All About Florida

Quick Facts

Official Name Florida
Area65,755 sq mi(170,304 km2)
Largest CityJacksonville
Official LanguagesEnglish (Spoken : English 73.36% Spanish 19.54% French Creole 1.84%)
Time ZoneEST(UTC-05:00)
GovernorRick Scott
Lt. GovernorCarlos Lopez-Cantera
U.S. SenatorBill Nelson, Marco Rubio
AbbreviationFL, Fla. US-FL
Joined the UnionMarch 3, 1845 (27th)
NicknameSunshine State
Highest PointBritton Hill
Lowest PointAtlantic Ocean
Official Websitewww.myflorida.com

Thumbnail of Florida Infographic

Click to view full Infographic

Location and Geography: The entire state of Florida is more or less a giant peninsula extending from the southeastern portion of the United States. It is known for its unique wildlife and its delicate but beautiful environment of wetlands and coastlines. It is perhaps the wettest of the states, being mostly surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, with much of its land area being swamps and marshes.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Counties and Regions: Florida has 67 counties, but is best known for its coasts and wetlands. Because Florida is mostly a peninsula, there are many distinct coastal areas, such as:
  • First Coast
  • Emerald Coast
  • Fun Coast
  • Nature Coast
  • Space Coast
  • Suncoast
  • Gold Coast
  • Southwest Florida
  • Treasure Coast
  • Some of the other recognizable regions of Florida are as follows:
  • Big Bend
  • Central Florida
  • Everglades
  • South Florida Metro Area
  • Tampa Bay Metro Area
  • Florida Heartland
  • Florida Keys (islands)
  • Florida Panhandle
  • North Central Florida

What is the largest city of Florida?
Jacksonville is the largest city of the state of Florida. The estimated population of the city is 821,784; it is the eleventh-most populated US city. The city covers a total land area of 885 square miles.

How big is Florida?
Florida ranks twenty-second in size among the 50 US states. The total boundary length of Florida is 1,799 miles.

When did Florida achieve statehood?
Florida is the twenty-seventh state of the United States of America. It has a long history of foreign conquests and wars. The state had been occupied by the Spanish and the French forces since the sixteenth century, until the United States made it a part of its territory in 1821, with Andrew Jackson as the military governor. Florida was admitted to United States on March 3, 1845. In 1861, it joined the other southern states to form the Confederate States of America.

What is the official language of Florida?
English is the official language of the state of Florida, and is spoken by seventy-five percent of the population. Spanish and French Creole are the other languages used.

What is the religion of Florida?
Florida is largely Protestant, with forty-eight percent people following the sect. There are other religious affiliations as well: Roman Catholics (26%), Baptists (9%), Methodists (6%), Pentecostals ( 3%), Jews (3%), Jehovah's Witnesses (1%), and Muslims (1%). Sixteen percent of the state population claims to be non-religious.

What is the economy of Florida like?
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Florida in 2016 was $926 billion. Tourism is the most important industry, contributing $51 billion to the state GDP, as of 2015. A record 105 million tourists visited the state in 2015. Agriculture is the second-largest industry in Florida. Oranges, grapes, tangerines and other citrus fruits are a major part of the economy. Some other important crops are green beans, sweet corns, potatoes, sugar cane and strawberries. The annual economic impact of aviation-related activities in the state is around $144 billion. Mining is the third-largest industry of Florida. The largest deposits of potash in the United States are found in this state. The state is also a major player in the sales of power boats. In 2013, an estimated $1.96 billion worth of power boats were sold. Apart from this, Florida also has a thriving life sciences and financial services industry. It is also one of the seven US states that do not impose a personal income tax.

What are the symbols of the state of Florida?

State bird: The Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) was designated as the state bird by the Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 3 of the 1927 legislative session. It is also the state bird of Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.
State flower: The Orange blossom (Citrus sinensis), one of the most fragrant flowers, is the state flower. It was designated the state flower by the 1909 legislature.
State animal: The Florida Panther (Felis concolor coryi) is the state animal chosen in 1982 by a vote of students. It has been the most endangered species since 1967 and on the state's endangered list since 1973.

What are the famous places in Florida?
Florida has many beautiful places which attract millions of tourists to the state every year. Jacksonville, Sanibel Island, Kennedy Space Center, Miami Beach, Port Canaveral, Cocoa Beach and many other beaches are world-famous. Miami Beach is the most popular hotspot in the United States with hundreds of clubs, restaurants and oceanfront hotels. Port Canaveral offers adventurous parasailing rides.

