Perhaps more than any other community in Florida, Miami-Dade -- its business, and cultural base, its politics, its community dynamics, its perception elsewhere, its 'feel' -- is defined by demography.
» Miami-Dade County
Population: 2.4 million (13.2% of state’s population). Slightly more than half of the county’s population lives outside the incorporated areas.
The county has 35 municipalities, including Miami (second-largest city in Florida); Hialeah (sixth-largest city); Miami Beach; Coral Gables; and Homestead.
Density: 1,261 people per square mile vs. 340 in Florida overall. Measured against developable land, the density is actually higher — the urban development boundary and the Everglades restrict the amount of land actually available for development. The city of Miami, with more than 12,500 people per square mile, is one of the most densely populated cities in the U.S.
Between 2000-06, the county’s population grew only about half as fast as Florida’s population overall (6.6% vs. 13.2%). The city of Miami’s population grew by around 11.5% during that period. Leading sources of residents who move to the area: Foreign countries, Broward and Palm Beach counties and New York County, N.Y. Nearly 4% of the county’s resident taxpayers in 2006 lived in other counties in 2005 — their average adjusted gross income (nearly $43,000) matches the county’s median income and is higher than the city’s ($29,000).
» Age Factor
The median age of residents in both county and city roughly matches the state’s average of 39.6. About four in 10 of the households in the county have children under 18 living in them, although school enrollment shrank by 1,680 students from 2007 to 2008. Families represent more than two-thirds of all households. Single women with children make up more than 18% of all families in the city of Miami. Among grandparents living with children under 18, nearly a third are responsible for caring for the children.
Miami tends to be less religious than the U.S. overall, with about 40% of the population indicating they’re religious vs. half nationally. Relative to the U.S. overall, Miami has a slightly higher percentage of Catholics. Compared to the U.S. overall, there are fewer than half as many Baptists in Miami and between three and eight times fewer members of mainstream Protestant groups like Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans and Episcopalians. While the Jewish population of Miami has declined to roughly 5% of the total today, it is twice as high as the national average of 2.1%.
» Party Time
Among registered voters countywide:
» 45% are Democrat
» 31% are Republican
» 20% have no party affiliation
» 2008 Presidential Election
Obama: 51% (51% statewide)
McCain: 48.2% (48% statewide)
Foreign tourists accounted for nearly half of the visitors to Miami-Dade last year. [Photo: billwisserphoto.com]