Florida is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Much of the land mass of the state is a large peninsula with the Gulf of Mexico to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Most of Florida has a humid subtropical climate; southern Florida has a tropical climate.
Florida was named by Juan Ponce de León, who landed on the peninsula on 2 April 1513, during Pascua Florida (Spanish for "Flowery Easter," referring to the Easter season). Florida is the fourth most populous state in the U.S.
Until the mid-twentieth century, Florida was the least populous Southern state. In 1900 its population was only 528,542, of whom nearly 44 percent were African American. The boll weevil devastated cotton crops, and early 20th century lynchings and racial violence caused a record number of African Americans to leave the state in the Great Migration to northern and midwestern industrial cities. Forty thousand blacks, roughly one-fifth of their 1900 population, left for better opportunities.
National economic prosperity in the 1920s stimulated tourism to Florida. Combined with its sudden elevation in profile was the Florida land boom of the 1920s, which brought a brief period of intenseland development. The stock market crash and Great Depression brought that period to a halt.
Florida's economy did not fully recover until the buildup for World War II. The climate, tempered by the growing availability of air conditioning, and low cost of living made the state a haven. Migration from the Rust Belt and the Northeast sharply increased the population after the war. In recent decades, more migrants have come for the jobs in a developing economy.
Today, with an estimated population of more than 18 million, Florida is the most populous state in the Southeastern United States, the second most populous state in the South behind Texas, and the fourth most populous in the United States. The Census Bureau estimates that "Florida, now the fourth most populous state, would edge past New York into third place in total population by 2011