Few states can match the scale and scope of Florida’s industry assets. The competitive costs, large talent pool, comprehensive infrastructure, global connectivity, and nationally-recognized training programs have supported the growth of a robust economy, with particular strength in the top 6 Florida industries are below.
Known for its miles of sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, Florida’s visitors from around the world are drawn to the state’s 2,200 miles of shoreline and 663 miles of beaches. Over 25% of all visitors reported beach and waterfront activities as their top activities when visiting Florida. Florida remains one of the top travel destinations in the world, relying on tourism to drive its economy more than any other state. The Sunshine State also relies heavily on international trade, agriculture, aerospace and aviation, and the life sciences. As of 2019, Florida had the fourth-largest economy in the United States behind California, Texas, and New York with a gross domestic (GDP) product of $1.1 trillion and a $91.1 billion budget.
Most of the nation’s largest financial companies have extensive operations in Florida. With one of the wealthiest populations in the nation, Florida has the highest percentage of bank deposits held at out-of-state headquartered banks. Taking advantage of Florida’s business-friendly legislation, favorable tax climate and large market, finance, insurance, and professional services firms represent 9% of the state’s employment, with nearly 135,000 firms employing over 900,000 Floridians.
Florida’s famed agriculture industry employs nearly 1.4 million people and contributes more than $131 billion to the state’s economy each year. Florida’s warm climate offers farmers a growing season from 100 to 200 days longer than other regions of the country. Among the top agricultural commodities in 2017 were greenhouse and nursery products, oranges, tomatoes, dairy products, and sugarcane. Florida ranks second nationally for greenhouse and nursery products, the state’s leading crops financially, and ranks second in U.S. production of fresh vegetables.
One of the largest export states in the USA, Florida is a major gateway for merchandise trade between North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, and other world regions. Florida’s leading exports include motor vehicles, aircraft, engines and parts, telecommunications equipment, computers and components, and gold. The state is also expanding exports of waste and scrap, agricultural products, seafood, livestock, minerals, forestry products, and oil and gas.
Aerospace and Aviation
No other state rivals Florida’s history in the aerospace industry, and it is uniquely positioned to continue to be a leader in the field for some time. It is home to two of the ten active spaceports in the United States: Cape Canaveral Spaceport and the Cecil Field Spaceport. Eight of the 24 licenses permitting private firms to send rockets into space are authorized from sites in Florida, further cementing its place as a leader in aerospace travel. The annual economic impact of aviation-related activities in Florida is estimated at $175 billion, and its 19 commercial airports account for 10% of the nation’s total passengers.
Home to world-renowned biomedical research institutes, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, and more than 46,000 healthcare establishments. With 6,200 establishments located throughout the state directly supporting 87,000 jobs, Florida has firmly established itself as a hub for the life sciences. Over 200 pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing companies specializing in the development and manufacturing of new treatments, generics, nutraceuticals, and over-the-counter drugs are based in the state. Florida is also ranked second among states for FDA-registered medical device manufacturing facilities.