Miami, officially known as the City of Miami, is the cultural, economic and financial center of South Florida and the seat of Miami-Dade County. It is the most populous county in Florida. The city covers an area of about 56 square miles (150 km2) between the Everglades to the west and Biscayne Bay to the east. Miami is the sixth most densely populated major city in the United States with an estimated 2018 population of 470,914. The Miami metropolitan area is home to 6.1 million people, the second-most populous in the southeastern United States and the seventh-largest in the nation. The city has the third tallest skyline in the U.S. with over 300 high-rises, 55 of which exceed 490 ft (149 m).
Miami is a major center and leader in finance, commerce, culture, media, entertainment, the arts, and international trade. The metro area is by far the largest urban economy in Florida and the 12th largest in the United States, with a GDP of $344.9 billion as of 2017. In 2018, Miami was classified as an Alpha level global city by the GaWC. In 2019, Miami ranked seventh in the United States and 31st among global cities in terms of business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience, and political engagement.According to a 2018 UBS study of 77 world cities, the city was ranked as the third-richest in the United States and the eighth-richest in the world in terms of purchasing power. Miami is nicknamed the “Capital of Latin America” and is the largest city with a Cuban-American plurality.
Greater Downtown Miami has one of the largest concentrations of international banks in the United States, and is home to many large national and international companies. The Health District is a major center for hospitals, clinics, and the biotechnology and medical research industries. PortMiami is the busiest cruise port in the world in both passenger traffic and cruise lines, and refers to itself as the “Cruise Capital of the World”. Miami is also a major tourism hub for international visitors, ranking second in the country after New York City.
Miami has a tropical monsoon climate with a marked drier season in the winter. Its sea-level elevation, coastal location, position just above the Tropic of Cancer, and proximity to the Gulf Stream shape its climate. With January averaging 68.2 °F (20.1 °C), winter features highs generally ranging between 75–81 °F (24–27 °C). Lows fall below 50 °F (10 °C) an average of 10–15 nights during the winter season following the passage of cold fronts, which produce much of the little amount of rain that falls during winter.
The wet season begins sometime in June, ending in mid-October. During this period, temperatures range from the mid 80s to low 90s (29–35 °C) and are accompanied by high humidity, though the heat is often relieved in the afternoon by thunderstorms or a sea breeze that develops off the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the year’s 61.9 inches (1,572 mm) of rainfall occurs during this period. Dew points in the warm months range from 71.9 °F (22.2 °C) in June to 73.7 °F (23.2 °C) in August.
Tourism is one of the Miami’s largest private-sector industries, accounting for more than 144,800 jobs in Miami-Dade County.The city’s frequent portrayal in music, film, and popular culture has made the city and its landmarks recognizable worldwide. In 2016, it attracted the second-highest number of foreign tourists of any city in the United States, after New York City, and is among the top 20 cities worldwide by international visitor spending. More than 15.9 million visitors arrived in Miami in 2017, adding US$26.1 billion to the economy. With a large hotel infrastructure and the newly renovated Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami is a popular destination for annual conventions and conferences.
Some of the most popular tourist destinations in Miami include South Beach, Lincoln Road, Bayside Marketplace and Downtown Miami. The Art Deco District in Miami Beach is reputed as one of the most glamorous in the world for its nightclubs, beaches, historical buildings, and shopping. Annual events such as the Miami Open, Art Basel, the Winter Music Conference, the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Miami attract millions to the metropolis every year.
Extremes range from 27 °F (−2.8 °C) on February 3, 1917 to 100 °F (38 °C) on July 21, 1940. While Miami has never recorded snowfall at any official weather station since records have been kept, snow flurries fell in some parts of the city on January 19, 1977.
Hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30, although hurricanes can develop beyond those dates. The most likely time for Miami to be hit is during the peak of the Cape Verde season, which is mid-August through the end of September. Although tornadoes are uncommon in the area, one struck in 1925and another in 1997. Around 40% of homes in Miami are built upon floodplains and are considered as flood-risk zones.