2 City (1990 pop. 635,230), consolidated (since 1968) with Duval co., NE Fla., on the St. Johns River near its mouth on the Atlantic Ocean; inc. 1832. The largest city in the state, it is one of the most important Southern centers of commerce, finance, and insurance on the Atlantic coast. Jacksonville is a rail, air, and highway focal point and a busy port of entry, with an international airport and ship repair yards and extensive freight-handling facilities. Lumber, phosphate, paper, and wood pulp are the principal exports; automobiles and coffee are among imports. The city also has a large and diverse manufacturing base. Jacksonville is a major East Coast center of U.S. navy operations; three important naval installations are in the area, including Jacksonville Naval Air station and the large Mayport base at the mouth of the St. Johns River.
Jacksonville has a significant retired community and is also a tourist resort, with ocean beaches, fishing and yachting facilities, and inland hunting areas. Educational facilities include Jacksonville Univ., the Univ. of North Florida, Edward Walters College, and Jones College. The city has a symphony orchestra, a jazz festival, a zoo, and museums and art galleries, and is the home of the National Football League's Jaguars and the Gator Bowl. Points of interest include the World Golf Hall of Fame, the Confederate monument in Hemming Park, and nearby Fort Caroline National Memorial (see National Parks and Monuments, table).
Settled in 1816 and named for Andrew Jackson, the first territorial governor of Florida, the city was laid out in 1822. The Seminole War and the Civil War (in which much of the city was destroyed) interrupted its growth, but with the development of a deepwater harbor and railroads in the late 19th cent., industry and commerce increased. A fire in 1901 destroyed a large part of the city; it was quickly rebuilt.
3 City (1990 pop. 19,324), seat of Morgan co., W central Ill.; laid out 1825, inc. 1867. Its industries include bookbinding and the manufacture of plastics and metal products. It is the seat of Illinois College and MacMurray College. Stephen A. Douglas and William Jennings Bryan lived there. Jacksonville was a station on the Underground Railroad.
4 City (1990 pop. 30,013), seat of Onslow co., E N.C., on the New River; settled c.1757. It is a trade center in a farm area, and produces foods and machinery. It is also a summer resort. Camp Lejeune, a U.S. marine corps training base, is adjacent to the city, and New River, a marine air station, is to the south; both installations play a major role in Jacksonville's economy. A state park is nearby.
City (pop., 2000: 735,617), northeastern Florida, U.S. It is the site of Florida's first European (French Huguenot) settlement (1564). Named for Andrew Jackson, it was laid out in 1822 and incorporated in 1832. It was largely destroyed by fire in 1901. In 1968 it was consolidated with most of Duval county; it covers 841 sq mi (2,178 sq km), making it one of the largest U.S. cities in terms of land area. A deepwater port with major shipyards, it is Florida's chief transportation and commercial centre. It is the site of Jacksonville University, the University of North Florida, and Jones College.
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Jacksonville (pronunciation dʒæksʌnˈvɪl or dʒæksʌnˈvʌl) is the largest city in Florida—in terms of both area and population—and is the county seat of Duval County. Since 1968, as a result of the consolidation of the city and county government (and a corresponding expansion of the city limits to include almost the entire county), Jacksonville has been the largest city in land area in the contiguous United States. In 2007, Jacksonville ranked as the United States' twelfth most populous city, with 805,605 residents. It is the principal city in the Greater Jacksonville Metropolitan Area, a region with a population of 1,300,823, and the fourth largest metropolitan area in the state, as of the 2006 Census Bureau estimates. Jacksonville is the third most populated city proper on the East Coast, after New York City and Philadelphia.
About south of the Georgia border, Jacksonville is in the First Coast region of northeast Florida and is centered on the banks of the St. Johns River. The settlement that became Jacksonville was founded in 1791 as Cowford because of its location at a narrow point in the river where cattle once crossed. In 1822, a year after the United States acquired Florida from Spain, the city was renamed for the first military governor of the Florida Territory, General Andrew Jackson, who would later be elected President of the United States. In 2008, Jacksonville was ranked as the third cleanest city in the United States by Yahoo! Real Estate and fourth best outdoor city by Forbes.
The history of Jacksonville spans hundreds of years. Ossachite, the name given by anthropologists to the first settlement in the area, was made over 6,000 years ago by the Timucua Indians in the vicinity of modern-day downtown Jacksonville.
