Miami is located in the southeastern part of Florida and about 145 miles south of Orlando or 125 miles north of Key West.
- Miami has a tropical climate, with hot and humid summers, but is moderated by sea breezes off of the Atlantic Ocean. Winters are warm some days and cool on others. Rainfall averages about 43 inches per year; some years there may be no precipitation at all while other years can have more than 6 inches in a single day.
- Miami is home to about 474,270 people, making it the fourth-largest city in Florida. The Miami metropolitan area has about 5.5 million people, ranking it as the eighth-largest metropolitan area in the United States.
- The Greater Miami area is also one of the most densely populated and ethnically diverse regions in the United States, and receives a steady stream of immigrants from Latin America and Asia. English is the primary language but Spanish is spoken widely as well. Miami has a rich cultural heritage that is a blend of Caribbean, Latin American, and American cultures. The city’s annual Carnaval Miami festival celebrates the diversity of Miami’s multicultural heritage.
- Miami has gone through several forms of government throughout its history including: Military Government (1836-1844), Commission (1844-1912), Mayor-Council (1912-1968), and Manager-Commission (1968-present). The City of Miami government is a commission form of government. Under this system, the city is divided into five districts, each represented by a commissioner. The mayor is elected at-large by all the voters in the city.
- Miami’s crime rate is very high when compared with other large American cities, but crime rates vary between different areas of the city. Some of the highest crime rates in Miami occur near its border with over town.
- Miami is home to a number of colleges and universities, including Florida International University, Miami Dade College, and the University of Miami.
- Miami is home to many sports teams including the NBA’s Miami Heat, the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, and the Miami Marlins. The city is also home to Florida International University, which features a number of competitive college sports programs.
According to Forbes magazine, Miami ranks as one of America’s most “vibrant, prosperous and appealing cities.” Miami is also considered to be the “Gateway to Latin America” as well as a major international center for finance, commerce, culture, media and entertainment.
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