Miami, Florida, United States of America, North America

Founded: 1836;
Incorporated: 1896
Location: East coast of South Florida, United States, North America
Time Zone: 7 AM Eastern Standard Time (EST) = noon Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Ethnic Composition: White, 71.8%; Black, 27.4%; American Indian, 0.2%; Asian 0.6%; Hispanics, 62.5% (may be of any race)
Elevation: 3.4 m (11 ft)
Latitude and Longitude: 25°83'N, 80°27'W
Coastline: 135 km (84 mi)
Climate: Semitropical climate with a warm summer and a dry winter, and high humidity. Second most humid city in the U.S.
Annual Mean Temperature: 24°C (76°F); January 20°C (68°F); July 28°C (82°F)
Average Annual Precipitation: 142 cm (56 in)
Government: Mayor-commission
Weights and Measures: Standard U.S.
Monetary Units: Standard U.S.
Telephone Area Codes: 305
Postal Codes: 33101–33299

2. Getting There

Miami is located in South Florida. Situated on the Atlantic coast bordering Key Biscayne Bay, it is also located at the mouth of the Miami River.


Miami can be accessed by highways running both north-south (I-95, the Palmetto Expressway, the Florida Turnpike) and east-west (the Airport Expressway, the Dolphin Expressway, and the Tamiami Trail). Also running east-west are the Miami Beach, Bal Harbor, Sunny Isles, and William Lehman Causeways.

Bus and Railroad Service

Greyhound and Trailways provide service to Miami from points across the United States. Amtrak offers trains with sleeping berths and restaurant cars.


Miami International Airport is second nationally in the number of international passengers transported every year. Over 85 scheduled carriers offer flights to and from the city. In 1997 the airport served 34 million passengers, 19 million domestic and 15.5 international. About 70 percent of all passengers arriving in the United States from Central and South America come through Miami's airport.


Miami International Airport leads the nation in transport of international cargo and is the world's third-busiest airport in terms of total freight tonnage. In 1997, it handled 1.7 million metric tons (1.9 million tons) of cargo. Nearly 278,700 square meters (three million square feet) of new cargo handling space will be added to the facility by 2006 as part of a $4 billion major improvement plan.

Miami's Dante B. Fascell Port handled nearly 6.4 million metric tons (seven million tons) of cargo in 1997. The port employs 45,000 people, generating $8.3 billion in revenue annually.

Miami Population Profile

City Proper

Population: 365,498
Area: 88 sq km (34 sq mi)
Ethnic composition: 71.8% white; 27.4% black; 0.2% American Indians; 0.6% Asians; 62.5% Hispanic (may be any race)
Nicknames: Gateway of the Americas, Cruise Capital of the World

Metropolitan Area

Population: 2,210,000
Description: Includes Miami and the surrounding region
Area: 5,037 sq km (1,945 sq mi)
World population rank1: 143
Percentage of national population2: 0.8%
Average yearly growth rate: 1.2%
Ethnic composition: 77% white; 21.1% black; 1.8% Asian; 54.4% Hispanic (may be any race)


  1. The Miami metropolitan area's rank among the world's urban areas.
  2. The percent of the United States' total population living in the Miami metropolitan area.

Bus and Commuter Rail Service

A 7.1-kilometer (4.4-mile) elevated rail service, Metrorail, carries passengers around downtown Miami, while Greater Miami is served by the 34-kilometer (21-mile) Metromover system. In addition, the Metrorail line connects with Tri-Rail, which serves Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Broward counties over a 108-kilometer (67-mile) route. Miami's Metrobus service is used by about 200,000 passengers every day.


Various walking tours are offered, including tours of a variety of neighborhoods and an architectural tour of the Art Deco District. There are also boat tours and aerial tours by helicopter and hot-air balloon.

City Fact Comparison
Indicator Miami Cairo Rome Beijing
(United States) (Egypt) (Italy) (China)
Population of urban area1 2,210,000 10,772,000 2,688,000 12,033,000
Date the city was founded 1836 AD 969 753 BC 723 BC
Daily costs to visit the city2
Hotel (single occupancy) $82 $193 $172 $129
Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) $40 $56 $59 $62
Incidentals (laundry, dry cleaning, etc.) $2 $14 $15 $16
Total daily costs (hotel, meals, incidentals) $124 $173 $246 $207
Major Newspapers3
Number of newspapers serving the city 2 13 20 11
Largest newspaper The Miami Herald Akhbar El Yom/Al Akhbar La Repubblica Renmin Ribao
Circulation of largest newspaper 349,114 1,159,339 754,930 3,000,000
Date largest newspaper was established 1910 1944 1976 1948
1United Nations population estimates for the year 2000.
2The maximum amount the U.S. Government reimburses its employees for business travel. The lodging portion of the allowance is based on the cost for a single room at a moderately-priced hotel. The meal portion is based on the costs of an average breakfast, lunch, and dinner including taxes, service charges, and customary tips. Incidental travel expenses include such things as laundry and dry cleaning.
3David Maddux, ed. Editor&Publisher International Year Book. New York: The Editor&Publisher Company, 1999.

Miami is known as the "Cruise Capital of the World." Its port is home to ocean liners operated by Cunard Lines (including the Queen Elizabeth II), Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Premier Cruises. Cruise ships launched from Miami dock at ports in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and South America.

22. For Further Study


Miami City Hall. [Online] Available (accessed October 14, 1999).

Miami-Dade County. [Online] Available (accessed October 14, 1999).

Miami Information Access. [Online] Available (accessed October 14, 1999).

MiamiSite. [Online] Available (accessed October 14, 1999).

Government Offices

City Hall
3500 Pan American Drive
Miami, FL 33133
(305) 250-5400

Mayor's Office
3500 Pan American Drive
Miami, FL 33133
(305) 250-5300

Miami Planning and Development Department
444 SW 2nd Ave.
Miami, FL 33130
(305) 416-1400

Tourist and Convention Bureaus

Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau
701 Brickell Ave., Suite 2700
Miami, FL 33131
(305) 539-3000


Daily Business Review
1 SE 3rd Ave., Suite 900
Miami, FL 33131

Diario Las Americas
2900 NW 39th St.
Miami, FL 33142

Miami Herald
1 Herald Plaza
Miami, FL 33132

Miami Metro Magazine
800 Douglas Rd., Suite 500
Coral Gables, FL 33134


Allman, T. D. Miami, City of the Future. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1987.

Cerwinske, Laura. Miami, Hot and Cool. Photographs by Steven Brooke. New York: C.N. Potter, 1990.

Davies, Frank. Kidding Around Miami: What to Do, Where to Go, and How to Have Fun in Miami. Santa Fe, NM: John Muir Publications, 1997.

Dunn, Marvin. Black Miami in the Twentieth Century. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1997.

Grenier, Guillermo, and Alex Stepick III, eds. Miami Now: Immigration, Ethnicity, and Social Change. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1992.

Harris, Daryl B. The Logic of Black Urban Rebellions: Challenging the Dynamics of White Domination in Miami. Westport, CN: Praeger, 1999.

Moore, Deborah Dash. To the Golden Cities: Pursuing the American Jewish Dream in Miami and L.A. New York: Maxwell Macmillan International, 1994.

Portes, Alejandro, and Alex Stepick III. City on the Edge: The Transformation of Miami. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.

Rieff, David. The Exile: Cuba in the Heart of Miami. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993.

Rieff, David. Going to Miami: Exiles, Tourists, and Refugees in the New America. Boston: Little, Brown, 1987.