European explorers first arrived in 1562, when French Huguenot explorer Jean Ribault charted the St. Johns River. René Goulaine de Laudonnière established the first European settlement at Fort Caroline two years later. On September 20, 1565, a Spanish force from the nearby Spanish settlement of St. Augustine attacked Fort Caroline, and killed all the French soldiers defending it (except Catholics). The Spanish renamed it Fort San Mateo. With the destruction of Fort Caroline, St. Augustineˈs position as the most important settlement in Florida was solidified.
Spain ceded Florida to the British in 1763, who then gave control back to Spain in 1783. The first permanent settlement in modern Jacksonville was settled as "Cowford" in 1791, at a narrow point in the St. Johns River where cattlemen could ford their livestock across. The Florida Territory was ceded to the United States in 1821, and in 1822, Jacksonville's current name had come into use. U.S. settlers led by Isaiah D. Hart authored a charter for a town government, which was approved by the Florida Legislative Council on February 9, 1832.
During the American Civil War, Jacksonville was a key supply point for hogs and cattle leaving Florida and aiding the Confederate cause. The city was blockaded by the Union, changing hands several times. Though no battles were fought in Jacksonville, the city was left in a considerable state of disarray after the war.
During Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, Jacksonville and nearby St. Augustine became popular winter resorts for the rich and famous. Visitors arrived by steamboat and later by railroad. The city's tourism, however, was dealt major blows in the late 1800s by yellow fever outbreaks and the extension of the Florida East Coast Railway to south Florida.
On May 3, 1901, downtown Jacksonville was ravaged by a fire that was started at a fiber factory. Known as the "Great Fire of 1901", it was one of the worst disasters in Florida history and the largest ever urban fire in the Southeast; it destroyed the business district and rendered 10,000 residents homeless in the course of eight hours. It is said the glow from the flames could be seen in Savannah, Georgia and the smoke plumes in Raleigh, North Carolina. Famed New York architect Henry John Klutho was a primary figure in the reconstruction of the city. More than 13,000 buildings were constructed between 1901 and 1912.
In the 1910s, New York-based moviemakers were attracted to Jacksonville's warm climate, exotic locations, excellent rail access, and cheap labor. Over the course of the decade, more than 30 silent film studios were established, earning Jacksonville the title "Winter Film Capital of the World". However, the city's conservative political climate and the emergence of Hollywood as a major film production center ended the city's film industry. One converted movie studio site (Norman Studios) remains in Arlington; It has been converted to the Jacksonville Silent Film Museum at Norman Studios.
During this time, Jacksonville also became a banking and insurance center, with companies such as Barnett Bank, Atlantic National Bank, Florida National Bank, Prudential, Gulf Life, Afro-American Insurance, Independent Life and American Heritage Life thriving in the business district. The U.S. Navy also became a major employer and economic force during the 1940s, with the construction of three naval bases in the city. Jacksonville, like most large cities in the United States, suffered from negative effects of rapid urban sprawl after World War II.
After World War II, the government of the City of Jacksonville began to increase spending to fund new building projects in the boom that occurred after the war. Mayor W. Haydon Burns' Jacksonville Story resulted in the construction of a new city hall, civic auditorium, public library and other projects that created a dynamic sense of civic pride. However, the development of suburbs and a subsequent wave of "white flight" left Jacksonville with a much poorer population than before. Much of the city's tax base dissipated, leading to problems with funding education, sanitation, and traffic control within the city limits. In addition, residents in unincorporated suburbs had difficulty obtaining municipal services such as sewage and building code enforcement. In 1958, a study recommended that the City of Jacksonville begin annexing outlying communities in order to create the needed tax base to improve services throughout the county. Voters outside the city limits rejected annexation plans in six referendums between 1960 and 1965.
In the mid 1960s, corruption scandals began to arise among many of the city's officials, who were mainly elected through the traditional good ol' boy network. After a grand jury was convened to investigate, 11 officials were indicted and more were forced to resign. Consolidation, led by J.J. Daniel and Claude Yates, began to win more support during this period, from both inner city blacks (who wanted more involvement in government) and whites in the suburbs (who wanted more services and more control over the central city). The simultaneous disaccredation of all fifteen of Duval County's public high schools in 1964 added momentum to the proposals for government reform. Lower taxes, increased economic development, unification of the community, better public spending and effective administration by a more central authority were all cited as reasons for a new consolidated government.
