Florida, one of the Southern states of the United States. Most of Florida occupies a peninsula, bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by the Straits of Florida, and on the west by the Gulf of Mexico. Florida is bordered on the north by Georgia and on the north and west by Alabama. Northwestern Florida forms a panhandle fronting on the Gulf. The southernmost mainland point of the United States is Cape Sable. Even farther south are the Florida Keys, a chain of small islands and coral reefs. The southernmost island, Key West, is only 90 miles (145 km) north of Cuba.

Florida'sFlorida's state bird is the mockingbird
Florida in brief
General information
Statehood: March 3, 1845, the 27th state.
State abbreviations: Fla. (traditional); FL (postal).
State capital: Tallahassee, the capital of Florida since 1824--two years after the Territory of Florida was established.
State motto: In God We Trust (unofficial).
Popular name: The Sunshine State.
State song: "Old Folks at Home" ("Swanee River"). Words and music by Stephen Foster.
Symbols of Florida
State bird: Mockingbird.
State flower: Orange blossom.
State tree: Sabal palm.
State flag and seal: The state flag, adopted in 1899, bears the state seal. Diagonal red bars extend from the corners of the flag over a white field. The seal was adopted in 1985. It reflects minor changes that corrected inaccuracies in the 1868 seal. The revised seal depicts a Seminole Indian woman strewing flowers. A sabal palm, the state tree, rises in the center. A Florida steamboat sails in the background before the rising sun.
Land and climate
Area: 58,681 mi2 (151,982 km2), including 4,683 mi2 (12,129 km2) of inland water but excluding 1,308 mi2 (3,388 km2) of coastal water.
Elevation: Highest--345 ft (105 m) above sea level in Walton County. Lowest--sea level.
Coastline: 1,350 mi (2,172 km)--580 mi (933 km) along the Atlantic Ocean; 770 mi (1,239 km) along the Gulf of Mexico.
Record high temperature: 109 °F (43 °C) at Monticello on June 29, 1931.
Record low temperature: –2 °F (–19 °C) at Tallahassee on Feb. 13, 1899.
Average July temperature: 81 °F (27 °C).
Average January temperature: 59 °F (15 °C).
Average yearly precipitation: 54 in (137 cm).
People
Population: 15,982,378.
Rank among the states: 4th.
Density: 272 persons per mi2 (105 per km2), U.S. average 78 per mi2 (30 per km2).
Distribution: 89 percent urban, 11 percent rural.
Largest cities in Florida: Jacksonville (735,617); Miami (362,470); Tampa (303,447); St. Petersburg (248,232); Hialeah (226,419): Orlando (185,951).
Economy
Chief products
Agriculture: greenhouse and nursery products, oranges, tomatoes, sugar cane, milk, beef cattle.
Manufacturing: computer and electronic products, processed foods and beverages, transportation equipment.
Mining: phosphate rock, crushed stone, petroleum.
Government
State government
Governor: 4-year term.
State senators: 40; 4-year terms.
State representatives: 120; 2-year terms.
Counties: 67.
Federal government
United States senators: 2.
United States representatives: 25.
Electoral votes: 27.
Sources of information
For information about tourism, write to: VISIT FLORIDA, P.O. Box 1100, Tallahassee, FL 32302-1100. The Web site at http://www.VISITFLORIDA.com also provides information.
For information on the economy, write to: Enterprise Florida, Inc., 390 N. Orange Avenue, Suite 1300, Orlando, FL 32801.
The state's official Web site at http://www.myflorida.com also provides a gateway to much information on Florida's economy, government, and history.