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Florida (/ˈflɒrɪdə/ (About this soundlisten); Spanish for "land of flowers") is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd-most extensive (65,755 sq mi or 170,300 km2), the 3rd-most populous (21,312,211 inhabitants), and the 8th-most densely populated (384.3/sq mi or 148.4/km2) of the U.S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. The Miami metropolitan area is Florida's most populous urban area. Tallahassee is the state's capital.

Florida's $996.3 billion economy is the fourth largest in the United States. If it were a country, Florida would be the 16th largest economy in the world, and the 58th most populous . In 2017, Florida's per capita personal income was $47,684, ranking 26th in the nation. The unemployment rate in September 2018 was 3.5% and ranked as the 18th in the United States. Florida exports nearly $55 billion in goods made in the state, the 8th highest among all states. The Miami Metropolitan Area is by far the largest urban economy in Florida and the 12th largest in the United States with a GDP of $344.9 billion as of 2017. This is more than twice the number of the next metro area, the Tampa Bay Area, which has a GDP of $145.3 billion. Florida is home to 51 of the world's billionaires with most of them residing in South Florida.

The first European contact was made in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who called it la Florida ([la floˈɾiða] "the land of flowers") upon landing there in the Easter season, known in Spanish as Pascua Florida. Florida was a challenge for the European colonial powers before it gained statehood in the United States in 1845. It was a principal location of the Seminole Wars against the Native Americans, and racial segregation after the American Civil War.

Today, Florida is distinctive for its large Cuban expatriate community and high population growth, as well as for its increasing environmental issues. The state's economy relies mainly on tourism, agriculture, and transportation, which developed in the late 19th century. Florida is also renowned for amusement parks, orange crops, winter vegetables, the Kennedy Space Center, and as a popular destination for retirees. Florida is the flattest state in the United States. Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in the U.S. state of Florida.

Selected article

Hurricane Six analysis 24 Oct 1921.jpg

The Tampa Bay hurricane of 1921 (also known as the 1921 Tarpon Springs hurricane) is the most recent major hurricane to strike the Tampa Bay Area. The eleventh tropical cyclone, sixth tropical storm, and fifth hurricane of the season, the storm developed from a trough in the southwestern Caribbean Sea on October 20. Initially a tropical storm, the system moved northwestward and intensified into a hurricane on October 22 and a major hurricane by October 23. Later that day, the cyclone peaked as a Category 4 on the modern day Saffir–Simpson scale with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph (220 km/h). After entering the Gulf of Mexico, the hurricane gradually curved northeastward and weakened to a Category 3 before making landfall near Tarpon Springs, Florida, late on October 25, becoming the first major hurricane to hit the area since a hurricane in 1848. The storm quickly weakened to a Category 1 hurricane while crossing Central Florida, before reaching the Atlantic Ocean early on the following day. Thereafter, system moved east-southeastward and remained fairly steady in intensity before weakening to a tropical storm late on October 29. The storm was then absorbed by a larger extratropical cyclone early the next day, with the remnants of the hurricane soon becoming indistinguishable.

The storm brought strong winds to the Swan Islands, including hurricane-force winds on the main island. Heavy rains fell in Cuba, particularly in Pinar del Río Province, but only minor damage occurred. In Florida, storm surge and abnormally high tides caused damage along much of the state's west coast from Pasco County southward. Several neighborhoods and sections of Tampa were inundated, especially in Ballast Point, DeSoto Park, Edgewater Park, Hyde Park, Palmetto Beach, and other areas in the vicinity of Bayshore Boulevard. Strong winds also damaged hundreds of trees, signs, buildings, and homes. Four deaths occurred in Tampa, three from drownings and another after a man touched a live wire. The storm left two additional fatalities in St. Petersburg. A number of streets in Tarpon Springs were littered with masses of debris, with many structures and trees suffering extensive damage. Strong winds occurred as far east as the Atlantic coast of the state, though wind damage east of the Tampa Bay area was generally limited to downed trees and power lines, resulting in power outages, particularly in Orlando. Agriculture throughout the state experienced significant impact as well, including over $2 million (equivalent to $20 million in 2016[1]) in damage and the loss of at least 800,000 boxes of citrus crops alone. Overall, the hurricane left at least eight deaths and about $10 million (equivalent to $110 million in 2016[1]) in damage.

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In the news

10 November 2018 – Florida elections, 2018
Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner orders machine recounts in the U.S. Senate race and the state's governor and agriculture commissioner races as required by law when the lead is less than 0.5 percent. Results are due by 3 p.m. EST Thursday. Should the results still be within 0.25 percentage points, a manual recount will be triggered, with results due on November 18. (CNBC) (NPR)
9 November 2018 – United States Senate election in Florida, 2018
As the Florida Senate election heads to a mandatory recount, United States President Donald Trump and Rick Scott claim, without evidence, that widespread voter fraud occurred in Florida during the recent midterm election. (NPR)
State judges order election officials from Broward and Palm Beach Counties to release absentee ballot information as they continue to count the ballots. (WINK News)
2 November 2018 – 2018 Tallahassee shooting
A gunman kills two people and injures five others before killing himself at a yoga studio in Tallahassee, Florida, United States. (CBS News)
25 October 2018 – October 2018 United States mail bombing attempts
The Miami-Dade Police Department and federal authorities believe several of the packages went through a mail processing and distribution center in Opa-locka, Florida and are currently searching the facility with a bomb squad and K-9 unit. (CNN)
17 October 2018 – 2018 Atlantic hurricane season
Over 1,000 people remain missing a week after Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle. (Huffington Post)



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  1. ^ a b Thomas, Ryland; Williamson, Samuel H. (2018). "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved January 5, 2018. United States Gross Domestic Product deflator figures follow the Measuring Worth series.
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