The South Florida metropolitan area, more commonly South Florida, and officially the Miami–Fort Lauderdale–Pompano Beach Metropolitan Area encompasses a three-county area of the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Florida. The metropolitan area covers the counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach. The three counties are the three most populous in Florida. The term South Florida is roughly synonymous with Gold Coast. The principal cities include Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. The Florida Keys are also included in the metropolitan area at times.
Because the population of South Florida is largely confined to a strip of land between the Atlantic Ocean and the Everglades, the Miamiurbanized area (that is, the area of contiguous urban development) is about 110 miles (180 km) long (north to south), but never more than 20 miles (32 km) wide, and in some areas only 5 miles (8.0 km) wide (east to west). South Florida is longer than any other urbanized area in theUnited States except for the New York metropolitan area. It was the eighth most densely populated urbanized area in the United States in the 2000 census. As of the 2000 census, the urbanized area had a land area of 1,116 square miles (2,890.7 square kilometers), with a population of 4,919,036, for a population density of 4,407.4 per square mile (1,701.7 per square kilometer). Miami and Hialeah (the second largest city in the metropolitan area) had population densities of more than 10,000 per square mile (more than 3,800 per square kilometer). The Miami Urbanized Area was the fifth largest Urbanized Area (but 7th largest metropolitan area) in the United States in the 2000 census.
The Miami metro area also includes several urban clusters (UCs) as of the 2000 Census which are not part of the Miami Urbanized Area. These are the Belle Glade UC, population 24,218, area 20,717,433 square metres and population density of 3027.6 per square mile; Key Biscayne UC, population 10,513, area 4,924,214 square metres and population density of 5529.5 per square mile; Redland UC, population 3,936, area 10,586,212 square metres and population density of 963.0 per square mile; and West Jupiter UC, population 8,998, area 24,737,176 square metres and population density of 942.1 per square mile.
In 2006, the area had an estimated 5,463,857 persons, of which 1,671,398 live in unincorporated areas. Considering that the area has an urban population of 4,919,036, only 544,821 residents live outside of the urban area, meaning that at least 1,126,577 persons live in urban unincorporated areas, but the number is actually higher.
Principal cities Principal cities are defined by the Census Bureau based on population size and employment. In general, a principal city has more non-residents commuting into the city to work than residents commuting out of the city to work. As of November, 2007 the Census Bureau defined the following principal cities in the metropolitan area:
- Fort Lauderdale
- Miami Beach
- West Palm Beach
- Pompano Beach
- Boca Raton
- Deerfield Beach
- Boynton Beach
- Delray Beach
Another large factor are residents who were former snowbirds from the Northeast. Many of them come from a variety of age-ranges, mostly retirees, and tend to beJewish-American, Muslim-American, Italian-American, Irish-American, African-American, Nicaraguan American, Puerto Rican-American, Dominican-American, and other second and third-generation Americans.
Politically speaking, South Florida is heavily Democratic. Broward County is the second most reliably Democratic county in the state, behind only Gadsden County (where African Americans make up the majority). Palm Beach County, like Broward, is largely Democratic as well, especially amongst its Jewishcommunity, while the rest of Florida tends to follow Southern politics and vote more Republican, with the exception of certain parts of Florida where Southern culture is not as influential. With a majority Hispanic population in Miami-Dade, Republican votes are mainly by older generations of Cuban Americans most of whom had fled to the United States to escape the Communist reign of Fidel Castro, but Miami-Dade County still remains very Democratic when compared with most of Florida’s other counties.
South Florida has a very large Jewish community; 10.2% of the population was Jewish in the 2000 Census. There is also a sizable Muslim community numbering at 70,000 some of whom are American born converts to Islam.
Population: As of the 2005 U.S. Census, there were 5,334,685 people. 2.8 million (52%) were females and 2.6 million (48%) were males. The median age was 38.6 years. 24% of the population were under 18 years and 15% were 65 years and older. There were 2,338,450 households, and 1,326,391 families residing in the South Florida metropolitan area.
The racial makeup of population of South Florida [5,334,685] as of 2005:
- White: 72% [3,840,973]
- White Non-Hispanic: 39% [2,080,527]
- White Hispanic: 33% [1,760,446]
- Black (many from the Caribbean [West Indian]) or African American: 21% [1,075,174]
- Native American: less than 0.5% [10,582]
- Asian (many of Indo-Caribbean, Asian Latino and Chinese Caribbean origin): 2% [111,196]
- Pacific Islander: less than 0.5% [3,346]
- Other races: 5% [286,399]
- Two or more races: 2% [91,520]
- Hispanic or Latino of any race were 38% [2,013,725] of the population