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The Gulf Coast of the United States is the
coastline The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is defined as the area where land meets the sea or ocean, or as a line that forms the boundary between the land and the ocean or a lake. Earth has around of coastline. Because coasts are cons ...
along the
Southern United States The southern United States, also known as the American South, the southern states, or simply the South, is a geographic and cultural region of the United States. It is between the Atlantic Ocean and the western United States, with the midwester ...
where they meet the
Gulf of Mexico The Gulf of Mexico ( es, Golfo de México) is an ocean basin and a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, largely surrounded by the North American continent. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States; ...

Gulf of Mexico
. The
coastal states 300px, This is a list of U.S. states and territories ranked by their coastline length. Thirty states have a coastline: twenty-three with a coastline on the Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean (including the Gulf of Mexico), and/or Pacific Ocean, a ...
that have a
shoreline A shore or a shoreline is the fringe of land at the edge of a large body of water, such as an ocean, sea, or lake. In physical oceanography, a shore is the wider fringe that is geologically modified by the action of the body of water past and ...
on the Gulf of Mexico are
Texas Texas (, ) is a state in the South Central region of the United States. It is the second largest U.S. state by both area (after Alaska) and population (after California). Texas shares borders with the states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansa ...

Texas
,
Louisiana Louisiana (, ); Standard French: ' ; es, Luisiana is a state in the Deep South and South Central regions of the United States. It is the 19th-smallest by area and the 25th most populous of the 50 U.S. states. Louisiana is bordered by the s ...

Louisiana
,
Mississippi Mississippi () is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee; to the east by Alabama; to the south by the Gulf of Mexico; to the southwest by Louisiana; and to the northwest by Arkansas. Mississi ...
,
Alabama (We dare defend our rights) , anthem = "Alabama" , image_map = Alabama in United States.svg , seat = Montgomery , LargestCity = Birmingham , LargestCounty = Baldwin County ...
, and
Florida Florida (, ) is a state located in the Southeastern region of the United States. With a population of over 21million, Florida is the third-most populous and the 22nd-most extensive of the 50 United States. The state is bordered to the west by ...
, and these are known as the ''Gulf States''. The economy of the Gulf Coast area is dominated by industries related to energy, petrochemicals, fishing, aerospace, agriculture, and tourism. The large cities of the region are (from west to east) Brownsville, Corpus Christi,
Houston Houston ( ) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas, fourth-most populous city in the United States, most populous city in the Southern United States, as well as the sixth-most populous in North America, with an estimated 2019 popu ...
,
Galveston Galveston ( ) is a coastal resort city and port off the Southeast Texas coast on Galveston Island and Pelican Island in the U.S. state of Texas. The community of , with a population of 47,743 in 2010, is the county seat of surrounding Galveston ...
, Beaumont, Lake Charles,
Lafayette Lafayette or La Fayette may refer to: People * Lafayette (name), a list of people with the surname Lafayette or La Fayette or the given name Lafayette * House of La Fayette, a French noble family ** Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette (1757– ...
,
Baton Rouge Baton Rouge ( ; ) is the capital city of the U.S. state of Louisiana. On the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, it is the parish seat of East Baton Rouge Parish, the most-populous parish in Louisiana. Since 2019, the city of Baton Rouge has ...
,
New Orleans New Orleans (,New Orleans
Gulfport,
Biloxi Biloxi (; ) is a city and one of two county seats of Harrison County, Mississippi, United States (the other seat being the adjoining city of Gulfport). The 2010 United States Census recorded the population as 44,054, and in 2019 the estimated popu ...
, Mobile,
Pensacola Pensacola () is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle, and the county seat of Escambia County, Florida. As of 2019, the population was estimated to be 52,975. Pensacola is the principal city of the Pensacola Metropolitan Area, which had an ...
, St. Petersburg,
Tampa Tampa () is a major city that serves as the county seat of Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. It is on the west coast of Florida on Tampa Bay, near the Gulf of Mexico. Tampa is the largest city in the Tampa Bay area. With an estimated ...
, and increasingly,
Sarasota Sarasota () is a city in Sarasota County on the southwestern coast of the U.S. state of Florida. The area is renowned for its cultural and environmental amenities, beaches, resorts, and the Sarasota School of Architecture. The city is at the south ...
. All are the centers of their respective
metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories under the same administrative division, sharing industry, infrastructure and housing. A metro area usually comp ...
s and most contain large
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s.


