Monday, March 27, 2017


In the twentieth century, tourism, industry, construction, international banking, biomedical and life sciences, healthcare research, simulation training, aerospace and defense, and commercial space travel have contributed to the state's economic development.[citation needed]
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Florida in 2010 was $748 billion.[165] Its GDP is the fourth largest economy in the United States.[166] In 2010, it became the fourth largest exporter of trade goods.[167] The major contributors to the state's gross output in 2007 were general services, financial services, trade, transportation and public utilities, manufacturing and construction respectively. In 2010–11, the state budget was $70.5 billion, having reached a high of $73.8 billion in 2006–07.[168] Chief Executive Magazine name Florida the third "Best State for Business" in 2011.[169]
The economy is driven almost entirely by its nineteen metropolitan areas. In 2004, they had a combined total of 95.7% of the state's domestic product.[170]

Personal income

In 2011, Florida's per capita personal income was $39,563, ranking 27th in the nation.[171] In February 2011, the state's unemployment rate was 11.5%.[172] Florida is one of seven states that do not impose a personal income tax.
Florida's constitution establishes a state minimum wage that (unique among minimum wage laws) is adjusted for inflation annually. As of January 1, 2015, Florida's minimum wage was $5.03 for tipped positions, and $8.05 for non-tipped positions, which was higher than the federal rate of $7.25.[173]
Florida has 4 cities in the top 25 cities in the U.S. with the most credit card debt.[174] The state also had the second-highest credit card delinquency rate, with 1.45% of cardholders in the state more than 90 days delinquent on one or more credit cards.[175]
There were 2.4 million Floridians living in poverty in 2008. 18.4% of children 18 and younger were living in poverty.[176] Miami is the sixth poorest big city in the United States.[177] In 2010, over 2.5 million Floridians were on food stamps, up from 1.2 million in 2007. To qualify, Floridians must make less than 133% of the federal poverty level, which would be under $29,000 for a family of four.[178]

Real estate

In the early 20th century, land speculators discovered Florida, and businessmen such as Henry Plant and Henry Flagler developed railroad systems, which led people to move in, drawn by the weather and local economies. From then on, tourism boomed, fueling a cycle of development that overwhelmed a great deal of farmland.
Because of the collective effect on the insurance industry of the hurricane claims of 2004, homeowners insurance has risen 40% to 60% and deductibles have risen.[59]
At the end of the third quarter in 2008, Florida had the highest mortgage delinquency rate in the U.S., with 7.8% of mortgages delinquent at least 60 days.[175] A 2009 list of national housing markets that were hard hit in the real estate crash included a disproportionate number in Florida.[179] The early 21st-century building boom left Florida with 300,000 vacant homes in 2009, according to state figures.[180] In 2009, the US Census Bureau estimated that Floridians spent an average 49.1% of personal income on housing-related costs, the third highest percentage in the U.S.[181]
In the third quarter of 2009, there were 278,189 delinquent loans, 80,327 foreclosures.[182] Sales of existing homes for February 2010 was 11,890, up 21% from the same month in 2009. Only two metropolitan areas showed a decrease in homes sold: Panama City and Brevard County. The average sales price for an existing house was $131,000, 7% decrease from the prior year.[183][dubious ]


The Port of Miami is the world's largest cruise ship port.
If you can't find something to do in Florida, you're just boring...
Tourism makes up one of the largest sectors of the state economy, with nearly 1.4 million persons employed in the tourism industry in 2016 (a record for the state, surpassing the 1.2 million employment from 2015).[185][186] In 2015, Florida broke the 100-million visitor mark for the first time in state history by hosting a record 105 million visitors[186][187] and broke that record in 2016 with 112.8 million tourists; Florida has set tourism records for six consecutive years.[185]
Many beach towns are popular tourist destinations, particularly during winter and spring break. Twenty-three million tourists visited Florida beaches in 2000, spending $22 billion.[188] The public has a right to beach access under the public trust doctrine, but some areas have access effectively blocked by private owners for a long distance.[189]
Amusement parks, especially in the Greater Orlando area, make up a significant portion of tourism. The Walt Disney World Resort is the most visited vacation resort in the world with over 50 million annual visitors, consisting of four theme parks, 27 themed resort hotels, 9 non–Disney hotels, two water parks, four golf courses and other recreational venues.[190] Other major theme parks in the area include Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa.

