Jacksonville Florida is considered to be one of the most vibrant cities in the United States, and is also the largest metropolitan area by land area in the entire contiguous United States by 2020. It is also the seat of Orange County, with which it integrates into the county by the year 1968. This city is bordered by the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. On the south, it is bordered by Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.
The first recorded inhabitants of Jacksonville were European in the middle ages, as well as French during the eighteenth century. During the colonial period, the city was a center for sugar cane, and the port grew into one of the major points of commerce for the colony. From the beginning of the twentieth century, the growth in population, both permanent and migratory, brought new industries and urban centers to Jacksonville. One of those cities was the Jacksonville Shipyards, which became an important manufacturing center for textile goods and steel products. Later, the growth of tourism and development in the region brought a number of different industries to the area including casinos and oil refineries.
The city of Jacksonville is divided into two regions: the northern area is located on the west side of the peninsula, while the southern area is located on the east side of the peninsula. Both of these areas have their own distinct qualities, with the southern area being more vibrant and urbanized, and the northern area being somewhat less urbanized and more rural in character. In addition, there is a part of Jacksonville that is not part of the city limits, which is known as the Westside. This part is referred to as the Westside because it has a more suburban-like appearance, and the neighborhoods in this area tend to be lower income and lacking in amenities, such as schools, shopping centers, and parks. These neighborhoods have grown in recent years as the growth of the city has spread beyond its original boundaries. Most people who live in these neighborhoods are either renters or second and third mortgage holders in residential real estate developments.