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Miami-Dade County, Florida
—  County  —
Downtown Miami Panorama from the Rusty Pelican photo D Ramey Logan.jpg
Lifeguards stand South Beach 1.jpg032117 Palm Court photo by Ra-Haus-006(1).jpg
Miami - Wynwood Arts District - Wynwood Walls 12.jpgOcean drive day 2009j.JPG
Venetian Pool 14.jpgBiscayne underwater NPS1.jpg
American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL, jjron 29.03.2012.jpgAnhinga Trail boardwalk.JPG
Images, from top down, left to right: Downtown Miami skyline; Lifeguard station on South Beach; Miami Design District's Palm Court; Wynwood Walls in Wynwood Art District; Ocean Drive in Miami Beach; Venetian Pool; Biscayne National Park; FTX Arena; Anhinga Trail boardwalk in Everglades National Park
|250px|none|alt=|Skyline of Miami-Dade County, Florida]]



Nickname(s): "Dade County", "Dade", "Metro-Dade", "Greater Miami"
Motto: Delivering Excellence Every Day

Miami-Dade County, Florida is located in the USA <div style="position: absolute; top: Expression error: Missing operand for *.%; left: 212.7%; height: 0; width: 0; margin: 0; padding: 0;">
Miami-Dade County, Florida
Location within the United States
Country  United States
State  Florida
Region South Florida
Metro area Miami
Founded January 18, 1836
Named for Francis L. Dade
County seat Miami
Largest city Miami
Incorporated municipalities 34
 • Type Two-tier federation
 • Body Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners
 • Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners[1]
 • Mayor of Miami-Dade County Daniella Levine Cava (D)
 • Total 2,431.178 sq mi (6,296.72 km2)
 • Land 1,898.753 sq mi (4,917.75 km2)
 • Water 532.425 sq mi (1,378.97 km2)  21.9%
Highest elevation[2] 34-40 ft (21.8 m)
Lowest elevation 0 ft (0 m)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 2,498,018
 • Estimate (2019)[3] 2,716,940
 • Density 1,000/sq mi (400/km2)
Demonym Miami-Dadian
Time zone Eastern Time Zone (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern Daylight Time (UTC−4)
Zip code 33002, 33010-33018, 33030-33035, 33039, 33054, 33056, 33090, 33092, 33101-33102, 33106, 33109, 33111-33112, 33114, 33116, 33119, 33122, 33124-33147, 33149-33158, 33160-33170, 33172-33199, 33206, 33222, 33231, 33233-33234, 33238-33239, 33242-33243, 33245, 33247, 33255-33257, 33261, 33265-33266, 33269, 33280, 33283, 33296, 33299
Area codes 305/786,
FIPS code 12086
GNIS feature ID 295755
GDP $146 billion[4]
Primary Airport Miami International Airport (MIA)
Secondary Airport
  • Miami Executive Airport (TMB)
  • Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport (OPF)
  • Miami Homestead General Aviation Airport (X51)
Interstates I-75.svg I-95.svg I-195.svg I-395.svg
U.S. Routes US 1.svg US 27.svg US 41.svg US 441.svg
State Routes Florida's Turnpike shield.svg Florida A1A.svg Florida 9.svg Florida 90.svg Florida 94.svg Toll Florida 112.svg Florida 817.svg Florida 823.svg Florida 825.svg Florida 826.svg Toll Florida 836.svg Florida 852.svg Florida 856.svg Florida 860.svg Toll Florida 874.svg Toll Florida 878.svg Florida 909.svg Florida 913.svg Florida 915.svg Florida 916.svg Florida 924.svg Florida 932.svg Florida 934.svg Florida 944.svg Florida 948.svg Florida 953.svg Florida 959.svg Florida 968.svg Florida 973.svg Florida 986.svg Florida 992.svg Florida 994.svg Florida 997.svg Florida 998.svg Florida 9336.svg
Rapid Transit Metrorail
Commuter Rail Amtrak, Brightline, Tri-Rail

Miami-Dade County is a county located in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Florida. According to a 2019 census report,[5] the county had a population of 2,716,940,[6] making it the most populous county in Florida and the seventh-most populous county in the United States.[7] It is also Florida's third largest county in terms of land area, with 1,946 square miles (5,040 km2). The county seat is Miami, the principal city in South Florida.[8]

Miami-Dade County is one of the three counties in South Florida that make up the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metropolitan area, which was home to an estimated 6,198,782 people in 2018.[9] Miami-Dade also is heavily Hispanic, and was the most populous majority-Hispanic county in the entire country in 2020.

The county is home to 34 incorporated cities and many unincorporated areas.[10] The northern, central and eastern portions of the county are heavily urbanized with many high-rise buildings along the coastline, including South Florida's central business district, Downtown Miami. Southern Miami-Dade County includes the Redland and Homestead areas, which make up the agricultural economy of the region. Agricultural Redland makes up roughly one third of Miami-Dade County's inhabited land area, and is sparsely populated, a stark contrast to the densely populated, urban northern portion of the county.

The county also includes portions of two national parks. To the west it extends into the Everglades National Park and is populated only by a Miccosukee tribal village. East of the mainland, in Biscayne Bay, is Biscayne National Park and the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves.[11][12]


Native people

The earliest evidence of Native American settlement in the Miami region came from about 12,000 years ago.[13] The first inhabitants settled on the banks of the Miami River, with the main villages on the northern banks.

