The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Florida was recorded to be $734.5 billion, a few years ago, which made it the fourth largest economy in the United States of America.
The chief contributors to the economy of Florida were tourism, general services, financial services, trade, transportation and public utilities, manufacturing and construction.
The state of Florida is one of the nine states of United States of America which does not impose a personal income tax on its citizens unlike many other states in the country.
Being the top travel destination in the world, the tourism industry of Florida has a tremendous economic impact on the Floridian economy. Statistically, it amounts to $57 billion. Warm tropical weather and miles of beaches draw about 60 million visitors to Florida every year thus making it the largest quarter of the state’s economy. The much sought after international tourist destinations of the state are the Miami Beach, Walt Disney World's magic kingdom, Cypress Gardens etc. However, this phenomenon also makes it susceptible to recession.
Agriculture has a major contribution to the economy of Florida. Traditionally the main crops of the state of Florida were citrus fruits, vegetables, melons, potatoes, sugar cane and strawberries. Due to the favorable and conducive climate, central and southern,Florida rapidly became a key agricultural area. Florida ranked first in the United States of America in the price category of production of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, sugarcane for sugar and seed.
The space industry is also considered to be one of the chief contributors to the economy of Florida. Statistically, it is worth $4.5 billion with average annual wage of aerospace workers being approximately $52,000. The number of people engaged at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is 15,000 and Florida ranks 4th among the states in aerospace employment with 23,000 jobs.
The economy of Florida has been largely influenced by the entry of immigrants from all over the globe. This is especially true for investments from the Latin American investors. A huge numbers of Latin American immigrants working for low cash wages make a notable impact on Florida’s economy.
In the early 20th century, the expansion of the railroads down the peninsula opened up an area which was highly productive and profitable towards industrial development. After World War II, the economy of Florida grew tremendously due to the construction of highways and major airports and it continues to grow day by day.
During the National Recession of 2001, the tourism industry decelerated to 4.2% but still managed to be above the national average of United States of America. Presently, the economy like the national economy has shown signs of emerging out of the recession.