Native Americans have been traced back in time inhabiting the state of Florida for about 14,000 years. Carbon dating has been used for cooking and hunting tools used by the Indians there showing a long history of fishing and hunting. After the arrival of Europeans, many of the Indian populations died from the diseases they carried such as Small Pox, Influenza, and others. The famous explorer Ponce De Leon of Spain spent many years looking for the fountain of youth and mapping lots of the territory that eventually became Florida.
Waves Of Immigration Continued Throughout History
After the Spanish became the first Europeans in Florida the French soon followed in the 16th century. Then the black slaves were brought in to work the sugar cane fields and a multiracial, multicultural region was initiated that continues to this day. Spain ruled the area first, then Great Britain, and finally the US added the state as a territory in 1821.
In 1845 the US added the state as the 27th and more immigrants arrived yearly from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America to continue the cultural mixing. The warm climate and plenty of sunshine brought about the nickname of the ‘Sunshine State’ that has endured for over a hundred years.
Millions of visitors have always vacationed in the state from the North where winters are cold and harsh. Then when it came time to retire, many of them moved South to the state bringing millions of retirees that continue to influence the state’s politics and caused the growth of retirement communities with golf courses. Now Florida boasts the third largest population in the US with nearly 20 million people.
The Economy Has Changed Over The Years
The early economy centered around the extraction of natural resources such as timber, sponges, mining, plus cattle ranching. Now the economy is much more diverse with tourism, banking, real estate, and retirement communities becoming more prominent. NASA also maintains a large presence there with Cape Canaveral and other locations used for launching rockets.
The state is well known for having the Disney World Theme Park, plus Universal Studios, Epcot World, and several others. Then there are the thousands of cruise ships that visit the coastline almost daily bringing tourists from many of the Northern States plus Europeans and others.
The state has become a great place to live, work, play and raise a family. It has a rich and diverse population, warm weather and a low cost of living. The population will most likely continue to increase due to immigration from other states and abroad as millions of people are attracted to the nice weather and booming economy there.