The inhabitants at the time of first European contact were the Tequesta people, who controlled much of southeastern Florida, including what is now Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and the southern part of Palm Beach County. The Tequesta Indians fished, hunted, and gathered the fruit and roots of plants for food, but did not practice agriculture. They buried the small bones of the deceased with the rest of the body, and put the larger bones in a box for the village people to see. The Tequesta are credited with making the Miami Circle.[14]

European explorers and settlers

Juan Ponce de León was the first European to visit the area in 1513 by sailing into Biscayne Bay. His journal records he reached Chequescha, a variant of Tequesta, which was Miami's first recorded name.[15] It is unknown whether he came ashore or made contact with the natives. Pedro Menéndez de Avilés and his men made the first recorded landing when they visited the Tequesta settlement in 1566 while looking for Avilés' missing son, shipwrecked a year earlier.[16] Spanish soldiers led by Father Francisco Villarreal built a Jesuit mission at the mouth of the Miami River a year later but it was short-lived. After the Spaniards left, the Tequesta Indians were left to fend themselves from European-introduced diseases like smallpox. By 1711, the Tequesta sent a couple of local chiefs to Havana, Cuba, to ask if they could migrate there. The Cubans sent two ships to help them, but Spanish illnesses struck and most of the Tequesta died.[17]

The first permanent European settlers arrived in the early 19th century. People came from the Bahamas to South Florida and the Keys to hunt for treasure from the ships that ran aground on the treacherous Great Florida Reef. Some accepted Spanish land offers along the Miami River. At about the same time, the Seminole Indians arrived, along with a group of runaway slaves. The area was affected by the Second Seminole War, during which Major William S. Harney led several raids against the Indians. Most non-Indian residents were soldiers stationed at Fort Dallas. It was the most devastating Indian war in American history, causing almost a total loss of population in Miami.

After the Second Seminole War ended in 1842, William English re-established a plantation started by his uncle on the Miami River. He charted the "Village of Miami" on the south bank of the Miami River and sold several plots of land. In 1844, Miami became the county seat, and six years later a census reported there were ninety-six residents in the area.[18] The Third Seminole War was not as destructive as the second, but it slowed the settlement of southeast Florida. At the end of the war, a few of the soldiers stayed.


Julia Tuttle (1849–1898), the founder of Miami

Dade County was created on January 18, 1836, under the Territorial Act of the United States. The county was named after Major Francis L. Dade, a soldier killed in 1835 in the Second Seminole War, at what has since been named the Dade Battlefield.[19] At the time of its creation, Dade County included the land that now contains Palm Beach and Broward counties, together with the Florida Keys from Bahia Honda Key north and the land of present-day Miami-Dade County. The county seat was originally at Indian Key in the Florida Keys; then in 1844, the County seat was moved to Miami. The Florida Keys from Key Largo to Bahia Honda were returned to Monroe County in 1866. In 1888 the county seat was moved to Juno, near present-day Juno Beach, Florida, returning to Miami in 1899. In 1909, Palm Beach County was formed from the northern portion of what was Dade County, and then in 1915, Palm Beach County and Dade County contributed nearly equal portions of land to create what is now Broward County. There have been no significant boundary changes to the county since 1915.[20][21][22]


The third-costliest natural disaster to occur in the United States was Hurricane Andrew, which hit Miami in the early morning of Monday, August 24, 1992. It struck the southern part of the county from due east, south of Miami and very near Homestead, Kendall, and Cutler Ridge (now the Town of Cutler Bay). Damages numbered over US$25 billion in the county alone, and recovery has taken years in these areas where the destruction was greatest. This was the costliest natural disaster in US history until Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf region in 2005.

Name change

On November 13, 1997, voters changed the name of the county from Dade to Miami-Dade to acknowledge the international name recognition of Miami.[23] Voters were acting pursuant to home rule powers granted to Dade County, including the ability to change the name of the county without the consent of the Florida Legislature.[24] The change in name also addressed a source of public dissatisfaction with the name "Dade" which was chosen to honor Francis L. Dade, who had been killed in the Dade Massacre in the 1830s. The massacre did not occur in South Florida, but in the west central part of the state, in present-day Sumter County, near Bushnell. There is also a Dade City, which is closer to the site of the massacre.


Miami River in Downtown Miami

Climate chart for Miami, Florida[25]
temperatures in °Cprecipitation totals in mm

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 2,431 square miles (6,300 km2), of which 1,898 square miles (4,920 km2) is land and 533 square miles (1,380 km2) (21.9%) is water.[26] It is the third-largest county in Florida by land area and second-largest by total area. Most of the water is in the Biscayne Bay, with another significant portion in the adjacent Atlantic Ocean.

Miami-Dade County is only about 6 feet (1.8 m) above sea level. It is rather new geologically and is at the eastern edge of the Florida Platform, a carbonate plateau created millions of years ago. Eastern Dade is composed of Oolite limestone while western Dade is composed mostly of Bryozoa.[27] Miami-Dade is among the last areas of Florida to be created and populated with fauna and flora, mostly in the Pleistocene.

