In the southeast of the USA lies one of the most pleasant US states: the "Sunshine State" Florida. At least from a northern European point of view, it would seem that way. At 170.300 km², its area corresponds to roughly half the area of Germany.
The Florida peninsula and the adjoining mainland part (Florida Panhandle) set the state apart from the rest of the 50 other US states. Water everywhere you look. Water bodies take up 18% of the country. Florida is especially beautiful in the extreme south of the peninsula. There they are Florida Keys, a chain of islands connected by 42 bridges. At the far end of the islands lies key west, with the politically southernmost point of the continental USA, the Southernmost Point.
As is so often the case in the Caribbean, one would like to ask “who discovered it” about Florida? It was the Spaniards. Not the usual suspect though, Christoph Columbusbut his compatriot Juan Ponce de León. He discovered the area in 1513. It was not until 1521 that the first colony was established Florida Founded.
However, one can speak of a permanent settlement of the country only 40 years later. The indigenous inhabitants, the Indians, did not make life easy for the settlers at first. For a long time the country went around like a challenge cup between the European powers Spain, France and Britain until it finally came in 1783 Peace of Paris was awarded to the Spaniards. Another 60 years later Florida became a US state in March 1845. This is now politically in 67 Counties subdivided. Counties are roughly comparable to German administrative districts.
From 1990 to 2010 the number of residents increased by 45% to currently 18,8 million. The trend continues to grow. Twenty cities have 100.000 or more inhabitants. Jacksonville is the largest city in Florida with more than 800.000 inhabitants. Miami according to the 2010 census, it only had around 410.000 citizens. In addition, there are almost 100.000 people in Miami Beach opposite. The neighboring cities Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood have a whopping 166.000 and 141.000 residents.
Florida ranks with real gross domestic product in the lower range of the 50 US states. The ranking is a bit surprising. On closer inspection, however, this becomes understandable. Although offer noteworthy economic activities Cape Canaveral as a launch site for space missions and the ports of Miami, Cape Canaveral and Fort Lauderdale. They are among the most important ports in the USA. - Most of all, Florida offers vacation and amusement parks. Florida offers wealthy retirees a retreat from the business world. The cultivation of citrus fruits and the associated juice production create jobs. However, none of this ensures high added value and does not bring the "big" money. Miami banks and insurance companies alone cannot save it.
Despite the 18,8 million inhabitants, Florida is sparsely populated. According to the available figures, just 110 people live in one square kilometer. That makes it easier to protect the landscape. The country has three national parks.
The second most important region is the Biscayne National Park. It stretches across Biscayne Bay, south of Key Biscayne, and the northern islands of the Florida Keys (above Key Largo).
It is fairly unknown and little visited Dry Tortuguas National Park. The islands called Dry Tortugas are 70 miles off Key West. They can be reached from Key West by ferry or seaplane. Outstanding in the truest sense of the word is Fort Jefferson, a 19th century fortress.