Florida Information and Facts
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The population of Florida in 2002 was 16,691,701. Its rank was 4th in the nation. (The District of Columbia is included for ranking purposes.)
Per Capita Personal Income
In 2002 Florida had a per capita personal income of $29,758. This per capita personal income ranked 24th in the United States and was 96 percent of the national average, $30,906. The 2002 per capita personal income reflected an increase of 1.7 percent from 2001. The 2001-2002 national change was 1.2 percent. In 1992 the per capita personal income of Florida was $20,417 and ranked 20th in the United States. The 1992-2002 average annual growth rate of per capita personal income was 3.8 percent. The average annual growth rate for the nation was 4.0 percent.
Total Personal Income
In 2002 Florida had a total personal income of $496,706,399. This total personal income ranked 4th in the United States. In 1992 the total personal income of Florida was $278,700,320 and ranked 4th in the United States. The 2002 total personal income reflected an increase of 3.8 percent from 2001. The 2001-2002 national change was 2.3 percent. The 1992-2002 average annual growth rate of total personal income was 5.9 percent. The average annual growth rate for the nation was 5.2 percent.
Components of Personal Income
Total personal income includes net earnings by place of residence; dividends, interest, and rent; and total personal current transfer receipts received by the residents of Florida. In 2002 net earnings accounted for 59.0 percent of total personal income (compared with 57.4 in 1992); dividends, interest, and rent were 24.8 percent (compared with 25.6 in 1992); and personal current transfer receipts were 16.2 percent (compared with 17.0 in 1992). From 2001 to 2002 net earnings increased 3.7 percent; dividends, interest, and rent increased 1.1 percent; and personal current transfer receipts increased 8.9 percent. From 1992 to 2002 net earnings increased on average 6.2 percent each year; dividends, interest, and rent increased on average 5.6 percent; and personal current transfer receipts increased on average 5.5 percent.
Earnings of persons employed in Florida increased from $316,135,769 in 2001 to $328,252,822 in 2002, an increase of 3.8 percent. The 2001-2002 national change was 1.5 percent. The average annual growth rate from the 1992 estimate of $179,247,450 to the 2002 estimate was 6.2 percent. The average annual growth rate for the nation was 5.3 percent.
Climate - Florida's climate has been called the state's most
valuable natural resource. Most of the state has a humid subtropical type of climate, but the
southern tip of the peninsula has a more tropical climate. The climate attracts millions of
tourists and permanent residents who seek sunshine and warmth all year, but particularly in
winter. It is also important to growers of crops that are easily damaged by frost, such as
citrus fruit and sugarcane.
In the wintertime southern Florida is one of the warmest places on the U.S. mainland. Average January
temperatures there range from about 18° to 21° C (about 64° to 70° F). Daytime temperatures in winter
are generally in the lower 20°s C (70°s F) at Miami and other southern coastal resorts. In northern
Florida average January temperatures range from about 11° to 13° C (about 52° to 56° F). However,
temperatures vary considerably from day to day, occasionally reaching well below freezing.
Summers are hot throughout the state. However, temperatures are generally no higher than in many
northern cities, and ocean breezes tend to modify the climate in southernmost Florida. During summer,
Miami has an average temperature in the upper 20°s C (lower 80°s F). Although the south is closer to the
tropics, it has fewer very hot days each summer than does the north.
Rainfall ranges from more than 1500 mm (60 in) in the Everglades and the northwest to about 970 mm
(about 38 in) at Key West. However, rainfall varies considerably from year to year, and severe droughts
and floods often occur. Most rain falls in summer, often during brief but heavy thundershowers. Snow
rarely falls in the north and is almost unknown in the south. Hurricanes frequently strike the state.
Winds of hurricane force, accompanied by heavy rains and high seas, can cause widespread damage,
especially in the south, where so much of the land is at or near sea level. However, modern construction
techniques and an alert weather watch for potentially dangerous storms have helped reduce the losses of
life and property caused by hurricanes. The risk is not gone, however; in August 1992 Hurricane Andrew
ripped through southeastern Florida, killing 41. Cities in the area reported property damages in excess
of $20 billion. In Homestead, near Miami, 90 percent of the city's buildings sustained damage from the
hurricane. The hurricane season lasts from late June to early November, but hurricanes occur most
frequently in September.
A. J. McLean singer, West Palm Beach
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