The bay is divided from the Atlantic Ocean by many barrier islands along the coast. The city of Miami Beach, home to the South Beach neighborhood and its Art Deco district, is built on these barrier islands. The archipelago of the Florida Keys, which extends in an arc to the south-southwest, is only accessible through Miami-Dade County, although most of the Keys are part of neighboring Monroe County. Miami is sixty-five miles from West Palm Beach, and thirty miles from Fort Lauderdale.


Miami-Dade County includes 34 incorporated areas, 38 census-designated places, and 16 unincorporated regions.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

  • Big Cypress National Preserve
  • Biscayne National Park
  • Everglades National Park


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1840 446
1850 159 −64.3%
1860 83 −47.8%
1870 85 2.4%
1880 257 202.4%
1890 861 235.0%
1900 4,955 475.5%
1910 11,933 140.8%
1920 42,753 258.3%
1930 142,955 234.4%
1940 267,739 87.3%
1950 495,084 84.9%
1960 935,047 88.9%
1970 1,267,792 35.6%
1980 1,625,781 28.2%
1990 1,937,094 19.1%
2000 2,253,362 16.3%
2010 2,496,435 10.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[28]
1790–1960[29] 1900–1990[30]
1990–2000[31] 2010–2019[6]

2010 U.S. Census

Since late 2001, Downtown Miami has seen a construction boom in skyscrapers, retail and has experienced gentrification.

Miami's Brickell neighborhood

U.S. Census Bureau 2010 Ethnic/Race Demographics:[32][33]

In 2010, the largest ancestry groups were:[32]

In 2010, Cubans made up the largest population of immigrants (with more than half of the population) with Colombians coming in second, Haitians in third, followed by Nicaraguans in fourth place, then Dominicans, Venezuelans, Peruvians, Jamaicans, Mexicans, and Argentinians among the highest group of immigrants.[36]

Miami-Dade has small communities of Brazilians, Portuguese, Spaniards, Ukrainians and Poles along with Canadians (including Francophone from the province of Quebec), French, Germans, other Europeans, British expatriates and Israelis

There were 867,352 households, out of which 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.8% were married couples living together, 18.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.5% were non-families. 23.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.4% (2.5% male and 5.9% female) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.33.[33][37]

The age distribution is 21.9% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 25.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.2 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.0 males.[37]

The median income for a household in the county was $43,605, and the median income for a family was $50,065. Males had a median income of $35,096 versus $29,980 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,957. About 13.8% of families and 17.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.0% of those under age 18 and 22.1% of those aged 65 or over.[38]

In 2010, 51.1% of the county's population was foreign born, with 48.7% being naturalized American citizens. Of foreign-born residents, 93.0% were born in Latin America, 3.2% were born in Europe, 2.7% born in Asia, 0.5% born in Africa, 0.5% in North America, and 0.1% were born in Oceania.[32]

Population Miami-Dade
2018 Estimate 2,761,581
2010 Census 2,496,435
2000 Census 2,253,362
1990 Census 1,937,094


2000 U.S. Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 2,253,362 people, 776,774 households, and 548,402 families in the county, with an average population density of 1,158 inhabitants per square mile (447 /km2). There were 852,278 housing units with an average density of 438 per square mile (169 /km2). The county's racial makeup was 69.7% White (49% White Hispanic, 20.7% Non-Hispanic White),[41] 20.3% African American and Black (with a large part of Caribbean descent), 0.2% Native American, 1.4% Asian, <0.1% Pacific Islander, 4.60% from other races, and 3.8% from two or more races. 57.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. In relation to ancestry (excluding the various Hispanic and Latino ancestries), 5% were Haitian, 5% American, 2% Italian, 2% Jamaican, 2% German, 2% Irish, and 2% English ancestry.[42]

There were 776,774 households, out of which 33.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.7% were married couples living together, 17.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.4% were non-families. 23.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.84 and the average family size was 3.35.

The age distribution is 24.8% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.2 males.

The county's median household income was $35,966, and the median family income was $40,260. Males had a median income of $30,120 versus $24,686 for females. The county's per capita income was $18,497. About 14.5% of families and 18.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.9% of those under age 18 and 18.9% of those age 65 or over.


As of 2010, 28.1% of the population spoke only English at home, while 63.8% of the population spoke Spanish, 4.2% spoke French Creole (mainly Haitian Creole), 0.6% French, and 0.6% Portuguese.[43] About 52% of the county residents were born outside the United States, while 71.9% of the population spoke a language other than English at home.[43]

Religious statistics

In 2010 statistics, the largest religious group in Miami-Dade County was the Archdiocese of Miami with 544,449 Catholics in 65 parishes, followed by 96,749 non-denominational adherents with 197 congregations, 80,123 SBC Baptists with 313 congregations, 47,921 NBC Baptists with 44 congregations, 27,901 Seventh-day Adventists in 62 congregations, 25,244 AoG Pentecostals with 45 congregations, 14,628 LDS Mormons with 18 congregations, 12,569 TEC Episcopalians with 30 congregations, and 11,880 UMC Methodists with 32 congregations. There is an estimated 23,064 Muslims with 15 congregations, 3,069 Hindus with 20 congregations, and 1,342 Buddhist with 22 congregations.[44]