Geography

The Gulf Coast is made of many
inlets An inlet is an indentation of a shoreline, usually long and narrow, such as a small bay or arm, that often leads to an enclosed body of salt water, such as a sound, bay, lagoon, or marsh. Overview In sea coasts, the term "inlet" usually refers to ...
,
bays A bay is a recessed, coastal body of water that directly connects to a larger main body of water, such as an ocean, a lake, or another bay. A large bay is usually called a gulf, sea, sound, or bight. A cove is a small, circular bay with a nar ...
, and
lagoons Garabogaz-Göl lagoon in Turkmenistan A lagoon is a shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by reefs, barrier islands, or a barrier peninsula. Lagoons are commonly divided into coastal lagoons and atoll lagoons. They have al ...
. The coast is intersected by numerous rivers, the largest of which is the
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. From its traditional source of Lake Itasca in northern Minne ...
. Much of the land along the Gulf Coast is, or was,
marsh A marsh is a wetland that is dominated by herbaceous rather than woody plant species.Keddy, P.A. 2010. Wetland Ecology: Principles and Conservation (2nd edition). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. 497 p Marshes can often be found at t ...
land. Ringing the Gulf Coast is the
Gulf Coastal Plain The Gulf Coastal Plain extends around the Gulf of Mexico in the Southern United States and eastern Mexico. This coastal plain reaches from the Florida Panhandle, southwest Georgia, the southern two-thirds of Alabama, over most of Mississippi, weste ...
, which reaches from
Southern Texas is the second largest city in South Texas. File:San Agustin Cathedral.JPG, 250px, Laredo is the third largest city in South Texas. The San Agustin Cathedral was built during the Spanish Texas period. South Texas is a region">Spanish Texas period. ...
to the western
Florida Panhandle The Florida Panhandle (also West Florida and Northwest Florida) is the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Florida; it is a strip of land roughly long and wide, lying between Alabama on the north and the west, Georgia on the north, and t ...
, while the western portions of the Gulf Coast are made up of many
barrier island Barrier islands are coastal landforms and a type of dune system that are exceptionally flat or lumpy areas of sand that form by wave and tidal action parallel to the mainland coast. They usually occur in chains, consisting of anything from a few ...
s and
peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to a mainland from which it extends. The surrounding water is usually understood to be continuous, though n ...

peninsula
s, including the
Padre Island Padre Island is the largest of the Texas barrier islands and the world's longest barrier island. The island is located along Texas's southern coast of the Gulf of Mexico and is noted for its white sandy beaches. Meaning ''father'' in Spanish, it wa ...
along the Texas coast. These landforms protect numerous
bay A bay is a recessed, coastal body of water that directly connects to a larger main body of water, such as an ocean, a lake, or another bay. A large bay is usually called a gulf, sea, sound, or bight. A cove is a small, circular bay with a nar ...
s and
inlet An inlet is an indentation of a shoreline, usually long and narrow, such as a small bay or arm, that often leads to an enclosed body of salt water, such as a sound, bay, lagoon, or marsh. Overview In sea coasts, the term "inlet" usually refers to ...
s providing as a barrier to oncoming waves. The central part of the Gulf Coast, from eastern Texas through Louisiana, consists primarily of marshland. The eastern part of the Gulf Coast, predominantly Florida, is dotted with many bays and inlets.


