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Before the start of the twentieth century, the area that became Plantation was part of the Everglades wetlands, regularly covered by 2–3 feet of water. In 1855, Florida state passed the Internal Improvement Act and established the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, the trustees of which act as a government agency to oversee management, sale, and development of state land. In 1897, the Interior Department submitted 2.9 million acres to the Florida Land Office; however, the submission was revoked the following year, due to fears it would "impinge upon the rights and interests of the Seminole Tribes." The Seminole people regularly used the area for hunting, fishing and camping, and also used the nearby Pine Island Ridge as a headquarters during the second and third Seminole Wars.
In 1899, Florida Governor William Sherman Jennings began an initiative to drain the Everglades. To establish Florida's entitlement to the land, Jennings obtained a new patent (known as the 'Everglades Patent') for land "aggregating 2,862,280 acres." Following his election in 1905, Jennings' successor, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward appointed Jennings as general counsel of the Internal Improvement Fund and continued the initiative for complete drainage of the Everglades (which was a core theme of his election campaign). Broward described the drainage as a duty of the trustees, and promised to create an "Empire of the Everglades".
The first attempts to drain the Everglades began in 1906, with the building and launching of two dredges into the New River: The Okeechobee (commanded by Captain Walter S. Holloway of the US Army Corps of Engineers) began cutting from the river's south fork (establishing the South New River Canal), and The Everglades began cutting from the north fork up to Lake Okeechobee (establishing the North New River Canal). The first waterway opened after the drainage attempts was named The Holloway Canal, after Captain Holloway.
Following a meeting at the 1908 Democratic National Convention, Broward and Jennings established a deal with Richard 'Dicky' J. Bolles: The fund trustees granted Bolles 500,000 acres (2,000 km2) of overflowed state lands at $2 per acre, with an agreement for the State to use 50% of the $1 million proceeds purely for drainage and reclamation, and another agreement to establish 5 main canals. Following this, Bolles founded the Florida Fruit Lands Company, becoming the Everglades' first private developer.
The Everglades Plantation Company was established in January 1909, following entry into a 2-year contract with the Internal Improvement Fund trustees by Adam A. Boggs (attorney and Vice President of the Miami Bank and Trust Company) and A.B. Sanders (engineer and later president of the Miami Engineering and Construction Company) to create a rice plantation in the Everglades. The agreement enabled Boggs & Sanders to rent a significant amount of land around the (then work-in-progress) North New River Canal, and also subsequently purchase the land for between $3 and $15 per acre.
It was later discovered that the area leased to Boggs & Sanders already belonged to Dicky Bolles, as part of the 500,000 acres he had purchased; however, the Everglades Plantation Company was able to retain the land, despite Bolles' claims. Sanders led further reclamation efforts for the area, including the digging of 60 miles of ditches. Boggs & Sanders were also granted extensions to their 2-year contract, on the grounds that the land remained under water.
In 1911, Bolles held a land lottery (known as the 'Progresso Land Auction') at $20–24 per acre, granting residential lots in the 'Town of Progresso' (now the area known as Wilton Manors) to anyone purchasing farmland of five acres or more in the drainage land; however, no auction actually took place and the purchased land remained under water. As a result, a lawsuit was brought against Bolles.
In 1912, the North New River Canal opened, and the Sewell Lock (also known as Lock No.1), the first lock in Florida, and one of the oldest remaining structures in Broward County, was built on it, just outside of what is now Plantation. The new lock enabled access between the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee by water.
The lawsuit against Bolles was settled in November 1913, with Bolles retaining the $1.4 million already received, but prohibiting any further collection until the land was drained and surveyed. Bolles was also arrested in December of that year, but was subsequently found innocent.
Drainage of the land largely failed, with most of it reverting to the state for taxes; however, two local farmers, O. L Daniel and Dewey Hawkins began buying it, acquiring approximately 6,000 acres and 4,000 acres respectively.
In the years following their original agreement, contract negotiation escalated into legal battles between the Everglades Plantation Company and the Internal Improvement Trustees. These disputes ended in 1914, in the company's favor. The Trustees no longer insisted on continuation of the rice plantation attempts and, from this point, the company focused primarily on land sales.
