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Windshield Survey: Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida, is one of the most populated cities in the state and one of the major tourist destinations in the USA. The city is constantly growing and evolving, although there are still numerous issues yet to be solved. On the one hand, the city has various parks and recreation zones and a well-developed infrastructure. On the other hand, flooding is one of the most urgent issues to be addressed, as many residents face health issues and financial losses (McKie, 2014). Another burning problem is the financial and physical well-being of the residents as the rate of the people living in poverty is rather high (27.6%) (United States Census Bureau, 2017). This paper provides a brief description of the major characteristic features of the city in question.

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Geographical Description

Miami is located on the south-east coast of the country, and its area is approximately 56 square miles. The city has considerable commercial areas and recreational zones. The parks have different facilities that can meet the expectations of different groups of people. The downtown is an illustration of a lavish commercial and cultural center where landmarks are properly maintained, and the infrastructure is well-designed. However, some districts that are usually located in the west are quite depressing with certain signs of decline. Overall, the city’s residential areas are growing rapidly. For example, the number of housing units has reached 160 thousand (United States Census Bureau, 2017). Therefore, the city is evolving and growing.

People and Service

The city’s population is rather homogeneous in terms of ethnicity and educational background. For instance, over 70% of residents are white, and almost 75% have high-school or higher education (United States Census Bureau, 2017). Approximately 60% of people living in Miami are between 18 and 65 years old, with 16% of older adults. Over 7% of residents are people with disabilities. In 2016, the median household income in the city was $31,642.

The rate of people living in poverty is 10% above the state average and is 27.6%. The rate of people living without health insurance is significantly higher than the state average and reached almost 32% in 2016. It is clear that the financial and ethnic disparity is quite considerable in the city, which causes certain tension in the community (Rosen, 2016). The high rate of people experiencing severe financial issues contributes is associated with quite a crime rate, unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, and associated health issues.

As far as the health profile of the community is concerned, it is necessary to note that the city is characterized by the issues that are typical of the entire county. Cancer and cardiovascular diseases are major causes of death (Florida Department of Health, 2017). Diabetes is another health concern as it is in the top five causes of death. As for unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, approximately 20% of adults engage in binge drinking. Over a quarter of the residents could not see a doctor due to the costs. More than two-thirds of the adults living in Miami are obese or overweight.

Healthcare accessibility is also associated with quite substantial disparity. On the one hand, the number of licensed physicians per 100,000 is higher than the state average and is over 340 compared to 315.5 for Florida (Florida Department of Health, 2017). The number of dentists and private MDs is also higher than the state average. The number of hospital beds per 100,000 is over 340, while the state average is only 312,4.

On the other hand, the third of the population of the city does not have health insurance (United States Census Bureau, 2017). It is noteworthy that there is a certain lack of care provided to the elderly. As has been mentioned above, over 16% of residents are 65 years old or older, while the number of beds in nursing homes is slightly over 300 per 100,000 while the state average is 413,3 (Florida Department of Health, 2017). Pharmacies are also quite numerous. Nevertheless, there are hospitals and health centers that address the needs of different populations, including children, veterans, people suffering from mental health problems, etc.

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Of course, self-support groups and similar initiatives cannot be regarded as a sufficient replacement of mental health care, but such centers are quite numerous and help many people. The groups that can obtain support and assistance include females, victims of violence, children, veterans, the elderly, unemployed people, the poor, and others. Some of these organizations and groups are Self-Help International, Miami Anxiety Support Groups, Online support groups by Mental Health America, Eating Disorder Support groups, and so on.

Various religious establishments and faith-based programs can also help people find certain assistance or a sense of connectedness. Catholic churches prevail in Miami, but there are other kinds of religious centers as well. It is also possible to find many religious and faith-based stores (for instance, Catholica Shop or Al Bon Marche).

The city government pays a lot of attention to the development of younger generations, and different types of schools serving various groups can be found in Miami. The majority of K-12 schools in the city are public, while the majority of higher educational establishments are private (“Miami, Florida Education Data,”2018). There are also several charter schools in the area (for example, Mater Academy East Charter High School, Theodore R., And Thelma A. Gibson Charter School, etc.).

There is also a middle and high school for females, Young Women’s Preparatory Academy. The city’s government also invests in the development of the city’s infrastructure. There are many shops, malls, dry cleaning, and so on. Miami is one of the most popular tourist destinations, which affects the way the transportation system is developed. Public transport is available and is rather affordable. There are also various parks and recreational areas that are aimed at health promotion, encouraging people to exhibit healthy lifestyle behaviors.

Safety and Community Welfare

The city’s law enforcement and fire departments can be characterized by the focus on prevention and community engagement. The agencies come up with various incentives aimed at training people, especially younger groups (Department of Fire-Rescue, 2018). Miami also has various shelters and support centers for different groups and various emergency situations. For instance, there are shelters for homeless people or shelters for people in case of hurricanes or other natural disasters. However, community engagement is not sufficient as there are hardly community watch incentives or a sufficient number of official and voluntary services.


In conclusion, it is necessary to note that Miami is a fast-growing city characterized by a substantial degree of disparity in many spheres. For instance, a quarter of the residents live in poverty while the city is often regarded as home to the best luxury resorts and celebrities’ property. People’s lifestyles are mainly shaped by their socioeconomic status. Healthcare accessibility is quite high as the number of healthcare professionals is quite high. At the same time, one-third of people do not have health insurance. The downtown is an illustration of metropolitan paradise, while western districts are not properly managed. Therefore, it is possible to assume that the major feature of the city is the disparity between different groups.


Department of Fire-Rescue. (2018). Our programs. Web.

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Florida Department of Health. (2017). County health profile. Web.

McKie, R. (2014). Miami, the great world city, is drowning while the powers that be look away. The Guardian. Web.

Miami, Florida, education data. (2018). Web.

Rosen, J. (2016). South Florida’s chasm between rich and poor among the nation’s widest. Miami Herald. Web.

United States Census Bureau. (2017). Quick facts. Web.

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