States elections, 2018 elections, the ratio of Republican to Democratic representation fell from 16:11 to 14:13. The U.S. Senate election between Democratic incumbent senator Bill Nelson and former governor Rick Scott was close, with 49.93% voting for the incumbent and 50.06% voting for the former governor. Republicans also held onto the governorship in a close race between Republican candidate Ron DeSantis and Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum, with 49.6% voting for the DeSantis and 49.3% voting for Gillum.


Statutes

In 1972, the state made personal injury protection auto insurance mandatory for drivers, becoming the second in the nation to enact a no-fault insurance law. The ease of receiving payments under this law is seen as precipitating a major increase in insurance fraud. Auto insurance fraud was the highest in the nation in 2011, estimated at close to $1billion. Fraud is particularly centered in the Miami-Dade and Tampa areas. Capital punishment is applied in Florida. If a person committing a predicate felony directly contributed to the death of the victim then the person will be charged with murder in the first degree. The only two sentences available for that statute are life imprisonment and the death penalty.''The Florida Statutes.'' If a person commits a predicate felony, but was not the direct contributor to the death of the victim then the person will be charged with murder in the second degree. The maximum prison term is life. In 1995, the legislature modified Chapter 921 to provide that felons should serve at least 85% of their sentence. Florida approved its Florida Lottery, lottery by amending the constitution in 1984. It approved slot machines in Broward and Miami-Dade County in 2004. It has disapproved casinos (outside of sovereign Seminole and Miccosukee tribal areas) three times: 1978, 1986, and 1994.


Taxation

Tax is collected by the Florida Department of Revenue.


Economy

* Total employment 2017 :: 8,385,577 * Total employer establishments 2017 :: 557,308 Florida's economy ranks among the largest in the world. As of 2018, the gross state product (GSP) is about $1.0trillion, the fourth largest economy in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
. Florida is responsible for 5percent of the United States' approximately $21trillion gross domestic product (GDP). , Florida's nominal GDP is larger than all but 15 countries. In terms of Purchasing Power Parity, it is larger than all but 24 countries. In the 20th century, tourism, industry, construction, international banking, biomedical and life sciences, healthcare research, simulation training, aerospace and defense, and commercial space travel have contributed to the state's economic development. The five largest sectors of employment in Florida are: trade, transportation, and utilities; government; professional and business services; education and health services; and leisure and hospitality. In output, the five largest sectors are: finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing, followed by professional and business services; government and government enterprises; educational services, health care, and social assistance; and retail trade. In 2017, Florida became the United States' eighth largest exporter of trade goods. Florida's top countries for export are Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Germany, and Colombia. In 2017, Florida became the United States' tenth largest importer of trade goods. Florida imported US$75.4billion worth of goods globally in 2017. The value of Florida's imports equals 3.2% of United States' overall imported products for 2017. Florida's top countries for imports are China, Mexico, Canada, Germany, and France. The Miami Metropolitan Area has the highest GDP of all the metro areas in Florida with $344.9billion in 2017. This is more than twice the number of the next metro area, the Tampa Bay Area, which has a GDP of $145.3billion. The economy of Florida is driven almost entirely by its nineteen metropolitan areas. In 2004, they had a combined total of 95.7% of the state's domestic product. List of U.S. states by GDP per capita, Per capita GDP in 2017 was $39,842, ranking 40th in the nation. Florida locations by per capita income, Per capita income varies widely by geographic region and profession. North Florida and the rural counties of the
Florida Panhandle The Florida Panhandle (also West Florida and Northwest Florida) is the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Florida Florida is a located in the region of the . Florida is bordered to the west by the , to the northwest by , to the ...