Agriculture and fishing

Oranges in Florida.
Agriculture is the second largest industry in the state. Citrus fruit, especially oranges, are a major part of the economy, and Florida produces the majority of citrus fruit grown in the United States. In 2006, 67% of all citrus, 74% of oranges, 58% of tangerines, and 54% of grapefruit were grown in Florida. About 95% of commercial orange production in the state is destined for processing (mostly as orange juice, the official state beverage).[191]
Citrus canker continues to be an issue of concern. From 1997 to 2013, the growing of citrus trees has declined 25%, from 600,000 acres (240,000 ha) to 450,000 acres (180,000 ha). Citrus greening disease is incurable. A study states that it has caused the loss of $4.5 billion between 2006 and 2012. As of 2014, it was the major agricultural concern.[192]
Other products include sugarcane, strawberries, tomatoes and celery.[193] The state is the largest producer of sweet corn and green beans for the U.S.[194]
The Everglades Agricultural Area is a major center for agriculture. The environmental impact of agriculture, especially water pollution, is a major issue in Florida today.
In 2009, fishing was a $6 billion industry, employing 60,000 jobs for sports and commercial purposes.[195]


Main article: Government of Florida
Florida Capitol buildings
The basic structure, duties, function, and operations of the government of the state of Florida are defined and established by the Florida Constitution, which establishes the basic law of the state and guarantees various rights and freedoms of the people. The state government consists of three separate branches: judicial, executive, and legislative. The legislature enacts bills, which, if signed by the governor, become law.
The Florida Legislature comprises the Florida Senate, which has 40 members, and the Florida House of Representatives, which has 120 members. The current Governor of Florida is Rick Scott. The Florida Supreme Court consists of a Chief Justice and six Justices.
Florida has 67 counties. Some reference materials may show only 66 because Duval County is consolidated with the City of Jacksonville. There are 379 cities in Florida (out of 411) that report regularly to the Florida Department of Revenue, but there are other incorporated municipalities that do not. The state government's primary source of revenue is sales tax. Florida does not impose a personal income tax. The primary revenue source for cities and counties is property tax; unpaid taxes are subject to tax sales which are held (at the county level) in May and (due to the extensive use of online bidding sites) are highly popular.
There were 800 federal corruption convictions from 1988 to 2007, more than any other state.[130]

Elections history

Florida registered voters as of August 31, 2016[131]
Party Number of Voters Percentage