A consolidation referendum was held in 1967, and voters approved the plan. On October 1, 1968, the governments merged to create the Consolidated City of Jacksonville. Fire, police, health & welfare, recreation, public works, and housing & urban development were all combined under the new government.
The Better Jacksonville Plan, promoted as a blueprint for Jacksonville's future and approved by Jacksonville voters in 2000, authorized a half-penny sales tax to generate most of the revenue required for the $2.25 billion package of projects that included road & infrastructure improvements, environmental preservation, targeted economic development and new or improved public facilities.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 874.3 square miles (2,264.5 km²), making Jacksonville the largest city in land area in the contiguous United States; of this, 757.7 square miles (1,962.4 km²; 86.66%) is land and 116.7 square miles (302.1 km²; 13.34%) is water. Jacksonville completely encircles the city of Baldwin. Nassau County lies to the north, Baker County lies to the west, and Clay and St. Johns County lie to the south; the Atlantic Ocean lies to the east, along with the Jacksonville Beaches. The St. Johns River divides the city. The Trout River, a major tributary of the St. Johns River, is located entirely within Jacksonville.
Jacksonville has a humid subtropical climate (Koppen Cfa), with mild weather during winters and hot weather during summers. High temperatures average 64 to 91 °F (18-33 °C) throughout the year. High heat indices are not uncommon for the summer months in the Jacksonville area. High temperatures can reach mid to high 90s with heat index ranges of 105-115 °F. The highest temperature ever recorded in Jacksonville was 105 °F (43 °C) on July 21, 1942. It is common for daily thunderstorms to erupt during a standard summer afternoon. These are caused by the heating of the land and water, combined with extremely high humidity.
During winter, the area can experience hard freezes during the night. Such cold weather is usually short lived, as the city averages only 15 nights below freezing . The coldest temperature recorded in Jacksonville was 7 °F (-14 °C) on January 21, 1985, a day that still holds the record cold for many locations in the eastern half of the US. Even rarer in Jacksonville than freezing temperatures is snow. When snow does fall, it usually melts before touching the ground, or upon making contact with the ground. Most residents of Jacksonville can remember accumulated snow on only one occasion—a thin ground cover that occurred December 23 of 1989.
Jacksonville has suffered less damage from hurricanes than most other east coast cities. The city has only received one direct hit from a hurricane since 1871, although Jacksonville has experienced hurricane or near-hurricane conditions more than a dozen times due to storms passing through the state from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, or passing to the north or south in the Atlantic and brushing the area. The strongest effect on Jacksonville was from Hurricane Dora in 1964, the only recorded storm to hit the First Coast with sustained hurricane force winds. The eye crossed St. Augustine, with winds that had just barely diminished to , making it a strong Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
Rainfall averages around 52 inches a year, with the wettest months being June through September.
|Rank||Name||Street Address|| Height|
feet / meters
|1||Bank of America Tower||50 North Laura Street||617 / 188||43||1990|
|2||Modis Tower||1 Independent Drive||535 / 163||37||1974|
|3||AT&T Tower||424 North Pearl Street||447 / 136||32||1983|
|4||The Peninsula at St. Johns Center||1401 Riverplace Boulevard||437 / 133||36||2006|
|5||Riverplace Tower||1301 Riverplace Boulevard||432 / 132||28||1967|
With the rapid growth in the eastern part of Duval County, the Intracoastal/Beaches/Ponte Vedra area is viewed by many as a major section as well, but is not generally included in a Jacksonville list since they lie outside of the Jacksonville city limits. There is also a distinct part of the city known as "Eastside" which those unfamiliar with Jacksonville's overall geography sometimes mistakenly regard as one of the major divisions of town, rather than the localized neighborhood which it is.
Today, what distinguishes a "section" of Jacksonville from a "neighborhood" is primarily a matter of size and divisibility. However, definitions are imprecise, and sometimes not universally agreed upon. Each of these sections not only encompasses a large area, but also, each is divided into many neighborhoods. Each of these neighborhoods, in turn, has its own identity. Some, such as Mandarin, LaVilla and Bayard had existed previously as independent towns or villages, prior to consolidation, and have their own histories.
The Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens broke ground on a new center in April, 2007 and expect to open late in 2008.