Florida Panhandle
are the most impoverished in the state. Florida has a Poverty in the United States, poverty rate of 14.0%, the seventeenth lowest of any state in the country. Many coastal cities include some of the wealthiest per-capita areas in the United States. In 2018, there were more than 427,824millionaires in the state, the fourth-highest number in the nation. For 2018–19, the approved state budget is $88.7billion, a 4.4% increase over the previous 2017–18 budget of $84.9billion. ''Chief Executive Magazine'' named Florida the third "Best State for Business" in 2011.


Personal income

In 2017, Florida's List of U.S. states by GDP per capita (nominal), per capita personal income was $47,684, ranking 26th in the nation. The state's unemployment rate in September 2018 was 3.5% and ranked as the 18th lowest in the United States. Florida is one of seven states that does not impose a personal income tax. In 2017, Florida had a personal income of $1,000,624,065 (in thousands of dollars). This personal income ranked 4th in the United States. Florida's constitution establishes a state minimum wage, which is adjusted annually for inflation. , Florida's minimum wage was $6.98 for ''tipped positions'', and $10.00 for ''non-tipped'' positions, which was higher than the federal rate of $7.25. The wage will increase by $1 per hour yearly, until 2026 when the minimum wage for non-tipped positions will reach $15 per hour. Florida has two cities in the top 25 cities in the U.S. with the highest average credit card debt, Miami Metropolitan Area, Miami and Tampa Bay Area, Tampa. The poverty rate in Florida in 2018 was 14%, down from a peak of 17.1% in 2012.


Real estate

In the early 20th century, land speculators discovered Florida, and businessmen such as Henry Plant and Henry Flagler developed railroad systems, which led people to move in, drawn by the weather and local economies. From then on, tourism boomed, fueling a cycle of development that overwhelmed a great deal of farmland. At the end of the third quarter of 2008, Florida had the highest mortgage delinquency rate in the U.S., with 7.8% of mortgages delinquent at least 60 days. A 2009 list of national housing markets that were hard hit in the real estate crash included a disproportionate number in Florida. The early 21st-century building boom left Florida with 300,000 vacant homes in 2009, according to state figures. In 2009, the US Census Bureau estimated that Floridians spent an average 49.1% of personal income on housing-related costs, the third-highest percentage in the U.S. In the third quarter of 2009, there were 278,189 delinquent loans, 80,327 foreclosures. Sales of existing homes in February 2010 was 11,890, up 21% from the same month in 2009. Only two metropolitan areas showed a decrease in homes sold: Panama City – Lynn Haven – Panama City Beach, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, Panama City and Palm Bay – Melbourne – Titusville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, Brevard County. The average sales price for an existing house was $131,000, 7% decrease from the prior year.


Tourism

Tourism makes up one of the largest sectors of the state economy, with nearly 1.4million people employed in the tourism industry in 2016 (a record for the state, surpassing the 1.2million employment from 2015). In 2015, Florida broke the 100-million visitor mark for the first time in state history by hosting a record 105million visitors. The state has set tourism records for eight consecutive years, most recently breaking the 120-million visitor mark for the first time in 2018 with 126.1million visitors reported. Many beach towns are popular tourist destinations, particularly during winter and spring break. Twenty-three million tourists visited Florida beaches in 2000, spending $22billion. The public has a right to beach access under the public trust doctrine, but some areas have access effectively blocked by private owners for a long distance. Amusement parks, especially in the Greater Orlando area, make up a significant portion of tourism. The Walt Disney World Resort is the most visited vacation resort in the world with more than 58million visitors annually, consisting of four theme parks, 27 themed resort, resort hotels, nine non-Disney hotels, two water parks, four golf courses and other recreational venues. Other major theme parks in the area include Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa. Florida's many state parks and protected areas receive a lot of visitors as well with 25.2million visitors visiting Florida State Parks in 2013.


