Florida [flɔ: ʹridə], abbreviated FL, state of southeastern United
States; 151,670 km2, 21.3 million inhabitants (2018).Florida is
located between the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico and borders the north to the
states of Alabama and Georgia. It is also called the Sunshine State. The
capital Tallahassee is located in Florida's northwest.
Florida. State Map.
Florida's limestone bedrock was formed in a warm shallow sea during the
tertiary period (approximately 65–1.65 million years ago). Similar sedimentation
is now taking place in the Bahamas, with lagoons, lime sand and reefs of lime
algae and corals. The low-lying Florida peninsula is bordered by chalk-white
lime sand beaches where tertiary layers go by during the day, but in the south
there are shallow mangrove areas with darker clay sludge. South of Florida's
only large lake, Okeechobee, is the swamp and savanna area Everglades.
Florida. The Anhinga Trail hiking trail in the
Florida is subtropical to the north and tropical to the south and has many
plants and animals unique to North America.
Florida's original population was Muskogee-speaking Native American
people. The most important of these are the Seminoles, who fought bloody wars
against Americans in the latter half of the 19th century, after which they
resorted to the hard-to-reach Everglades, where their descendants still live.
The population increase over the last hundred years has been very strong and
corresponds to a doubling approximately every twenty years. The large move has
brought Florida to the place of the United States to the population of the
fourth state (after California, Texas and New York). Most of those who moved in
have been white. The proportion of blacks in the 19th century was about 50
percent, but is now 17 percent. About 5 million inhabitants originate in
Spanish-speaking countries, including Cuba; they are largely resident in the
Miami area. Many retirees have moved to Florida, which has resulted in a
significantly larger share of the state in the age group 65 and older (just over
19 percent) than the US average (15 percent).
More than 90 percent of the population lives in metropolitan
regions. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach has 6.1 million inhabitants
(2016). The second largest is Tampa-Saint Petersburg-Clearwater on the West
Coast with 3 million, while Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford in central Florida has 2.4
million. However, the Orlando – Cape Canaveral – Daytona Beach triangle is a
rapidly growing region. At the far west is Pensacola, whose metropolitan area
has 485 700 inhabitants. Florida's largest individual city is Jacksonville in
the northeast corner with 868,000 residents (1.5 million residents in the
metropolitan area). The second largest is the city of Miami itself with 441,000
inhabitants. The small town of Saint Augustine, 60 km south of Jacksonville, was
founded in 1565 and is the oldest European settlement within the US borders.
Florida's main asset is said to be its climate. It is the basis for both
tourism, which is the state's most important industry, and for agriculture,
which is still of great economic importance. The large-scale and highly
mechanized agricultural industry utilizes partial seasonal labor. Florida
accounts for 3/4 of US citrus production, mainly oranges and grapefruit. Also
important is the cultivation of vegetables, especially winter vegetables for the
market in the north-eastern United States. Among other crops are cane sugar,
soybeans, peanuts, tobacco and maize. Livestock management plays a big
role. Half of Florida's area is wooded. Forestry is of major importance in the
northern parts, including as a basis for the Jacksonville industry.
Mineral resources are relatively limited; however, 3/4 of US phosphate
production comes from Florida. Among the industries, the food industry is the
most important, with Tampa as the center for the canning industry. There is also
chemical industry here, as in Pensacola. Of particular importance is the
extensive industry related to space travel that has grown up mainly around Cape
Canaveral. In many places there are also electronic and electrotechnical
Tourism is of the greatest importance to Florida's economy. More than 60
million tourists visit the state annually.
Florida. Naples on Florida's west coast is one of
the many cities in the state that is completely dominated by the tourism
Tourism and gastronomy
Florida is home to over 60 million visitors a year, the United States'
leading tourist state. The tourism industry plays a major role throughout the
state, but it dominates most strongly in the eastern parts. Miami, Miami Beach,
Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach and Daytona Beach are some of the
more well-known major resorts in the pearl band of seaside and tourist resorts
that extend along nearly the entire Atlantic coast. The East Coast also has
other major tourist destinations, primarily Cape Canaveral with the Kennedy
Space Center. Further north lies the historically interesting and well-preserved
city of Saint Augustine, built in 1565 by the Spaniards and the oldest European
settlement within the US borders.
One of the really big tourist cities is Orlando in central Florida. Here, in
the first place, attracts the gigantic Walt Disney World complex with the Epcot
Center, but the city has many other major attractions, such as Sea World.
Florida. Walt Disney World in Orlando.
Although the coast along the Gulf of Mexico does not have the same expansive
sandy beaches as the Atlantic coast, there are many seaside resorts and
attractive tourist destinations that draw large crowds of visitors. South of the
Florida Peninsula, the Florida Keys range extends southwest, with the culturally
historically attractive city of Key West at its farthest.
Florida. Main Street Daval Street in Key West.
Florida also has a large number of protected natural areas of high value. The
most important and best known is probably the over 6,000 km² Everglades National
Park southwest of Miami.
Florida's extensive crops and favorable climates have made the state a
veritable cornucopia of fruits and vegetables; each meal is accompanied or made
up of large portions of fresh vegetables and fresh fruit. The availability of
seafood is also outstanding. Stone crabs with mustard sauce, stone
crabs with mustard sauce, with only green salad added, are a common dish, like
grilled mussels or lobster, smoked marmalade, creamy soup on beach shells or
grilled grouper (sea bass). Turtle in the form of soup or chops (Key West
turtle cutlets are still available.
In the midst of this wealth of seafood, it must not be forgotten that Florida
is one of America's largest producers of steak cakes, so the traditional,
pan-American steak is everywhere.
The dessert table dignifies fresh fruit - citrus, papaya, mango - but for
those who feel the revolt growing against the multitude of delights, there is
always rescue in the form of Key lime pie; the limes in Florida become
almost yellow and not as bitter as we are used to and are accompanied here by
cream and meringue.
Florida was discovered in 1513 by the Spanish Juan Ponce de León. Spain was
long dominant, but in 1763 Florida came under British control. During the North
American War of Independence, Florida remained loyal to Britain, but returned to
Spain in the peace of 1783. In 1819, all of Florida was sold to the United
States. After bloody wars against the Seminole Indians, most of them moved to
the reserve in the West in the 1840s, opening the way for increased
occupation. In 1845, Florida became the 27th state of the United States. During
the Civil War, Florida joined the rest of the South but in 1868 regained its
place in the Union.
Florida then underwent rapid economic development. Agriculture as well as
growing vegetables and citrus fruits became the main industry, but the climate
also made Florida attractive for tourism. Refrigerators and air conditioning
made Florida habitable year-round and, after World War II, achieved a very large
population increase and urbanization. Florida increased from 3 million residents
in 1950 to over 12 million in 1989 and is now the United States' fourth state in
terms of population.
Politically, Florida has been conservative with Southern Democrats for a very
long time. Through demographic trends, Florida now has a functioning bipartisan
system, where Republicans have made great strides in the 1970s and 1980s.