Broward county (originally planned under the name 'Everglades County' but ultimately named after former governor Broward), was created by Florida legislature in 1915, by combining portions of Dade county and Palm Beach County.
Driven by the success of the drainage projects, the Florida Land Boom took place between 1920 and 1925, seeing rapid growth in population and land sales. The boom reached its peak in the fall of 1925 and subsequently collapsed in 1926.
The land boom was closely followed by two severe hurricanes striking the area, significantly impacting the established communities and killing thousands. The first, in September 1926 (known as the 1926 Miami hurricane), reached wind speeds of 140 MPH, and the second, in September 1928 (known as the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane), reached wind speeds of 135 MPH. In response, additional flood control laws were established, and millions of additional dollars were spent on drainage efforts across the Everglades in the subsequent decades.
Future Plantation founder, Frederick C. Peters, the millionaire heir to a St. Louis shoe business, moved to Goulds, Florida in 1931 (following doctor's advice to seek a warmer climate for his son), beginning both potato and cattle businesses; however, in 1939, Peters received advice from Stephan Zacher (a Davie ranch-owner) to find better land for his cattle in the Davie area. With most large tracts of land in Davie already established as groves, Peters (following extensive testing by the United States Soil Conservation Service) purchased 10,000 acres (40 km2) further north for approximately $10–25 per acre, financed with a $350,000 mortgage. The land was previously owned by Dewey Hawkins (who held the majority) and by Boggs' and Sanders' Everglades Plantation Company. Peters road, in Plantation, is named after Frederick Peters.
With the aim to create a farming-cooperative-based, rural alternative to suburban Dade Country, Peters built the city's first ranch buildings, which were designed by Stephan Zacher. In 1942, he had Leslie E. Bitting (son of Ben Bitting, who worked at Peters' previous Dade County farm) begin moving Peters' cattle to the area, and look after the building.
Between 1944 and 1945, Peters shifted from the idea of building a farming cooperative, hiring architect Russel T. Pancoast to assist with creation of the city master plan, and C. Kay Davis to establish a water control system. In 1946, a special-purpose local government, named the Old Plantation Water Control District, was also chartered by the state (led by civil engineer John Brendla) to commence drainage of the area previously intended for plantation development, and oversee its secondary canals.
Chauncey Clark Jr. (originally of Michigan, but living in Miami Beach) was told by Peters that, in exchange for an effective development plan, Peters would provide land options and complete drainage & access as needed. Clark Jr.'s plan for 40 acre ranches, clubs, golf courses and an airfield failed to attract investment, but his father, Chauncey Clark Sr., established an alternative plan for single-acre lots with 2-bedroom houses and a 20-tree orchard in each. Miami's Robert Law Weed designed the first homes, which were then built in 1947, on East Acre Drive under the name Plantation Homes Inc. The development's name (which went on to become the name of the entire city) came from that by which the area had become known, including its Water Control District subdivision, 'Plantation'.
Clark's advertising referred to Plantation as "the Dream City" with "Rich Living at Small Cost" and Peters' advertising described "A Full Acre With Every Home." A two-bedroom home with an acre of land and 20 fruit trees was sold for $10,241, and property was valued at $200 an acre; however, early into construction, many of the homes were destroyed by flooding, caused by 93 consecutive days of rain and two hurricanes. Despite the setbacks, 15 houses were under construction at the time the hurricanes passed. Clark also repaired and restored all of the homes damaged at his own personal expense. During this same year, road-builder Finley Smith began plans to expand Broward Boulevard from State Road 7 to the Holloway Canal.
In 1948, Chauncey Clark Jr.'s home was the first completed, and Clark moved into the house with his family. Construction operations expanded, alongside a dedicated sales group, with approximately three houses being completed and sold per week. A total of approximately 120 homes were built that year, and the city's population grew to 30 families in size. That year, Ann Carter (wife of Claude E, Carter) also gave birth to Eugene Carter, the first child born in the city. 1948 also saw completion of new dikes and a pumping station on the East Holloway Canal, and formation of The Plantation Community Church (which held its first services in the construction trailer office of Frederick Peters).