Agriculture and fishing

Agriculture is the second largest industry in the state. Citrus fruit, especially oranges, are a major part of the economy, and Florida produces the majority of citrus fruit grown in the United States. In 2006, 67% of all citrus, 74% of oranges, 58% of tangerines, and 54% of grapefruit were grown in Florida. About 95% of commercial orange production in the state is destined for processing (mostly as orange juice, the official state beverage). Citrus canker continues to be an issue of concern. From 1997 to 2013, the growing of citrus trees has declined 25%, from . Citrus greening disease is incurable. A study states that it has caused the loss of $4.5billion between 2006 and 2012. , it was the major agricultural concern. The largest farm category by sales in Florida is the $2.3billion ornamental industry, which includes nursery, greenhouse, flowers, and sod products. Other products include sugarcane, Strawberry, strawberries, tomatoes and celery. The state is the largest producer of sweet corn and green beans for the U.S. The Everglades Agricultural Area is a major center for agriculture. The environmental impact of agriculture, especially water pollution, is a major issue in Florida today. In 2009, fishing was a $6billion industry, employing 60,000 jobs for sports and commercial purposes. The state has a near monopoly on saw palmetto berries, an alternative medicine used to treat prostate and urinary disorders.


Industry

Florida is the leading state for sales of Motorboat, powerboats. Boats sales totaled $1.96billion in 2013.


Mining

Phosphate#Occurrence, Phosphate mining, concentrated in the Bone Valley, is the state's third-largest industry. The state produces about 75% of the phosphate required by farmers in the United States and 25% of the world supply, with about 95% used for agriculture (90% for fertilizer and 5% for livestock feed supplements) and 5% used for other products. After the watershed events of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Florida began investing in economic development through the Office of Trade, Tourism, and Economic Development. Governor Jeb Bush realized that watershed events such as Andrew negatively impacted Florida's backbone industry of tourism severely. The office was directed to target Medical/Bio-Sciences among others. Three years later, The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) announced it had chosen Florida for its newest expansion. In 2003, TSRI announced plans to establish a major science center in Palm Beach, a facility on , which TSRI planned to occupy in 2006.


Government

Since the development of the federal NASA List of Cape Canaveral and Merritt Island launch sites, Merritt Island launch sites on Cape Canaveral (most notably Kennedy Space Center) in 1962, Florida has developed a sizable aerospace, aerospace industry. Another major economic engine in Florida is the United States military. There are 24 military bases in the state, housing three Unified Combatant Commands; United States Central Command in Tampa, United States Southern Command in Doral, Florida, Doral, and United States Special Operations Command in Tampa. Some 109,390 U.S. military personnel stationed in Florida, contributing, directly and indirectly, $52billion a year to the state's economy. In 2009, there were 89,706 federal workers employed within the state. Tens of thousands more employees work for contractors who have federal contracts, including those with the military. In 2012, government of all levels was a top employer in all counties in the state, because this classification includes public school teachers and other school staff. School boards employ nearly one of every thirty workers in the state. The federal military was the top employer in three counties.


Seaports

Florida has many seaports that serve container ships, tank ships, and cruise lines. Major ports in Florida include Port Tampa Bay in Tampa, Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Port of Jacksonville in Jacksonville, PortMiami in Miami, Port Canaveral in Brevard County, Florida, Brevard County, Port Manatee in Manatee County, Florida, Manatee County, and Port of Palm Beach in Riviera Beach, Florida, Riviera Beach. The world's top three busiest cruise ports are found in Florida with PortMiami as the busiest and Port Canaveral and Port Everglades as the second and third busiest. Port Tampa Bay meanwhile is the largest in the state, having the most tonnage. , Port Tampa Bay ranks 16th in the United States by tonnage in domestic trade, 32nd in foreign trade, and 22nd in total trade. It is the largest, most diversified port in Florida, has an economic impact of more than $15.1billion, and supports more than 80,000 jobs.


