Tallahassee, FL (STL.News) Today, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced the results of the 2020 Florida Military and Defense Economic Impact Study, which shows that Florida’s military and defense industry has a $95 billion economic impact. The study is commissioned by Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) and the Florida Defense Support Task Force (FDSTF). The results mark a $10 billion increase from the 2017 study, making military and defense one of the state’s top economic drivers. The defense sector also provides 914,787 jobs in Florida, an increase of 113,040 jobs during the past two years.
“The results of this study demonstrate that maintaining and protecting military bases and industry in Florida is a win-win for both Florida and the United States,” said Governor DeSantis. “Florida offers unmatched conditions for training air and sea forces with access to some of the highest quality test and training ranges in the country. Florida’s military and defense industry has never been more vital to the economic success of our state.”
“Today’s announcement is great news for Florida,” said Jamal Sowell, Florida Secretary of Commerce and Enterprise Florida President & CEO. “Enterprise Florida and the Florida Defense Support Task Force will continue to maintain Florida’s reputation as the most military-friendly state in the nation by strengthening our state’s support for military members and their families and ensuring our bases remain resilient.”
Other major results of the study demonstrate that, by region, the defense sector has the greatest impact on Northwest Florida, where one-third of the regional economy comes from military spending. Additionally, defense manufacturing has nearly doubled since 2015 with the aerospace and engineering sectors centered in Brevard and Orange Counties leading the way. Finally, Florida boasts the second largest military retiree population and the third largest veteran population of all 50 states. Florida also receives the fourth largest sum of defense contracts among all states and ranks fifth in the country in the number of military personnel.