The Veterans Memorial Wall is a tribute to local servicemen and women killed while serving in US armed forces. A ceremony is held each Memorial Day recognizing any service woman or man from Jacksonville who died in the previous year.
The Treaty Oak is a massive, 200 year-old tree at Jesse Ball Dupont Park in downtown. Office workers from nearby buildings sit on benches to eat lunch or read a book in the shade of its canopy.
The Florida Theatre, opened in 1927, is located in downtown Jacksonville and is one of only four remaining high-style movie palaces built in Florida during the Mediterranean Revival architectural boom of the 1920s.
The Ritz Theatre, opened in 1929, is located in the LaVilla neighborhood of the northern part of Jacksonville's downtown. Rebuilt and opened in October, 1999.
The Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts consists of three distinct halls: the Jim & Jan Moran Theater, a venue for touring Broadway shows; the Jacoby Symphony Hall, home of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra; and the Terry Theater, intended for small shows and recitals. The building was originally erected as the Civic Auditorium in 1962 and underwent a major renovation and construction in 1996.
The Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, which opened in 2003, is a 16,000-seat performance venue that attracts national entertainment, sporting events and also houses the Jacksonville Sports Hall of Fame. It replaced the outdated Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum that was built in 1960 and demolished on June 26, 2003.
The Alhambra Dinner Theatre, located on the Southside near the University of North Florida, has offered professional productions that frequently starred well-known actors for over forty years. Smaller, independent theaters are also available, such as Players by the Sea at Jacksonville Beach.
In 1999, Stage Aurora Theatrical Company, Inc. was established in collaboration at Florida Community College at Jacksonville North Campus as. Currently, Stage Aurora Theatrical Company, whose goal is to produce theatre that enlightens, is the leading theatre of Northside Jacksonville and is located at Gateway Town Center.
Jacksonville is also home to The Teal Sound Drum and Bugle Corps, a junior team that competes in Drum Corps International Division II competition.
In the early 1900s, New York-based moviemakers were attracted to Jacksonville's warm climate, exotic locations, excellent rail access, and cheaper labor, earning the city the title of "The Winter Film Capital of the World". Over 30 movie studios were opened and thousands of silent films produced between 1908 and the 1920s, when most studios relocated to Hollywood, California.
Since that time, Jacksonville has been chosen by a number of film and television studios for on-location shooting. Notable motion pictures that have been partially or completely shot in Jacksonville since the silent film era include Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (1988), Brenda Starr (1989), G.I. Jane (1997), The Devil's Advocate (1997), Ride (1998), Why Do Fools Fall In Love (1998), Forces of Nature (1999), Tigerland (2000), Sunshine State (2002), Basic (2003), The Manchurian Candidate (2004), Lonely Hearts (2006), Monster House (2006), Moving McAllister (2007), The Year of Getting to Know Us (2008).
Notable television series or made-for-television films that have been partially or completely shot in Jacksonville include Intimate Strangers (1986), Inherit the Wind (1988), Roxanne: The Prize Pulitzer (1989), A Girl of the Limberlost (1990), Orpheus Descending (1990), Pointman (1995), Saved by the Light (1995), The Babysitter's Seduction (1996), Sudden Terror: The Hijacking of School Bus #17 (1996), First Time Felon (1997), Gold Coast (1997), Safe Harbor (1999), The Conquest of America (2005), Super Bowl XXXIX (2005), and Recount (2008). In an episode of NCIS, the suspect/criminal was stationed at NAS Jax even though it wasn't really filmed there.
The Jacksonville Jazz Festival is held every April and is the second-largest jazz festival in the nation. Springing the Blues is a free outdoor blues festival held in Jacksonville Beach, also in April.
The Jacksonville Film Festival is held every May and features a variety of independent films, documentaries, and shorts screening at seven historic venues in the city. Past attendees of the festival have included director John Landis and Academy Award nominee Bill Murray and winner Graham Greene, both of whom were awarded the Tortuga Verde Lifetime Achievement Award.
The World of Nations Celebration is also in May. The Spring Music Fest is a free concert Memorial Day weekend that is sponsored by the city that features some of today's most popular artists.
Also in March is the Blessing of the Fleet and the Great Atlantic Seafood and Music Festival.
