State of Florida
Sunshine State[1][2][3]
Anthem: "Florida" (state anthem), “Old Folks at Home” (state song)
Map of the United States with Florida highlighted
Map of the United States with Florida highlighted
CountryUnited States
Before statehoodFlorida Territory
Admitted to the UnionMarch 3, 1845 (27th)
Largest cityJacksonville[5]
Largest metroMiami
 • GovernorRon DeSantis (R)
 • Lieutenant GovernorJeanette Nuñez (R)
LegislatureFlorida Legislature
 • Upper houseSenate
 • Lower houseHouse of Representatives
JudiciarySupreme Court of Florida
U.S. senatorsMarco Rubio (R)
Rick Scott (R)
U.S. House delegation16 Republicans
10 Democrats
1 vacancy (list)
 • Total65,757.70[6] sq mi (170,312 km2)
Area rank22nd
 • Length447 mi (721 km)
 • Width361 mi (582 km)
100 ft (30 m)
Highest elevation345 ft (105 m)
Lowest elevation
(Atlantic Ocean[7])
0 ft (0 m)
 • Total21,570,527[9]
 • Rank3rd
 • Density384.3/sq mi (121.0/km2)
 • Density rank8th
 • Median household income
 • Income rank
Demonym(s)Floridian, Floridan
 • Official languageEnglish[11]
 • Spoken languagePredominantly English and Spanish[12]
Time zones
Peninsula and "Big Bend" regionUTC−05:00 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (EDT)
Panhandle west of the Apalachicola RiverUTC−06:00 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−05:00 (CDT)
USPS abbreviation
ISO 3166 codeUS-FL
Traditional abbreviationFla.
Latitude24° 27' N to 31° 00' N
Longitude80° 02' W to 87° 38' W
Florida state symbols
Flag of Florida.svg
Seal of Florida.svg
Living insignia
AmphibianBarking tree frog
BirdNorthern mockingbird
FishFlorida largemouth bass, Atlantic sailfish
FlowerOrange blossom
InsectZebra longwing
MammalFlorida panther, manatee, bottlenose dolphin, Florida Cracker Horse[13]
ReptileAmerican alligator, Loggerhead turtle, Gopher tortoise[13]
TreeSabal palmetto
Inanimate insignia
BeverageOrange juice
FoodKey lime pie, Orange
RockAgatized coral
ShellHorse conch
State route marker
State quarter
Lists of United States state symbols

Florida (/ˈflɒrɪdə/ (About this soundlisten),[14] Spanish pronunciation: [floˈɾiða]) is a state located in the Southeastern region of the United States. With a population of over 21 million, Florida is the third-most populous and the 22nd-most extensive of the 50 United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Straits of Florida. The state's capital is Tallahassee and its most populous municipality is Jacksonville. The Miami metropolitan area, 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 areas in the state with a population of more than one million are Tampa Bay, Orlando, and Jacksonville. Florida's $1.0 trillion economy is the fourth-largest of any U.S. state, and if it were a country, Florida would be the 16th-largest economy in the world.[15]

Native Americans had been living in Florida for at least 14,000 years prior to the first European contact made in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who called it la Florida ([la floˈɾiða] because it was Easter ("Pascua Florida" in Spanish) upon landing there.[16] At various points in its colonial history, Florida was administered by Spain and Great Britain. Florida was admitted as the 27th state on March 3, 1845.[17] Florida was the principal location of the Seminole Wars (1816–1858), the longest and most extensive of Indian Wars in United States history. Florida declared its secession from the Union on January 10, 1861, and was one of the seven original Confederate States. After the Civil War, Florida was restored to the Union on June 25, 1868.