In 2005 the Jewish population of the county has decreased but stabilized at about 121,000 with a high percentage of retired and elderly persons (but less than in Broward and Palm Beach counties). There are more than 60 congregations, 34 Jewish educational institutions, and three Jewish community centers. The highest percentage and increase in Jewish population is in North Dade, especially in Aventura. Miami-Dade County hosts Florida's third largest Jewish population and the nation's tenth largest.[45]

Altogether, 39.8% of the population was claimed as members by religious congregations, although members of historically African-American denominations were underrepresented due to incomplete information.[46] In 2014, Miami-Dade County had 731 religious organizations, the 14th most out of all US counties.[47]

Law, government, and politics

View of Stephen P. Clark Government Center from the Miami-Dade Cultural Center's Jack Orr Memorial Plaza.[48]

Miami-Dade County has operated under a unique metropolitan system of government, a "two-tier federation", since 1957. This was made possible when Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment in 1956 that allowed the people of Dade County (as it was known) to enact a home rule charter. Prior to this year, home rule did not exist in Florida, and all counties were limited to the same set of powers by the Florida Constitution and state law.

Unlike a consolidated city-county, where the city and county governments merge into a single entity, these two entities are separate. Instead there are two "tiers", or levels, of government: city and county. There are 34 municipalities in the county, the City of Miami being the largest.

Cities are the "lower tier" of local government, providing police and fire protection, zoning and code enforcement, and other typical city services within their jurisdiction. These services are paid for by city taxes. The County is the "upper tier", and it provides services of a metropolitan nature, such as emergency management, airport and seaport operations, public housing and health care services, transportation, environmental services, solid waste disposal etc. These are funded by county taxes, which are assessed on all incorporated and unincorporated areas.

Of the county's 2.6 million total residents (as of 2013), approximately 52% live in unincorporated areas, the majority of which are heavily suburbanized. These residents are part of the Unincorporated Municipal Services Area (UMSA). For these residents, the County fills the role of both lower- and upper-tier government, the County Commission acting as their lower-tier municipal representative body. Residents within UMSA pay a UMSA tax, equivalent to a city tax, which is used to provide County residents with equivalent city services (police, fire, zoning, water and sewer, etc.). Residents of incorporated areas do not pay UMSA tax.

Structure of county government

The Mayor of Miami-Dade County is elected countywide to serve a four-year term and is considered a "strong mayor". The mayor is not a member of the County Commission, appoints all 25 directors who oversee the operations of the County Departments and has veto power over the Commission. A mayoral appointment and veto can only be overridden by a two-thirds majority of the County Commission. The post is occupied by Daniella Levine Cava, the county’s first female mayor.

The Board of County Commissioners is the legislative body, consisting of 13 members elected from single-member districts. Members are elected to serve four-year terms, and elections of members are staggered. The Board chooses a Chairperson, who presides over the Commission, as well as appoints the members of its legislative committees. The Board has a wide array of powers to enact legislation, create departments, and regulate businesses operating within the County. It also has the power to override the Mayor's veto with a two-thirds vote.

Florida's Constitution provides for six elected officials to oversee executive and administrative functions for each county (called "Constitutional Officers"): Sheriff, Property Appraiser, Supervisor of Elections, Tax Collector, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller. However, the Constitution allows voters in home-rule counties (including Miami-Dade) to abolish the offices and reorganize them as subordinate County departments; Miami-Dade voters chose this option for Sheriff, Supervisor of Elections, Controller and Tax Collector. The office of Clerk of the Circuit Court, and the judicial offices of State Attorney, and Public Defender, are still branches of State government and are, therefore, independently elected and not part of County government.

Miami-Dade is the only county in Florida that does not have an elected sheriff or a "Sheriff's Office". Instead, the county's law enforcement agency is known as the Miami-Dade Police Department, and its leader is known as the Metropolitan Sheriff and Director of the Miami-Dade Police Department. (Nonetheless, Miami-Dade Police badges bear the inscription, "Deputy Sheriff, Sheriff's Office, Dade County, Fla.".)



Miami-Dade County has voted for the Democratic Party candidate in most of the presidential elections in the past four decades, and has gone Democratic in every election since 1992. However, it did vote twice for Ronald Reagan (1980, 1984) and once for George H. W. Bush (1988). From 1904 to 1972 it supported the Democratic candidate in all but four elections. The Democrats had expanded their winning margin in each of the three elections from 2008 to 2016; in 2008 and 2012, Democrat Barack Obama won 59.69% of the vote. In 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton won 63.22% of the vote. However, in 2020, Democrat Joe Biden only won 53.31% of the vote, winning the county by just over seven percent over Republican Donald Trump. This was attributed to a large swing of Cuban Americans, Venezuelan Americans, and other Hispanic Americans to the Republican Party,[49] the best Republican performance since 2004.

Miami-Dade County is represented in the United States House of Representatives by Republicans Maria Elvira Salazar, Carlos Gimenez and Mario Diaz-Balart of the 27th, 26th and 25th districts, and Democrats Frederica Wilson and Debbie Wasserman Schultz of the 24th and 23rd districts.