Health

There were 2.7million Medicaid patients in Florida in 2009. The governor has proposed adding $2.6billion to care for the expected 300,000 additional patients in 2011. The cost of caring for 2.3million clients in 2010 was $18.8billion. This is nearly 30% of Florida's budget. Medicaid paid for 60% of all births in Florida in 2009. The state has a Florida Medicaid waiver, program for those not covered by Medicaid. In 2013, Florida refused to participate in providing coverage for the uninsured under the Affordable Care Act, colloquially called ''Obamacare''. The Florida legislature also refused to accept additional Federal funding for Medicaid, although this would have helped its constituents at no cost to the state. As a result, Florida is second only to Texas in the percentage of its citizens without health insurance.


Architecture

Florida has the largest collection of Art Deco and Streamline Moderne buildings, both in the United States and in the entire world, most of which are located in the
Miami metropolitan area The Miami metropolitan area is the seventh-largest metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories under the same administrative ...
, especially
Miami Beach Miami Beach is a coastal in , , . It was incorporated on March 26, 1915. The is located on natural and s between the and , the latter of which separates the Beach from the mainland city of . The of , comprising the southernmost of Miami ...

Miami Beach
's Miami Beach Architectural District, Art Deco District, constructed as the city was becoming a resort destination. A unique architectural design found only in Florida is the post-World WarII Miami Modern Architecture, Miami Modern, which can be seen in areas such as
Miami Miami (), officially the City of Miami, is a coast, coastal metropolis located in Miami-Dade County, Florida, Miami-Dade County in southeastern Florida, United States. With a population of 467,963 as of the 2020 United States census, 2020 censu ...

Miami
's MiMo Historic District. Being of early importance as a regional center of banking and finance, the architecture of Jacksonville displays a wide variety of styles and design principles. Many of the state's earliest skyscrapers were constructed in Jacksonville, dating as far back as 1902, and last holding a state height record from 1974 to 1981. The city is endowed with one of the largest collections of Prairie School buildings outside of the Midwest. Jacksonville is also noteworthy for its collection of Mid-Century modern architecture. Some sections of the state feature architectural styles including Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture, Spanish revival, Florida cracker architecture, Florida vernacular, and Mediterranean Revival Style, Mediterranean Revival. A notable collection of these styles can be found in St. Augustine, Florida, St. Augustine, the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement within the borders of the United States.


Education

nIn 2021, Florida was ranked the 3rd best state in America for Education. Florida's higher education was ranked 1st and Pre-K-12 was ranked 27th best in America by ''U.S. News & World Report''.


Primary and secondary education

With an educational system made up of State school, public school districts and independent private school, private institutions, Florida had 2,833,115 students enrolled in 4,269 public primary, secondary, and vocational education, vocational schools in Florida's 67 regular or seven special school districts . Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami-Dade County is the largest of Florida's 67 regular districts with more than 350 thousand students and Jefferson County, Florida, Jefferson County is the smallest with less than one thousand students. Florida spent $8,920 for each student in 2016, and was 43rd in the nation in expenditures per student. Florida's primary and secondary school systems are administered by the Florida Department of Education. School districts are organized within county boundaries. Each school district has an elected Board of Education that sets policy, budget, goals, and approves expenditures. Management is the responsibility of a Superintendent (education), Superintendent of schools. The Florida Department of Education is required by law to train educators in teaching English language learning and teaching, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).


Higher education

The State University System of Florida was founded in 1905, and is governed by the Florida Board of Governors. During the 2019 academic year, 346,604 students attended one of these twelve universities. In 2016, Florida charged the second lowest tuition in the nation for four years, $26,000 for in-state students, to $86,000 for out-of-state students. This compares with an average of $34,800 nationally for in-state students. As of 2020, four Florida universities are among the top 10 List of United States university campuses by enrollment, largest universities by enrollment in the United States. The University of Central Florida is ranked 1st, Florida International University is ranked 4th, the University of Florida is ranked 5th, and the University of South Florida is ranked the 8th largest university in the USA. The Florida College System comprises 28 public community and state colleges with 68 campuses spread out throughout the state. In 2016, enrollment consisted of more than 813,838 students. The Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida is an association of 30 private, educational institutions in the state. This Association reported that their member institutions served more than 158,000 students in the fall of 2020. The University of Miami, located in Miami-Dade County, Florida, Miami-Dade County and Nova Southeastern University, located in Davie, Florida, Davie, are some of the top private research institutions in the United States. Florida's first private university, Stetson University, was founded in 1883.


