Industrial city and port in southeastern Florida, on the Atlantic coast of the Florida peninsula about 70 km/43 mi from its southern tip; seat of Dade County; population (2000 est) 362,500. Around 66% of the population is of Hispanic origin, many of whom are Cubans living in the Little Havana area; African Americans comprise 22% of the population, and whites 12%. Miami is the hub of finance, trade, and transport in the region, with air connections to Latin America and the Caribbean; industries include food processing, transportation and electronic equipment, clothing, furniture, and machinery. Major employers are the state and federal governments. With its subtropical climate Miami is also a major tourist resort (tourism is the city's major industry) and a centre for oceanographic research. The city of Miami beach is situated on a barrier island, and is linked to Miami by bridges. The first permanent European settlement dates from the 1870s; Miami was incorporated in 1896.
Tourism is the mainstay of the local economy; each year millions of visitors use the hotels and tourist facilities of the city and its offshore island beaches. In 1995 there were 9,379,200 arrivals in Miami; 4,317,600 were domestic and 5,061,600 foreign.
History In 1896 a railway was extended to Miami, and the city was subsequently promoted as a tourist resort for its beaches. The Florida land boom of the 1920s led to rapid development; from a town of just 29,000 people in 1920, Miami grew to a city of 334,859 in 1970. The period is remembered in Miami's art deco district, a historic area comprising about 800 buildings. There has been an influx of immigrants from Cuba, Haiti, Mexico, and South America since 1959, and the population of the metropolitan area increased by 35.6% during the 1960s. By the 1980s large amounts of illegal drugs were said to come to the USA through Miami. Destructive riots in 1980 and 1982 followed charges of police misconduct. In 1998 a circle of post holes, the ‘Miami Circle’, believed to be 2,000 years old, was discovered at Biscayne Bay. The site may have been a temple, and has been saved from development.
Miami is the seat of several colleges, including Florida Memorial College (1879), Barry College (1940), Miami Christian College (1949), Saint John Vianney College Seminary (1959), Saint Thomas of Villanova University (1961), the Bauder Fashion College (1964), International Fine Arts College (1965), and Florida International University (1972). The Miami Dolphins play in the National Football League.
Mr Miami Beach
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