Climate

The Gulf Coast climate is humid subtropical, although the southwestern tip of Florida, such as Everglades City, features a tropical climate. Much of the year is warm to hot along the Gulf Coast, while the three winter months bring periods of cool (or rarely, cold) weather mixed with mild temperatures. The area is vulnerable to
hurricanes A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain and/or squalls. Dependin ...
as well as
flood Flash flooding caused by heavy rain falling in a short amount of time. A flood is an overflow of water that submerges land that is usually dry. In the sense of "flowing water", the word may also be applied to the inflow of the tide. F ...
s and severe
thunderstorm A thunderstorm, (also known as an electrical storm or a lightning storm) is a storm characterized by the presence of lightning and its acoustic effect on the Earth's atmosphere, known as thunder. (There are relativitly weak thunderstorms,some ...
s. Much of the Gulf Coast has a summer precipitation maximum, with July or August commonly the wettest month due to the combination of frequent summer thunderstorms produced by relentless heat and humidity, and tropical weather systems (tropical depressions, tropical storms and
hurricanes A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain and/or squalls. Dependin ...
), while winter and early spring rainfall also can be heavy. This pattern is evident at
Houston, Texas Houston ( ) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas, fourth-most populous city in the United States, most populous city in the Southern United States, as well as the sixth-most populous in North America, with an estimated 2019 popu ...
,
New Orleans, Louisiana New Orleans (,New Orleans
Mobile, Alabama Mobile ( , ) is the county seat of Mobile County, Alabama, United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 as of the 2010 United States Census, making it the third-most-populous city in Alabama, and the most populous in Mobile ...
and
Pensacola, Florida Pensacola () is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle, and the county seat of Escambia County, Florida. As of 2019, the population was estimated to be 52,975. Pensacola is the principal city of the Pensacola Metropolitan Area, which had an ...
. However, the central and southern
Florida Florida (, ) is a state located in the Southeastern region of the United States. With a population of over 21million, Florida is the third-most populous and the 22nd-most extensive of the 50 United States. The state is bordered to the west by ...
peninsula and
South Texas is the second largest city in South Texas. File:San Agustin Cathedral.JPG, 250px, Laredo is the third largest city in South Texas. The San Agustin Cathedral was built during the Spanish Texas period. South Texas is a region">Spanish Texas period. ...
has a pronounced winter dry season, as at
Tampa Tampa () is a major city that serves as the county seat of Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. It is on the west coast of Florida on Tampa Bay, near the Gulf of Mexico. Tampa is the largest city in the Tampa Bay area. With an estimated ...
and
Fort Myers Fort Myers or Ft. Myers, is the county seat and commercial center of Lee County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population was 62,298 and in 2019 was estimated at 87,103. Together with the larger and more residential Cape C ...
, Florida. On the central and southern Texas coast, winter, early spring and mid-summer are markedly drier, and September is the wettest month on average (as at Corpus Christi and
Brownsville, Texas Brownsville () is a city in Cameron County in the U.S. state of Texas. It is on the western Gulf Coast in South Texas, adjacent to the border with Matamoros, Mexico. The city covers , and has a population of 182,781 as of 2019. It is the 131st-la ...
).
Tornado A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the Earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. The windstorm is often referred to as a twister, whirlwind or cyclon ...
es are infrequent at the coast but do occur; however, they occur more frequently in inland portions of Gulf Coast states. Over most of the Gulf Coast from
Houston, Texas Houston ( ) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas, fourth-most populous city in the United States, most populous city in the Southern United States, as well as the sixth-most populous in North America, with an estimated 2019 popu ...
eastward, extreme rainfall events are a significant threat, commonly from tropical weather systems, which can bring 4 to 10 or more inches of rain in a single day. In August 2017,
Hurricane Harvey Hurricane Harvey was a devastating Category 4 hurricane that made landfall on Texas and Louisiana in August 2017, causing catastrophic flooding and more than 100 deaths. It is tied with 2005's Hurricane Katrina as the costliest tropi ...
made landfall along the central Texas coast, then migrated to and stalled over the greater
Houston Houston ( ) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas, fourth-most populous city in the United States, most populous city in the Southern United States, as well as the sixth-most populous in North America, with an estimated 2019 popu ...
area for several days, producing extreme, unprecedented rainfall totals of over 40 inches (1,000 mm) in many areas, unleashing widespread flooding.
Earthquakes An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the shaking of the surface of the Earth resulting from a sudden release of energy in the Earth's lithosphere that creates seismic waves. Earthquakes can range in size from those that ...
are extremely rare to the area, but a surprising 6.0 earthquake in the Gulf of Mexico on September 10, 2006, could be felt from the cities of New Orleans to Tampa.


