Adsactly Education - Florida-The Rest of the Story

in #education3 years ago (edited)


The Sunshine State

Capital: Tallahassee

Largest City: Jacksonville

65,755 sq. mi. 170,304 sq. Km

22nd Largest State

Admitted to US: 1845 (27th)

Population: 22,000,000 (3rd)

Highest Point: 345 ft (105 m)

Lowest Point: Sea Level

State Bird: Mockingbird

State Flower: Orange Blossom

Motto: In God We Trust

Bordered By: Alabama, Georgia, Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico.


In the first installment on the state of Florida we examined the history of the state. If you missed it, it is available here.


Much of Florida is a peninsula that is positioned between the Atlantic Ocean and The Gulf of Mexico. The panhandle is long enough to cover two time zones. It is incredibly low in terms of elevation above Sea Level and mostly flat. Any rise in Sea Level will be felt first and foremost in Florida. The Florida Keys are a chain of islands that are south and west of the main peninsula.


One of the key features of Florida is the swamps and low wet areas that harbor an enormous quantity of fresh water which is pivotal to both humans and animals. Florida is west of the Bahama Islands and 90 mi (140 km) north of Cuba. Only Hawaii reaches further south than Florida in the US and it ranks third in total water area behind Alaska and Michigan.


The Keys and the very southern tip of the peninsula are listed as tropical, while the bulk of the peninsula is listed as ‘humid subtropical’. These areas are blessed with massive amounts of both sunshine and rain that leads to incredible vegetation.

Florida is the warmest state in the Union as measured by an average temperature of 70 F (21.5 C). Summertime highs rarely exceed 100 F (38 C) and summertime lows are around 70 F (21 C). Winter temps range from highs of about 80 F (27 C) in Miami to about 60 F (15,5 C) in Pensacola.


Florida has more extreme weather than any other state. More Tornados, more Hurricanes and more lightning strikes. It is extremely rare for any hurricane to affect the United States and not affect Florida. From 1851 to 2006 Florida was struck by 117 Huricanes, 37 of them category 3 and above. Hurricane Andrew in 1991 was the most costly natural disaster in American history until Hurricane Katrina surpassed it in 2005.

Fauna and Flora

Florida has over 3000 species of wildflowers identified, making it a very biologically diverse state. Some of it’s most valued plants are on the endangered or threatened list due to multiple factors including human population spread. The primary trees are mangroves and coconut palms which are both native and prolific. Many of the coconut palms are known to have sprouted from coconuts that have washed ashore.

The Florida Reef is the only barrier reef in the US and home to the normal diversity of plant and animal species associated with a healthy reef. The reef is threatened by rising sea levels and in some cases pollution. While Florida has always had red tide events they seem to be increasing in frequency and duration.

The diversity of animals in Florida is staggering ranging from Ocean mammals like the dolphins and whales to a native panther (Florida Panther) and the Florida Black Bear. Birds are plentiful and range from American Flamingos (one thought to have been hunted to extinction) to hawks, eagles and ducks. The Panther and Manatees are on the endangered list-dying at a rate greater than they are producing.


Reptiles abound including two types of rattlesnake, freshwater and ocean turtles, alligators and crocodiles. Florida has a problem with introduced species and now has viable populations of Python, Iguana, parakeet, monkeys and Africanized Bees. All most all of these populations are the result of humans turning them loose and the animals finding mates and establishing populations.

The People

Florida has a population in the neighborhood of 22 million making it the 3rd most populated state in the Union behind California and Texas. Florida has the highest percentage of retirees in the country. Roughly 65% of the population was born in another state, the second highest total (California). 75% of the population lives within 10 miles (16km) of the coast.

Whites make up roughly 58% of the population (all numbers rounded) which includes some Hispanic people. Hispanics and Latinos make up 23% of the population spread among Cuban 7%, Puerto Rican 3%, Mexican 2%, Columbian 1%. Blacks make up 16% of the general population with roughly 6% of West Indian and Caribbean descent. Asians constitute 2% of the population and Native Americans less than 1%.

These numbers are all near 10 years old (2010 census) and should change significantly in the 2020 census.


Florida’s government is based on the standard 3 part model: Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches. The executive branch consists of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and various Department heads. The legislature is the standard Senate and House and the Judicial branch is led by a 7 member State Supreme Court.


Florida has several laws that are at least somewhat controversial. Florida uses the death penalty as much as any state and has circumstances that mandate the death penalty. Florida approved a ‘disenfranchisement statute’ that prevents convicted felons from ever voting. Because of a no-fault auto insurance law Florida has the highest rate of insurance fraud in the nation.

The state of Florida has sales tax as it’s primary funding while counties and municipalities are funded through property tax. Florida has no state income tax.

