Located between the Everglades and the Atlantic Ocean, the greater Miami area is known as the Gateway to the Americas because of its proximity to North, Central, and South America, as well as the Caribbean. The Miami metropolitan area, which includes glamorous Miami Beach (pop. 89,000), has a population of 2.2 million, with Miami (377,000) and Fort Lauderdale (163,000) as the largest cities.
According the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average personal income for Miami residents in 2004 was a healthy $34,278, 4% over the national average. The average income has boomed, increasing by 8.9% over the past 35 years, 19% over the national average.
Because of its location, Miami is home to the headquarters of Latin American operations for many large companies, including:
- American Airlines
The Miami International Airport and the Port of Miami are busy ports of entry for cargo, and trade is one of the area's most important industries. Other large employers include:
- Biomedical companies Beckman Coulter and Cordis
- Burger King
- Carnival Cruise Lines
Fort Lauderdale, known as the Venice of America because of its canal system, is a major manufacturing and maintenance center for yachts. Fort Lauderdale is famous as a spring break destination for students, and it serves as a hub for several major cruise lines.
For more information on colleges and universities in Florida, explore our Florida state page.