Democratic 4,733,359 37.93%

Republican 4,459,087 35.73%

No Party Affiliation 2,949,668 23.63%
Minor Parties 337,170 2.70%
Total 12,479,284 100%
From 1952 to 1964, most voters were registered Democrats, but the state voted for the Republican presidential candidate in every election except for 1964. The following year, Congress passed and President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, providing for oversight of state practices and enforcement of constitutional voting rights for African Americans and other minorities in order to prevent the discrimination and disenfranchisement that had excluded most of them for decades from the political process.
From the 1930s through much of the 1960s, Florida was essentially a one-party state dominated by white conservative Democrats, who together with other Democrats of the Solid South, exercised considerable control in Congress. They gained federal money from national programs; like other southern states, Florida residents have received more federal monies than they pay in taxes: the state is a net beneficiary. Since the 1970s, the conservative white majority of voters in the state has largely shifted from the Democratic to the Republican Party. It has continued to support Republican presidential candidates through the 20th century, except in 1976 and 1996, when the Democratic nominee was from the South. They have had "the luxury of voting for presidential candidates who pledge to cut taxes and halt the expansion of government while knowing that their congressional delegations will continue to protect federal spending."[132]
In the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, Barack Obama carried the state as a northern Democrat, attracting high voter turnout especially among the young, Independents, and minority voters, of whom Hispanics comprise an increasingly large proportion. 2008 marked the first time since 1932, when Franklin D. Roosevelt carried the state, that Florida was carried by a Northern Democrat for president.
The first post-Reconstruction era Republican elected to Congress from Florida was William C. Cramer in 1954 from Pinellas County on the Gulf Coast,[133] where demographic changes were underway. In this period, African Americans were still disenfranchised by the state's constitution and discriminatory practices; in the 19th century they had made up most of the Republican Party. Cramer built a different Republican Party in Florida, attracting local white conservatives and transplants from northern and midwestern states. In 1966 Claude R. Kirk, Jr. was elected as the first post-Reconstruction Republican governor, in an upset election.[134] In 1968 Edward J. Gurney, also a white conservative, was elected as the state's first post-reconstruction Republican US Senator.[135] In 1970 Democrats took the governorship and the open US Senate seat, and maintained dominance for years.
Since the mid-20th century, Florida has been considered a bellwether, voting for 13 successful presidential candidates since 1952. It voted for the loser only three times.[136]
Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic
2016 49.02% 4,615,910 47.81% 4,501,455
2012 49.13% 4,163,447 50.01% 4,237,756
2008 48.22% 4,045,624 51.03% 4,282,074
2004 52.10% 3,964,522 47.09% 3,583,544
2000 48.85% 2,912,790 48.84% 2,912,253
1996 42.32% 2,244,536 48.02% 2,546,870
1992 40.89% 2,173,310 39.00% 2,072,698
1988 60.87% 2,618,885 38.51% 1,656,701
1984 65.32% 2,730,350 34.66% 1,448,816
1980 55.52% 2,046,951 38.50% 1,419,475
1976 46.64% 1,469,531 51.93% 1,636,000
1972 71.91% 1,857,759 27.80% 718,117
1968 40.53% 886,804 30.93% 676,794
1964 48.85% 905,941 51.15% 948,540
1960 51.51% 795,476 48.49% 748,700
In 1998, Democratic voters dominated areas of the state with a high percentage of racial minorities and transplanted white liberals from the northeastern United States, known colloquially as "snowbirds".[137] South Florida and the Miami metropolitan area are dominated by both racial minorities and white liberals. Because of this, the area has consistently voted as one of the most Democratic areas of the state. The Daytona Beach area is similar demographically and the city of Orlando has a large Hispanic population, which has often favored Democrats. Republicans, made up mostly of white conservatives, have dominated throughout much of the rest of Florida, particularly in the more rural and suburban areas. This is characteristic of its voter base throughout the Deep South.[137]
The fast-growing I-4 corridor area, which runs through Central Florida and connects the cities of Daytona Beach, Orlando, and Tampa/St. Petersburg, has had a fairly even breakdown of Republican and Democratic voters. The area is often seen as a merging point of the conservative northern portion of the state and the liberal southern portion, making it the biggest swing area in the state. Since the late 20th century, the voting results in this area, containing 40% of Florida voters, has often determined who will win the state of Florida in presidential elections.[138]
The Democratic Party has maintained an edge in voter registration, both statewide and in 40 of the 67 counties, including Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, the state's three most populous.[139]

Ancestry groups

In 2010, 6.9% of the population (1,269,765) considered themselves to be of only American ancestry (regardless of race or ethnicity).[104][105] Many of these were of English or Scotch-Irish descent; however, their families have lived in the state for so long, that they choose to identify as having "American" ancestry or do not know their ancestry.[106][107][108][109][110][111] In the 1980 United States census the largest ancestry group reported in Florida was English with 2,232,514 Floridians claiming that they were of English or mostly English American ancestry.[112] Some of their ancestry went back to the original thirteen colonies.
As of 2010, those of (non-Hispanic white) European ancestry accounted for 57.9% of Florida's population. Out of the 57.9%, the largest groups were 12.0% German (2,212,391), 10.7% Irish (1,979,058), 8.8% English (1,629,832), 6.6% Italian (1,215,242), 2.8% Polish (511,229), and 2.7% French (504,641).[104][105] White Americans of all European backgrounds are present in all areas of the state. In 1970, non-Hispanic whites were nearly 80% of Florida's population.[113] Those of English and Irish ancestry are present in large numbers in all the urban/suburban areas across the state. Some native white Floridians, especially those who have descended from long-time Florida families, may refer to themselves as "Florida crackers"; others see the term as a derogatory one. Like whites in most of the other Southern states, they descend mainly from English and Scots-Irish settlers, as well as some other British American settlers.[114]
Cuban men playing dominoes in Miami's Little Havana. In 2010, Cubans made up 34.4% of Miami's population and 6.5% of Florida's.[115][116]
As of 2010, those of Hispanic or Latino ancestry accounted for 22.5% (4,223,806) of Florida's population. Out of the 22.5%, the largest groups were 6.5% (1,213,438) Cuban, 4.5% (847,550) Puerto Rican, 3.3% (629,718) Mexican, and 1.6% (300,414) Colombian.[116] Florida's Hispanic population includes large communities of Cuban Americans in Miami and Tampa, Puerto Ricans in Orlando and Tampa, and Mexican/Central American migrant workers. The Hispanic community continues to grow more affluent and mobile. As of 2011, 57.0% of Florida's children under the age of 1 belonged to minority groups.[117] Florida has a large and diverse Hispanic population, with Cubans and Puerto Ricans being the largest groups in the state. Nearly 80% of Cuban Americans live in Florida, especially South Florida where there is a long-standing and affluent Cuban community.[118] Florida has the second largest Puerto Rican population after New York, as well as the fastest-growing in the nation.[119] Puerto Ricans are more widespread throughout the state, though the heaviest concentrations are in the Orlando area of Central Florida.[120]
As of 2010, those of African ancestry accounted for 16.0% of Florida's population, which includes African Americans. Out of the 16.0%, 4.0% (741,879) were West Indian or Afro-Caribbean American.[104][105][116] During the early 1900s, black people made up nearly half of the state's population.[121] In response to segregation, disfranchisement and agricultural depression, many African Americans migrated from Florida to northern cities in the Great Migration, in waves from 1910 to 1940, and again starting in the later 1940s. They moved for jobs, better education for their children and the chance to vote and participate in society. By 1960 the proportion of African Americans in the state had declined to 18%.[122] Conversely large numbers of northern whites moved to the state.[citation needed] Today, large concentrations of black residents can be found in northern and central Florida. Aside from blacks descended from African slaves brought to the US south, there are also large numbers of blacks of West Indian, recent African, and Afro-Latino immigrant origins, especially in the Miami/South Florida area. In 2010, Florida had the highest percentage of West Indians in the United States, with 2.0% (378,926) from Haitian ancestry, and 1.3% (236,950) Jamaican.[123] All other (non-Hispanic) Caribbean nations were well below 0.1% of Florida residents.[123][124]
As of 2010, those of Asian ancestry accounted for 2.4% of Florida's population.[104][105]


