‘The Sunshine State’
Florida is the 27th state admitted to the United States, and a state that is a large peninsula with a panhandle located in the southeastern region of the United States. Florida borders Alabama to the northwest and Georgia to the north. Florida is the closes state to Cuba. Much of the land of the state is a large peninsula with the Gulf of Mexico to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. The state is divided into the panhandle, north Central Florida, Central Florida, South Florida, the Tampa Bay Region and the Florida Keys. For more regions and region information, see Geography.

Florida is nicknamed the “Sunshine State” because of its generally warm climate—subtropical in the northern and central regions of the state, and truly a tropical climate in the southern region. The state has four large urban areas, a number of smaller industrial cities, and many small towns. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the state population was 18,328,340 in 2008, ranking Florida as the fourth most populous state in the U.S. The state capital of Florida is Tallahassee — located in the Big Bend region of Florida between the eastern panhandle region and north Florida. The largest city in Florida is Jacksonville, which is located in Duval County of northern Florida. The city of Jacksonville and Duval County lie on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean — a region known as the First Coast, which is known as the first permanent settlement of Europeans, and the first coast traveled when heading south from the states into Florida. The largest Metropolitan area in Florida is Miami.

State flag of Florida with the Great Seal and the motto ‘IN GOD WE TRUST’ with a red saltire (diagonal cross) on a white background.

The Total Area of Florida is 65,795 sq mi (170,304 km2) Ranked 22nd in the United States.
Florida Width = 361 miles (582 km)
Florida Length = 447 miles (721 km)
Florida is 17.9% water
Latitude Range: 24°27′ N to 31° N
Longitude Range: 80°02′ W to 87°38′ W
See more in Geography

Florida Economy
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Florida in 2007 was $734.5 billion. The Florida GDP is the fourth largest economy in the United States. The major contributors to the state’s gross output in 2007 were general services, financial services, trade, transportation and public utilities, manufacturing and construction respectively.

Florida Sports
Most Major League Baseball’s spring training, and nearly 2/3 of all MLB teams have a spring training presence in the state. Yet Florida did not have a permanent major-league-level professional sports team until the American Football League added the Miami Dolphins in 1966. The state now has three NFL teams, two MLB teams, two NBA teams, and two NHL teams.
Two of the Arena Football League’s teams are in Florida.
Golf, tennis, and auto racing are popular.
Minor league baseball, football, basketball, ice hockey, soccer and indoor football teams are based in Florida. Florida’s universities have a number of collegiate sport teams.

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