Transportation


Highways

Florida's highway system contains of interstate highway, and of non-interstate highway, such as state highways and U.S. Highways. Florida's Interstate Highway System, interstates, Florida State Highway System, state highways, and U.S. Highways are maintained by the Florida Department of Transportation. In 2011, there were about 9,000 filling station, retail gas stations in the state. Floridians consumed 21million gallons of gasoline daily in 2011, ranking it third in national use behind California and Texas. Motorists have the 45th lowest rate of car insurance in the U.S. 24% are uninsured. Drivers between 15 and 19 years of age averaged 364 car crashes a year per ten thousand licensed Florida drivers in 2010. Drivers 70 and older averaged 95 per 10,000 during the same time frame. A spokesperson for the non-profit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Insurance Institute stated "Older drivers are more of a threat to themselves." Intercity bus travel, which utilizes Florida's highway system, is provided by Greyhound Lines, Greyhound, Megabus (North America), Megabus, and Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach. Before the construction of routes under the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, Florida began construction of a long cross-state toll road, Florida's Turnpike. The first section, from Fort Pierce, Florida, Fort Pierce south to the Golden Glades Interchange was completed in 1957. After a second section north through Orlando to Wildwood, Florida, Wildwood (near present-day The Villages, Florida, The Villages), and a Homestead Extension of Florida's Turnpike, southward extension around Miami to Homestead, Florida, Homestead, it was finished in 1974. Florida's primary interstate routes include: * , which spans 133 miles, bisects the state, connecting
Tampa Tampa () is a major city on the Gulf Coast The Gulf Coast of the United States is the coastline The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the sea or ocean, or as a line that forms the bo ...
, Lakeland, Florida, Lakeland,
Orlando Orlando () is a city in the U.S. state of Florida and is the county seat of Orange County, Florida, Orange County. In Central Florida, it is the center of the Greater Orlando, Orlando metropolitan area, which had a population of 2,509,831, accor ...
, and Daytona Beach, Florida, Daytona Beach, connecting with Interstate 75 in Florida, I-75 in Tampa and I-95 in Daytona Beach. * , which spans 362 miles in Florida, traverses the Florida Panhandle, panhandle, connecting Pensacola, Florida, Pensacola,
Tallahassee Tallahassee () is the capital city of the U.S. state of Florida Florida (, ) is a U.S. state, state located in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States. With a population of over 21million, Florida is the L ...

Tallahassee
, Lake City, Florida, Lake City, and
Jacksonville Jacksonville is a city located on the Atlantic coast of Florida, the most populous city in the state, and is the List of United States cities by area, largest city by area in the contiguous United States as of 2020. It is the county seat, seat ...
, with interchanges with I-75 in Lake City and I-95 in Jacksonville. It is the southernmost east–west interstate in the United States terminating in Santa Monica with a total length of 2460 miles. * , which spans 470 miles in Florida, enters the state near Lake City ( west of
Jacksonville Jacksonville is a city located on the Atlantic coast of Florida, the most populous city in the state, and is the List of United States cities by area, largest city by area in the contiguous United States as of 2020. It is the county seat, seat ...
) and continues southward through Gainesville, Florida, Gainesville, Ocala, Florida, Ocala, Tampa's eastern suburbs, Bradenton, Florida, Bradenton, Sarasota, Florida, Sarasota, Fort Myers, Florida, Fort Myers and Naples, Florida, Naples, where it crosses the "Alligator Alley" as a toll road to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Fort Lauderdale before turning southward and terminating in Hialeah, Florida, Hialeah/Miami Lakes, Florida, Miami Lakes having interchanges with I-10 in Lake City and I-4 in Tampa. It is the second longest north–south interstate with a total length of 1786 miles and terminates at the Canadian border at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. * , which spans 382 miles in Florida, enters the state near Jacksonville and continues along the Atlantic Coast through Daytona Beach, the Space Coast, Melbourne/Titusville, Palm Bay, Florida, Palm Bay, Vero Beach, Florida, Vero Beach, Fort Pierce, Florida, Fort Pierce, Port Saint Lucie, Florida, Port Saint Lucie, Stuart, Florida, Stuart, West Palm Beach, Florida, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, before terminating in Downtown Miami. It has interchanges with I-10 in Jacksonville and I-4 in Daytona Beach, and there are four auxiliary routes associated with the interstate. It is the longest north–south interstate with a total length of 1924 miles and terminates at the Canadian border northeast of Houlton, Maine.


