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Miami-Dade County Profile and Community Description


A windshield survey is a qualitative analysis that offers an overview of a community that is gathered using observation. It comprises of the annotations that one can make up for a community while driving through or by casual walk. Data regarding the community’s demographics may be obtained in the county’s administration centers as well as public libraries. This essay is a windshield survey conducted for the Miami-Dade community that provides an exploration into the county’s geographic description, health care resources, citizen safety, and protective services, recreational services, and senior centers, as well as the community welfare services.

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Overview: Description of the Community


The Dade county emerged in 1836 when the Territorial Act of the U.S. was adopted. The borders of the county changed several times prior to 1915. At the end of the 19th century, the city of Miami was created, which was to become the center of economics and culture and play a critical role in some historical events such as World War II. In 1997, the name of the county was changed to Miami-Dade to acknowledge the importance of Miami.

Type of Community

Northern, eastern, and central parts of Miami-Dade are highly urbanized. However, nearly half of the county’s dwellers live in unincorporated areas, and most of these areas are suburban.

Physical Environment Considerations

Economic Boundaries

Miami-Dade has expanded its economic skylines in terms of international trade. In the past few years, the county has conducted business activities with other nations in Europe, South America, and Asia. In 2012, the county reported the highest value of goods flowing through international trade. The value of the goods was estimated to be at ninety-six billion dollars.

Political Boundaries

Miami-Dade community is considered to be the most compactly populous community in Florida. It has a total population of approximately two point six million residents (“State & County QuickFacts,” 2015). The county runs under the governance of a county government that is led by a mayor. There is also a county manager is elected by the mayor. His/her work is to supervise the operations of the community’s county departments.


Miami-Dade is situated in the Southeastern side of Florida, United States. It is categorized as the third-largest county in the State and measures approximately one thousand nine hundred and forty-six square miles. It is a highly urbanized county and it is set in a tranquil environment that includes the Florida Redland, which is Miami’s agricultural hub.

Topographical Features

21.9% of the county is water; the rest of the county rests on the Florida Platform. The land is nearly 6 feet above the sea level on the average.

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The climate of the county is the tropical monsoon. Its summers are humid and hot (75-90 F), whereas the winters are short and warm, with no snow (60-70 F). The county may be struck by rainfalls, tornados, floods, etc.


Miami-Dade has a thriving real estate zone. The zone deals with a wide assortment of affordable housing programs for homeownership. All the real estate programs are regulated by the community development division, which is a branch of the government. The community offers affordable housing for its residents. The majority of the housing facilities are believed to have been built in the late nineteenth century. These are low-income housing facilities that are mostly individually owned. There also exist apartments that offer living spaces for renting.

Approximately 45% of the housing in the county is rented (“Miami-Dade County, FL housing data” n.d.); consequently, nearly 55% is owned. There are several senior centers for the low-income elderly population, as well as certain assistance programs. For low-income residents who earn less than 50% (sometimes less than 30%) of the area median income, rental assistance is provided (“Miami Dade County,” 2015). Shelters are supplied for the homeless with a permanent disability, such as the HIV-infection or mental disease.

Signs of Decay

Despite its serene and urban environment, Miami-Dade County exhibits some signs of decay. Many abandoned buildings can be seen as one drive through the neighborhood. These include closed schools, old houses, and malls. Most roads in the county are in good condition, but there are certain areas that have potholes and dilapidated minute footpaths. The intervention of the county’s urban development department may improve this situation by bringing these buildings down and maintaining the roads regularly.



Water in the county is supplied by using deep (60-80 feet) wells; this water is regularly tested for contamination. However, certain households use private wells instead of the drinking water system wells.

Sewage is managed mainly by the Miami-Dade County Water & Sewer Department. The sewer system is problematic and requires repairs and maintenance; large sewage spills (sometimes more than 1 million gallons in a year) occur in the county through broken pipes.

Solid Waste Management is an organization that supplies garbage collection and recycling services to a significant number of the county’s households. The county only collects waste from households in unincorporated areas and in some cities; in the rest of the areas, waste is managed by local municipalities. The garbage may be collected seldom; for instance, in the city of Miami, it may be collected once a week.

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The main pollutants include ozone, carbon monoxide, lead, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, etc., but their levels are lower than the standard levels permitted by the NAAQS. Also, as was noted, sewage from broken pipes pollutes the environment in the county.

