This Is the Oldest City in America

The Pilgrims came ashore at Plymouth Rock on December 1620. The Constitution of the United States was not ratified until 1788. Between the two dates, much of the east coast of America was settled. Several cities, large by population measures of the 18th century, were founded and grew to have tens of thousands of residents.

The first city in the United States was founded by a Spaniard. Pedro Menéndez de Avilés came ashore in what is currently Florida. He landed September 8, 1565, and named the city St. Augustine, because it was the feast day of the saint. Spain controlled what is now Florida for two more centuries, and St. Augustine remained its capital.

St. Augustine sits on the east coast of Florida, about halfway between Jacksonville and Daytona Beach. According to Weather Spark, the weather is similar to that along this part of the coast. Temperatures normally drop into the 40s during many nights in the winter and rise into the 90s during summer days.

The city’s population is 15,415, up 19% from the 2010 Census. It has doubled since 1920. Seventy-nine percent of the population is white. Nearly 12% is Black Americans.

Ninety-three percent of people 25 and older have a high school diploma, based on census data from 2015 to 2019. Forty percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher. At $54,468, the median household income is more than $10,000, which is less than the national average. The 20.6% poverty rate is almost double the national number.

The city’s largest employers include Fidelity Investments, Bank of America, Johnson & Johnson, Baptist Health Services and U.S. Health. The city itself is also a relatively large employer. The best-known company in the city is likely the World Golf Hall of Fame, which is also a major tourist attraction.

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