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Florida's Biggest City is Jacksonville and it is Still Growing

Updated on February 3, 2017
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has 30 years of successful experience in medicine, psychology, STEM courses, and aerospace education (CAP).

Jacksonville at night.
Jacksonville at night. | Source

Life in Florida's Largest City

Located near the Northeast Coast of Florida and just a few miles south of the State of Georgia, Jacksonville, Florida supports over 841,000 residents as of the US Census2010. Jacksonville is home to most of the residents of Duval County overall and contains approximately 1/10 of the total population of the State of Florida. it is a most important Sunshine State community.

As one of the largest-populated cities in the United States, Jacksonville's physical land area is Number One in size among all US cities. Simultaneously, Jacksonville bills itself as a place removed from the more hectic tourist centers in South Florida.

Jacksonville, Northeast Florida - Crossroads I-295 and I-10

A markerJacksonville, Florida -
Jacksonville, FL, USA
get directions

For great sightseeing, Jacksonville is two hours north of Cape Canaveral and Orlando on I-95.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Best Places In America for Working and Retirement

The city covers a metro area that contains a far-ranging selection of work opportunities, dwelling places, shopping districts, higher education facilities, entertainment venues, dining, cultural, historical, and arts districts.

Set near the Atlantic Ocean with a number of the best beaches in Florida, the city is also near several natural and wildlife preserves. Healthcare facilities are excellent in this part of the state, with the Mayo Clinic and other top hospitals and medical practices at hand; although alternative health practices also flourish here.

Local universities and colleges offer training in healthcare professions, business, sciences, languages, and other programs that help build new jobs from products and services that retirees and working families will use. It seems the area has no choice but to grow.

Jacksonville is rated by several financial, economical, and lifestyle organizations, including CNNMoney Magazine, as one of the Best Places to Retire in America; but it is also a fine place to work, raise a family, and meet singles.

Jacksonville Neighborhood Divisions


Jacksonville Colleges and Universities

  • Art Institute of Jacksonville
  • Edward Waters College
  • Flagler College, St. Augustine: Named after the man who brought the American Railroads to Florida.
  • Florida Coastal School of Law Jacksonville
  • Florida State College at Jacksonville
  • Jacksonville University
  • Jones College, Jacksonville
  • St. Johns River State College
  • University of Florida Health Science Center
  • University of Florida
  • University of North Florida: A public, comprehensive university located in Jacksonville, Florida. Main phone is (904) 620-1000.

Adventures and Shopping

Jacksonville Landing, Downtown District

show route and directions
A markerJacksonville Landing, Jacksonville FL -
Jacksonville Dr, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250, USA
get directions

B markerOcean Terrace Homes -
4082 Seaside Drive East, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250, United States
get directions

C markerOcean Park Apartments, Jacksonville FL -
4235 Marsh Landing Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32250, USA
get directions

  • The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens of Jacksonville: 829 Riverside Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32204.
  • Jacksonville Landing: Mixed use community life center of retail, dining, entertainment, services, and residential spaces.
  • Jacksonville Zoo: 370 Zoo Pkwy, Jacksonville, FL 32218.
  • Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve & Fort Caroline: Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve & Fort Caroline National Memorial. Located at 12713 Fort Caroline Road; Jacksonville, FL 32225.

show route and directions
A markerCummer Museum of Art and Gardens, 829 Riverside Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32204 -
829 Riverside Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32204, USA
get directions

B markerJacksonville Zoo -
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, 370 Zoo Pkwy, Jacksonville, FL 32218, USA
get directions

C markerTimucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve -
Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, 12713 Fort Caroline Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32225, USA
get directions

The various neighborhood divisions of Jacksonville are displayed in the scheme to the right. However, the Downtown Area and Beach District on the Atlantic Coast near Jacksonville are among the most popular.

Major revitalization since 2000 has been completed Downtown to the tune of billions of dollars, with more in the future. Living spaces have joined businesses and cultural organizations to create an urban environment that rivals other large US cities. Infrastructure improvements have made the Urban Core both sustainable and walkable on the Jacksonville Riverfront.

A tour of historic churches points out the architectural heritage of Downtown Jacksonville, while a weekly arts walk on Wednesdays rivals the gallery hop of any other city. A kind of culinary tour is offered in August and is called Eat Up Downtown. For the family, movies are shown for four weeks each spring in the park on the Southbank of the river.

Ostrich Race In Old Jacksonville, 1911
Ostrich Race In Old Jacksonville, 1911 | Source

Jacksonville Beaches

The Beach district includes Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, and Jacksonville Beach, with Ponte Vedra Beach a bit to the south on Highway 1A. the beaches cover just over 20 miles of the Atlantic coastline.

  • Atlantic Beach - Off Route 10, Atlantic Boulevard.
  • Neptune Beach - Also off Route 10, about 1/2 mile south of Atlantic Beach.
  • Jacksonville Beach - Off State Route 90, Beach Boulevard. The Mayo Clinic is approximately 1/4 mile west of the beach, on County Road 101A at Butler Boulevard, Route 202.

