Miami (pronounced /maɪˈæmi/ or /maɪˈæmə/) is a major city located on the Atlantic coast in southeastern Florida and the county seat ofMiami-Dade County, the most populous county in Florida, and the eighth-most populous county in the United States, with a population of 2,500,625. The 42nd largest city in the United States, with a population of 433,136, it is the principal, central and most populous city of theSouth Florida metropolitan area. According to United Nations estimates, the Miami Urbanized Area was the fifth most populous urbanized areain the U.S. in 2000 with a population of 4,919,036, but in 2008 that number increased to 5,232,342, making it the fourth-largest urbanized area in the United States, behind New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The metropolitan area population is 5,547,051 (July 1, 2009 estimate).
A well-known global city, Miami is a major center, and a leader in finance, commerce, culture, media, fashion, education, film, print media, entertainment, the arts and international trade. Known as The Gateway to the Americas, Miami is a major international center, an important leader in entertainment, education, media, music, fashion, film, culture, print media, and the performing arts.
In 2010, Miami ranked as the United States’ seventh top global city from all the cities in the country, and ranked thirty-third top global city in the world from all the cities in the world.
In 2008, Miami was ranked as “America’s Cleanest City” according to Forbes Magazine for its year-round good air quality, vast green spaces, clean drinking water, clean streets and city-wide recycling programs. In 2009, UBS study of 73 world cities, Miami was ranked as the richest city in the United States and the world’s fifth-richest city, in terms of purchasing power.
Downtown Miami, South Florida’s downtown, is home to the largest concentration of international banks in the United States, and is home to many large companies both nationally and internationally.
For well more than two decades, the Port of Miami, known as the “Cruise Capital of the World” and “Cargo Gateway of the Americas,” is the number one cruise passenger port in the world accommodating the largest cruise ships in the world and operations and is the busiest in both passenger traffic and cruise lines.
Miami is one of the country’s most important financial centers. It is a major center of commerce, finance, and boasts a strong international business community. According to the ranking of world cities undertaken by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network (GaWC) and based on the level of presence of global corporate service organizations, Miami is considered a “beta world city“.
Several large companies are headquartered in or around Miami, including but not limited to: Alienware, Arquitectonica, Arrow Air, Bacardi, Benihana,Brightstar Corporation, Burger King, Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Corporation, Carnival Cruise Lines, CompUSA, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Espírito Santo Financial Group, Fizber.com, Greenberg Traurig, Inktel Direct, Interval International, Lennar, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Perry Ellis International, RCTV International, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Ryder Systems, Seabourn Cruise Line, Telefónica USA, TeleFutura, Telemundo, Univision, U.S. Century Bank, and World Fuel Services. Because of its proximity to Latin America, Miami serves as the headquarters of Latin American operations for more than 1400 multinational corporations, including AIG, American Airlines, Cisco, Disney, Exxon, FedEx, Kraft Foods, Microsoft, Yahoo, Oracle, SBC Communications,Sony, Visa International, and Wal-Mart.
Since 2001, Miami has been undergoing a large building boom with more than 50 skyscrapers rising over 400 feet (122 m) built or currently under construction in the city. Miami’s skyline is ranked third most impressive in the U.S., behind New York City and Chicago, and 19th in the world according to the Almanac of Architecture and Design. The city currently has the eight tallest (as well as thirteen of the fourteen tallest) skyscrapers in the state of Florida, with the tallest being the 789-foot (240 m) Four Seasons Hotel & Tower.
Miami International Airport and the Port of Miami are among the nation’s busiest ports of entry, especially for cargo from South America and the Caribbean. Additionally, Downtown has the largest concentration of international banks in the country located mostly in Brickell, Miami’s financial district. Miami was also the host city of the 2003 Free Trade Area of the Americas negotiations, and is one of the leading candidates to become the trading bloc’s headquarters. Tourism is also an important industry in Miami. The beaches, conventions, festivals and events draw over 12 million visitors annually from across the country and around the world, spending $17.1 billion. The historical Art Deco district in South Beach, is widely regarded as one of the most glamorous in the world for its world-famous nightclubs, beaches, historical buildings, and shopping. However, it is important to note that Miami Beach is a separate city from the City of Miami.
Miami is the home to the National Hurricane Center and the headquarters of the United States Southern Command, responsible for military operations in Central and South America. In addition to these roles, Miami is also an industrial center, especially for stone quarrying and warehousing.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2004, Miami had the third highest incidence of family incomes below the federal poverty line in the United States, making it the third poorest city in the USA, behind only Detroit, Michigan (ranked #1) and El Paso, Texas (ranked #2.) Miami is also one of the very few cities where its local government went bankrupt, in 2001. However, since that time, Miami has experienced a revival: in 2008, Miami was ranked as “America’s Cleanest City” according to Forbes Magazine for its year-round good air quality, vast green spaces, clean drinking water, clean streets and city-wide recycling programs. In a 2009, UBS study of 73 world cities, Miami was ranked as the richest city in the United States (of four U. S. cities included in the survey) and the world’s fifth-richest city, in terms of purchasing power.
