Jacksonville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Florida and is the county seat of Duval County, with which it is consolidated. Located in Northeast Florida, and at the mouth of the St. Johns River, it is a major seaport city and the center of the Jacksonville metropolitan area. With an estimated 913,010 residents as of 2017, Jacksonville is the most populous city in both the state of Florida and the southeastern United States. It is estimated to be the 12th most populous city in the United States and is the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. The Jacksonville metropolitan area has a population of 1,626,611. It is the 34th largest MSA in the United States and fourth largest in the state of Florida. The city is situated on the banks of the St. Johns River, in the First Coast region of North Florida, about 25 miles (40 km) south of the Georgia state line and 340 miles (550 km) north of Miami.
Jacksonville is the cultural, commercial and financial center of North Florida. A major military and civilian deepwater port, the city is the site of two United States Navy bases and the Port of Jacksonville, Florida's third largest seaport. The two US Navy bases, Blount Island Command and the nearby Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, form the third-largest military center in the United States.
Jacksonville also serves as headquarters for various banking, insurance, healthcare, logistics, and other institutions. These include CSX Corporation, Fidelity National Financial, FIS, Landstar System, Ameris Bancorp, Atlantic Coast Financial, Black Knight Financial Services, EverBank, Rayonier Advanced Materials, Regency Centers, Stein Mart, Web.com, Fanatics, Gate Petroleum, Haskell Company, Interline Brands, Sally Corporation, and Southeastern Grocers. Jacksonville is also home to several colleges and universities, including University of North Florida, Jacksonville University and Florida State College at Jacksonville.
Prior to European settlement, the Jacksonville area was inhabited by Native American people known as the Timucua. In 1564, the French established the short-lived colony of Fort Caroline at the mouth of the St. Johns River, which was one of the earliest European settlements in the continental United States. In 1822, a year after the United States acquired Florida from Spain, settlers platted the town of Jacksonville along the north side of the St. Johns River. Established at a narrow point in the river known as Wacca Pilatka to the Seminole and Cow Ford to the British, the city was named after Andrew Jackson, the first military governor of the Florida Territory and seventh President of the United States.