United States presidential election results for Miami-Dade County, Florida[50]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 532,833 45.98% 617,864 53.31% 8,221 0.71%
2016 333,999 33.83% 624,146 63.22% 29,046 2.94%
2012 332,981 37.87% 541,440 61.58% 4,758 0.54%
2008 360,551 41.70% 499,831 57.81% 4,254 0.49%
2004 361,095 46.61% 409,732 52.89% 3,899 0.50%
2000 289,574 46.29% 328,867 52.57% 7,111 1.14%
1996 209,740 37.87% 317,555 57.34% 26,487 4.78%
1992 235,313 43.19% 254,609 46.73% 54,921 10.08%
1988 270,937 55.26% 216,970 44.26% 2,358 0.48%
1984 324,414 59.17% 223,863 40.83% 35 0.01%
1980 265,888 50.65% 210,868 40.17% 48,149 9.17%
1976 211,148 40.45% 303,047 58.06% 7,747 1.48%
1972 256,529 58.87% 177,693 40.78% 1,541 0.35%
1968 135,222 37.02% 176,689 48.37% 53,391 14.62%
1964 117,480 35.99% 208,941 64.01% 0 0.00%
1960 134,506 42.35% 183,114 57.65% 0 0.00%
1956 130,938 55.37% 105,559 44.63% 0 0.00%
1952 122,174 56.77% 93,022 43.23% 0 0.00%
1948 41,301 37.04% 59,681 53.52% 10,530 9.44%
1944 30,357 33.56% 60,100 66.44% 0 0.00%
1940 25,224 32.70% 51,921 67.30% 0 0.00%
1936 10,295 26.88% 28,007 73.12% 0 0.00%
1932 9,244 34.16% 17,820 65.84% 0 0.00%
1928 15,860 60.15% 10,136 38.44% 372 1.41%
1924 2,753 26.01% 3,474 32.83% 4,356 41.16%
1920 3,077 38.09% 4,288 53.08% 713 8.83%
1916 629 21.94% 1,654 57.69% 584 20.37%
1912 99 5.56% 1,171 65.71% 512 28.73%
1908 275 17.34% 961 60.59% 350 22.07%
1904 307 24.08% 887 69.57% 81 6.35%
1900 389 28.50% 806 59.05% 170 12.45%
1896 368 46.46% 372 46.97% 52 6.57%
1892 0 0.00% 109 95.61% 5 4.39%

Voter registration

Registered voters as of 11/2/2020[51]
Total population[3] 2,716,940 (as of 7/1/2019)
  Registered voters[52] 1,575,143 58%
    Democratic 636,141 40.39%
    Republican 433,236 27.50%
    Democratic–Republican spread +202,905 +12.89%
    Independence 17,120 1.09%
    Libertarian 2,091 0.13%
    Green 714 0.05%
    Reform 156 0.06%
    Constitution 135 0.01%
    Other 212 0.02%
    No party preference 485,338 30.81%


Headquarters of Burger King

Headquarters of Norwegian Cruise Line

Brightstar Corporation,[53] Burger King,[54] Intradeco Holdings,[55] Latin Flavors,[56] Norwegian Cruise Line,[57] and Ryder have their headquarters in unincorporated areas in the county.[58] Centurion Air Cargo, Florida West International Airways, IBC Airways, and World Atlantic Airlines have their headquarters on the grounds of Miami International Airport in an unincorporated area in the county.[59][60][61][62][63]

Hewlett Packard's main Latin America offices are on the ninth floor of the Waterford Building in unincorporated Miami-Dade County.[64]

Other companies with offices in an unincorporated area not in any CDP:

  • AstraZeneca's Latin American headquarters[65]
  • Gate Group's Latin American headquarters[66]
  • Unicomer Group's United States offices[67]
  • Goya Foods's Miami office[68]

Several defunct airlines, including Airlift International, Arrow Air, National Airlines, and Rich International Airways, were headquartered on or near the airport property.[69][70][71][72]

After Frank Borman became president of Eastern Airlines in 1975, he moved Eastern's headquarters from Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan, New York City to an unincorporated area in Miami-Dade County[73][74] Around 1991 the Miami-Dade County lost a few corporations, including Eastern Airlines, which folded in 1991.[75]

At one time the cruise line ResidenSea had its headquarters in an unincorporated area in the county.[76]

Top private employers

According to Miami's Beacon Council, the top private employers in 2014 in Miami-Dade were:[77]

# Employer # of employees
1 University of Miami 12,818
2 Baptist Health South Florida 11,353
3 American Airlines 11,031
4 Carnival Cruise Lines 3,500
5 Miami Children's Hospital 3,500
6 Mount Sinai Medical Center 3,321
7 Florida Power and Light Co. 3,011
8 Royal Caribbean International 2,989
9 Wells Fargo 2,050
10 Bank of America 2,000

Top government employers

According to Miami's Beacon Council, the top government employers in 2014 in the county were:[77]

# Employer # of employees
1 Miami-Dade County Public Schools 33,477
2 Miami-Dade County 25,502
3 Federal Government 19,200
4 Florida State Government 17,100
5 Jackson Health System 9,800

Public services

Fire rescue

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue

The Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue Department is the agency that provides fire protection and emergency medical services for Miami-Dade County, Florida. The department serves 29 municipalities and all unincorporated areas of Miami-Dade County from 60 fire stations.[78] The Department also provides fire protection services for Miami International Airport, Miami Executive Airport and Opa-locka Airport.[79]

The communities served are Aventura, Bal Harbour, Bay Harbor Islands, Biscayne Park, Cutler Bay, Doral, El Portal, Florida City, Golden Beach, Hialeah Gardens, Homestead, Indian Creek, Medley, Miami Gardens, Miami Lakes, Miami Shores, Miami Springs, North Bay Village, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Opa-locka, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, South Miami, Surfside, Sweetwater, Sunny Isles Beach, Virginia Gardens, and West Miami.[80]

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue is also the home to Urban Search and Rescue Florida Task Force 1 as well as EMS operations consisting of 57 Advanced Life Support units staffed by 760 state-certified paramedics and 640 state-certified emergency medical technicians.

