Florida was occupied for thousands of years by the indigenous Native Americans before the Europeans first arrived in 1513, starting settlements later in the 16th century. It was put under English control in 1763, but was regained by Spain 20 years later; it finally ceded to the United States in 1819 and gained statehood in 1845. The 2008 population estimate stood at 18,300,000. The state's birth rate is 13.1 and the fertility rate is 2.09 children per woman, only very slightly lower than the rate for the entire country, and significantly lower than many other nearby states.

Population and Politics

The makeup of the population of Florida changed dramatically during the 19th and 20th centuries. Prior to the American Civil War, there was a large Spanish-speaking population ...

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