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Population of Florida


Jacksonville in Florida
Jacksonville in Florida

Since 1920 Florida has been among the four fastest-growing states in the Union. Its population in 2000 was more than 16 times the size of the 1920 population of 968,470. According to the 2000 national census, Florida ranked fourth among the states, with a total population of 15,982,378 (an increase of 23.5 percent over the 1990 total of 12,937,926). In 2006 the average population density was 130 persons per sq km (335 per sq mi).

The population is not evenly distributed. Some 89 percent of the population live in urban areas, and the remainder live in small communities in rural areas. Most people reside in towns and cities along the coast. The center of the peninsula and the western panhandle support a fairly large rural population, but large areas of southern Florida, including most of the Everglades and many offshore islands along the Gulf coast, are practically uninhabited.

People over the age of 65 made up 18 percent of the state’s population in 1997, compared with the national average of 13 percent. Many older people from the rest of the nation and also some from Canada move to Florida after they have retired.

Ethnic groups


In 2000 whites comprised the largest share of the population, representing 78 percent of the people. Blacks were 14.6 percent of the population, Asians were 1.7 percent, Native Americans were 0.3 percent, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders were 0.1 percent, and those of mixed heritage or not reporting race were 5.3 percent. Hispanics, who may be of any race, were 16.8 percent of the population. Many of the Hispanics in Florida are Cubans or their descendants who left the island nation before or soon after a revolution there in the late 1950s. Others came during the early 1980s when Cuba temporarily lifted exit restrictions.

Many of the Native Americans now in Florida are descended from the Seminole, who retreated into the Everglades following the end of the second Seminole War in 1842. One group lives on a reservation in the swamps north and east of Lake Okeechobee. Another group occupies a reservation in the Big Cypress Swamp, northwest of the Everglades. In 1957 the Native Americans set up the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc., and established their first constitutional government since 1848. Jacksonville, since it consolidated with all but three of the communities in Duval County in 1968, is the most populous city in Florida, with an estimated 2006 population of 794,555.

It is the major northern Florida city and an important seaport, and has an extensive financial and insurance industry. The Miami metropolitan area, which is coextensive with Miami-Dade County, had a population of 2.2 million, of whom 404,048 lived in Miami proper. Combined with the adjoining Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area, the population was 3.9 million in 2000. Miami is the principal commercial and manufacturing city in the state. The Miami area is the major center for Florida’s Hispanic population, who make up three-fifths of the local population.

Tampa-Saint Petersburg-Clearwater


The Tampa-Saint Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area, with 2.7 million people, is the largest urban complex on the Gulf coast. Orlando, with 220,186 inhabitants, serves a metropolitan area of 2 million. It is a recreation destination for people from around the world, a major citrus marketing center, and has many industries related to the space program on nearby Cape Canaveral. Tallahassee, the capital city, has a population of 159,012. Daytona Beach and Palm Beach are important Atlantic urban centers and beach resorts. Key West, the southernmost city, and Pensacola both have U.S. naval facilities. Saint Augustine is the nation’s oldest continuously inhabited city. "Florida" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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