Every July 4 is the Freedom, Fanfare & Fireworks celebration, one of the nation's largest fireworks displays, held at Metropolitan Park and on the surface of the St. Johns River. A very large fireworks display is also held at Jacksonville Beach, centered on the rebuilt pier.
The AT&T Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament is an annual event held in July. The first contest was held in 1981 and it has grown to be the largest Kingfish tournament in the United States. Participation is limited to 1,000 boats that compete for over $500,000 in prizes, attracting approximately 30,000 spectators.
The Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair is held every November at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds & Exposition Center, featuring an array of carnival games & rides, food, live entertainment, vendor merchandise booths and agriculture/livestock exhibition & judging.
Planetfest, an annual corporate music festival in November, features a variety of musicians and is sponsored by Clear Channel™ radio station Planet 107.3.
Thanksgiving weekend is a busy time, with the lighting of Jacksonville's official Christmas Tree at the Jacksonville Landing on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. The Jacksonville Light Parade happens on Saturday night following Thanksgiving.
Adjacent to Museum circle is St. Johns River Park (aka Friendship Park), location of Friendship Fountain, one of the most recognizable and popular attractions for locals as well as tourists in Jacksonville. This landmark was built in 1965 and promoted as the “World’s Tallest and Largest” fountain.
Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art (JMoMA) opened its facility in 2003, located adjacent to the Main Library downtown. Tracing its roots back to the formation of Jacksonville's Fine Arts Society in 1924, the museum features eclectic permanent and traveling exhibitions. In November 2006, JMOMA was renamed Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville (MOCA Jacksonville) to reflect their continued commitment to art produced after the modernist period.
The Museum of Science & History (MOSH) is found on Jacksonville's Southbank Riverwalk, and features a main exhibit that changes quarterly, plus three floors of nature and local history exhibits, a hands-on science area and the Alexander Brest Planetarium.
Mr. Brest was also the benefactor for the Alexander Brest Museum and Gallery on the campus of Jacksonville University. The exhibits are a diverse collection of carved ivory, Pre-Columbian artifacts, Steuben glass, Chinese porcelain and Cloisonné, Tiffany glass, Boehm porcelain and rotating exhibitions containing the work of local, regional, national and international artists.
The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens holds a large collection of European and American paintings, as well as a world-renowned collection of early Meissen porcelain. The museum is surrounded by three acres of formal English and Italian style gardens, and is located in the Riverside neighborhood, on the bank of the St. Johns River. There is also a hands-on children's section.
The Karpeles Manuscript Library is the world’s largest private collection of original manuscripts & documents. The museum in Jacksonville is located in a 1921 neoclassical building on the outskirts of downtown. In addition to document displays, there is also an antique-book library, with volumes dating from the late 1800s.
The Catherine Street Fire Station building is on the National Register of Historic Places and was relocated to Metropolitan Park in 1993. It houses the Jacksonville Fire Museum and features 500+ artifacts including an 1806 hand pumper.
The LaVilla Museum opened in 1999 and features a permanent display of African-American history. The art exhibits are changed periodically. There are also several historical properties and items of interest in the city, including the Klutho Building, the Old Morocco Temple Building, the Palm and Cycad Arboretum, and the Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center, originally built as Union Station train depot.
The Art Walk, a monthly outdoor art festival on the first Wednesday of each month, is sponsored by Downtown Vision, Inc, an organization which works to promote artistic talent and venues on the First Coast.
One of the most popular sporting events is the annual Gate River Run, the US National Championship 15K since 1994 and largest 15K race in the country. The 13,000+ recreational runners -- some running for the first time -- are joined by a few thousand more supporters, spectators and volunteers who make this Jacksonville's largest participation sporting event. The 9.3 mile race has taken place every March since 1977. .
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens boasts the second largest animal collection in the state. The zoo features elephants, lions, and, of course, jaguars (with an exhibit, Range of the Jaguar, hosted by the owners of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Delores and Wayne Weaver), as well as a multitude of reptile houses, free flight aviaries, and many other animals.