The Economy

Florida’s 1 Trillion dollar per year economy is good for 4th place in the US behind California, New York and Texas. It’s an economy that has changed dramatically and grown dramatically since the end of WWII. Formerly known for agriculture, farming no longer hits the top 10 in the state and only produces 2% of the GDP.

The top producers in Florida’s economy are tourism, industry, construction, international banking, biomedical and life sciences, healthcare research, simulation training, aerospace and defense, and commercial space travel.



Florida’s primary and secondary education is overseen by the Secretary of Education at the state level and administered by school boards and a superintendent of schools in each county. Miami-Dade County has over 350,000 students in K-12 and Jefferson County fewer than 1,000. English as a second language classes are required by law.

Florida’s secondary education is composed of 28 community and state universities and 28 private schools. Central Florida University has an enrollment of over 64,000 students making it the largest university by enrollment in the US. Florida also charges the second lowest rate in the country for University students.


Florida is served by 4 freeways, two running north south and two east west and over 10,000 miles of non interstate highway. Intra City bus routes by commercial lines travel these roads with service to most towns and cities.

Florida has three amtrack passenger trains that terminate in the state and is just now starting to serve passengers on a new passenger railroad system designed to link the major population centers. Intercity transportation is quite good in the largest cities, with each of them providing urban transport.


Florida is served by 7 airports large enough to earn the hub title from the FAA. The largest of them is Orlando with over 40 million passengers each year.

Dumb Laws

Corrupting the public morals is defined as a nuisance, and is declared a misdemeanor offense.

Having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal.

All images in this post are properly licensed and used.

This is part of a series on the various states. We will move straight north to Georgia for the next installment. I do hope you have enjoyed this synpsis of Florida. The words and ideas are mine but I used Wikipedia Florida as the source for the information.

Authored by: @bigtom13

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It's interesting to see the kind of government practised in Florida, of course I knew they'd have an autonomous government but seeing them have a separate judiciary, legislature and executive makes me wonder if the autonomousness isn't too much, wow it's quite a lovely state nonetheless.

The United States was set up as a Union with the states maintaining a high degree of autonomy. The technical reason for the Civil War was states rights (though the actual reason was slavery). Though the governance is almost the same in all 50 states, they still retain a high degree of autonomy. For example, Marijuana is deemed illegal by the federal government but multiple states have legalized it for medical purposes and several have legalized it for recreational use.

Following your second part of La Florida, @bigtom13, I see that it is a region that has been blessed by nature, in large part: the presence of reefs, although they are endangered (I suppose there will be state policies to preserve them); diversity in flora and fauna (although snakes and caimans are not my favorite). Perhaps the least appealing to me is their propensity for hurricanes and storms.
In another sense, in judicial matters, I do not share the death penalty, but I do find interesting the impediment to the vote of those sentenced to prison (to be considered). I also think it is important the growing presence of the Hispanic and Latino population. I am happy with the numerous universities and the high student enrollment.
Perhaps I would regret that agriculture has declined in its role in the state economy.
The photos chosen are very beautiful and illustrative (I was particularly impressed by the second and last ones). Thank you for your precise and extensive information. Greetings.

Agriculture hasn't declined much in the crops and variety and volume, but the other industries have simply become much more valuable.

I am personally opposed to the death penalty. I don't think it has any realistic bearing on anything. That 'forever' lost voting rights is relatively unique. Most states have some path for convicted felons to regain their voting rights.

The reefs are protected by state laws and federal laws. It is the only true barrier reef in North America.

Thank you for your articulate and thoughtful comment. I really do appreciate it.

I was looking forward to this second part. I knew how bad this region looks with hurricanes and storms, how important tourism is and the high rate of Latino inhabitants. I didn't know that there was an interesting and numerous variety of animals, including the death penalty. I like that the university education is in great demand and that it is one of the cheapest; just as there are the same number of state and private colleges. Equity is always good! What I could never dream of was that someone could have sex with a porcupine! LOL. I don't think anyone would ever think of doing that! Although if they made it into law, suddenly there was precedent. ;). After this reading I leave with a smile. Thank you always for such an excellent post, @bigtom13.

I was struck by the fact that there were precisely the same number of state Colleges and private. It does seem somehow right, doesn't it?

I have no words for the porcupine statute. Just none.

Wow... nice article. Very interest and wonderfull

Posted using Partiko Android

The cities of Florida are really beautiful, extraordinary beaches, restaurants too touristy and great places !

And it's a GREAT place to eat. An incredible array of ethnic dishes are available...

Hermoso lugar realmente, Gracias por Compartir @bigtom13

Gracias! It is my pleasure.

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