Airports

Florida has 131 public airports. Florida's seven large hub and medium hub airports, as classified by the FAA, are the following:


Intercity rail

* Brightline is a Diesel-electric train, diesel–electric higher-speed rail system. Currently service is only from West Palm Beach station (Brightline), West Palm Beach to MiamiCentral station, Miami through express intercity service, with a stop at Fort Lauderdale station (Brightline), Fort Lauderdale. The complete project is intended to connect Miami and South Florida to
Orlando Orlando () is a city in the U.S. state of Florida and is the county seat of Orange County, Florida, Orange County. In Central Florida, it is the center of the Greater Orlando, Orlando metropolitan area, which had a population of 2,509,831, accor ...
, which requires a new line westward from the coast. It partially opened for passenger service between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach on January 13, 2018, as the only privately owned and operated passenger railroad in the United States. With a top speed of , Brightline will eventually be tied with Amtrak's ''Northeast Regional'' and the MARC Train, MARC's Penn Line commuter rail as the second fastest passenger train in North America, after Amtrak's ''Acela''. * Florida is also served by Amtrak, operating numerous lines throughout, connecting the state's largest cities to points north in the United States and Canada. The busiest Amtrak train stations in Florida in 2011 were: Sanford station (Amtrak), Sanford (259,944), Orlando Health/Amtrak station, Orlando (179,142), Tampa Union Station (140,785), Miami station (Amtrak), Miami (94,556), and Jacksonville station, Jacksonville (74,733). Sanford, Florida, Sanford, in Greater Orlando, is the southern terminus of the ''Auto Train'', which originates at Lorton, Virginia, south of Washington, D.C. Until 2005, Orlando was also the eastern terminus of the ''Sunset Limited'', which travels across the southern United States via New Orleans, Houston, and San Antonio to its western terminus of Los Angeles. Florida is served by two additional Amtrak trains (the ''Silver Star (Amtrak train), Silver Star'' and the ''Silver Meteor''), which operate between New York City and Miami. MiamiCentral station, MiamiCentral in Greater Downtown Miami and the Miami Intermodal Center near Miami International Airport are major hubs for rapid transit, commuter rail, intercity rail, and buses.