Major Cities: Florida has several large metropolitan areas, the largest being that of Miami, followed by the Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville metropolitan areas. Each of these metro areas has more than five hundred thousand people living within it (and the Miami area has a population approaching five million). The state capital, Tallahassee, is much smaller in comparison, with about two hundred thousand people living in or near it.

Population: Since the invention of air conditioning, the population of Florida has skyrocketed. It is a popular destination for retirees and immigrants, and today the majority of Florida’s people were actually born elsewhere. Florida has more people living in it than any other state, except for California, Texas, and New York, with a population that is beginning to approach twenty one million people. Florida comprised a population of 20,271,272 in 2015, according to the United States Census Bureau. It is the fourth-most populated state in the United States.

Story Behind the Name: “Florida” means “flowery” in the Spanish language. According to records of the time, sixteenth-century Spanish explorer Ponce de León referred to the newly discovered peninsula as “La Florida” because he was celebrating the Easter season, and the spring flowers were in bloom.

History and Colonization: Florida was colonized by Europeans early on, being the first part of the present-day United States to be discovered by explorers (according to verified records). The Spanish
founded several colonies and missions there, but these faced great difficulty due to powerful native tribes and destructive weather. The British and the French founded competing colonies in the region, and Florida became something of a mixing pot for various ethnicities and cultures as the European settlers, the native tribes, and communities of escaped African-American slaves all began to interact. Even today, Florida is known for being a cultural blend of many different traditions.

The territory of Florida changed hands a few times before Spain signed it over to the United States in 1819 (it would not be admitted as a state until 1845). The nineteenth century in Florida was marked by conflict between American settlers and the native Seminole population, with many battles being fought between the two over the course of what would be known as the Seminole Wars. Florida was the site of one of the United State's most aggressive “Indian removal” campaigns, eventually resulting in the majority of the Seminoles being relocated in the West. Some were able to maintain their homes deep within the Everglades, but by the mid-nineteenth century, the majority of people living in Florida were white settlers and their African-descended slaves.

The Southern plantation culture was strong in Florida, and the state was one of the founders of the Confederate States of America at the start of the American Civil War. Even after the war, racial violence was common in Florida, and many people migrated away from the state (oppressive weather was also making it an undesirable place to live). There was a brief resurgence in prosperity during the 1920s, but Florida’s population did not begin booming until the onset of World War II, when its low land prices attracted many new immigrants from other parts of the United States. Florida is now surprisingly well-populated for a marshy and hurricane-prone area, having the fourth-largest population in the country. The state emerged as a desirable tourist destination in the mid-twentieth century, now playing host to many world-famous amusement parks (most notably Disney World in the city of Orlando). The Florida Everglades, a huge wetland in the southern part of the state, is also one of America’s most treasured natural areas, although it is quite vulnerable to environmental damage. Overall, Florida is a prosperous and unique state, home to a unique mix of human cultures and natural forces.

More Florida Facts & Trivia

1.Greater Miami is the sole metropolitan area in USA whose borders include two national parks - Biscayne National Park and Everglades National Park.

2.Sunshine Skyway Bridge opened in 1987 and is 190 feet above the water.

3.In North America Saint Augustine has the oldest settlement by Europeans.

4.80% of the sweet Atlantic white shrimp eaten in Florida is grown in Amelia Island.

5.Punta Gorda means fat point in Spanish. The city was given this name because a major chunk of the land cuts into Charlotte Harbor.

6.The vegetation at Fakahatchee Strand in Everglades filters and cleans the flowing water, stops flooding after heavy rains and is an important habitat for plant and animal life.

7.Among amusement park destinations in USA, Orlando draws most visitors.

8.DeFuniak Springs has a naturally round lake - one of the two in world.

9.Rollins College, which is the oldest college in Florida, was established in 1885 in Winter Park by New England Congregationalists.

10.The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens located at Delray Beach is the only US museum that is devoted solely to Japanese culture.

11.Cape Canaveral serves one of the most important space flight launch pad in USA.

12.Fort Lauderdale is also called Venice of America as it has 185 miles of waterways.

13.Florida is not the southernmost US state.

14.In Polk County, Fort Meade is the oldest settlement.

15.A museum at Senibel possesses 2 million shells and is admittedly the only museum that is dedicated to mollusks.

16.The Fred Bear Museum of Gainesville pays tribute to Fred Bear, founder of Bear Archery Company and promoter of wildlife management.

17.The Benwood, located on French Reef in Florida Keys, is one of most popular shipwrecks for divers.

