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Facts about Florida

History | Symbols | Interesting Facts | Famous People

Statehood:  March 3, 1845, the 27th state

Capital:  Tallahassee

Total Area:  23rd among states, 170,304 sq km (65,755 sq mi)

Water Area:  15,517 sq km (5,991 sq mi)

Highest Point:  Sec. 30, T6N, R20W, Walton County, 105 m (345 ft)

Total Population:   4th among states
2010 census -  18,801,310

Population Density in 2010:  350.6 people per sq mi

Distribution in 1990:  89.3% Urban, 10.7% Rural

Gross State Product - $754 billion (2010)
Personal income per Capita - $37,780 (2009)

Largest cities in 2010: 
Jacksonville:  821,784
Miami:  399,457
Tampa:  335,709

  • St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States.
  • The water hyacinth, a beautiful flowered aquatic plant, was introduced to Florida accidentally in the 1880s and grows so abundantly it has restricted commercial navigation on portions of the Saint Johns River.

  • Inventor Thomas A. Edison maintained a winter home and laboratory in Fort Myers.

  • The first U.S. earth satellite, Explorer I, was launched from the U.S. Air Force Missile Test Center at Cape Canaveral in 1958.

  • Hurricane Andrew, which ripped through southeastern Florida in August 1992, killed 41 people and caused property damages in excess of $20 billion.

  • Cape Canaveral is America's launch pad for space flights. 

  • Key West has the highest average temperature in the United States. 

  • Gatorade was named for the University of Florida Gators where the drink was first developed.

  • Fort Lauderdale is known as the Venice of America because the city has 185 miles of local waterways. 

  • The stone crab is a Florida delicacy. It is in season from the middle of October until the middle of May. Fishermen, by law, may only detach one of the crab's two claws. The crab is then returned to the water, where it is able to regenerate the lost claw. 

  • The crocodile is classified as an endangered species and there are only 400 to 500 remaining in Florida.

  • The Florida Panther is the official state animal. The species is endangered, with only about 50 left in the wild.

  • The world's first scheduled commercial airline flight occurred in Florida on January 1, 1914. The flight occurred between Tampa and St. Petersburg, and traversed Tampa Bay.