20% of Floridians speak Spanish, the second most widely-spoken language.
In 1988 English was affirmed as the state's official language in the Florida Constitution. Spanish is also widely spoken, especially as immigration has continued from Latin America. Twenty percent of the population speak Spanish as their first language. Twenty-seven percent of Florida's population reports speaking a mother language other than English, and more than 200 first languages other than English are spoken at home in the state.[125][126]
The most common languages spoken in Florida as a first language in 2010 are:[125]
  • 73% — English
  • 20% — Spanish
  • 2% — Haitian Creole
  • Other languages comprise less than 1% spoken by the state's population


Miami Cathedral of Saint Mary. Roman Catholicism is the largest single religious denomination in the state.
The 2014 Pew Religious Landscape Survey showed the religious makeup of the state was as follows:[127]
In 2010, the three largest denominational groups in Florida were the Roman Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the United Methodist Church.[128]
Florida is mostly Protestant, but Roman Catholicism is the single largest denomination in the state, due in significant part to the state's large Hispanic population. There is also a sizable Jewish community, located mainly in South Florida; this is the largest Jewish population in the South and the third-largest in the U.S. behind those of New York and California.[129]


Florida's population density


Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 34,730
1840 54,477
1850 87,445
1860 140,424
1870 187,748
1880 269,493
1890 391,422
1900 528,542
1910 752,619
1920 968,470
1930 1,468,211
1940 1,897,414
1950 2,771,305
1960 4,951,560
1970 6,789,443
1980 9,746,324
1990 12,937,926
2000 15,982,378
2010 18,801,310
Est. 2016 20,612,439
Sources: 1910–2010[83]
2016 Estimate[4]
The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Florida was 20,271,272 on July 1, 2015, a 7.82% increase since the 2010 United States Census.[4] The population of Florida in the 2010 census was 18,801,310.[84] Florida was the seventh fastest-growing state in the U.S. in the 12-month period ending July 1, 2012.[85] In 2010, the center of population of Florida was located between Fort Meade and Frostproof. The center of population has moved less than 5 miles (8 km) to the east and approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) to the north between 1980 and 2010 and has been located in Polk County since the 1960 census.[86] The population exceeded 19.7 million by December 2014, surpassing the population of the state of New York for the first time.[87]
Florida contains the highest percentage of people over 65 (17%).[88] There were 186,102 military retirees living in the state in 2008.[89] About two-thirds of the population was born in another state, the second highest in the U.S.[90]
In 2010, illegal immigrants constituted an estimated 5.7% of the population. This was the sixth highest percentage of any state in the U.S.[91][92] There were an estimated 675,000 illegal immigrants in the state in 2010.[93]
A 2013 Gallup poll indicated that 47% of the residents agreed that Florida was the best state to live in. Results in other states ranged from a low of 18% to a high of 77%.[94]