|Jacksonville Jam||Basketball||American Basketball League (ABA)||UNF Arena|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Football||National Football League (NFL) - AFC||Jacksonville Municipal Stadium|
|Jacksonville Suns||Baseball||Southern League - Southern Division||Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville|
|Jacksonville University||College Baseball||NCAA - Atlantic Sun Conference||Alexander Brest Field|
|Jacksonville Barracudas||Hockey||Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL)||Jacksonville Ice|
|Jacksonville Dixie Blues||Women's Football||Women's Football League||Episcopal High School|
|Jacksonville Breakers||Women's Ice Hockey||Florida Women's Hockey League||Jacksonville Ice|
|Jacksonville University||College Football||NCAA – Pioneer Football League||D.B. Milne Field|
|Jacksonville University||College Basketball||NCAA – Atlantic Sun Conference||Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena|
|Edward Waters College||College Football||NAIA – Florida Sun Conference||Earl Kitchings Stadium|
|Edward Waters College||College Basketball||NAIA – Florida Sun Conference||James Weldon Johnson Gymansium|
|University of North Florida||College Basketball||NCAA – Atlantic Sun Conference||UNF Arena|
|University of North Florida||College Baseball||NCAA – Atlantic Sun Conference||UNF Harmon Stadium|
|University of North Florida||College Lacrosse||Florida Lacrosse League - Division II (FLL)||UNF Intramural Fields|
|Jacksonville Axemen||Rugby League||American National Rugby League||UNF Stadium Field|
|Duval Panthers||Minor American Football||FFAA||Jean Ribault High School|
The Florida Times-Union is the major daily newspaper in Jacksonville and Jacksonville.com is its official Web site. Another daily newspaper is The Daily Record. Popular magazines include Folio Weekly, MetroJacksonville, Jacksonville Free Press, Jacksonville Business Journal, The Florida Star, Saint Augustine Catholic, Arbus, Hola News, and Jacksonville Magazine.
Jacksonville is served by television stations affiliated with major American networks including WTLV (NBC), WJXX (ABC), WTEV (CBS), WAWS (FOX/My Network TV), WJCT (PBS),and WCWJ (CW). WJXT is a former longtime CBS affiliate that turned independent in 2002. WQXT channel 22 of St Augustine is an independent TV station serving America's oldest city. WQXT began broadcasting in 1998. Its broadcast footprint covers Jacksonville.
Jacksonville's radio market is dominated by the same two large ownership groups that dominate the radio industry across the United States: Cox Radio and Clear Channel Communications. The dominant AM radio station in terms of ratings is WOKV 690AM, which is also the flagship station for the Jacksonville Jaguars. In September 2006, WOKV began simulcasting on 106.5 FM as WOKV FM. There are two radio stations broadcasting a primarily contemporary hits format; WAPE 95.1 has dominated this niche for over twenty years, and more recently has been challenged by WFKS 97.9 FM (KISS FM). WJBT 93.3 (The Beat) is a hip-hop/R&B station, WPLA 107.3 is a modern rock and alternative music station, WFYV 104.5—Rock 105 Jacksonville Classic rock, WQIK 99.1 is a country station as well as WGNE-FM 99.9, WCRJ FM 88.1 (The Promise) is the main Contemporary Christian station operating since 1984, WHJX 105.7 and WFJO 92.5 plays music in Spanish like salsa, merengue, and reggaeton, and WJCT 89.9 is the local public radio station and NPR affiliate. A local Jacksonville college, Jones College also hosts a station WKTZ 90.9 FM.
Jacksonville is the most populous city in Florida, and the twelfth most populous city in the United States. As of the census estimates of 2006, there were 799,875 people, 315,796 households, and 199,037 families residing in the city. However, it is perhaps misleading to compare Jacksonville's population to other major cities. As a result of the 1968 consolidation of Jacksonville and Duval County, most of the suburban communities of Jacksonville were absorbed within the city limits of Jacksonville proper. It may be a more accurate comparison to compare the metropolitan area of Jacksonville to the Metropolitan area of other cities.
The population density was 374.9/km² (970.9/mi²). There were 308,826 housing units at an average density of 157.4/km² (407.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 64.48% White, 34.03% 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 were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The largest ancestries include: German (9.6%), American (9.3%), Irish (9.0%), English (8.5%), and Italian (3.5%). Jacksonville has, as named by the United States Census the 10th largest Arab population in the United States. Also Jacksonville has a large Filipino population, in part related to their tradition of service with the Navy.
There were 284,499 households out of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 26.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.07. In the city, the population was 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 were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.
In 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $40,316, and the median income for a family was $47,243. Males had a median income of $32,547 versus $25,886 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,337. About 9.4% of families and 12.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.7% of those under age 18 and 12.0% of those age 65 or over.