In September and October 1948, two further hurricanes impacted the area, causing further flooding and the breakage of a work-in-progress dike during the second hurricane. Rapid repairs and extensions to the dikes, new cofferdams, and pumping were used to end the flooding; however, house sales halted in 1949, due to the repeated flooding. Although work continued on new roads, dikes and houses, Clark's Plantation Homes Inc. was dissolved, with the assets going to Frederick C. Peters.
1949 also saw the opening of Plantation Pumping Station No. 2 (allowing the pumping of 126 million gallons per day into the North New River Canal), the founding of the Plantation Women's Club (by Mrs. Helen Hoffman), and the founding of the Plantation Homeowners' organization (by Dr. Abram Hoffman). At this time, there were 40 occupied homes in the area.
1950 then saw completion of the Plantation Golf Course and Country Club, which was built with the intent to encourage extension of Broward Boulevard further west.
Plantation was incorporated as a city on April 23, 1953 (with a population of 300 and a budget of less than $2,000 at the time). The Plantation Homeowners Association appointed Ellsworth D. Gage (then president of the Homeowners' Association) as the city's first Mayor, with Paul Stoner, Winslow Freeman, George Bartold, Walter Bartels, and Wilfred J. Perry Lohman elected to the City Council; however, none of these early city officials took any salary from the position. A building originally intended as a community center, but being used as a warehouse, was used for the first city council meeting, city hall, fire station, and police station. This building, originally known as the Hoffman Building, is now the kitchen area of Deicke Auditorium.
On August 1, 1954, the Miami Herald publicly unveiled the new city plan, calling Plantation "The City of the Future".
In 1955, S. Robinson Estey was elected as the city's second Mayor (and the first elected to the position). Plantation Police Dept. was also organized in the same year, with the first police car and officer (Henry C. 'Hank' Donath), who ran the department alone for several years, on call 24 hours a day. At that time, the city population remained less than 800 people.
The city's fire department's barbecue fundraiser began in 1956, and remains one of the city's annual traditions. Plantation's Volunteer Fire Dept. was subsequently formed in 1957, with Richard Stephenson appointed as the first Fire Chief. The city's first industrial plant (Airpax Products, Co.) opened on Sunrise Blvd in 1957 (in what is now Plantation Technology Park), as did Plantation Community Church's first sanctuary (now known as Missions Prayer Chapel) and the Sunshine State Parkway (now known as Florida's Turnpike), which connected Miami and Fort Pierce. By 1958, construction was completed on the new City Hall. A new fire station was also built on Broward Blvd, with Frederick T. Peters (son of Frederick C. Peters) appointed as the new city Fire Chief.
Plantation's budget had grown to over $170,000 by 1959. That year, the city's first school was dedicated: Berenice Todd Peters Elementary School (named after the wife of city founder Frederick C. Peters; known today as Peters Elementary) was a 24-classroom, 725-child school, built on ten acres of land gifted by Frederick Peters. Hank Donath was also appointed as the city's first Police Chief, with the operating costs of the police department covered by cigarette taxes.
In 1960, the city adopted the slogan "The Dream City", including matching license plates.
The Plantation Library, based out of Peters Elementary School, was founded in 1961, with Mrs. Helen B. Hoffman as chairwoman and members of the Plantation Woman's Club as volunteer workers. In 1962, Edwin Deicke donated $100,000 to the city for expanding and renovating the Hoffman Building (which was later, in 1973, renamed to the Deicke Auditorium). Also in 1962, the city's Chamber of Commerce was founded and the Doctors General Hospital was opened.
The city's population reached 8,500 in 1963, and its original motto, "From the Wilderness, this City", was made official, with adoption of a corresponding city seal (designed by Mayor Robinson Estey and architect A.T. Hardel). The Latin translation of this motto was later found to include a spelling error; however, future mayor, Frank Veltri opted not to change it. The city's Community Center, designed by original city master plan architect Russell Pancoast, was also built in 1963, becoming the site of the first city library (which had been previously housed in Peters Elementary).
Following the death of Frederick C. Peters in July 1964, the Peters family sold 5,400 acres (22 km2) of undeveloped land west of University Drive (originally named Annapu Road), at approximately $3,000 per acre, to the Gulfstream Land Development Company, led by president John H. Cleary. The land is purchased for development of the Jacaranda community, the intent of which was to build a Broward County equivalent to Coral Gables.