Some of the Best Beaches on Florida's Northeast Coast

A markerJacksonville Beach, Florida -
Jacksonville Beach, FL, USA
get directions

Professional and College Sports

College Level Teams

  • Jacksonville Dolphins
  • North Florida Ospreys - University of North Florida

League Sports

  • Jacksonville Lizard Kings (ECHL)
  • Jacksonville Suns (AA)

Professional Sports

  • Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL)

Local Retirement Options

  • Brookdale Senior Living is a corporation in most US States that offers a range of dwelling options for people aged 55+, from skilled nursing and dementia care all the way to independent living. Not only do they have openings for residents in Jacksonville, they offer a steady number of job listings as well. Cypress Village is their location in Jacksonville, set up as resort living.

Affordable Communities for the 55+ Person

  • Brighton Bay Senior Living Community; 10061 Sweetwater Parkway; Jacksonville, FL 32256. 185 units for independent living in southeastern Jacksonville.
  • Cecil Pines - Phone 888-968-0905
  • Christine Cove - 3730 Soutel Drive; Jacksonville, FL 32208
  • Riverwood at Nocatee - Ponte Vedra -- Phone 904-217-0005
  • Solvita:
  • Sweetwater by Del Webb; 9028 Tropical Bend Circle, Jacksonville FL 32256

Considering Purchasing a Home? Summer 2015: Prices have appreciated gradually 2011 - 2015.

  • Price Range on 11,290 homes: $1,000 (Foreclosure) to $6.9 Million
  • Median Sales Price: $110,000 (down nearly 4% during the last year)
  • Beach Real Estate; Price Range on 460 homes: $6,100 (Foreclosure) to $4 Million

Top Industry Sectors and Jobs

The most successful industries in Jacksonville are


1) Retail/wholesale sales,

2) Travel, hospitality and tourism: and

3) Transportation/warehousing - especially truck driving.

Cecil Commerce Center

A markerCecil Commerce Center -
Cecil Commerce Center Pkwy, Jacksonville, FL, USA
get directions

The Cecil Commerce Center

This busy commerce center is an industrial- and commercial-zoned location and that covers 17,000 acres in southwestern Jacksonville City and Duval County.

This is one of the largest trade facilities in the Eastern US, featuring a number of parcels of land ripe for commercial development, all surrounded by high quality infrastructure and a long airplane runway strip.

Once a US Naval Air Station, this site is one of the reasons that Jacksonville continues to grow, making it good for job seekers as well as retirees.

Among the prestigious tenants at the Cecil Commerce CenterĀ® are the Florida State College Aviation Center of Excellence, Homeland Security, and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University -- important to the expanding private space program partnerships developed by NASA since 2011.

Largest Employers In Greater Jacksonville

  1. Citicards - Credit card division of Citicorp and Citibank groups
  2. Merrill Lynch - Financial Products and Investment
  3. St. Vincent's Medical Center
  4. Jacksonville Sheriff's Office
  5. JPMorgan Chase - Banking, Financial Products, and Investment
  6. HCA - Healthcare
  7. Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida - Health and Medical Insurance
  8. Shands Healthcare

Top Hiring Companies

  1. Winn-Dixie
  2. Deutsche Bank
  3. NPC International
  4. Centerline Drivers Company
  5. Petro Services
  6. Bank of America
  7. CSI Companies
  8. Dollar Stores: Family Dollar and Others
  9. PSA Healthcare
  10. Many levels of healthcare staff are needed.
  11. Brookdale Senior Living
  12. Mayo Clinic
  13. Incepture
  14. CSX
  15. Swedish Medical Center

Highest Demand Jobs

  1. Engineers
  2. Truck Drivers
  3. Registers Nurses (RNs), Travel Nurses
  4. Physicians
  5. Physical Therapists
  6. Home Health Aides (HHAs)
  7. Java Developers
  8. Occupational Therapists
  9. Business Analysts
  10. Sales Representatives
  11. Account Executives
  12. Assistant Managers
  13. Speech Language Pathologists
  14. Project Managers
  15. Administrative Assistants
  16. Dental Assistants

Increasing Jobs 2010 - 2014

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Graph Interpretation

Notice a consistent increase in job listings from January 2010 through January 2014 at the right hand side of the curves above. Fourth QTR 2015 provided a consistent 15,000 job openings. Summer 2016 found the same number of opportunities: 15,000+ openings.

Fastest-Growing Jobs Expanding Through 2025

  1. Biomedical Engineers
  2. Home Health Aides (HHAs)
  3. Medical Scientists
  4. Biochemists and Biophysicists
  5. Physician('s) Assistants
  6. Personal and Other Home Care Aides
  7. Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts
  8. Radiation Therapists
  9. Financial Examiners
  10. Dental Hygienists
  11. Physical Therapy Assistants
  12. Dental Assistants
  13. Medical Assistants
  14. Athletic Trainers
  15. Physical Therapists
  16. Pharmacy Technicians
  17. Occupational Therapy Assistants
  18. Audiologists
  19. Surgical Technologists
  20. Occupational Therapists

Ā© 2011 Patty Inglish

Comments and Additions

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    • tipstoretireearly profile image

      tipstoretireearly 5 years ago from New York

      Very useful to anyone contemplating a move to JAX!

    • danielleantosz profile image

      danielleantosz 6 years ago from Florida

      lots of info!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      This is really good. Bookmarking it. Thanks for so much great information. :)

    • jdavis88 profile image

      Joseph Davis 6 years ago from Florida

      Very well written. I love the Riverwalk area, very pretty. Haven't been there in a few years though. No wonder your author score is so high, tons of info!