Miami's Staggering Inequality Explained in One Map

Categories: Reality Bites

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More any other big city in the nation -- with the exception being New York -- Miami is a town of two realities. Ours is a city that's simultaneously inhabited by revelers who preside over clubs with table service and can afford $50,000 to see Tiesto on New Year's Eve -- and those who can't afford a few bucks for a Liberty City bus ticket.

Every city faces its own issues with inequality. For instance, only the very wealthiest can now afford to live in either Manhattan or San Francisco -- but few cities are as geographically bifurcated as Miami.

Miami-Dade County is home to nearly 2.6 million people, and 21 percent of them are considered upper income, while 34 percent of them are lower income. It's pretty clear from this 2012 U.S. Census Bureau map where each segment lives. The darker the shade of orange, which swallows the shoreline, the more money that community has.

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Per capita income
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, if you live on Miami Beach north of the MacArthur Causeway but south of the JFK Causeway, you're making more than $200,000 per year. You're also rolling in Brickell, where the median income is $135,000.

But if you're anywhere in mainland Miami, that vast swath of ivory you see above, you will definitely not be attending Tiesto's show on New Year's Eve. Here, the per capita income runs anywhere from $33,000 to $12,000.

$12,000! With disparity like that, it's no wonder that among the most populous counties Miami-Dade has the second highest inequality rating in the nation, the U.S. Census Bureau found last year.

You can explore the entire nation's inequality here.

If you know more, send your story tip to author, Terrence McCoy.

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53 comments
freshh23
freshh23

The Miami area consists of Palm Beach, Broward and Dade. Don't exclude Palm Beach or Broward.

Patricia L Watt
Patricia L Watt

affirmative blacktion & bilingual required. Stop whining already.

Phil Ramirez
Phil Ramirez

Coral Gables will ALWAYS be, along with Aventura, Dade County's Germany.

Phil Ramirez
Phil Ramirez

When I got back from a self-imposed exile in the Northeast, couldn't help but notice the new sprawling skyline all the way to SR-112. My first impression was: "...OK, who's gonna live there?! Who in his right mind, will pay $6-$10M for a penthouse, 2 blocks away bordering Overtown-Wynwood-Liberty City?!?!" Of course, this being Miami, I suddenly realized that this is the new money-laundering hustle: SECURING LAND. I'm all for progress, but with careful planning not like they do in Santo Domingo or any other 3rd world latin city. You can pitch the "lush view from your terrace, overlooking Biscayne Bay", all you want but locals, despite of how much they'd love to impress their peers, wouldn't invest one penny in those properties (some of them were even considered to be turned into office space!). Instead of further minorities' confining in places like aforementioned, build adequate housing in those empty lots throughout the county and surrender those ghettos to developers. Once a Starbucks and a Books&Books opens, then AND ONLY THEN, people will take notice and move to those new areas.

Robert Shaw
Robert Shaw

I've long described Miami as "Islands of Affluence in a Sea of Squalor..."TM

Natalia Caro
Natalia Caro

The most surprising thing to me is how many people (based on the comments) are either entirely oblivious or in denial.

Johnny Balboa
Johnny Balboa

Where is New Times finding these writers???? posts sound and more like if they were written by opinionated high school students and less like unbiased press. unfollow.

Rashad Jeanty
Rashad Jeanty

Opportunities in dade county are very limited for many.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.......................the bigger situation is the population that resides here as temporary residents (YET pays a bulk of the property taxes) and VOTE someplace else and those year-round residents that VOTE here (YET in poorer areas which pay property taxes but COST more than they pay in) - will always be at odds with the other

those who pay the MOST are typically VOTERs elsewhere = either part-year residents paying property taxes or tourists visiting paying sales taxes

Cary Gonzalez
Cary Gonzalez

Wait....$50k Tiesto party?? LOL...for that chunk of change I want Michael The Archangel at my table, casting a special blessing on me at midnight and restoring my entire body (inside and out!) to its 20-year old state....

Aurelien Matthews
Aurelien Matthews

I'm not surprised at all and really, why should I be? The rich get richer and the poor get poorer...

Rick Amador
Rick Amador

I think Miami Gardens should have its own distinct color....

Adam Fox
Adam Fox

Lian Alfonso, I love you and all, but diversity by definition is variety. There's a huge difference in income levels in this city. While a lot if people pretend to have, there is truth in numbers.

Jose A Hernandez
Jose A Hernandez

I find it hard to believe that Dade has a higher inequality than Hollywood, California.

Lian Alfonso
Lian Alfonso

Massive income inequality is not diversity. And Miami is not really a diverse community. There is an entire nation outside of Miami. Believe it or not, it is not the entire world

Cary Gonzalez
Cary Gonzalez

It should also show the credit card debt of the alleged "affluent".....

MiamiBeachCrack
MiamiBeachCrack

Which is why you don't want to live near a public beach like Miami Beach.  The wealthy in Miami don't live here full time.  Bad numbers anyway you look at it. 
Unless you are in a gated community and have a nice Publix the wealthy are not going to continue living in Miami. 

Millie Santana
Millie Santana

This is my vindication! I have been saying it all along, we live in a third world country. That's what Miami is, and people refuse to believe it because this is all they know. Move outside this state and experience the real USA, you will never see Miami the same way again!