Police department

A Miami-Dade Police Department vehicle

The Miami-Dade Police Department is a full-service metropolitan police department serving Miami-Dade County's unincorporated areas, although it has lenient mutual aid agreements with other municipalities, most often the City of Miami Police Department. With 4,700 employees, it is Florida's largest police department. The Department is often referred to by its former name, the Metro-Dade Police or simply Metro.

The Miami-Dade Police Department operates out of nine districts throughout the county and has two special bureaus. The director of the department is Juan Perez, who succeeded J.D. Patterson, Jr.[81] The Department's headquarters are in Doral, Florida.

Water and sewer department

Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (MDWASD) is one of the largest public utilities in the United States, employing approximately 2,700 employees as of 2007. It provides service to over 2.4 million customers, operating with an annual budget of almost $400 million. Approximately 330 million gallons of water are drawn every day from the Biscayne Aquifer for consumer use. MDWASD has over 7,100 miles (11,400 km) of water lines, a service area of 396 square miles (1,026 km2) and 14 pump stations. MDWASD has over 3,600 miles (5,800 km) of sewage pipes, a service area of 341 square miles (883 km2) and 954 pump stations.[82] Miami-Dade County is also in the jurisdiction of the South Dade Soil and Water Conservation District.

Corrections department

Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department is the correction agency.

Aviation department

The Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) operates Miami International Airport, Miami Executive Airport, Opa-locka Executive Airport, Homestead General Aviation Airport, and Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport.[83]

County representation

The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice operates the Miami-Dade Regional Juvenile Detention Center in an unincorporated area in the county.[84]

Public libraries

Lemon City Branch Library, circa 1955

Shenandoah Branch Library

The Miami-Dade Public Library System traces its origin to the late nineteenth century. The first library was a reading room established in Lemon City on April 7, 1894 by the Lemon City Library and Improvement Association. In 1942 neighborhood libraries were brought together in a single public library system, governed by a Board of Trustees and administered by a Head Librarian. A new central library building had been proposed for Bayfront Park in Downtown Miami as early as 1938, but the proposal was not realized till over a decade later. In December 1965 the City of Miami and Metropolitan Dade County agreed that the City of Miami would provide public library service to unincorporated Dade County and to those municipalities that did not provide their library service with four bookmobiles provided library service to the unincorporated area. On November 1, 1971, the City of Miami transferred its library system to Metropolitan Dade County which created a new Department of Libraries with a Director reporting directly to the County Manager.

On November 7, 1972, Dade County voters approved a referendum, also known as the "Decade of Progress" bonds, authorized approximately $553 million for public improvement projects in Dade County. Of that amount, approximately $34.7 million was authorized for public libraries, including construction, renovation, land acquisition, furnishings, and equipment. Between 1976 and 1990, this bond issue provided the funds to open 14 new libraries. [85] On August 24, 1992, Hurricane Andrew inflicted significant damage on the library system, destroying all branches south of Kendall Drive.[86] Over the next years, no further expansion of the system was funded and no new libraries opened. It wasn’t until the fall of 2001, when Mayor Alex Penelas and Board of County Commissioners voted to increase the library system’s budget which provided funding for capital improvement initiatives—making way for the opening of 18 new libraries by the year 2011.

Today Miami-Dade Public Library System serves a population of 2,496,435, provides services for the Miami-Dade County except for the cities of Bal Harbour, Hialeah, Miami Shores, North Miami, North Miami Beach and Surfside. It has fifty branches, two bookmobiles and one technobus. The Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners governs the Miami-Dade Public Library System.[87]


Florida International University

File:Lake osceola.jpg

University of Miami

Miami Dade College

In Florida, each county is also a school district. Miami-Dade County Public Schools, is operated by an independently elected School Board. A professional Superintendent of Schools appointed by the School Board manages the district's day-to-day operations. As of 2014, the Miami-Dade County Public School District is the fourth-largest public school district in the nation with almost 360,000 students.[88]

The Miami-Dade Public Library is one of the country's largest public library systems. It has 50 branch locations and others under construction.[89]

The University of Miami is among the top-tier research universities in the United States, and is the highest ranked private university in Florida.

As of 2020, Florida International University is ranked the 4th largest university by enrollment in the United States.

Miami Dade College has the largest undergraduate enrollment of any U.S. college or university.

Primary and secondary schools

Miami-Dade County is home to many private and public primary and secondary schools.