Other expansions during this time included Plantation Elementary School in 1965, The Florida Air Academy in 1969, Plantation High School (the city's first high school) and Plantation General Hospital (at the time, a 264-bed hospital) in 1966, and a new facility for the telecommunications company Motorola in 1969.
The city's population reached 23,523 by 1970, and in 1972, a $1.03 million construction bid was accepted for a new city hall, alongside groundbreaking for construction of the Deicke Auditorium.
Plantation Acres (which is designated a 'Special Public Interest' Rural District to protect the natural landscape) and Melaleuca Isles were annexed into Plantation in 1973. Deicke Auditorium and the new Plantation City Hall were dedicated in May and December of that year respectively. Also in 1973, the Gulfstream consortium acquired the remaining land from the Peters family holdings. Moving away from Plantation's original rural direction, Gulfstream instead targeted commercial, industrial and home office establishments, beginning agreements with Motorola, American Express, and those who would build the Broward Mall. The Plantation Historical Society was founded the following year by Genevieve Veltri, Dorothy O'Hare, Lois Brickhouse, and Marilyn King, with their first meeting held in the Veltri home, and Veltri elected as the first president.
Frank Veltri was elected as the city's Mayor for first time in 1975. Veltri would go on to become the city's longest-serving mayor, completing six terms over 24 years. That same year, the financial services company, American Express moved its 'Southern Region Operations Center' to a newly constructed building in Plantation, beginning with 1,000 employees.
During the US bicentennial celebration in 1976, a 45-foot oak tree was planted in Plantation's Fifth Street Park to represent the Liberty Tree. The park was renamed to Liberty Tree Park as a result. In 1977, the city and Broward County jointly acquired land which was previously a part of the Peters family farm, and began work on the Plantation Heritage Park, using a grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
The Broward Mall (now known as Westfield Broward) opened in 1978, on what had previously been cow pasture land. At the time, it was the largest mall in the Southern United States, spanning 1 million square ft. 1978 was also the year of the city's silver anniversary, which was celebrated with three days of events and included the burying of a time capsule, to be updated every 25 years.
In 1979 the Florida Air Academy closed, and the land was sold to the Jewish Community Center.
The final home of mobster John Roselli (born 1905), liaison and fixer for the Chicago Outfit in Hollywood and the Las Vegas Strip was, until June 28, 1976, at his sister Enid and brother-in-law Joseph Daigle's residence at 5220 SW 10th Ct., Plantation, before his murdered body was found in a steel drum in Dumfoundling Bay at Easton Shores, Miami on August 9.
By 1980, Plantation's population had reached 48,653. This year is when the city was first designated as a 'Tree City' by the Arbor Day Foundation. The Plantation Library was renamed to the Helen B. Hoffman Plantation Library in the following year.
In 1983, the city opened Plantation Central Park: a 77-acre recreation complex, including an Olympic swimming pool, gym, and spaces for softball, football, soccer, tennis and basketball. That same year, the former Plantation Chamber of Commerce building (a 1,000 square foot office building) was moved over a mile by truck to a new location. The intent was for the building to be used as a museum building by the Plantation Historical Society; however, it was subsequently vandalized and fell from its foundation, requiring demolition as a result. Instead, an alternative, Plantation Historical Museum (founded by Genevieve Veltri) is dedicated in June 1985.
The city's landscape department established the 'Plantation Landscaping Award for Nurturing our Town' (PLANT) awards in 1984, developed as part of the Tree City USA program to reward outstanding landscaping and maintenance. The same year also saw the first opening of the Plantation Heritage Park to the public.
In 1988, 10 years after the opening of the Broward Mall, two new shopping malls were opened in the city: The Fountains Shopping Mall (450,000 sq ft., at a cost of $60 million) and the Fashion Mall at Plantation (660,000 sq ft, featuring Macy's and Lord & Taylor as its anchor stores).
The population reached 66,116 by 1990. The following year, Plantation's PLANT awards recognized Marjory Stoneman Douglas (then 100 years of age) as the "First Lady of Conservation" for her efforts to preserve the Everglades.