Economic activities

The Gulf Coast is a major center of economic activity. The marshlands along the Louisiana and Texas coasts provide breeding grounds and nurseries for ocean life that drive the
fishing Fishing is the activity of trying to catch fish. Fish are often caught in the wild but may also be caught from stocked bodies of water. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping. "Fishing" may ...
and
shrimp Shrimp are decapod crustaceans with elongated bodies and a primarily swimming mode of locomotion – most commonly Caridea and Dendrobranchiata. More narrow definitions may be restricted to Caridea, to smaller species of either group or to only ...

shrimp
ing industries. The
Port of South Louisiana400 px, The Port of South Louisiana handles the largest amount of shipping, in tonnage, of all U.S. ports. The Port of South Louisiana (french: Port de la Louisiane du Sud) extends 54 miles (87 km) along the Mississippi River between New Orleans ...
(
Metropolitan New Orleans The New Orleans metropolitan area, designated the New Orleans–Metairie metropolitan statistical area by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, or simply Greater New Orleans, is a metropolitan statistical area designated by the United States C ...
in
Laplace Pierre-Simon, marquis de Laplace (; ; 23 March 1749 – 5 March 1827) was a French scholar and polymath whose work was important to the development of engineering, mathematics, statistics, physics, astronomy, and philosophy. He summarized a ...
) and the
Port of Houston The Port of Houston is one of the world's largest ports and serves the metropolitan area of Houston, Texas. The port is a 50-mile-long complex of diversified public and private facilities located a few hours' sailing time from the Gulf of Mexico. L ...
are two of the ten busiest
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s in the world by cargo volume. As of 2004, seven of the top ten busiest ports in the U.S. are on the Gulf Coast. The discovery of
oil An oil is any nonpolar chemical substance that is a viscous liquid at ambient temperatures and is both hydrophobic (does not mix with water, literally "water fearing") and lipophilic (mixes with other oils, literally "fat loving"). Oils have a ...
and
gas Gas is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being solid, liquid, and plasma). A pure gas may be made up of individual atoms (e.g. a noble gas like neon), elemental molecules made from one type of atom (e.g. oxygen), or compo ...
deposits along the coast and offshore, combined with easy access to shipping, have made the Gulf Coast the heart of the U.S.
petrochemical industryThe petrochemical industry is concerned with the production and trade of petrochemicals. A major part is constituted by the plastics (polymer) industry. It directly interfaces with the petroleum industry, especially the downstream sector. Companies ...
. The coast contains nearly 4,000
oil platform ian coast is a semi-submersible platform. in the North Sea An oil platform, offshore platform, or offshore drilling rig is a large structure with facilities for well drilling to explore, extract, store, and process petroleum and natural gas th ...
s. Besides the above, the region features other important industries including
aerospace Aerospace is a term used to collectively refer to the atmosphere and outer space. Aerospace activity is very diverse, with a multitude of commercial, industrial and military applications. Aerospace engineering consists of aeronautics and astronaut ...
and
biomedical research Medical research (or biomedical research), also known as experimental medicine, encompasses a wide array of research, extending from "basic research" (also called ''bench science'' or ''bench research''), – involving fundamental scientifi ...

biomedical research
, as well as older industries such as agriculture and — especially since the development of the Gulf Coast beginning in the 1920s and the increase in wealth throughout the United States —
tourism at the archaeological site of Chichén Itza. in Vienna. Tourism is travel for pleasure or business; also the theory and practice of touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and the business of operating to ...
.


History

Before European settlers arrived in the region, the Gulf Coast was home to several pre-Columbian kingdoms which had extensive trade networks with empires such as the Aztecs and the Mississippi Mound Builders. Shark and alligator teeth and shells from the Gulf have been found as far north as Ohio, in the mounds of the Hopewell culture. The first Europeans to settle the Gulf Coast were primarily the
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France ** French language, a French language which originated in France, and its various dialects ** French people, a nation and ethnic group identified with Fr ...
and the
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...
. The
Louisiana Purchase The Louisiana Purchase (french: Vente de la Louisiane 'Sale of Louisiana') was the acquisition of the territory of Louisiana by the United States from France in 1803. In return for fifteen million dollars, or approximately eighteen dollars per s ...

Louisiana Purchase
,
Adams–Onís Treaty The Adams–Onís Treaty () of 1819, also known as the Transcontinental Treaty, the Florida Purchase Treaty, or the Florida Treaty,Weeks, p.168. was a treaty between the United States and Spain in 1819 that ceded Florida to the U.S. and defined the ...
and the
Texas Revolution The Texas Revolution (October 2, 1835 – April 21, 1836) was a rebellion of colonists from the United States and Tejanos (Texas Mexicans) in putting up armed resistance to the centralist government of Mexico. While the uprising was part of ...
made the Gulf Coast a part of the United States during the first half of the 19th century. As the U.S. population continued to expand its frontiers westward, the Gulf Coast was a natural magnet in the
South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Proto-Germanic ''*sunþaz'' ("south" ...
providing access to shipping lanes and both national and international commerce. The development of
sugar Sugar is the generic name for sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. Table sugar, granulated sugar, or regular sugar, refers to sucrose, a disaccharide composed of glucose and fructose. Simple sugars, also called ...
and
cotton Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus ''Gossypium'' in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. Under natural conditions, the ...

