Florida (, Spanish pronunciation:
[floˈɾiða]) is the southernmost contiguous
state in the
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,
Tallahassee, was established as such in 1823 by the second session of the
territorial legislature. Florida is the
22nd-most extensive (65,755 sq mi or 170,300 km2), the
3rd-most populous (21,477,737 inhabitants), and the
8th-most densely populated (384.3/sq mi or 148.4/km2) of the U.S. states.
Jacksonville is the
most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the
contiguous United States. The
Miami metropolitan area is Florida's
most populous urban area.
Florida's $1.0 trillion economy is the fourth largest in the United States. If it were a country, Florida would be the 16th largest economy in the world, and the 58th most populous . In 2017, Florida's
per capita personal income was $47,684, ranking 26th in the nation. The unemployment rate in September 2018 was 3.5% and ranked as the 18th in the United States. Florida exports nearly $55 billion in goods made in the state, the 8th highest among all states. The
Miami metropolitan area is by far the largest urban economy in Florida and the 12th largest in the United States with a GDP of $345 billion . This is more than twice the number of the next metro area, the
Tampa Bay Area, which has a GDP of $145 billion. Florida is home to 51 of the world's
billionaires with most of them residing in
The first European contact was made in 1513 by Spanish explorer
Juan Ponce de León, who called it la Florida (
[la floˈɾiða] "the land of flowers") upon landing there in the
Easter season, known in Spanish as
Pascua Florida. Florida was a challenge for the European
colonial powers before it gained statehood in the United States in 1845. It was a principal location of the
Seminole Wars against the
Native Americans, and racial segregation after the
American Civil War.
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. Florida is the flattest state in the United States.
Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater
lake in Florida.