The insurance company Kemper National Services first opened operations in Plantation in 1993, and in the following year, announced plans to double its office space in the city and hire up to 800 additional employees. At the time, the city's largest employers were American Express, followed by Motorola.
During the 100th anniversary of the modern Olympic Games in 1996, the relay run of the Olympic Flame passed through Plantation city center. In September of that year, a fire at the Plantation Towne Mall became the city's largest fire to date, impacting 56,000 square feet of the mall. Following the fire, the area was re-built as Plantation Towne Square, including a new Publix anchor store.
The year 2000 census established the city population at 82,934, spanning 15 distinct ethnic groups. New city developments around this time included the 11,500-square-foot (1,070 m2) Volunteer Park Community Center (1999), the Park East Multicultural Garden (2001), the Community Bus Service (2001), Jim Ward 16,000 sq ft (1,500 m2) Community Center (2002), Jack Carter Harmony Park (2002), Happy Tails Dog Park (2002), the Plantation Equestrian Center (2005), and the Plantation Preserve Golf Course and Club (2006).
Plantation celebrated its 50-year golden anniversary in 2003, with a one-week celebration and updating of the city's time capsule.
Hurricane Wilma hit Plantation on Monday, October 24, 2005, causing significant damage and power outages. The resulting damage led to the subsequent closure of the Fashion Mall in 2006.
In 2007, the Broward Mall was acquired by the Westfield Group, received a multimillion-dollar renovation, and was renamed to Westfield Broward.
The city was first named one as of the nation's "100 Best Communities for Young People" by America's Promise Alliance in 2008. It has won this award on other subsequent years, including 2010 and 2011
The 2010 census established the city's population at 84,955 people. During this year, the vacant former Fashion Mall was planned for auction, but the auction was cancelled after the property owner paid a court judgement.
In 2011, Diane Veltri Bendekovic, daughter of previous long-running mayor Frank Veltri, was elected as mayor of the city.
The city's 60th anniversary in 2013 saw the publication of a new book dedicated to its history: Images of America: Plantation.
The developers of the previously closed Fashion Mall filed for bankruptcy in October 2014. The property was then sold in a bankruptcy auction in April 2015 for $37.7 million. Demolition of the former Fashion Mall then began in 2016 (leaving the existing hotel, office and parking areas), to make way for 'Plantation Walk' (previously known as '321 North'): a new $350 million complex including 700 apartments, 200,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, and remodeled versions of the existing 160,000 square foot office tower and Sheraton hotel. In September 2018, a settlement was reached, dismissing legal conflicts between the area's bankruptcy trustee and other parties previously involved in the redevelopment. The development is now targeting completion in 2021.
The American Express office in Plantation closed in 2017, when company relocated to a newly built facility in neighboring Sunrise. In response to the move, committee review began on 'Plantation Midtown': a new 25-acre (0.10 km2) mixed-use development, encompassing the site of the former American Express office.
On July 6, 2019, 23 people were injured, two seriously, by a gas explosion at The Fountains shopping plaza on South University Drive, which caused extensive damage to it and nearby buildings.
As of 2010, the median age of the city's population was 39.7 years, with the age distribution of 23.5% 19 years or younger (21.5% under the age of 18); 26.9% from 20 to 39 years; 30.0% from 40 to 59 years; 17.5% from 60 to 84 years; and 2.1% 85 years or older.
The population was 52.6% female, with a 53.5% female population aged over 18 years.
As of the 2000 census, first language distribution in the city was 78.01% English, 13.00% Spanish, 2.24% French Creole, 1.31% French, 0.72% Hebrew, 0.72% Portuguese, 0.59% Italian, 0.55% German, 0.46% Arabic and 2.40 for all others.
According to a 2013-2017 American Community Survey estimate, the per capita income for the city (in 2017 inflation-adjusted dollars) was $35,897, the median household income was $69,531, and the median family income was $78,839. The median earnings for a full-time, year-round male worker was $54,188, compared to $44,537 for the female equivalent.
The estimate also identified 9.0% of the city's population (6.7% of families) below the poverty line, including 11.8% of those under age 18 and 5.2% of those age 65 or over.
