Jacksonville is the largest city in the state of Florida and the largest city by area in the contiguous U.S. Jacksonville is named for President Andrew Jackson.
Jacksonville Diversity and Religion Statistics
The largest ancestry groups in Jacksonville include German (9.6%), American (9.3%), Irish (9.0%), English (8.5%) and Italian (3.5%). Jacksonville is home to the 10th largest Arab population in the United States as well as the largest Filipino American community in Florida. A great deal of the Filipino community in the city has served in the U.S. Navy. There is also a large population of Puerto Ricans in the city.
The largest religious group in Jacksonville is Protestant, with about 365,000 Evangelical Protestants, 76,000 Mainline Protestants, and 57,000 Black Protestants and 1,200 congregations of various denominations. There are also 133,000 Catholics in the greater Jacksonville area, 15,000 members of the LDS Church, 8,500 Muslims, 6,000 Jews, 4,500 Hindus, 3,500 Buddhists and 650 Baha'is in the city.
Jacksonville Population Growth
Jacksonville is growing steadily, with a population growth of nearly 2% from 2010 to 2012. This trend is expected to continue as the local economy recovers from the housing crisis and recession.
The Jacksonville area has been inhabited for thousands of years, and some of the oldest pottery remnants in the U.S. have been discovered here. The area was occupied by the Mocama in the 16th century, with all Mocama villages in the area part of the chiefdom Saturiwa at the time of European contact.
European explorers first made their way through the region in 1562 when a French explorer chartered the St. Johns River. Two years later, Fort Caroline, the first European settlement, was established, although it was attacked by a Spanish force a year later and renamed San Mateo.
Spain ceded Florida to the British in 1763, and the King's Road was constructed to connect nearby St. Augustine to Georgia. Control of the territory was ceded back to Spain in 1783 after Britain was defeated in the Revolutionary War, and Florida was later ceded to the U.S. in 1821. The town was then constructed and named Jacksonville.
Jacksonville was a supply point for cattle and hogs during the Civil War to aid Confederate troops, although it was blockaded by the Union Army later, which gained control of the city in 1862. Later, Jacksonville became a winter resort for celebrities. It was also briefly the silent film capital of the world until Hollywood emerged.
During World War II, Jacksonville experienced quick urban sprawl and middle-class "white flight" as residents moved to the suburbs.