Public transit

* Miami: Miami's public transportation is served by Miami-Dade Transit that runs Miami Metrorail, Metrorail, a heavy rail rapid transit system, Miami-Dade Metromover, Metromover, a people mover train system in Downtown Miami, and Miami-Dade Transit#Metrobus, Metrobus, Miami's bus system. Metrorail runs throughout Miami-Dade County and has two lines and 23 stations connecting to Downtown Miami's Metromover and Tri-Rail. Metromover has three lines and 21 stations throughout Downtown Miami. Outside of Miami-Dade County, public transit in the
Miami metropolitan area The Miami metropolitan area is the seventh-largest metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories under the same administrative ...
is served by Broward County Transit and Palm Tran; intercounty commuter rail service is provided by Tri-Rail, with 18 stations including the region's three international airports. * Orlando: Orlando is served by the SunRail commuter train, which runs on a ( when complete) line including four stops in downtown. Lynx (Orlando), Lynx bus serves the greater Orlando area in Orange County, Florida, Orange, Seminole County, Florida, Seminole, and Osceola County, Florida, Osceola counties. * Tampa: Tampa and its surrounding area use the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority system ("HART"). In addition, downtown Tampa has continuous trolley services in the form of a heritage trolley powered by Tampa Electric Company. Pinellas County and St. Petersburg provide similar services through the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority or "PSTA". The beaches of Pinellas County, Florida, Pinellas County also have a continuous trolley bus. Downtown St. Petersburg has a trolley system. * Jacksonville: Jacksonville is served by the Jacksonville Skyway, an automated people mover monorail connecting the Florida State College at Jacksonville, Florida State College downtown campus, the Northbank central business district, Convention Center, and Southbank locations. The system includes eight stops connected by two lines. Jacksonville Transportation Authority, JTA bus has 180 vehicles with 56 lines.


Sports

Florida has three National Football League, NFL teams, two Major League Baseball, MLB teams, two National Basketball Association, NBA teams, two National Hockey League, NHL teams, and two Major League Soccer, MLS teams. Florida gained its first permanent major-league professional sports team in 1966 when the American Football League added the Miami Dolphins. Florida has given professional sports franchises some subsidies in the form of tax breaks since 1991. About half of all Major League Baseball teams conduct spring training in the state, with teams informally organized into the "Grapefruit League". Throughout MLB history, other teams have held spring training in Florida. NASCAR (headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida, Daytona Beach) begins all three of its major auto racing series in Florida at Daytona International Speedway in February, featuring the Daytona 500, and ends all three Series in November at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Daytona also has the Coke Zero Sugar 400 NASCAR race weekend around Independence Day (United States), Independence Day in July. The 24 Hours of Daytona is one of the world's most prestigious endurance auto races. The Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and Grand Prix of Miami (Indycar), Grand Prix of Miami have held IndyCar races as well. Florida is a major golf hub. The Professional Golfers' Association of America, PGA of America is headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Palm Beach Gardens, the PGA Tour is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, Ponte Vedra Beach, and the LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach. The Players Championship, WGC-Cadillac Championship, Arnold Palmer Invitational, Honda Classic and Valspar Championship are PGA Tour rounds. Florida has teams in all five American major league sports. Florida's most recent major-league team, Inter Miami CF, Inter Miami, began play in MLS in 2020. The Miami Masters is an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and WTA Premier tournaments, WTA Premier tennis event, whereas the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships is an ATP World Tour 250 event. There are minor league baseball, American football, football, basketball, ice hockey, soccer and indoor American football, indoor football teams based in Florida. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is the largest football stadium in Florida, the List of NCAA Division I FBS football stadiums, 12th largest stadium in American college football, and the List of stadiums by capacity, 18th largest stadium in the world, as measured by its official seating capacity of 88,548—though, it has often held over 90,000 for Florida's home football games. Florida's universities have a number of National Collegiate Athletic Association, collegiate sport programs. Major college football programs include the Florida State Seminoles and Miami Hurricanes of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and the Florida Gators of the Southeastern Conference. Since 1996, Florida has added four additional teams to the ranks of NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, Division I FBS: UCF Knights, South Florida Bulls, Florida Atlantic Owls and FIU Panthers.


State symbols

The majority of the symbols were chosen after 1950; only the two oldest symbols—the state flower (chosen in 1909), and the List of U.S. state birds, state bird (chosen in 1927), and the state nickname (chosen in 1970)—are not listed in the 2010 Florida Statutes. * List of U.S. state amphibians, Amphibian: Hyla gratiosa, Barking tree frog * List of U.S. state mammals, Animal:
Florida panther The Florida panther is a North American cougar (''P. c. couguar'') population found in South Florida. It lives in pinelands, tropical hardwood hammocks, and mixed freshwater swamp forests. Males can weigh up to and live within a range that incl ...

