Florida is the 3rd most populous, the 22nd most extensive, and the 8th most densely populated of the 50 states of the United States. It is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. Florida attained statehood on March 3, 1845, becoming the 27th state to join the union. Its two bordering states are Georgia and Alabama. See the full list of the 50 states and their borders here. Florida has 67 counties. The state’s capital is Tallahassee. With these facts about “The Sunshine State”, let us explore more about its history, geography, culture, people, economy and more.

  1. Florida is a peninsula, meaning it is almost completely surrounded by water. Just two states border Florida, they are Georgia and Alabama.
  2. The Florida Keys, a group of about 1,700 tiny islands, is a famous tourist attraction of the state.
  3. The Walt Disney World Resort is in Florida. It is the planet’s most visited and biggest recreational resort. It was established in 1971 and is about the same size as San Francisco, California.
  4. On September 02, 2013, Diana Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage or fins. She completed the dream run in 52 hr 54 min 18.6 seconds. She had attempted the 103-mile swim four times before she finally did it successfully.
  5. NASA’s first communication satellite—Echo 1–was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on August 12, 1960. It was a metalized balloon satellite acting as a passive reflector of microwave signals.[18,19]
  6. Goliath, considered being the largest tortoise that ever lived, resided at the Life Fellowship Bird Sanctuary in Seffner, Florida, USA from 1960-2002. He weighed 417 kg, was 135.8 cm (4 ft 5 in) long, 102 cm (3 ft 4 in) wide and 68.5 cm (2 ft 3 in) high.
  7. The U.S. state of Florida is also home to the world’s most dangerous tree – the Manchineel tree. All parts of the tree contain strong toxins. Mere contact with the sap from this tree can cause blisters on the skin.
  8. The most powerful rocket (capability refers to the maximum payload weight the rocket can deliver to Low-Earth Orbit.) currently in service is the Falcon Heavy built by SpaceX. It lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, USA. With its three booster cores and 27 engines, the rocket creates 22,819 kiloNewtons (5.13 million pounds-force) of thrust at lift-off at sea level. Its maiden flight took place on 6 February 2018.
  9. Before the arrival of the Europeans in Florida, native American tribes have been living in the region for several thousand years.
  10. Between 1763 and 1783, Florida was ruled by the British. Formally, Florida became a part of the U.S. in 1821.
  11. It has the second longest coastline of all the contiguous state and it is also the only state that borders both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Only Alaska has a longer coastline.
  12. The state also has the lowest high point (Britton Hill, at 345 feet above mean sea level) of any state.
  13. Florida was named Florida after the first contact to the land was made by a Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon on April 2, 1513. The explorer named the region, La Florida (“land of flowers”).
  14. Central Florida is known as the lightning capital of the United States because the region experiences more lightning strikes than anywhere else in the country.
  15. The state also leads other states in the U.S. in tornadoes per area.
  16. June 1 to November 30 is the hurricane season in Florida and it is the most hurricane-prone state in the U.S. Hurricanes in the past have cost the state billions in damages. For example, hurricane Andrew devastated the state in 1992 and lead to a loss of $25 billion in damages. Hurricane Katrina (damages estimated at $160 billion) and Wilma (damages estimated at $24.3 billion) are other hurricanes that have struck Florida in the past few years.
  17. Florida has the highest percentage of people over 65.
  18. There is no personal income tax in Florida.
  19. Florida is famous for the highest auto insurance fraud in the nation amounting to 1 billion in 2011.
  20. Florida has the largest collection of Art Deco and Streamline Moderne buildings in both the United States and the entire world.