cotton
production (enabled by
slavery Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for another person (a slaver), while treated as property. Slavery typically involves the enslaved person being made ...
) allowed the South to prosper. By the mid 19th century the city of
New Orleans New Orleans (,New Orleans
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. From its traditional source of Lake Itasca in northern Minne ...
and in the Gulf, had become the largest U.S. city not on the
Atlantic seaboard#REDIRECT East Coast of the United States {{R from other capitalisation ...
and the fourth largest in the U.S. overall. Two major events were turning points in the earlier history of the Gulf Coast region. The first was the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by other names) was a civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865, fought between northern states loyal to the Union and southern states that had seceded to form the Confederate States of America. Th ...
, which caused severe damage to some economic sectors in the
South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Proto-Germanic ''*sunþaz'' ("south" ...
, including the Gulf Coast. The second event was the
Galveston Hurricane of 1900 The Great Galveston hurricane, known regionally as the Great Storm of 1900, was the deadliest natural disaster in United States history and the fifth-deadliest Atlantic hurricane overall. The hurricane left between 6,000 and 12,000 fatalit ...
. At the end of the 19th century
Galveston Galveston ( ) is a coastal resort city and port off the Southeast Texas coast on Galveston Island and Pelican Island in the U.S. state of Texas. The community of , with a population of 47,743 in 2010, is the county seat of surrounding Galveston ...
was, with New Orleans, one of the most developed cities in the region. The city had the third busiest port in the U.S. and its financial district was known as the "Wall Street of the South". The storm mostly destroyed the city, which has never regained its former glory, and set back development in the region. Since then the Gulf Coast has been hit with numerous other hurricanes. On August 29, 2005,
Hurricane Katrina Hurricane Katrina was a large Category 5 Atlantic hurricane that caused over 1,800 deaths and $125 billion in damage in August 2005, particularly in the city of New Orleans and the surrounding areas. It was at the time the costliest tropical ...
struck the Gulf Coast as a Category 4 hurricane. It was the most damaging storm in the history of the United States, causing upwards of $80 billion in damages, and leaving over 1,800 dead. Again in 2008 the Gulf Coast was struck by a catastrophic hurricane. Due to its immense size,
Hurricane Ike Hurricane Ike () was a powerful tropical cyclone that swept through portions of the Greater Antilles and Northern America in September 2008, wreaking havoc on infrastructure and agriculture, particularly in Cuba and Texas. Ike took a simil ...
caused devastation from the
Louisiana Louisiana (, ); Standard French: ' ; es, Luisiana is a state in the Deep South and South Central regions of the United States. It is the 19th-smallest by area and the 25th most populous of the 50 U.S. states. Louisiana is bordered by the s ...

Louisiana
coastline all the way to the
Kenedy County, Texas Kenedy County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 416. It is the third-least populous county in Texas and fourth-least populous in the United States. Its county seat is Sarita. The county was c ...
region near Corpus Christi. In addition, Ike caused flooding and significant damage along the
Mississippi Mississippi () is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee; to the east by Alabama; to the south by the Gulf of Mexico; to the southwest by Louisiana; and to the northwest by Arkansas. Mississi ...
coastline and the
Florida Panhandle The Florida Panhandle (also West Florida and Northwest Florida) is the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Florida; it is a strip of land roughly long and wide, lying between Alabama on the north and the west, Georgia on the north, and t ...
Ike killed 112 people and left upwards of 300 people missing, never to be found. Hurricane Ike was the third most damaging storm in the history of the United States, causing more than $25 billion in damage along the coast, leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless, and sparking the largest search-and-rescue operation in U.S. history.Ike Evacuation and Rescue Operation
Other than the hurricanes, the Gulf Coast has redeveloped dramatically over the course of the 20th century. The gulf coast is highly populated. The petrochemical industry, launched with the major discoveries of oil in Texas and spurred on by further discoveries in the Gulf waters, has been a vehicle for development in the central and western Gulf which has spawned development on a variety of fronts in these regions.
Texas Texas (, ) is a state in the South Central region of the United States. It is the second largest U.S. state by both area (after Alaska) and population (after California). Texas shares borders with the states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansa ...

