* International Trade (40% of all U.S. exports to Latin and South America pass through Florida)
* Tourism — with 87.3 million visitors in 2011 (a record number), Florida is the top travel destination in the world. The tourism industry has an economic impact of $67 billion on Floridaâ€™s economy. Click here for additional tourism facts and statistics.
* Space Industry — The space industry represents $4.1 billion of the state's economy. The average annual wage of aerospace workers is approximately $67,000. The number employed at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) alone is 13,000 and Florida ranks 4th among the states in overall aerospace employment with 33,000 jobs.
* Agriculture — Florida leads the southeast in farm income. Florida produces about 67% of the U.S. oranges and accounts for about 40% of the world's orange juice supply.
* Construction — This industry's strength results from the steady stream of new residents and visitors who are welcomed to Florida each year.
* Services — growth in high tech, financial & back office operations
* Software — many small, entrepreneurial companies
* Health Technology (medical, biotech, laboratories)
* University Research — more than $500 million per year in sponsored research at Florida universities
Florida Taxes — Florida ranks low in terms of the tax burden placed on residents. Based on income, property and other state and local tax collections, the Tax Foundation research organization ranks Florida among the lowest tax states (Florida ranks #5 among the 50 states in 2013; only four states have a lower tax burden).
State Sales Tax — 6%
Corporate Tax — 5.5%
State Income Tax — None
Juan Ponce de Leon discovers Florida in 1513 when he lands in NE Florida, possibly near present-day St. Augustine, to claim Florida for Spain. This is when written records about life in Florida began.
First permanent European settlement is established in 1565 in St. Augustine by Spain.
Florida becomes a U.S. Territory in 1821. General Andrew Jackson serves as military governor until Congress ratifies a territorial constitution.
William P. Duval , Florida's first civil governor, calls the first Legislative Council into session in Pensacola on June 19, 1823.
Admitted to U.S. as a State on March 3, 1845 (27th State)
City Population Rank :
|9.||Port St. Lucie||166,149|
|17.||Miami Gardens (Carol City-Norland)||109,680|
|20.||West Palm Beach||101,043|
Florida Weather & Seasons
Florida is known around the world for its balmy weather. The state's mild winters have made it a haven for retirees. Summers can be long and hot with showers providing much appreciated relief during the rainy season. Coastal areas also experience gentle breezes during the summer.
Average Annual Temperatures:
80.5 (F) degrees (26.9 C) (North Florida)
82.7 (F) degrees (28.2 C) (South Florida)
53.0 (F) degrees (11.7 C) (North Florida)
68.5 (F) degrees (20.3 C) (South Florida)