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City of Jacksonville, FL

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Jacksonville Florida Guide


City of Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville is a city located in Duval County, Florida, USA. It is the county seat of Duval County 6.

As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 735,617. Geographically, it is the largest city in the contiguous 48 states of the United States in terms of land area. It is also the largest city in Florida in terms of population in the city proper. The Jacksonville metropolitan area has over a million residents, which was celebrated with massive parties on the Jacksonville Riverwalk in 1996.

Jacksonville and Duval County are incorporated. All areas of Duval County are considered to be part of Jacksonville, with the exception of the communities of Baldwin, Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach and Jacksonville Beach.

The area of Jacksonville is 874.3 square miles (2,264.5 km²). Jacksonville was originally named Cowford because the St. Johns River is narrow here, allowing cattlemen to herd cows across the river. The city was renamed in 1822 for the first territorial governor of Florida and the future 7th U.S. President Andrew Jackson.

Jacksonville, FL - Current issues

Some issues the city deals with today include how to fix the school system (including violence on school buses), controversies over a public high school named for Ku Klux Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forrest, and how to solve transportation problems (The Better Jacksonville Plan).

Also, Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005 presents a host of problems and challenges for the Jacksonville area. Many of the current transportation issues revolve around this event, and many services, such as the Jacksonville monorail, have been obsolete for many years. The Jacksonville monorail, specifically, has been criticized in that it goes from "nowhere to nowhere".

Jacksonville, FL - Higher education

Click here to Schools, Colleges and Universities in Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville is home to a number of professional sports teams:

Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League
Jacksonville Suns, a Southern League minor league baseball team
Jacksonville Barracudas of the SPHL ice hockey league
Jacksonville Lizard Kings of the ECHL ice hockey league.
Jacksonville is the site for Super Bowl XXXIX.

Jacksonville, FL - Tourism and recreation

Click Here to Tourism and Attractions in Jacksonville, FL


Interstate Highways 10 and 95 intersect in Jacksonville. Interstate Highway 10 ends at this intersection (the other end being in California). The eastern terminus of US-90 is in nearby Jacksonville Beach. Public transportation is provided by the Jacksonville Transportation Authority. The city has the Jacksonville Skyway Monorail, which loops around the city and is fairly cheap to use. However, there are very few monorail stations and as such, traffic is quite light.

Interstate 95 has a spur route, I-295, which currently bypasses the city to the west. Jacksonville is also home to the world headquarters of CSX Transportation.

There are also numerous bridges over the St. Johns River at Jacksonville. They include (starting from furthest downstream) the Dames Point Bridge, the Mathews Bridge, the Isaiah D. Hart Bridge, the Main Street Bridge, the Acosta Bridge, the Fuller Warren Bridge (which carries I-95 traffic) and the Buckman Bridge (which carries I-295 traffic).

Major commercial air service in Jacksonville operates out of Jacksonville International Airport. Smaller planes can fly to Craig Airport on the southside and Herlong Airport on the westside. The city also operates an airfield at Cecil Commerce Center that is intended for aerospace manufacturing companies.

In 2003, the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal opened, providing cruise service to Key West, Florida, The Bahamas, and Mexico.

St. Johns River crossings in the Jacksonville, Florida area
south of downtown Shands Bridge (to be replaced or supplemented) - Buckman Bridge - Timuquana Bridge (never built)
south from downtown Fuller Warren Bridge - Acosta Bridge - Main Street Bridge
east from downtown Hart Bridge - Mathews Bridge - 20th Street Extension (never built)
east of downtown Dames Point Bridge - SR 113A (never built) - Mayport Ferry


Jacksonville is located at 30°19'10" North, 81°39'36" West (30.319406, -81.659999)1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2,264.5 km² (874.3 mi²). 1,962.4 km² (757.7 mi²) of it is land and 302.1 km² (116.7 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 13.34% water.

Winter Resort Era

Following the Civil War, during Reconstruction and afterward, Jacksonville and nearby St. Augustine became popular winter resorts for the rich and famous of the Gilded Age. Visitors arrived by steamboat and (beginning in the 1880s) by railroad, and wintered at dozens of hotels and boarding houses. The area declined in importance as a resort destination when Henry Flagler extended the Florida East Coast Railroad to the south, arriving in Palm Beach in 1894 and in the Miami area in 1896. Not even hosting the Subtropical Exposition, a Florida-style world's fair attended by President Grover Cleveland in 1888, served to provide a lasting boost for tourism in Jacksonville.