Flora and fauna

Animals and plants which live in Miami-Dade are comprised of species that can live in the tropical climate of the region. The animals include armadillos, squirrels, bats, skunks, raccoons, bees, possums, snakes, and many other kinds of animals; simultaneously, the plants that can grow in the region include apples, mangos, acacias, black olives, cinnamon trees, pines, oaks, palm trees, allamanda, gingers, aloe, beach beans, etc.

Air quality

Air quality is good nearly 88% of days and is moderate nearly 12% of days (“Criteria Air Pollutant Report,” 2011). The air is generally clean and transparent, but in the period between the winter and the summer, smogs may form in the industrial areas of the region. The smogs are characterized by high levels of ozone, contain particulates from factories and cars, and can be recognized due to milky white sky.

Food supply

Food is, in many cases, created locally; the products include dairy, meats and eggs, honey, fruits and vegetables, fish, as well as fermented foods. The preparation of food by businesses is controlled by such agencies as Florida’s Department of Health; in particular, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation conducts quality control for restaurants, fast food vehicles, and public events which include food provision for the public.

Potential disasters and preparedness

The potential disasters related to the population include racial conflicts and youth gun violence, as well as unemployment.

As for natural disasters, the county is often struck by squalls, tornados, surges, and floods; wildfires and sinkholes also pose a major threat. The local authorities and public organizations take measures aimed at minimization of the aftermath of the disasters and their mitigation (Florida Department of Community Affairs, 2006).

Leading Industries and Occupations

The development of such industrial branches as banking and finance, aircraft industry, hospitality, IT, healthcare and life sciences, creative design, and logistics is prioritized by the leaders of the county. The largest employers include the University of Miami, Publix Super Markets, Baptist Health South Florida, American Airlines, public schools, the federal government, and others. The five most common occupations are administrative supervisors (14.9%), retail supervisors (12.7%), executives (10.3%), janitorial supervisors (6.3%), and food & serving supervisors (5.9%) (“Miami-Dade County, FL,” n.d.).

The People of the Community

Population Profile

The total population of the county, according to the 2015 estimate, is approximately 2.7 million people. The density of the population is nearly 1,379 persons per square mile or 532 individuals per km2. As of 2004, the total Miami-Dade population was nearly 2.38 million; thus, the population of the county has grown over the years. Currently, it is also growing, mainly as a result of migration from other places rather than because of high rates of birth. As for the mobility, in 2014, 88% of the residents stayed in the same house since the previous year, 9% moved from other places in Miami-Dade, 1% moved from a different county, 1% – from a different state, 2% – from abroad (Census Reporter, 2014).

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In 2010, there existed nearly 870,000 households in Miami-Dade, approximately 30% of which had children younger than 18. About 44% of the households were comprised of married couples, while nearly 30% were not families. 24% of households comprised a single person. The mean household size was 2.8, whereas the mean size of a family was 3.3 (“Miami-Dade County,” n.d.).

Biological Considerations

Age composition

As of 2010, the median age was 38.2 (36.9 for males, 39.4 for females). The total population was 2,496,435; 73.86% of them were aged 21 and over, whereas 19.2% were aged 15 and under. 14.10% were aged 65 and over. Further, 6.01% of the population were aged 0-4, 5.82% were aged 5-9, 12.86% were aged 10-19. Next, 20.72% were aged 20-34, 29.61% were aged 35-54, 10.89% were aged 55-64 (“Miami-Dade County,” n.d.).

Sex distribution

In 2010, males accounted for 48.40% (1,208,364) of the total population, whereas females comprised 51.60% (1,288,071) of the county’s residents (“Miami-Dade County,” n.d.).

Race Distribution

As of 2010: White – 73.78% of the total population, Black or African American – 18.95%, Asian – 1.51%, American Indian or Alaska Native – 0.20%, two or more races – 2.36% (“Miami-Dade County,” n.d.).

Ethnic Group Composition and Distribution

As of 2010: Hispanic or Latino – 65.05% of the total population (White alone – 58.42%, Black or African American & Hispanic/Latino – 1.90%, Hispanic or Latino and Two or more races – 1.55%); Not Hispanic or Latino – 34.95% (White alone – 15.36%, Black or African American alone – 17.05%, American Indian or Alaska Native alone – 0.08%, Asian alone – 1.44%, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander alone – 0.02%, some other race alone – 0.20%, two or more races – 0.81%) (“Miami-Dade County,” n.d.).

Health Resources

Services Offered

Miami-Dade County is endowed with various medical institutions that offer health and human services. These services range from general health services for in and outpatients’ services, rehabilitation services, and consultation services through private clinics and pharmacies. The medical facilities are conveniently situated, and citizen can seek their services easily.