Texas
in particular has benefited tremendously from this industry over the course of the 20th century and economic diversification has made the state a magnet for population and home to more
Fortune 500 The ''Fortune'' 500 is an annual list compiled and published by ''Fortune'' magazine that ranks 500 of the largest United States corporations by total revenue for their respective fiscal years. The list includes publicly held companies, along wit ...
companies than any other U.S. state.
Florida Florida (, ) is a state located in the Southeastern region of the United States. With a population of over 21million, Florida is the third-most populous and the 22nd-most extensive of the 50 United States. The state is bordered to the west by ...
has grown as well, driven to a great extent by its long established tourism industry but also by its position as a gateway to
the Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole, Kawayib; nl, Caraïben; Papiamento: ) is a region of the Americas that comprises the Caribbean Sea, its surrounding coasts, and its islands (some of w ...
and
Latin America * pt, América Latina, link=no , image = Latin America (orthographic projection).svg , area = , population = ( est.) , density = , religions = , demonym = Latin American , countries = 20 , dependencies = 14 , languages = Romance languages Ot ...
. As of 2006, these two states are the second and fourth most populous states in the nation, respectively (see this article). Other areas of the Gulf Coast have benefited less, though economic development fueled by tourism has greatly increased property values along the coast, and is now a severe danger to the valuable but fragile ecosystems of the Gulf Coast.


Metropolitan areas

The following table lists the 24 largest MSAs along the Gulf Coast.


Transportation


Road


Major Interstates


Major U.S. routes


Other significant routes


Air


International service


Rail


Amtrak service


See also

*
East Coast of the United States#REDIRECT East Coast of the United States#REDIRECT East Coast of the United States {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
*
West Coast of the United States The West Coast of the United States, also known as the Pacific Coast, Pacific states, and the western seaboard, is the coastline along which the Western United States meets the North Pacific Ocean. The term typically refers to the contiguous U.S. st ...
*
Emerald Coast Pensacola Beach, the western part of the Emerald Coast The Emerald Coast is an unofficial name for the coastal area in the US state of Florida on the Gulf of Mexico that stretches about through five counties, Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Wa ...
*
Florida Panhandle The Florida Panhandle (also West Florida and Northwest Florida) is the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Florida; it is a strip of land roughly long and wide, lying between Alabama on the north and the west, Georgia on the north, and t ...
*
Geography of the United States The term "United States", when used in the geographical sense, is the contiguous United States, the state of Alaska, the island state of Hawaii, the five insular territories of Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, ...
* Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force *Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission *
Houston Houston ( ) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas, fourth-most populous city in the United States, most populous city in the Southern United States, as well as the sixth-most populous in North America, with an estimated 2019 popu ...
*List of ports in the United States *Megaregions of the United States *Mississippi Gulf Coast *
New Orleans New Orleans (,New Orleans
Tampa Tampa () is a major city that serves as the county seat of Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. It is on the west coast of Florida on Tampa Bay, near the Gulf of Mexico. Tampa is the largest city in the Tampa Bay area. With an estimated ...
*West Florida


Notes


Further reading

* Drescher, Christopher F., Stefan E. Schulenberg, and C. Veronica Smith. "The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the Mississippi Gulf Coast: Mental health in the context of a technological disaster." ''American Journal of Orthopsychiatry'' 84.2 (2014): 142. * Smith, F. Todd ''Louisiana and the Gulf South Frontier, 1500–1821'' (Louisiana State University Press; 2014) 304 pages * Williamson, James M., and John L. Pender. "Economic Stimulus and the Tax Code The Impact of the Gulf Opportunity Zone." ''Public Finance Review'' (2014): 1091142114557724.


External links


"Map of the Gulf Coast from Florida to Mexico"
from 1639 via the World Digital Library {{DEFAULTSORT:Gulf Coast Of The United States Gulf Coast of the United States, Coasts of the United States, Gulf Coasts of the Atlantic Ocean Landforms of the Gulf of Mexico Landforms of Florida Landforms of Louisiana Landforms of Mississippi Landforms of Texas Megapolitan areas of the United States Southeastern United States Southern United States