Today, Florida is distinctive for its large Cuban expatriate community and high population growth, as well as for its increasing environmental issues. The state's economy relies mainly on tourism, agriculture, and transportation, which developed in the late 19th century. Florida is also renowned for amusement parks, orange crops, winter vegetables, the Kennedy Space Center, and as a popular destination for retirees. It is the flattest state in the United States,[18] and Lake Okeechobee is its largest freshwater lake.[19]

The state's close proximity to the ocean influences many aspects of Florida culture and daily life. Florida is a reflection of influences and multiple inheritances; African, European, Indigenous, Latino, and Asian heritages can be found in the architecture and cuisine. Florida has attracted many writers such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, and continues to attract celebrities and athletes. It is internationally known for golf, tennis, auto racing, and water sports. Several beaches in Florida have turquoise and emerald-colored coastal waters.[20]

About two-thirds of Florida occupies a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States, approximately 1,350 miles (2,170 km), not including the contribution of the many barrier islands.[21] Florida has a total of 4,510 islands that are ten acres (4 ha) or larger in area.[22][23] This is the second-highest number of islands of any state; only Alaska has more.[22] It is the only state that borders both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the state is at or near sea level, and is characterized by sedimentary soil. Florida has the lowest high point of any U.S. state at just 345 feet (105 meters). The American alligator, American crocodile, American flamingo, Roseate spoonbill, Florida panther, bottlenose dolphin, and manatee can be found in Everglades National Park in the southern part of the state. The climate varies from subtropical in the north to tropical in the south.[24] Along with Hawaii, Florida is one of only two states that have a tropical climate, and is the only continental state that has both a tropical climate and a coral reef. The Florida Reef[25] is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States,[26] and the third-largest coral barrier reef system in the world (after the Great Barrier Reef and Belize Barrier Reef).[27]

  1. ^ a b "Florida | Map, Population, History, & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  2. ^ "Florida | State Facts & History". www.infoplease.com. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  3. ^ "Florida". www.americaslibrary.gov. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  4. ^ "State Motto". Florida Department of State. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  5. ^ "Jacksonville, Fla.: Population, Weather, Demographics, Facts, History, Mayor, Landmarks". www.factmonster.com. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  6. ^ "United States Summary: 2010. Population and Housing Unit Counts. 2010 Census of Population and Housing" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. September 2012. p. 41. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Elevations and Distances in the United States". United States Geological Survey. 2001. Archived from the original on October 15, 2011. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  8. ^ Elevation adjusted to North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
  9. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. January 9, 2020. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  10. ^ "Median Annual Household Income". The US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 26, 2020.
  11. ^ Cite error: The named reference Article 2, Section 9, Constitution of the State of Florida was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  12. ^ "Florida". Modern Language Association. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  13. ^ a b "SB 230—State Symbols/Fla. Cracker Horse/Loggerhead Turtle [RPCC]". Florida House of Representatives. Retrieved April 7, 2012.
  14. ^ Wells, John C. (2008). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.). Longman. ISBN 978-1-4058-8118-0.
  15. ^ "Gross Domestic Product by State: Second Quarter 2018" (PDF). Bea.gov. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  16. ^ "Juan Ponce de León Landing". www.brevardparks.com. Archived from the original on December 21, 2010. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
  17. ^ Diaz, M.A. (2016) To Conquer the Coast: Pensacola, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Construction of American Imperialism, 1820-1848, Florida Historical Quarterly, 95(1), 1-25
  18. ^ Megan Garber. "Science: Several U.S. States, Led by Florida, Are Flatter Than a Pancake". The Atlantic.
  19. ^ Gardner, Rusty. "Welcome to the Lake Okeechobee". Florida by Water.
  20. ^ "The Ultimate Guide to Florida's East Coast Beaches". Visitflorida.com.
  21. ^ "The Top Ten: States with Longest Coastlines". InfoPlease.
  22. ^ a b McGovern, Bernie (2007). Florida Almanac (2007–08 ed.). p. 480. ISBN 9781455604418.
  23. ^ "Florida Islands—The Florida Keys". Floridakeys-guide.com.
  24. ^ Cite error: The named reference abbott was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  25. ^ "NOAA CoRIS—Regional Portal—Florida". Coris.noaa.gov.
  26. ^ The biggest coral reef in the continental U.S. is dissolving into the ocean. Retrieved May 6, 2016.
  27. ^ Administration, US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric. "NOAA CoRIS—Regional Portal—Florida". coris.noaa.gov. Retrieved October 23, 2018.