There are numerous centers that give a wide array of health services to the public. They range from public healthcare institutions to children clinics, which offer high-quality outpatient services. One of the leading hospitals in the Jackson Memorial Hospital. It is an accredited referral and medical research center situated in the county, which offers an array of medical services to the public. Others include the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, which is a medical rehabilitation institution in Miami-Dade (“Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center,” 2015).


Miami-Dade has a total of three hundred and ninety-two public schools that serve approximately three hundred and forty-five thousand students (“Welcome to Miami-Dade County Public Schools,” 2015). The schools teach learners from diverse communities using the standard United States curriculum. The curriculum accommodates district learners who speak fifty-six languages.

Self-Help and Support Groups

The county is endowed with various local support and self-help groups that are run by medical facilities. They help the citizens on various social issues such as disorders, women groups, adult support groups, and behavioral support. Some of the groups include The Be Program, Adult Women Trauma Group, and Osho Active Meditations among others.

Faith-Based Programs

The social challenges faced by the community necessitate the formation of faith-based programs to help deal with these problems. Miami-Dade County has scores of faith-based programs that a run by churches and as well as the county government. They offer rehabilitation and restoration services. Among them are the Miami-Dade Alcoholics Anonymous, Miami Christian Rehab Treatment Program, and Trinity Teen Solutions Incorporation.


The county has numerous stores offering a wide range of products and services. They include Medical stores, grocery stores, gift shops, clothing stores, and malls. Among the largest in the Aventura Mall that houses numerous different shops that avail products, services, and employment to citizens.


There are different transportation services that can be observed in Miami Dade. The people can be seen using the Metro bus, Metrorail, Metro mover, and the Special Transportation Service (STS). The STS services operate twenty-four hours all year round even during most holidays.

Citizen Safety and Protective Services


The security in Miami-Dade is regulated and managed by the Miami-Dade police department. The department is committed to shielding the public from crime by operating for twenty-four hours a day. There is a police station in every district within the county, which is a move to improve security in the region. Also, there are regular police patrols, which have given the residents increased confidence in the police departments.

Firefighting Department

The county has a Miami-Dade fire rescue department, which is also abbreviated as (MDFR). It is ranked to be among the largest fire rescue departments in the US. It has hired two thousand, four hundred and twenty-nine personnel among whom close to two thousand staffs wear a uniform (About Fire Rescue, 2014). Their primary mission is to protect the public, their properties, and the environment by offering professional fire-rescue services when mandated.

Recreational Services and Senior Centers

Recreation Services

The residents of Miami-Dade have access to various recreational facilities that offer unmatched satisfaction. Such include the Miami-Dade County Park, which is one of the public recreational facilities that offer fun to the public. The park is a distinctive furnished recreation facility with an outdoor fitness zone, several golf courses, and three different dog parks.

Senior Centers

There are several senior centers in the community that offer the elderly residents enlightening and recreational programs. The best is the L.I.F.T. Center, which is one such institution in Miami-Dade that offers services to seniors who are fifty-five years and above. Others include the Miami Gardens Senior Center (MGSFPC). It facilitates volunteer programs as well as caregiver assistance programs for elderly persons in the community.

Community Welfare Services

Miami-Dade community has numerous community welfare services that are aimed at empowering the community. These are facilitated by the Miami-Dade County Community Action and Human Services (CAHSD). Among them is the Perrine Community Action Center, which is situated in 17801 Homestead Avenue, Miami. It is a social service institution that provides welfare services to the target community residents who require assistance.


In conclusion, Miami-Dade is a good community with a rich cultural environment. Living within this community guarantees a person a good quality of life to the numerous social amenities in the region. It is a secure zone that is economically auspicious in aspects of growth and development. The region is also gifted with outstanding recreational facilities and efficient senior centers for the elderly.


About Fire Rescue. (2014). Web.

Census Reporter. (2014). Miami-Dade County, FL.

Criteria Air Pollutant Report: Miami-Dade County, FL. (2011). Web.

Florida Department of Community Affairs. (2006). Integrating hazard mitigation into comprehensive planning: Miami-Dade county profile.

Miami Dade county: A county in Florida. (2015). Web.

Miami-Dade county, FL housing data. (n.d.).

Miami-Dade County, FL. (n.d.).

Miami-Dade County. (n.d.). Web.

State & county quickfacts. (2015). Web.

Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. (2015). Web.

Welcome to Miami-Dade County public schools. (2015). Web.

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