18.A part of Rails to Trails program of Florida, Hawthorne Trail draws a number of outdoor enthusiasts.

19.Safety Harbor is home to the historic Espiritu Santo Springs, a name given in 1539 by Hernando De Soto, a Spanish explorer.

20.Baseball City Stadium lies to the north of Haines City, known as the Heart of Florida.

21.Niceville stages the well known Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival on the third weekend of October.

22.The name of Hypoluxo City has been derived from a Seminole expression.

23.Clearwater has the most lightning strikes per capita among US cities.

24.Islamorada is known as the global sports fishing capital.

25.Gatorade was named after University of Florida Gators, which is where it was developed.

26.Key Largo is billed as the global diving capital.

27.Tony Jannus flew the first ever scheduled passenger flight to Tampa from St. Petersburg on 1st January 1914.

28.Marathon houses the historic - Crane Point Hammock that has proof of prehistoric Bahamian and pre Colombian artifacts.

29.Mechanical refrigeration was invented in 1851 by Dr. John Gorrie from Apalachicola.

30.Fort Zachary Taylor was controlled by the Union during the Civil War. It was used later in Spanish-American War and the World Wars.

31.In 1944 Benjamin Green, a pharmacist from Miami Beach, came up with the first ever suntan cream.

32.Built in 1763 Old Kings Road is the original graded road and was named after King George of England.

33.The first ever Snapper riding lawnmower was invented by Neil and Montverde Smith.

34.Jacksonville was the busiest military port in USA during the 1991 Gulf War.

35.Key West experiences the maximum average temperature in Florida.

36.At the time of its completion in 1989 the Dame Point Bridge was the tallest cable stayed structure in USA.

37.Saint John's River is among the few rivers that flow north.

38.Annual Mug Race is the longest river sailboat race of the world, stretching for 42 miles to Jacksonville from Palatka beside the St. Johns River.

39.Lake Okeechobee is the biggest of its kind in Florida.

40.The Olustee Battlefield State Historic Site marks the biggest battle fought in Florida at the time of American Civil War.

41.On 20th May 1970 a bill to adopt moonstone as the official state gem was signed and sent to the Governor by Florida legislators.

42.Venice, Florida is billed as the global shark tooth capital.

43.The American Alligator was designated as the official state reptile in 1987 by Florida legislature.

44.The Florida Museum of Hispanic and Latin American Art in Coral Gables is the first and only US museum devoted to maintenance and promotion of Latin and Spanish American art.

45.The first ATM especially for Rollerblades was installed in Miami.

46.The 47 mile long Pinellas Trail is the longest urban linear trail of eastern US.

47.Once known as the Global Cigar Capital, almost 12,000 tobacco makers worked in 200 factories in Ybor City.

48.Also billed as Space City Titusville is on the western shore of Indian River directly across the John F Kennedy Space Center.

49.The Global Winter Strawberry Capital, Plant City, has the Guinness record for the largest strawberry shortcake of world.

50.Florida is the sole American state that has two rivers with identical names - Withlacoochee.

Video on Facts about Florida

USA Facts
Alabama FactsLouisiana FactsOhio Facts
Alaska FactsMaine FactsOklahoma Facts
Arizona FactsMaryland FactsOregon Facts
Arkansas FactsMassachusetts FactsPennsylvania Facts
California FactsMichigan FactsRhode Island Facts
Colorado FactsMinnesota FactsSouth Carolina Facts
Connecticut FactsMississippi FactsSouth Dakota Facts
Delaware FactsMissouri FactsTennessee Facts
Florida FactsMontana FactsTexas Facts
Georgia FactsNebraska FactsUtah Facts
Hawaii FactsNevada FactsVermont Facts
Idaho FactsNew Hampshire FactsVirginia Facts
Illinois FactsNew Jersey FactsWashington Facts
Indiana FactsNew Mexico FactsWest Virginia Facts
Iowa FactsNew York FactsWisconsin Facts
Kansas FactsNorth Carolina FactsWyoming Facts
Kentucky FactsNorth Dakota Facts

American Revolution
American RevolutionDeclaratory Act 1766Ideas Expressed in The Declaration of Independence
Intolerable ActsFrance in the American RevolutionImpact of Revolution on Other Nations
First Great AwakeningAmerican Revolution FactsOriginal 13 Colonies Map
Who was Patrick HenryFounding Fathers of AmericaImpact of Declaration of Independence
American EnlightenmentRole of Women in American Revolution

Last Updated on: September 10th, 2021