The most noteworthy feature of Jacksonville government is its consolidated nature. The Duval County-Jacksonville consolidation eliminated any type of separate county executive or legislature, and supplanted these positions with the Mayor of Jacksonville and the City Council of the City of Jacksonville, respectively. Because of this, voters who live outside of the city limits of Jacksonville, but inside of Duval County, are allowed not only to vote in elections for these positions, but to run for them as well. In fact, in 1995, John Delaney, a resident of Neptune Beach, was elected mayor of the City of Jacksonville.
MayorJacksonville uses the Mayor-Council form of city government, also called the Strong-Mayor form, in which a mayor serves as the city's Chief Executive and Administrative officer. The mayor holds veto power over all resolutions and ordinances made by the city council, and also has the power to hire and fire the head of various city departments. The current mayor is John Peyton.
Law enforcementJacksonville and Duval County historically maintained separate police agencies: the Jacksonville Police Department and Duval County Sheriff's Office. As part of consolidation in 1968, the two merged, creating the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO). The JSO is headed by the elected Sheriff of Duval County, currently John Rutherford, and is responsible for law enforcement and corrections in the county.
CrimeIn 2006, based on the United States Department of Justice, FBI-Uniform Crime Reports, Jacksonville reported 6,663 violent crimes including 110 murders. Violent Crime in Jacksonville was up 9.5% since 2005 but property crimes were down. There has been an increase in Gang activity over the past few years, but it is not a significant problem—yet. The murder rate is the most troubling, and the majority of homicides involve drug-related crime.
Based on the Morgan Quitno Press 2006 national crime rankings, Jacksonville ranked as the 10th safest in the nation among the 32 US cities with a population of 500,000 or more.
As of Nov 19, 2007, Jacksonville ranked the 11th most dangerous city in Florida, safer than Orlando (1st), Miami (3rd), Tampa (6th), Tallahassee (7th) and Gainesville (8th). Nationwide, Jacksonville was ranked as the 115th most dangerous city; Detroit was 1st.
A new Federal Courthouse in Jacksonville was completed in late 2002 and opened in 2003 to replace the old facility, built in 1933. On February 8th, 2005, the 492,000 ft² building at 300 North Hogan Street was named, the John Milton Bryan Simpson United States Courthouse.
The State Attorney's Office has the responsibility for prosecuting persons charged with crimes. The position of State Attorney is an elected position and is currently held by Harry Shorstein.
The Public Defender's Office has the responsibility for defending persons charged with crimes subject to incarceration and judged indigent. The position of Public Defender is an elected position and is currently held by Bill White.
The existing courthouse was constructed in 1958 and the county's population grew by more than 50% in the past forty years. A new $190M Duval County Courthouse was a key component of the Better Jacksonville Plan, approved by voters in 2000. After eight years and several mis-steps, the (now) $350M complex should be completed in 2011.
Jacksonville is home to Jacksonville University, the University of North Florida, Florida Community College at Jacksonville, Edward Waters College, DeVry University The Jacksonville Center, The Art Institute of Jacksonville, Florida Coastal School of Law, Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies, Trinity Baptist College, Jones College (Jacksonville), Florida Technical College, Logos Christian College, Brewer Christian College, Columbia College, Strayer University Baymeadows Campus, Nova Southeastern University, and the University of Phoenix. Former mayor John Delaney has been president of the University of North Florida since leaving office in July 2003, parlaying his widespread popularity in the city into a position of leadership in the state university system.
Jacksonville, along with the standard district schools, is home to three International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme ("IB") high schools. They are Stanton, Paxon, and Jean Ribault High School. Jacksonville also has a notable magnet high school devoted to the performing and expressive arts, Douglas Anderson. The Advanced International Certificate of Education Program (AICE) is available at Mandarin High School and William M. Raines High School.
The prestigious Bolles School , Episcopal High School and Trinity Christian Academy are located in Jacksonville as are two Catholic secondary schools: Bishop Kenny High School and Bishop Snyder High School. There are a number of private Christian schools including University Christian and other Christian schools.
. See also: List of high schools in Jacksonville
Over the course of 127 years, the system has grown from that one room library to become one of the largest in the state. Now featuring twenty branches - from the . West Regional Library (located on Chaffee Road in the western part of the city) to smaller neighborhood libraries like Westbrook and Eastside (located in the central part of the city) - the Library annually receives nearly 4 million visitors and circulates over 6 million items. Nearly 500,000 library cards are held by area residents.