MDCPS public
  • American
  • Braddock
  • Carol City
  • Central
  • Coral Gables
  • Coral Park
  • Cutler Bay
  • Edison
  • Ferguson
  • Goleman
  • Hialeah
  • Hialeah Gardens
  • Hialeah-Miami Lakes
  • Homestead
  • Jackson
  • Killian
  • Krop
  • Miami
  • Miami Beach
  • Miami Springs
  • Mourning
  • Norland
  • North Miami
  • North Miami Beach
  • Northwestern
  • Palmetto
  • Reagan/Doral
  • South Dade
  • South Miami
  • Southridge
  • Southwest Miami
  • Sunset
  • Varela
  • Westland
  • Washington
  • Coral Reef
  • DASH
  • Martí MAST
  • MAST Academy
  • MAST @ FIU
  • MAST @ Homestead
  • Miami Lakes Ed Ctr
  • New World
  • Robert Morgan
  • School for Advanced Studies
  • Turner Tech
  • Young Men's Prep
  • Young Women's Prep
  • Don Soffer Aventura High School
  • Sports Leadership and Management Charter School
  • Miccosukee Indian School (affiliated with the Bureau of Indian Education)
  • Allison Academy School
  • Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart
  • The Cushman School
  • Gulliver Schools
  • Monsignor Edward Pace High School (Catholic)
  • Ransom Everglades School
  • Riviera Schools
  • Palmer Trinity School

Colleges and universities

Miami-Dade County is also home to many private and public universities and colleges.

  • University of Miami (private)
  • Florida International University (public)
  • Miami Dade College (public)
  • Barry University (private/Catholic)
  • Nova Southeastern University (private)
  • Florida National University (private)
  • Florida Memorial University (private/historically black)
  • St. Thomas University (private/Catholic)
  • Johnson and Wales University (private)
  • Carlos Albizu University (private)
  • Miami International University of Art & Design (private)
  • Talmudic University (private/Jewish)
  • Miami Ad School (private)
  • Southeastern College (private)

Sites of interest


Perez Art Museum in Downtown Miami

Frost Art Museum at Florida International University

  • Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach
  • Coral Castle, Homestead Miami
  • Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables
  • Frost Art Museum, (Florida International University, Miami)
  • Gold Coast Railroad Museum, Miami
  • HistoryMiami, Downtown Miami
  • Holocaust Memorial, Miami Beach
  • Jewish Museum of Florida, Miami Beach
  • Lowe Art Museum, (University of Miami, Coral Gables)
  • Miami Children's Museum, Miami
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami
  • Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami
  • Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, Miami
  • Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Miami
  • Wings Over Miami Museum, Miami
  • Wolfsonian, (Florida International University, Miami Beach)

Culture and wildlife

Villa Vizcaya, a popular tourist attraction

Miami Seaquarium

  • Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Downtown Miami
  • Ancient Spanish Monastery, North Miami Beach
  • Bayfront Park Amphitheatre, Downtown Miami
  • Bayside Marketplace, Downtown Miami
  • Colony Theatre, Miami Beach
  • Florida Grand Opera, Miami
  • Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, Downtown Miami
  • Jungle Island, Miami
  • Miami New Drama, Miami Beach
  • Miami Seaquarium, Miami
  • Monkey Jungle, Miami
  • Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Miami
  • Wertheim Performing Arts Center, (Florida International University, Miami)
  • Zoo Miami, Miami

Other areas and attractions

South Beach

  • South Beach
  • Ocean Drive
  • Calle Ocho
  • Lincoln Road
  • Downtown Miami
  • Bal Harbour Shops
  • Dolphin Mall
  • Aventura Mall
  • Biltmore Hotel
  • Freedom Tower
  • Miami Art Deco District
  • Miami Design District
  • Bayside Marketplace
  • Little Havana
  • Star Island
  • Brickell
  • City of Miami Cemetery
  • Española Way
  • Mary Brickell Village
  • Wynwood Art District


  • Tropical Park
  • Bayfront Park
  • The Barnacle Historic State Park
  • Museum Park
  • Crandon Park
  • Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
  • Oleta River State Park
  • Everglades National Park
  • Biscayne National Park

Sports venues

Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins of the NFL and Miami Hurricanes college football

Marlins Park, home of the Miami Marlins

Miami-Dade County holds the majority of sports arenas, stadiums and complexes in South Florida. Some of these sports facilities are:

  • Hard Rock StadiumMiami Dolphins (football) and plays host to the Miami Hurricanes football team during their regular season.
  • Marlins ParkMiami Marlins (baseball)
  • American Airlines ArenaMiami Heat (basketball)
  • Tennis Center at Crandon ParkSony Ericcson Open
  • FIU StadiumFIU Panthers (football)
  • FIU ArenaFIU Panthers (basketball)
  • FIU Baseball Stadium – FIU Panthers (baseball)
  • Watsco Center – Miami Hurricanes (basketball)
  • Tropical Park Stadium
  • Homestead-Miami Speedway
  • Calder Race Course
  • Hialeah Park Race Track
  • Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field – Miami Hurricanes (baseball)
  • Cobb Stadium - Miami Hurricanes (soccer, track and field)

Former venues include:

  • Bobby Maduro Miami Stadium
  • Miami Arena
  • Miami Orange Bowl
  • Miami Marine Stadium