Phil Ramirez
Phil Ramirez

Turning?! Miami is the northernmost LatinAmerica's city

John Viera
John Viera

Finally a map that shows where the hottest females are.

Joshua Numa
Joshua Numa

Oh and never forget the desolation of Overtown and the infestation of drugs into the black community in the 70's-now. I think some nieghborhoods and housing would be condemned if the city govt really cared about its people living here.

Joshua Numa
Joshua Numa

Ever drive through some of miami its like time traveling into a deteriorating future where depending on which side of the train tracks you live signify a persons level income. Wonder why a piece of Jim Crow history lives so strong today. Just cross the tracks

Eric Santa Rosa
Eric Santa Rosa

This is not really a surprise is it? Miami, Like Paris, Tokyo, NY. are tourist cities. Who cares about the locals that keep the machine running. It's important that we keep the rich visitors happy and cozy.

Michael del Vice
Michael del Vice

.....yet Coral Gables is still the best community. Fuck That!

Elis LaMorenita
Elis LaMorenita

The middle class died 10 years ago, now is defined as Rich and Poor

Mgp Bjj
Mgp Bjj

Yep looks about right

Exiliado
Exiliado

We are not equal. Period.


We deserve equal opportunities. Agreed.


Now, what each individual or group decides to do with the opportunities laid out for them, that's their own choice. Demanding "equality" without putting forth the effort to get an education and work hard is tantamount to robbery.

Curt Notree
Curt Notree

The best people of Miami is in the off white areas of this map. The rest of the maps areas are filled with rich zombies.

Sonia V Diaz
Sonia V Diaz

Its literally turning into Latin America. Awesome

miaminativebrazil
miaminativebrazil

 well ....if you're in the top 1% its actually paradise whether you want to settle down, be single forever, be a model, be on the beach all day everyday, play the field, see some of the most beautiful women in the entire world whether they be latinas, asians, white or black or seminole... but otherwise for the poor it is not a place where they will make it and they will go back to their hometown and their home state within a years time with their tails tucked between their legs and their heads hung low, people need to stop glamorizing miami, just because you move here doesn't mean you'll automatically live the dream life, if someone right now in another state is thinking about moving to miami, unless you make over 100,000 a year for a family of ONE that dream paradise life filled with beautiful women, fast cars, celebrities, and mansions will not apply to you, you will be greatly disappointed with the crime and snobbery so stay out all of you delusional people who think moving to miami will automatically give you some kind of dream life. It won't. If anything you'll run back to your home state talking about how horrible it was to live in Miami.

miaminativebrazil
miaminativebrazil

ROFL!!!!! Come on I lived in South Florida most of my life, born and raised and you're exaggerating kind sir. I know what you're saying though

Exiliado
Exiliado

Yeah.

It's kind of hard to find an opportunity when sitting in a couch all day.

miaminativebrazil
miaminativebrazil

@MiamiBeachCrack Thats why they all live in Jupiter and Palm beach Island but the hilarious thing is PBI is not gated at all, which would drive me up a wall if I paid $5 mill for a home and any tourists could just drive right up into my drive way but be assured they have undercover security everywhere. Thats where the top 1% of south florida REALLY live.

Miami dade is horrific, the crime, the reverse racism from latinos calling black people the n word or mayate, calling caucasians white crackers, white a** boy, and saying things like "ching chong  or "chinito, chinita!" whenever they see someone even remotely asian looking, thats why I, along with my well-educated, well-traveled, well mannered and refined friends who choose to live in Palm Beach County, NEVER visit Miami, don't tell the tourists but Miami beach is actually the crappiest and dirtiest beach out of all the beaches in south florida! It just happens to be the one that gets the most publicity. Ha ha! 

miaminativebrazil
miaminativebrazil

Oh shut up I have been out of the country since age 5, been to or through half of the U.S. states, lived in 6 different states each time for more than a year and Miami is still paradise compared to sh*thole, Alabama, texass, Mississippi, Louisiana, Montana,  and pretty much all of middle america. Have you been to New York? Do you know how FILTHY manhattan is? How disgusting it is there? Or LA? Do you know how disgustingly polluted the air is in LA? Maybe its you who needs to get out of Florida and live in some other states, indeed you will never see south Florida the same way ever again. You'll realize you have it good, like really really good compared to the rest of the country. Move to Alaska for a year see how you like it there. Middle America is hell on earth, remember that any state with a population of less than 7-10 million (excluding New York) is probably extremely backwards, gloomy, racist, ignorant, bigoted, and miserable. That's why coastal cities get such great publicity. You'll never see a show called "The Real Housewives of Indianapolis" or "The Real Housewives of Columbia, South Carolina" never in a million years. Why do you think billions of people visit south Florida every year? Because its wonderful, they want to live here but they can't afford it, or they're not a citizen of this country, they come to get a taste of paradise and then they have to leave. If you're lucky enough to live in South Florida, look past the negatives and be grateful. Because there are thousands maybe millions of people in the world, in other countries like Germany and France whose life long dream is to visit Miami and live here. They literally say that is their dream. You were just handed that dream that other people wish for and lose sleep over and you complain? How dare you.

world.clique
world.clique

How many third world countries have you been to? I've been to many. While we have many immigrants here who have brought some of their practices with them, which might me unfamiliar to most untravelled Americans, Miami is hardly a third world environment.

Exiliado
Exiliado

Ok.


YOU live in a third world country.


Please leave the rest of us out of it.

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