On November 12, 2005, the new Main Library opened to the public, replacing the Haydon Burns Library, built in 1965. The largest public library in the state, this opening was a historic event for the library system and the City of Jacksonville. It marks the completion of an unprecedented period of growth for the system under the Better Jacksonville Plan. It adds to the city's architectural and cultural landscape and provides a gathering place downtown for the entire community. The new Main Library offers specialized reading rooms, public access to hundreds of computers and extensive collection of books and other materials, public displays of art, and special collections ranging from the African-American Collection to the recently opened Holocaust Collection.
Jacksonville is a rail, air, and highway focal point and a busy port of entry, with Jacksonville International Airport, ship repair yards and extensive freight-handling facilities. Lumber, phosphate, paper, cigars and wood pulp are the principal exports; automobiles and coffee are among imports. The city also has a large and diverse manufacturing base. According to Forbes in 2007, Jacksonville, Florida ranked 3rd in the top ten U.S. cities to relocate to find a job. Jacksonville was also the 10th fastest growing city in the U.S.
Cecil Commerce Center is located on the site of the former Naval Air Station Cecil Field which closed in 1999 following the 1993 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) decision. Covering a total area of 22,939 acres (92.8 km²), it was the largest military base in the Jacksonville area and is now the most significant, long-term development asset in the City of Jacksonville. The parcel contains more than 3% of the total land area in Duval County (17,000 acres)and is one of the best locations for business in the Southeast. The industrial and commercial-zoned center offers mid to large-size parcels for development and boasts excellent transportation and utility infrastructure as well as the third-longest runway in Florida.
Naval Air Station Jacksonville is a military airport located four miles (6 km) south of the central business district. Approximately 23,000 civilian and active-duty personnel are employed on the base. There are 35 operational units/squadrons assigned there and support facilities include an airfield for pilot training, a maintenance depot capable of virtually any task, from changing a tire to intricate micro-electronics or total engine disassembly. Also on-site is a Naval Hospital, a Fleet Industrial Supply Center, a Navy Family Service Center, and recreational facilities.
Naval Station Mayport is a Navy Ship Base that is the third largest fleet concentration area in the United States. Mayport's operational composition is unique, with a busy harbor capable of accommodating 34 ships and an 8,000-foot (2,400 m) runway capable of handling any aircraft used by the Department of Defense. Until 2007, it was home to the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy, which locals called "Big John".
Blount Island Command is a Marine Corps Logistics Base whose mission is to support the Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF) which provides for rapid deployment of personnel to link up with prepositioned equipment and supplies embarked aboard forward deployed Maritime Prepositioning Ships (MPS).
Healthcare in Jacksonville is dominated by Baptist Health and Shands HealthCare for local residents, but the Nemours Children’s Clinic and Mayo Clinic Hospital facilities each draw patients regionally. There are literally hundreds of individual practitioners and Professional Associations (PA) in the Jacksonville area.
The city has a successful recycling program with separate pickups for garbage, yard waste and recycling. Collection is provided by several private companies under contract to the City of Jacksonville.
The 20 other maritime facilities not managed by the Port Authority move about 10 million tons of additional cargo in and out of the St. Johns River. In terms of total tonnage, the Port of Jacksonville ranks 40th nationally; within Florida, it is 3rd behind Tampa and Port Everglades.
In 2003, the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal opened, providing cruise service to Key West, Florida, the Bahamas, and Mexico via Carnival Cruise Lines ship, Celebration. In FY2006 there were 78 cruise ship sailings with 128,745 passengers. The Mayport Ferry became JAXPORTs responsibility on October 1, 2007.
There are seven 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.
Beginning in 1953, tolls were charged on the Hart, Mathews, Fuller Warren and the Main Street bridges to pay for bridge construction, renovations and many other highway projects. As Jacksonville grew, toll plazas created bottlenecks and caused delays and accidents during rush hours. In 1988, Jacksonville voters chose to eliminate toll collection and replace the revenue with a ½ cent local sales tax increase. In 1989, the toll booths were removed.
The Mayport Ferry connects the north and south ends of State Road A1A between Mayport and Fort George Island, and is the last active ferry in Florida.