Culture of Florida
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The culture of Florida is similar to the rest of United States of America culture, but as a coastal state, Florida culture has been influenced by immigrant populations, especially those from Europe and Latin America. Florida is a melting pot as well as an international crossroad to the United States.
As one of the Southern states, Florida has long been influenced by Southern culture. Although South Florida and urban Central Florida have largely lost defining features of southern culture such as southern accents and southern food, southern culture remains prominent in North Florida and parts of rural Central Florida. More recently the state has been influenced by the cultures of people moving in from foreign countries and other parts of the United States. Florida culture is also influenced by its economy, most notably from the effects of tourism, a highly important industry in the state.
Also, as one of the New Spain states, it shares history, culture, food and other things with the Spanish, especially Cuban and Puerto Rican.
Florida is known for seafood, key lime pie and Floribbean cuisine. Citrus production is a major industry and citrus fruits are widely consumed. Tropical fruits are grown in Florida and widely used in Florida cuisine. Barbecue is popular in Florida, and many barbecue competitions are held annually. The development of Florida cuisine has been influenced by the cuisines of the Southeast, the Bahamas, Colombia, Spain, Cuba, and the rest of the Caribbean, as well as by nationwide and worldwide trends. Florida's main economic engine, tourism, attracts people from many other places, many of whom bring their cuisine with them.
Florida's population increases annually more rapidly than that of most states. The main economic driver for Florida is tourism, so hotels, restaurants, leisure activities and other tourism-related economic activities are important.
Many people from other states, especially Americans from the Northeast and Midwest, retire in Florida, driving home construction, infrastructure expansion, as well as the banking and financial planning industries.
Recreational and commercial fishing have been economically important in Florida for over a century, and they remain so.
Florida is one of the most important agricultural states, producing large amounts of vegetables, fruits, cattle, and dairy products.
Recently, light manufacturing is increasing in Florida, and businesses are increasingly moving their headquarters to Florida, as it has a competitive tax, regulatory and property rights structure.
As of 2005, 74.54 percent of Florida residents age 5 and older spoke English at home as a first language, while 18.65 percent spoke Spanish, and 1.73 percent of the population spoke French Creole (predominantly Haitian Creole). French was spoken by 0.63 percent, followed by German at 0.45 percent, and Portuguese at 0.44 percent of all residents. Also, Italian comprised 0.32 percent, while Tagalog made up 0.30 percent of speakers, Vietnamese was at 0.25 percent and Arabic at 0.23 percent. In all, 25.45 percent of Florida's population age 5 and older spoke a language other than English.
Florida's public education system identifies over 200 first languages other than English spoken in the homes of students. In 1990, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) won a class action lawsuit against the state Florida Department of Education that required educators to be trained in teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
According to the Pew Research Center's Religious Landscape Study, Florida's populations is 70% Christian (the largest sect of which is "Evangelical Protestant"), 6% non-Christian, and 24% "No Religion" or "Nothing in Particular." The latter categories, according to the same study, are rising over time, which is consistent with trends nationwide.
Sports and recreation
Sports in Florida include professional teams in all major sports, many minor league professional teams, Olympic Games contenders and medalists, collegiate teams in major and small-school conferences and associations, and active amateur teams and individual sports.
The state has teams in each of the four major professional sports leagues: there are three National Football League (NFL) teams, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Miami Dolphins, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; two Major League Baseball (MLB) teams, the Miami Marlins and the Tampa Bay Rays; two National Basketball Association (NBA) teams, the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic; and two National Hockey League (NHL) teams, the Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Additionally, Major League Soccer is expanding in Florida, adding Orlando City SC in 2015, and plans to add a Miami team.
Florida also has an abundance of outdoor recreational activities. Outdoor activities include hiking, surfing, and hunting. Notable auto-racing tracks include: Daytona International Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Sebring International Raceway, Streets of St. Petersburg, and Walt Disney World Speedway.
- "Most spoken languages in Florida". Modern Language Association. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- . Pew Research Center http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/state/florida/. Missing or empty