Miami Beach is a city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The city was incorporated on March 26, 1915. It is located on a barrier island between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean; the Bay separates Miami Beach from the city center of Miami. The city is often referred to under the umbrella term of "Miami", despite being a distinct municipality. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 87,933. 55.5% of the population was foreign born. A 2005 population estimate for the city was 87,925. Miami Beach has been one of America's pre-eminent beach resorts for almost a century.
In 1979 Miami Beach's Art Deco Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Art Deco District is the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world and comprises hundreds of hotels, apartments and other structures erected between 1923 and 1943. Mediterranean, Streamline Moderne and Art Deco are all represented in the District. The Historic District is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the East, Lenox Court on the West, 6th Street on the South and Dade Boulevard along the Collins Canal to the North. The movement to preserve the Art Deco District's architectural heritage was led by former interior designer Barbara Capitman, who now has a street in the District named in her honor.
Miami Beach is governed by a Mayor and 6 Commissioners. The mayor runs commission meetings and the mayor and all commissioners have equal voting power. The Mayor serves for terms of 2 years with a term limit of 3 terms and commissioners serve for terms of 4 years and are limited to 2 terms. Commissioners are voted for by region and every two years 3 commission seats are voted upon. A city manager is responsible for administering governmental operations.
As of November 2009 the Mayor is Matti Herrera Bower. The Commissioners are: Michael Gongora, Jerry Libbin, Jorge Exposito, Ed Tobin, Deede Weithorn and Jonah Wolfson.
Image and cultural depictions
South Beach (also known as SoBe, or simply The Beach, the area from 1st street to about 25th street) is one of the more popular areas of Miami Beach. Topless sunbathing is legal on certain designated areas of the beach. Before the TV show Miami Vice helped make the area popular, SoBe was under urban blight, with vacant buildings and a high crime rate. Today, it is considered one of the richest commercial areas on the beach, yet poverty and crime still remain in some places near the area.
Miami Beach, particularly Ocean Drive of what is now the Art Deco District, was also featured prominently in the 1983 feature film Scarface and The Birdcage.
The New World Symphony Orchestra is based in Miami Beach, Florida, under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas.
Lincoln Road, running east-west between 16th and 17th Streets, is a nationally known spot for great outdoor dining, bicycling, rollerblading and shopping and features and galleries of well known designers, artists and photographers such as Romero Britto, Peter Lik, and Jonathan Adler.
Miami Beach is home to a number of Orthodox Jewish communities with a network of well-established synagogues and yeshivas, in addition to a liberal Jewish community containing such famous synagogues as Temple Emanu-El (Miami Beach, Florida) and Cuban Hebrew Congregation. It is also a magnet for Jewish families, retirees, and particularly snowbirds when the cold winter sets in to the north. They range from the Modern Orthodox to the Haredi and Hasidic – including many rebbes who vacation there during the North American winter.
There are a number of kosher restaurants and even kollels for post-graduate Talmudic scholars, such as the Miami Beach Community Kollel. Miami Beach had roughly 60,000 people in Jewish households, 62 percent of the total population, in 1982, but only 16,500, or 19 percent of the population, in 2004, said Ira Sheskin, a demographer at the University of Miami who conducts surveys once a decade.
Miami Beach is home to the Holocaust Memorial on Miami Beach.
Each December, The city plays host to the major contemporary art exhibition Art Basel Miami Beach. In November 2007 and 2009, a multi-media art festival ("Sleepless Night") was held based on Nuit Blanche.
Geography and climate
Typical winter day in South Beach
href="http://toolserver.org/~geohack/geohack.php?pagename=Miami_Beach,_Florida¶ms=25.813025_N_-80.134065_E_type:city_region:US">25°48′47″N 80°08′03″W / 25.813025°N 80.134065°W / 25.813025; -80.134065 (25.813025, −80.134065).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 48.5 km2 (18.7 mi2). 18.2 km2 (7.0 mi2) of it is land and 30.2 km2 (11.7 mi2) of it (62.37%) is water.
