Jacksonville is the largest city in the state of Florida and the county seat of Duval County. About 25 miles south of the Georgia border, Jacksonville is in the First Coast region of northeast Florida. The city is centered on the banks of the St. Johns River, which flows north and empties into the Atlantic Ocean about 20 miles east of downtown. The settlement that became Jacksonville was founded in 1791 as Cowford, The city was renamed in 1822 for Andrew Jackson, the first military governor of the Florida Territory and eventual seventh President of the United States.
Since 1968, Jacksonville has shared a consolidated government with the county, making Jacksonville the largest city in land area in the contiguous United States. In 2006, Jacksonville proper had an estimated population of 834,789 with a metropolitan population of more than 1.3 million. Jacksonville is the third most populated city on the East Coast, after New York City and Philadelphia. It is the central city of the Jacksonville Metropolitan Statistical Area, the fourth largest metropolitan area in the state.
Jacksonville is the largest city in the contiguous United States in land area, a major port, the insurance and financial center of the state, site of U.S. Navy bases and the home of the National Football League’s Jacksonville Jaguars.
Quick “Jacksonville Facts”
- Jacksonville ranks as the 14th largest city in the United States in population with more than 800,000 residents.
- Jacksonville metropolitan area, which includes three beach cities and Clay, Baker, Nassau and St. Johns counties, has a population of more than 1,000,000 residents.
- Jacksonville covers 841 square miles (217,559 hectares).
- Joint management agreements with national and state park services give Jacksonville the largest urban park system in the United States.
- Jacksonville International Airport (JIA) is 15 minutes from downtown by car. It is served by 15 major and regional airlines that offer 250 daily flights to and from most major cities in the country and is an international gateway.
- By air, Jacksonville is …
- 60 Minutes from Atlanta
- 45 minutes from Orlando
- Two hours and 15 minutes from New York
- Nine hours from London
- Four modern seaport facilities make Jacksonville a full-service international seaport. In 2005, Jacksonville’s JAXPORT’s three public marine terminals handled 8.4 million tons of cargo, a new Jacksonville’s JAXPORT tonnage record.
- Three major Interstate Highways run through Jacksonville, I-95, I-295 and I-10. Additionally, I-75 is approximately 60 miles west of downtown Jacksonville.
- By car, Jacksonville is …
- 40 minutes from Fernandina Beach/Amelia Island
- 35 minutes from historic St. Augustine
- Two and a half hours from Orlando (Disney World)
- Six hours from Atlanta