Florida has basked in its sun-drenched reputation as the ‘Sunshine State’ for almost as long as it has been an actual state.
However, despite the moniker being used for decades – it wasn’t until 1970 that the state officially adopted it as its nickname. The state resides on the southernmost point of the United States, with both mainland and islands that it represents.
The Tropic of Cancer and the Equator are closest to Florida when compared with other U.S. states, which probably explains why the state is known to be incredibly sunny, humid, and tropical.
Florida’s official nickname, the sunshine state, was officially adopted by the Florida Legislature back in 1970 as a promotor for tourism within the state.
Attempting to attract those who reside in colder climates down to Florida, especially in the winter months, for some well-earned sun and heat.
It seemed to work well, and the state has since gathered a large reputation for filling in the void left by extremely cold and wet weather for those living in the much colder northern states.
Even today, tourism is one of the leading industries throughout Florida, with the sunshine state welcoming 36 million visitors between January and March 2022.
Now, let’s take a look at the historical reasons why Florida is called the sunshine state!
History and Statistics Behind Why Florida is Called the Sunshine State
The first European settler to discover and explore Florida was a Spanish traveler named Ponce DeLeon. Who named the newly discovered region Pascua de Florida, which translates to “Feast of Flowers”.
This was due to the plethora of beautiful and lesser-known flowers that thrived under the tropical climate of Florida.
The extreme climate is both humid and tropical and has been since its discovery, experiencing mostly sunny days with a mean daily temperature of 71°F (22°C).
Making Florida, on average, the warmest state in the United States. Another average to consider is the amount of actual sunny days that Florida experiences, which is 237 days out of 365 days per year!
So, both historical and modern-day statistics give a pretty clear indication as to why Florida is called the Sunshine State.
The Sunshine State – Just How Good is Florida Weather?
As we mentioned previously, the weather in Florida is pretty spectacular – boasting extremely high temperatures all year round and also a lot of sunny days.
The cluster of tropical islands named Key West is situated at the southernmost point of the state, and receives an average of just over 75% partly sunny skies each year, with the majority of other cities in Florida averaging over 60% per annum.
However, due to the state being a tropical climate, Florida is susceptible to extreme weather conditions, not just sunny blue skies.
Which has led many people to think, why is Florida the sunshine state if it rains so much? Well, this is mainly due to the geographical location of the state.
The Atlantic Ocean sits next door to Florida, and the state is often on the receiving end of some crazy rainstorms, thunderstorms, and even hurricanes that approach from the Ocean.
Additionally, winters tend to be milder and are typically the most popular months to visit the state for those hailing from colder pastures, as it feels much like a summer’s day for them, despite being much colder than the summer months in Florida.
Something important to note is, despite Florida being nicknamed “the sunshine state” for several years, it is not the sunniest state in the U.S.; that label belongs to Arizona!
Final Thoughts and Other Names Florida is Called
Florida is a truly wonderful state, full of culture and liveliness, not to mention, from a business perspective, the state offers a lot and is economically one of the most stable states in the United States.
The nickname “sunshine state” was a brilliant marketing ploy by the state, encouraging more tourism, and it worked!
The Sunshine State might not technically be the sunniest in the U.S., statistically speaking, however, it certainly has some of the most beautiful and consistent weather in the nation.
As many other states do, Florida has a few other nicknames adopted over the past several years, the more notable being “Alligator State” and “Everglade State”.
Currently, the Sunshine State certainly does work for Florida and could be one of the reasons why it has become such a tourism powerhouse, which in return, has provided economic stability across the state.