Florida panther
* List of U.S. state songs, Anthem: "Florida (Where the Sawgrass Meets the Sky)" * List of U.S. state beverages, Beverage: Orange juice * List of U.S. state birds, Bird: Northern mockingbird * List of U.S. state birds, Bird:
American flamingo The American flamingo (''Phoenicopterus ruber'') is a large species of flamingo Flamingos or flamingoes are a type of wading bird in the family Phoenicopteridae, the only bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constit ...

American flamingo
* Festival: "Little Havana#Calle Ocho Festival, Calle Ocho-Open House 8" * State fish, Fish(fresh water): Florida largemouth bass * State fish, Fish(salt water): Atlantic sailfish * List of U.S. state flowers, Flower: Orange (fruit), Orange blossom * List of U.S. state foods, Fruit: Orange (fruit), Orange * List of U.S. state minerals, rocks, stones and gemstones, Gem: Moonstone (gemstone), Moonstone * State horse, Horse: Florida Cracker Horse * List of U.S. state insects, Insect: Heliconius charithonia, Zebra longwing * List of U.S. state mammals, Mammal(salt water): Common bottlenose dolphin * List of U.S. state mammals, Mammal(marine): Florida manatee * State motto, Motto: "In God We Trust" * List of U.S. state nicknames, Nickname: The Sunshine State * Arecaceae, Palm Tree: Coconut palm * List of U.S. state foods, Pie: Key lime pie * Play (theatre), Play: ''Cross and Sword'' * List of U.S. state reptiles, Reptile:
American alligator The American alligator (''Alligator mississippiensis''), sometimes referred to colloquially as a gator or common alligator, is a large crocodilian reptile native to the Southeastern United States and northeastern Mexico. It is one of two extan ...

American alligator
* State reptile, Reptile(salt water): Loggerhead sea turtle * Rodeo: Silver Spurs Rodeo * List of U.S. state shells, Shell: Triplofusus papillosus, Horse conch * List of U.S. state soils, Soil: Myakka (soil), Myakka soil * List of U.S. state songs, Song: "Old Folks at Home" * National Day, State day/week: Pascua Florida * List of U.S. state minerals, rocks, stones and gemstones, Stone: Lace agate, Agatized coral * Tortoise: Gopher tortoise * List of U.S. state trees, Tree: Sabal palmetto * Wildflower: Coreopsis, Tickseed


Sister states


See also

* Index of Florida-related articles * Outline of Florida * List of people from Florida


References


Bibliography

* Viviana Díaz Balsera and Rachel A. May (eds.), ''La Florida: Five Hundred Years of Hispanic Presence.'' Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 2014. * Michael Gannon (ed.), ''The History of Florida.'' Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 2013.


External links


State website
*


Florida Memory Project
Over 300,000 photographs and documents from the State Library & Archives of Florida
Online collection of the Spanish Land Grants

USGS real-time, geographic, and other scientific resources of Florida

Florida Rivers and Watersheds—Florida DEP



Economic and farm demographics fact sheet from the USDA

Energy & Environmental Data For Florida


Florida state butterfly, on the University of Florida, UF / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, IFAS Featured Creatures Web site
TerraFly Property Value and Aerial Imagery Spatio-temporal animation Real Estate Trends in Florida

List of searchable databases produced by Florida state agencies
hosted by th
American Library Association Government Documents Roundtable
{{coord, 28.6305, -82.4497, dim:300000_region:US-FL_type:adm1st, name=State of Florida, display=title Florida, 1845 establishments in the United States Former Spanish colonies Peninsulas of Florida Southern United States States and territories established in 1845 States of the Confederate States States of the East Coast of the United States States of the Gulf Coast of the United States States of the United States U.S. states with multiple time zones Contiguous United States