Motion Picture Industry

In the early 1900s, Jacksonville was a center of the fledgling motion picture industry. The city's warm climate, excellent rail access, and low costs all helped to make Jacksonville the "Winter Film Capital of the World". By the early 1910s, Jacksonville hosted over 30 studios employing over 1000 actors. However, some residents objected to the hallmarks of the early movie industry, such as car chases in the streets, simulated bank robberies and fire alarms in public places, and even the occasional riot scene. In 1917, a conservative mayor was elected on the platform of taming the city's movie industry. Subsequently the film studios opted to move to a more hospitable political climate in California.

"Gateway to Florida"

The 1920s brought significant real estate development and speculation to the city during the great Florida land boom (and bust). Hordes of train passengers passed through Jacksonville on their way south to the new tourist destinations of South Florida, as most of the passenger trains arriving from the population centers of the North were routed through Jacksonville. Completion of the Dixie Highway (portions of which became U.S. Highway 1) in the 1920s began to draw significant automobile traffic as well. An important entry point to the state since the 1870s, Jacksonville now justifiably billed itself as the "Gateway to Florida."

US Navy

A significant part of Jacksonville's growth in the 20th century came from the presence of navy bases in the region. October 15, 1940, Naval Air Station Jacksonville ("NAS Jax") on the westside became the first navy installation in the city. This base was a major training center during World War II, with over 20,000 pilots and aircrewmen being trained there. After the war, the Navy's elite Blue Angels were established at NAS Jax. Today NAS Jax is the third largest navy installation in the country and employs over 23,000 civilian and active-duty personnel.

In June 1941, land in the westernmost side of Duval County was earmarked for a second naval air facility. This became NAS Cecil Field, which during the Cold War was designated a Master Jet Base, the only one in the South. RF-8 Crusaders out of Cecil Field detected missiles in Cuba, precipitating the Cuban Missile Crisis. In 1993 the Navy decided to close NAS Cecil Field and in 1999 this was completed. The land once occupied by this installation is now known as the "Cecil Commerce Center".

December 1942 saw the addition of a third naval installation to Jacksonville: Naval Station Mayport at the mouth of the St. Johns River. This port developed through World War II and today is the home port for many types of navy ships, most notably the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy. NS Mayport current employs about 14,000 personnel.

Jacksonville is also not far from Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in St. Marys, Georgia, which is home to part of the US Navy's nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) fleet.

The naval base became a key training ground in the 1950s and 1960s and as such, the population of the city rose dramatically. More than half of the residents in Jacksonville had some tie to the naval base, whether it be a relative stationed there, or due to employment opportunities, by 1970. While the city is more independent from the Navy today, it is still a strong influence in the community.

Jacksonville, FL - Structure

Jacksonville uses the Mayor-Council form of city government. The mayor is the Chief Executive and Administrative officer, called the Strong-Mayor form. He holds veto power over all resolutions and ordinances made by the city council. He also has the power to hire and fire the head of various city departments. The city council has nineteen members, fourteen of whom are elected from districts, and five who are elected at-large. Four municipalities within Duval County voted not to join the consolidated government. These communities consist of only 6% of the total population within the county. The municipalities are Baldwin, Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach and Jacksonville Beach. Not all city services were merged, making for a less-than-full consolidation of the city-county. Several authorities remain independent of the combined city-county government, including the school board, electric authority, port authority, and airport authority. Fire, police, health and welfare, recreation, public works, and housing and urban development were all combined under the new government. The four separate communities provide their own services, while maintaining the right to contract the consolidated government to provide services for them. Under the new government structure, anyone living in Duval County is eligible to run for Mayor of the City of Jacksonville, even those living in the four separate municipalities.

Jacksonville, FL - Demographics

As of the census2 of 2000, there are 735,617 people, 284,499 households, and 190,614 families residing in the city. The population density is 374.9/km² (970.9/mi²). There are 308,826 housing units at an average density of 157.4/km² (407.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 64.48% White, 29.03% Black or African American, 0.34% Native American, 2.78% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.33% from other races, and 1.99% from two or more races. 4.16% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 284,499 households out of which 33.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% are married couples living together, 16.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% are non-families. 26.2% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.7% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.53 and the average family size is 3.07.

In the city, the population is spread out with 26.7% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 32.3% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $40,316, and the median income for a family is $47,243. Males have a median income of $32,547 versus $25,886 for females. The per capita income for the city is $20,337. 12.2% of the population and 9.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 16.7% of those under the age of 18 and 12.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Jacksonville Newspapers - Local publications

Click Here to Jacksonville Newspapers and Magazines:

Jacksonville is the home of:

  • CSX Transportation
  • Winn-Dixie
  • Stein Mart
  • Landstar
  • Gate Petroleum Company


Jacksonville City Guide

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