In 2005, the Miami area witnessed its largest real estate boom since the 1920s. Midtown, having well over a hundred approved construction projects, is an example of Manhattanization. As of 2007, however, the housing market has crashed and more than 23,000 condos are for sale and/or foreclosed. The Miami area ranks 8th in the nation in foreclosures.
Miami is the 42nd most populous city in the U.S. The Miami metropolitan area, which includes Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, had a combined population of more than 5.5 million people, ranked seventh largest in the United States, (behind Houston), and is the largest metropolitan area in the Southeastern United States. As of 2008, the United Nations estimates that the Miami Urban Agglomeration is the 44th-largest in the world. As of the census of 2000, there were 362,470 people, 134,198 households, and 83,336 families residing in the city. The population density was 10,160.9/mi² (3,923.5/km2). There were 148,388 housing units at an average density of 4,159.7/mi² (1,606.2/km2).
- White: 72.7% (Non-Hispanic Whites: 10.5%)
- Black or African American: 22.0%
- Native American: 0.1%
- Asian: 0.8%
- Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.1%
- Some other race: 3.1%
- Two or more races: 1.2%
- Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 69.4%
As of 2000, in terms of national origin and/or ethnic origin, 34.1% of the populace was Cuban, while 5.6% of the city’s population was Nicaraguan, 5.5% of the population was Haitian, 3.3% of the population was Honduran, 1.7% of all residents were Dominican, and 1.6% of the population was Colombian. In 2004, theUnited Nations Development Program (UNDP) ranked Miami first in terms of percentage of residents born outside of the country it is located in (59%), followed by Toronto(50%).
There were 134,198 households out of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.6% were married couples living together, 18.7% have a female head of household with no husband present, and 37.9% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.25. The age distribution was 21.7% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 98.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $23,483, and the median income for a family was $27,225. Males had a median income of $24,090 versus $20,115 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,128. About 23.5% of families and 28.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.2% of those under age 18 and 29.3% of those age 65 or over.
Miami’s explosive population growth in recent years has been driven by internal migration from other parts of the country as well as by immigration. Miami is regarded as more of a multicultural mosaic, than it is a melting pot, with residents still maintaining much of, or some of their cultural traits. The overall culture of Miami is heavily influenced by its large population of Latinos, and Blacks, mainly from the Caribbean, from islands such as Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, and The Bahamas.
In popular culture
Many television shows have been set or are filmed in Miami. The controversial Emmy winning drama Nip/Tuck, CBS‘s CSI: Miami and Miami Medical,USA‘s Burn Notice and Showtime’s Dexter all take place in Miami. The Jackie Gleason Show was taped in Miami Beach from 1964 to 1970. The NBC show Good Morning, Miami was fictionally based on the workings of a Miami television station. The popular sitcoms The Golden Girls and Empty Nestwere based in Miami. Miami Vice was also based and filmed in the Miami area. Keeping with its modern music tradition, the city has recently hosted the 2004 and 2005 MTV Video Music Awards. Other music award shows which were hosted in Miami, are the Latin Grammys in 2003 and Lo Nuestro Awards in 2006.
In the mid-2000s, Miami started to become a popular backdrop for reality television shows. Reality programming set in the city include the TLC showMiami Ink; Discovery Channel‘s After Dark; Animal Planet‘s Miami Animal Police; MTV’s 8th & Ocean, Making Menudo, the fourth season of Making the Band, Room Raiders; The Real World: Miami, and The X Effect; VH1‘s Hogan Knows Best and its spin-off Brooke Knows Best; TruTV‘s Bounty Girls: Miami; A&E‘s The First 48; E!‘s Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami; CMT‘s Danger Coast; Bravo‘sMiami Social, the third season of Bravo‘s Top Chef; and Oxygen‘s The Bad Girls Club: Miami.
The video games Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, which became one of the best selling video games in history, and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, take place in Vice City, a fictional city inspired by Miami, including some of the same architecture and geography. There are also characters in the game who speak Haitian Creole and Spanish.
Miami has acted as the backdrop for many movies, including There’s Something About Mary, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, Wild Things,Marley & Me, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Out of Time, Bad Boys & Bad Boys II, Transporter 2, The Birdcage, The Substitute, Blow, True Lies, Police Academy 5, Reno 911!: Miami, Quick Pick, Miami Vice (based on the 1980s television series of the same name), Red Eye, The Bodyguard, Any Given Sunday, Cocaine Cowboys, Scarface, Miami Blues, and the James Bond films Goldfinger, Thunderball,and Casino Royale.
Miami is a center for Latin television and film production. As a result, many Spanish-language programs are filmed in the many television production studios, predominantly in Hialeah and Doral. This includes gameshows, variety shows, news programs, and telenovelas. Arguably, the most famous Miami-filmed programs are Sábado Gigante, a Saturday night variety show seen throughout the United States, South America and Europe, and the daytime talk showsCristina and El Gordo y la Flaca. Country singer, the late Keith Whitley (1955–1989), sang a song called, “Miami, My Amy”, obviously about a special woman from Miami, one of his biggest hits to this day.