Municipalities and metropolitan areas

The legal name in Florida for a city, town or village is "municipality". In Florida there is no legal difference between towns, villages and cities.[95]
In 2012, 75% of the population lived within 10 miles (16 km) of the coastline.[96]
A map of Florida showing county names and boundaries.
The largest metropolitan area in the state as well as the entire southeastern United States is the Miami metropolitan area, with about 5.8 million people. The Tampa Bay Area, with over 2.8 million people, is the second largest; the Orlando metropolitan area, with over 2.2 million people, is the third; and the Jacksonville metropolitan area, with over 1.3 million people, is fourth.
Florida has 22 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) defined by the United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB). 43 of Florida's 67 counties are in a MSA.

Racial and ethnic makeup

Predominant ancestry in Florida in 2010
Florida racial breakdown
[hide]Racial composition 1970[98] 1990[98] 2000[99] 2010[100] 2013
White (includes White Hispanics) 84.2% 83.1% 78.0% 75.0% 78.1%
Black 15.3% 13.6% 14.6% 16.0% 16.7%
Asian 0.2% 1.2% 1.7% 2.4% 2.7%
Native 0.1% 0.3% 0.3% 0.4% 0.5%
Other race 0.1% 1.8% 3.0% 3.6%  –
Two or more races  –  – 2.3% 2.5% 1.9%
Non-Hispanic whites 77.9% 73.2% 65.4% 57.9% 56.4%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 6.6% 12.2% 16.8% 22.5% 23.6%
Hispanic and Latinos of any race made up 22.5% of the population in 2010.[101] As of 2011, 57% of Florida's population younger than age 1 were minorities (meaning that they had at least one parent who was not non-Hispanic white).[102]
Florida is among the three states with the most severe felony disenfranchisement laws. Florida requires felons to have completed sentencing, parole and/or probation, and then seven years later, to apply individually for restoration of voting privileges. As in other aspects of the criminal justice system, this law has disproportionate effects for minorities. As a result, according to Brent Staples, based on data from The Sentencing Project, the effect of Florida's law is such that in 2014 "[m]ore than one in ten Floridians – and nearly one in four African-American Floridians – are shut out of the polls because of felony convictions."[103]



Environmental issues

The beaches of Key Biscayne in Miami.
Main article: Environment of Florida
Florida is a low per capita energy user.[71] It is estimated that approximately 4% of energy in the state is generated through renewable resources.[72] Florida's energy production is 6% of the nation's total energy output, while total production of pollutants is lower, with figures of 5.6% for nitrogen oxide, 5.1% for carbon dioxide, and 3.5% for sulfur dioxide.[72]
All potable water resources have been controlled by the state government through five regional water authorities since 1972.[73]
Red tide has been an issue on the southwest coast of Florida, as well as other areas. While there has been a great deal of conjecture over the cause of the toxic algae bloom, there is no evidence that it is being caused by pollution or that there has been an increase in the duration or frequency of red tides.[74]
The Florida panther is close to extinction. A record 23 were killed in 2009 predominately by automobile collisions, leaving about 100 individuals in the wild. The Center for Biological Diversity and others have therefore called for a special protected area for the panther to be established.[75] Manatees are also dying at a rate higher than their reproduction.
Much of Florida has an elevation of less than 12 feet (3.7 m), including many populated areas. Therefore, it is susceptible to rising sea levels associated with global warming.[76] The Atlantic beaches that are vital to the state's economy are being washed out to sea due to rising sea levels caused by climate change. The Miami beach area, close to the continental shelf, is running out of accessible offshore sand reserves.[77]