  • Miami MLS stadium



Miami International Airport

Miami International Airport, in an unincorporated area in the county, is the Miami area's primary international airport. One of the busiest international airports in the world, it serves over 35 million passengers a year. Identifiable locally, as well as several worldwide authorities, as MIA or KMIA, the airport is a major hub and the single largest international gateway for American Airlines, the world's largest passenger air carrier. Miami International is the United States’ third largest international port of entry for foreign air passengers (behind New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport), and is the seventh largest such gateway in the world. The airport's extensive international route network includes non-stop flights to over seventy international cities in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

  • Homestead General Aviation Airport
  • Miami Executive Airport
  • Opa-Locka Executive
  • Homestead Air Reserve Base, east of Homestead in an unincorporated area, serves military traffic.
  • Miami Seaplane Base
  • Dade-Collier

Public transit

Public transit in Miami-Dade County is operated by Miami-Dade Transit,[90] and is the largest public transit in Florida. Miami-Dade Transit operates a heavy rail metro system Metrorail, an elevated people mover in Downtown Miami, Metromover and the bus system, Metrobus.[91]

Brightline and Tri-Rail which are Inter-city rail also services the county.

Major expressways

Julia Tuttle Causeway connects Miami and Miami Beach

Flagler Street in Downtown Miami

Downtown Distributor

Miami-Dade County has 10 major expressways and 1 minor expressway in Downtown Miami.

  • I-75
  • I-95
  • Template:Jct/2
  • Template:Jct/2
  • US 1
  • US 27
  • US 41
  • US 441
  • [[Template:Infobox road/FL/link FL|Template:Infobox road/FL/abbrev FL]]
  • [[Template:Infobox road/FL/link FLTP|Template:Infobox road/FL/abbrev FLTP]]
  • [[Template:Infobox road/FL/link HEFT|Template:Infobox road/FL/abbrev HEFT]]
  • [[Template:Infobox road/FL/link FL|Template:Infobox road/FL/abbrev FL]]
  • [[Template:Infobox road/FL/link Toll|Template:Infobox road/FL/abbrev Toll]]
  • [[Template:Infobox road/FL/link Toll|Template:Infobox road/FL/abbrev Toll]]
  • [[Template:Infobox road/FL/link Toll|Template:Infobox road/FL/abbrev Toll]]

County roads

This is a list of Miami-Dade county roads. Miami-Dade County has fewer county roads than any other county in Florida, despite its large population. None are signed.

# Road Name(s) Direction and Termini Notes
[[Template:Infobox road/FL/link CR|Template:Infobox road/FL/abbrev CR]] Ives Dairy Road SR 817 US 1 former SR 854 (east of US 441)[92]
[[Template:Infobox road/FL/link CR|Template:Infobox road/FL/abbrev CR]] Crandon Boulevard / Rickenbacker Causeway extension of SR 913
[[Template:Infobox road/FL/link CR|Template:Infobox road/FL/abbrev CR]] Lindgren Road extension of SR 825
[[Template:Infobox road/FL/link CR|Template:Infobox road/FL/abbrev CR]] Southwest 57th Avenue extension of SR 959
[[Template:Infobox road/FL/link CR|Template:Infobox road/FL/abbrev CR]] Galloway Road extension of SR 973
[[Template:Infobox road/FL/link CR|Template:Infobox road/FL/abbrev CR]] Coral Reef Drive extension of SR 992
[[Template:Infobox road/FL/link CR|Template:Infobox road/FL/abbrev CR]] Northwest 67th Avenue
Northwest 68th Avenue
N/S SR 826 Palm Springs North Broward County line Palm Springs North


Street grid

A street grid stretches from downtown Miami throughout the county. This grid was adopted by the City of Miami following World War I after the United States Post Office threatened to cease mail deliveries in the city because the original system of named streets, with names often changing every few blocks and multiple streets in the city sharing the same name, was too confusing for the mail carriers.[93] The new grid was later extended throughout the county as the population grew west, south, and north of city limits.

The grid is laid out with Miami Avenue as the meridian going north–south and Flagler Street the baseline going east-west. The grid is primarily numerical so that, for example, all street addresses north of Flagler and west of Miami Avenue have NW in their address (e.g. NW 27th Avenue). Because its point of origin is in downtown Miami which is close to the coast, the NW and SW quadrants are much larger than the SE and NE quadrants. Many roads, especially major ones, are also named, although, with a few notable exceptions, the number is in more common usage among locals.

Although this grid is easy to understand once one is oriented to it, it is not universal in the entire county. Hialeah uses its own grid system which is entirely different in its orientation. Coral Gables and Miami Lakes use named streets almost exclusively, and various smaller municipalities such as Florida City and Homestead use their own grid system along with the Miami-Dade grid system adding to the confusion. In the beach cities and parks of Miami Beach, Surfside, Bal Harbour, Sunny Isles, and Golden Beach, the streets are coordinated with the main grid; however, their avenues are named.


Notable people

Sister cities

Miami-Dade County's sister cities are:[94]

See also

  • Gentrification of Miami
  • List of tallest buildings in Miami
  • List of tallest buildings in Sunny Isles Beach
  • List of tallest buildings in Miami Beach
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Miami-Dade County, Florida
  • List of counties in Florida
  • West End (Florida)


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External links