Naples is a city in Collier County, Florida, United States. As of 2015, the city’s population was about 20,600. Naples is a principal city of the Naples-Marco Island, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a population of about 322,000 as of 2015. Naples is one of the wealthiest cities in the United States, with the sixth highest per capita income in America, and the second highest proportion of millionaires per capita in the US. Real estate is among the most expensive in the country, with houses for sale in excess of $40 million. Many wealthy international families have homes in Naples, Florida.
The city of Naples was founded during the late 1880s by former Confederate general and Kentucky U.S. Senator John Stuart Williams and his partner, Louisville businessman Walter N. Haldeman, the publisher of the Louisville Courier-Journal. Throughout the 1870s and ’80s, magazine and newspaper stories telling of the area’s mild climate and abundant fish and game likened it to the sunny Italian peninsula. The name Naples caught on when promoters described the bay as “surpassing the bay in Naples, Italy”. Major development was anticipated after the railroad reached Naples on January 7, 1927, and the Tamiami Trail linking Naples to Miami was completed in 1928, but did not begin until after the Great Depression and World War II. During the war the U.S. Army Air Forces built a small airfield and used it for training purposes; it is now the Naples Municipal Airport.
After the damage caused by a hurricaine in 1945, fill was required damage from a 1945 hurricane. A local dredging company, Forrest Walker & Sons, created a lake north of 16th Avenue S, between Gordon Drive and Gulf Shore Boulevard. In 1949, Forrest Walker asked Mr. Rust to sell him the 296 acres (120 ha) from Jamaica Channel to today’s 14th Avenue S. The Jamaica Channel was widened, one canal was dredged, and 14th Avenue S was created by March 1950; a new subdivision was named “Aqualane Shores” at the opening party that same year. Additional channels were eventually added to the south of 14th Avenue S and are named alphabetically for local water birds. The first channel south of 14th Avenue S is Anhinga Channel, then Bittern Channel is south of 15th Avenue S, Crane Channel is south of 16th Avenue S, Duck Channel is south of 17th Avenue S, and Egret Channel is north of 21st Avenue S. From the channels there are coves named Flamingo, Gull, Heron, and Ibis, as well as the original Aqua Cove. These initial channels, canals, and coves were dredged and bulldozed from the mangrove swamps. Where shallow rock precluded digging, land was filled to create lots with navigable water.
The Aqualane Shores Association was incorporated as a non-profit corporation on February 3, 1966. It served lot owners in the area roughly bounded by the Bay of Naples to the east, Gordon Drive to the west, and the land between 14th Avenue and 21st Avenue S, as well as Marina Drive, Forrest Lane, and Southwinds Drive. Thirty years later, in 1996, a state-mandated city master plan renamed the area to the Aqualane Shores Neighborhood and extended its boundary west to the Gulf of Mexico, east to the Bay of Naples, and the area from 14th Avenue S all the way south to Jamaica Channel. The numerous canals and waterfront homes add a distinctive feature to the south portion of Naples and provide access to the Gulf of Mexico for many homeowners.
See also: Naples-Marco Island metropolitan area
As of the census of 2010, there were 19,537 people, 9,710 households, and 6,568 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,744.3 per square mile (673.2/km2). There were 16,957 housing units at an average density of 1,410.0 per square mile (544.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.1% White, 4.5% Black, 0.12% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.5% of the population.
There were 9,708 households out of which 10.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.8% were married couples living together, 5.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.2% were non-families. 34.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.92 and the average family size was 2.38.
In the city, the population was spread out with 10.9% under the age of 18, 2.3% from 18 to 24, 14.5% from 25 to 44, 30.0% from 45 to 64, and 42.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 61 years. For every 100 females there were 86.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $71,553, and the median income for a family was $102,262. Males had a median income of $86,092 versus $30,948 for females. The per capita income for the city was $61,141. About 3.1% of families and 5.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.1% of those under age 18 and 3.3% of those age 65 or over.
The economy of Naples is based largely on tourism and was historically based on real estate development and agriculture. Due to its proximity to the Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands, Naples is also popular among ecotourists.
Companies based in Naples include Alavista Solutions, Beasley Broadcast Group and ASG Software Solutions, in addition to numerous small businesses. Due to the wealth present in Collier County, Naples is also home to many small non-profit organizations.
The surrounding Naples metro area is home to major private employers. Fortune 1000 company Health Management Associates, technology company NewsBank.
In 2009, Naples was ranked as one of 10 pricey cities worth its high cost.
Naples is located in southwest Florida at 26.139, −81.795 on U.S. Highway 41 between Miami to the east and Fort Myers to the north.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.4 square miles (42.5 km2), of which 12.3 square miles (31.9 km2) is land and 4.1 square miles (10.7 km2), or 25.09%, is water.
Naples experiences a tropical savanna climate (Köppen Aw), with hot and wet summers, and warm and dry winters. Naples reports more than 2900 hours of sunshine a year and more than 300 sunny days a year. Naples is normally frost free and the growing season is 365 days.