The climate of Florida is tempered somewhat by the fact that no part of the state is distant from the ocean. North of Lake Okeechobee, the prevalent climate is humid subtropical (Köppen: Cfa), while areas south of the lake (including the Florida Keys) have a true tropical climate (Köppen: Aw).[43] Mean high temperatures for late July are primarily in the low 90s Fahrenheit (32–34 °C). Mean low temperatures for early to mid January range from the low 40s Fahrenheit (4–7 °C) in northern Florida to above 60 °F (16 °C) from Miami on southward. With an average daily temperature of 70.7 °F (21.5 °C), it is the warmest state in the U.S.[44]
In the summer, high temperatures in the state seldom exceed 100 °F (38 °C). Several record cold maxima have been in the 30s °F (−1 to 4 °C) and record lows have been in the 10s (−12 to −7 °C). These temperatures normally extend at most a few days at a time in the northern and central parts of Florida. Southern Florida, however, rarely encounters freezing temperatures.[citation needed]
The hottest temperature ever recorded in Florida was 109 °F (43 °C), which was set on June 29, 1931 in Monticello. The coldest temperature was −2 °F (−19 °C), on February 13, 1899, just 25 miles (40 km) away, in Tallahassee.[45][46]
Due to its subtropical and tropical climate, Florida rarely receives snow. However, on rare occasions, a combination of cold moisture and freezing temperatures can result in snowfall in the farthest northern regions. Frost is more common than snow, occurring sometimes in the panhandle.[citation needed]
The USDA Plant hardiness zones for the state range from zone 8a (no colder than 10 °F or −12 °C) in the inland western panhandle to zone 11b (no colder than 45 °F or 7 °C) in the lower Florida Keys.[47]
Average high and low temperatures for various Florida cities
°F Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Jacksonville[48] 65/42 68/45 74/50 79/55 86/63 90/70 92/73 91/73 87/69 80/61 74/51 67/44
Miami[49] 76/60 78/62 80/65 83/68 87/73 89/76 91/77 91/77 89/76 86/73 82/68 78/63
Orlando[50] 71/49 74/52 78/56 83/60 88/66 91/72 92/74 92/74 90/73 85/66 78/59 73/52
Pensacola[51] 61/43 64/46 70/51 76/58 84/66 89/72 90/74 90/74 87/70 80/60 70/50 63/45
Tallahassee[52] 64/39 68/42 74/47 80/52 87/62 91/70 92/72 92/72 89/68 82/57 73/48 66/41
Tampa[53] 70/51 73/54 77/58 81/62 88/69 90/74 90/75 91/76 89/74 85/67 78/60 72/54
°C Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Jacksonville 18/6 20/7 23/10 26/13 30/17 32/21 33/23 33/23 31/21 27/16 23/11 19/7
Miami 24/16 26/17 27/18 28/20 31/23 32/24 33/25 33/25 32/24 30/23 28/20 26/17
Orlando 22/9 23/11 26/13 28/16 31/19 33/22 33/23 33/23 32/23 29/19 26/15 23/11
Pensacola 16/6 18/8 21/11 24/14 29/19 32/22 32/23 32/23 31/21 27/16 21/10 17/7
Tallahassee 18/4 20/6 23/8 27/11 31/17 33/21 33/22 33/22 32/20 28/14 23/9 19/5
Tampa 21/11 23/12 25/14 27/17 31/21 32/23 32/24 33/24 32/23 29/19 26/16 22/12
Florida's nickname is the "Sunshine State", but severe weather is a common occurrence in the state. Central Florida is known as the lightning capital of the United States, as it experiences more lightning strikes than anywhere else in the U.S.[54] Florida has one of the highest average precipitation levels of any state,[55] in large part because afternoon thunderstorms are common in much of the state from late spring until early autumn. A narrow eastern part of the state including Orlando and Jacksonville receives between 2,400 and 2,800 hours of sunshine annually. The rest of the state, including Miami, receives between 2,800 and 3,200 hours annually.[56]
Florida leads the United States in tornadoes per area (when including waterspouts)[57] but they do not typically reach the intensity of those in the Midwest and Great Plains. Hail often accompanies the most severe thunderstorms.[citation needed]
Hurricanes pose a severe threat each year during the June 1 to November 30 hurricane season, particularly from August to October. Florida is the most hurricane-prone state, with subtropical or tropical water on a lengthy coastline. Of the category 4 or higher storms that have struck the United States, 83% have either hit Florida or Texas.[58] From 1851 to 2006, Florida was struck by 114 hurricanes, 37 of them major—category 3 and above.[58] It is rare for a hurricane season to pass without any impact in the state by at least a tropical storm.[citation needed]
Florida was the site of what was then the costliest weather disaster in U.S. history, Hurricane Andrew, which caused more than $25 billion in damage when it struck in August 1992; it held that distinction until 2005, when Hurricane Katrina surpassed it. Hurricane Wilma — the second most expensive hurricane in Florida history — landed just south of Marco Island in October 2005.[59][60]