The largest area of occupation (for civilians aged 16 and older) was in management, business, science, and arts occupations (43.4%), followed by sales and office occupations (28.9%).
As of 2010, there were a total of 37,587 housing units in the city (with a density of 1,728.8 per square mile of land), 9.0% of which were vacant.
Also as of 2010, 66.0% of the 34,190 total households were family households, 47.7% were husband-wife households, and 28.5% included a child under 18 years. 26.3% of all households were made up of individual householders living alone, and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.01.
Florida is commonly called "The Sunshine State" or more commonly known as "The Sunshine State." Florida is situated in the southeast area of the U.S., within the state lines of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Florida is also known as the "Panhandle." Florida has a long history of being a popular travel destination with tourists from across the United States and internationally. Florida has seen a rise in home growth and development in recent years because of the popularity of this coastal state.
Geography of Florida: Florida is a peninsula in the south-eastern panhandle of what was once the panhandle of the U.S., which is now known as Florida. Florida has the second-lowest cost per square foot of any state in the nation. Florida is divided into six major counties: county seat Saint Petersburg/St Augustine, county seat Daytona Beach, Orange County, Putnam County, Hillsborough County, and Seminole County. Geographically, Florida consists of three major geographical division areas: The Florida Panhandle, which is south of the Florida Keys; the Florida intra-regional; and the Florida Atlantic.
Florida History: Florida is known for its long history. Florida man began settling in south Florida around the year 1830. At that time there were no schools in the area and the people were largely unemployed. As the population grew, however, Florida became one of the most popular places to live, especially for European immigrants. Florida was not only a thriving agricultural and manufacturing center but also a major sea port.
Florida demography has changed a lot since its early days. Today, Florida has one of the most diverse populations in the U.S. Because of this, Florida has much higher than average population density, making it one of the most diverse states in terms of race and ethnicity.
Florida Demography Florida's demography is changing rapidly. Florida has seen net migration in every decade since the end of the Great Depression. In addition to the south Florida, other states with large Hispanic populations such as Texas, Arizona and New Mexico are also moving to Florida. The fastest growing urban area in Florida is Jacksonville. However, despite its rapid growth, Florida continues to lose a larger percentage of its population to other states.
Florida Demography Florida has been an island through most of its history, and because of its location on the Gulf of Mexico, it has always had a critical role in shipping and in providing jobs to surrounding areas. As a result, Florida has maintained a healthy economy. Because of this, Florida continues to attract a large number of people due to its beaches, universities and professional sports teams. Florida is home to many popular national and international corporations.
Florida Demography Florida has a lot of diverse neighborhoods where people from various parts of America and even other countries have mixed blood. Many neighborhoods in Florida have experienced an influx of immigrants from Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa. These neighborhoods provide a rich diversity of people but also challenge the social and cultural boundaries of Florida. They represent the new face of American culture in the 21st century.
Florida Demography Florida has a lot of historical sites and places that should be explored. The Florida Panhandle, which is Florida's largest city, offers a glimpse into the history and culture of the American South. Traveling on public transportation will take you through a section of Florida that is not familiar to many people but showcases many cultures and a variety of local food and music.
Southern Florida is filled with small, quiet neighborhoods. They are not heavily populated and offer a unique perspective of life in the Florida Panhandle. Miami is the financial center of Florida and also home to many people who have made it big in the business world. Miami has two big cultural areas. One is the district that is downtown and the second is the southern part of the city known as Brickell. Both are known for their high-class life styles and attract a large number of well-heeled people.
Southern Florida's geography is diverse. It is bordered on two sides by the Atlantic Ocean and on the east by the Gulf of Mexico. It is also surrounded by the Everglades. A part of Florida that is not as populated is the Florida Keys. These islands sit between the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico and offer a beautiful view of the southern sky. Florida also borders Georgia and the Carolinas on the west and Alabama and Texas on the east.
When Florida is mentioned most people think of Jacksonville and Orlando, but there are other cities that are equally, or even more, interesting. Some of the largest cities here are Tampa, which are one of the busiest cities in the state, and Fort Lauderdale, which is the largest city in south Florida. Other cities like Daytona Beach, Sarasota, Saint Augustine and West Palm Beach have some good population and offer great weather and activities.