It has a Tropical monsoon climate (Köppen Am), with hot humid summers and warm winters. There is a marked wet season during the summer months, with dry winters that feature much lower humidity. Miami Beach is one of only a handful of U.S. locales that has never recorded snow or snow flurries in recorded weather history.
Miami Beach's location on the Atlantic Ocean, near its confluence with the Gulf of Mexico make it extraordinarily vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms. Despite only experiencing one direct hit from a major hurricane in recorded weather history, (Hurricane Cleo in 1964), the area has seen indirect contact from hurricanes Betsy (1965), Andrew (1992), Irene (1999), Michelle (2001), Katrina (2005), and Wilma (2005).
As of the census of 2000, there were 87,933 people, 46,194 households, and 18,339 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,829.5/km2 (12,502.1/mi2). There were 59,723 housing units at an average density of 3,280.1/km2 (8,491.2/mi2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.74% White (40.9% were Non-Hispanic Whites,) 4.03% African American, 0.23% Native American, 1.37% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 4.05% from other races, and 3.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 53.45% of the population.
There were 46,194 households out of which 14.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 27.4% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 60.3% were non-families. 48.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.8% had someone living alone who was sixty-five years of age or older. The average household size was 1.87 and the average family size was 2.76.
In the city the population was spread out with 13.4% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 38.2% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 19.2% who were sixty-five years of age or older. The median age was thirty-nine years. For every 100 females there were 105.0 males. For every 100 females age eighteen and over, there were 105.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,322, and the median income for a family was $33,440. Males had a median income of $33,964 versus $27,094 for females. The per capita income for the city was $27,853. About 17.0% of families and 21.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.2% of those under age 18 and 24.5% of those age sixty-five or over.
As of 2000, speakers of Spanish as a first language accounted for 55% of residents, while English made up 33%, Portuguese was at 3.4%, French was at 1.7%, German at 1.1%, Italian 1%, and Russian was 0.85% of the population. Due to the large Jewish community, Yiddish was spoken at the home of 0.81% of the population, and Hebrew was the mother tongue of 0.74%.
As of 2000, Miami Beach had the 22nd highest concentration of Cuban residents in the United States, at 20.5% of the population. It had the 28th highest percentage of Colombian residents, at 4.4% of the city's population, and the 14th highest percentage of Brazilian residents, at 2.2% of the its population (tied with Hillside, New Jersey and Hudson, Massachusetts.) It also had the 27th largest concentration of Peruvian ancestry, at 1.85%, and the 27th highest percentage of people of Venezuelan heritage, at 1.79%. Miami Beach also has the 33rd highest concentration of Honduran ancestry (1.03%) and the 41st-highest percentage of Nicaraguan residents, which made up 1% of the population.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools serves Miami Beach.
Private schools include Alexander S. Gross Hebrew Academy, St. Patrick Catholic School (Miami Beach, Florida), Landow Yeshiva – Lubavitch Educational Center (Klurman Mesivta for Boys), and Mechina High School.
A portion of the southern part of the South Beach skyline as seen from Biscayne Bay
. Photo: Marc Averette
The northernmost section of the city referred to as North Beach
- Sunset Islands I & II
- Sunset Islands III & IV
- Sunset Harbour
- Biscayne Point
- Stillwater Drive Neighborhood
- City Center
- Fisher Island (A small portion of the island)
- Flamingo Park
- Flamingo Park West
- North Ocean Drive Area
- South Beach
- La Gorce
- Allison Island
- Aqua Allison Island
- La Gorce Island
- La Gorce Pine Tree
- Lower North Bay Road Neighborhood
- Middle North Bay Road Neighborhood
- Alton Road Neighborhood
- Lakeview/Surprise Lake
- Orchard Park
- North Shore
- Normandy Isles
- Normandy Shores
- South Pointe
- Star Island, Palm Island, & Hibiscus Island
- Venetian Islands, including Belle Isle
- West Avenue/Bay Road
Points of interest