What Do You Know About Florida?

What Do You Know About Florida?

ORLANDO, Fla. – With year-round blue skies, tropical breezes and warm climate, it’s no surprise that Florida’s nickname is the Sunshine State. But did you know that Florida has the nation’s second longest coastline, only behind Alaska. Or that it’s nearly 800 miles to drive from Key West in the south to Pensacola in the northwest?

In terms of population, Florida ranks fourth in the nation with 18.8 million residents, according to the 2010 Census. But the state’s largest city isn’t Miami, Tampa or Orlando. Leading the way is Jacksonville with more than 820,000 residents, more than twice as many as second-place Miami, according to information on State of Florida.com, (http://www.stateofflorida.com/Portal/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=95)

“There are lots of surprising facts about Florida,” says 2012 Florida Realtors® President Summer Greene. “For instance, many residents don’t know the origin of our state’s name. It comes from the Spanish phrase ‘Pascua Florida,’ which means ‘feast of flowers.’”

As Greene says, “The more we know about Florida, the more we can share that information with our new residents. It’s a great way to build community and pass along a sense of pride in our home state.”

Here are some other Florida facts:

  • Admitted to U.S. as a state on March 3, 1845 (27th State)
  • Nickname – Sunshine State
  • State flower – Orange blossom
  • State animal – Florida panther
  • State bird – Mockingbird
  • State beverage – Orange juice
  • State fruit – Orange
  • State marine mammal – Manatee
  • State reptile – American alligator
  • State pie – Key lime pie
  • State Stone – Agatized coral
  • State Tree – Sabal palmetto palm
  • State Butterfly – Zebra longwing
  • State wildflower – Coreopsis or Tickseed
  • State song – “The Swanee River” (Old Folks at Home) by Stephen C. Foster; Revised lyrics (2008)
  • Number of counties in Florida – 67
  • Total area – 58,560 square miles
  • Land area – 54,252 square miles
  • Total water area – 4,308 square miles
  • Geographic center – 12 miles northwest of Brooksville in Hernando County
  • Coastline – 1,197 statute miles
  • Beaches – 663 miles
  • Florida has more than 11,000 miles of rivers, streams and waterways
  • Longest river – St. Johns River at 273 miles
  • Largest lake – Lake Okeechobee at 700 square miles (second largest freshwater lake in the U.S.)

Sources include: Florida Department of State; Visit Florida; U.S. Census Bureau; University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic & Business Research; State of Florida.com research; Netstate.com; and “State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols” by Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer.

Florida Realtors®, formerly known as the Florida Association of Realtors®, serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 115,000 members in 64 boards/associations.

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