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Dade County covers a land area of approximately 2,090 square miles, and is located about 25 degrees north of the equator at the southeastern corner of the State of Florida.  It is the largest county in the southeastern United States in terms of both land area and population.  In 1962 census showed one million, however there are, now, closer to over two million in the metropolitan area, with an annual influx of tourists in the neighborhood of seven million.

Dade County is a flat porous limestone plain, almost devoid of rivers and streams and with a shallow soil cover.  The average elevation is five to ten feet above sea level, the highest point not exceeding 25 feet.  Geologically, south Florida is one of the most stable areas in the nation and has little chance of experiencing earthquakes.

This Greater Miami Area, as it is sometimes called, had a subtropical marine climate and enjoys one of the most pleasant climates in the continental United States.  This explains the fast growing population and huge tourist industry.

Dade County receives money from basic economic sources, thus enabling it to buy the goods and services it cannot produce locally, from the rest of the nation.  These sources are basic economic activity and external funds.

Money is brought into the area from the export of goods produced locally, sales and services to other local basic activities and services performed for non-residents.


External Funds
 1.  External investment
 2.  Property income
 3.  Transfer payments
    TOTAL approximately   36%

Basic Economic Activities
 1.  Tourism   20%
*2. Manufacturing of all kinds, approx.  10%
 3.  Aircraft maintenance & overhaul        5%
 4.  Wholesaling                                       4%
 5.  Agriculture                                         2%
 6.  Air freight                                           1%
 7.  Other transportation and
        Other basic activities                        22%

*There are 3300 manufacturing plants of all types and sizes in Dade County

Although Dade County, in past years, was almost solely dependent upon the tourist industry, Metropolitan Dade County has, and continues to refute the belief that no other industry can develop in the area.  The climate seems to also be an asset to industrial growth.  Dade County led the country in industrial growth in recent years, and according to the United States Department of Labor's reports, from 1960 through 1965 the manufacturing force grew 28.3% ahead of second place Dallas and third place Atlanta.  Annually, up to 300 new business firms locate or relocate in the Greater Miami area.

The social composition of the people of Dade County is cosmopolitan.  They came from all over the United States and Canada, as well as South America, and Puerto Rico, and especially is recent years, Cuba.

There have been integrated in the "melting pot" of this urban area large numbers of farm people from other areas of Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and urban dwellers from New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

These areas supplied the bulk of the initial influx of population into the area, however, people from every state in the Union are to be found in Dade County.

After Castro seized power in Cuba, this area became the refuge for thousands of Cubans who came as political refugees.  The Cubans, who because of their difference in language, their initial economic state and the fact that they were strangers in a new, and to them, foreign country tended to settle in the same areas of the county.  They have consequently populated a large portion of the southwest section of the City of Miami and formed what is being popularly called "Little Cuba."  This is perhaps comparable to the Ybor City area in our sister city of Tampa.  The approximate total population of Cubans in Dade County now equals at least 100,000.

We have in Dade County approximately 1,000 Seminole Indians, mostly in Indian villages.  Other groups consist of Japanese, Chinese and Filipinos.  These people, along with those of German, Hungarian, Russian, Italian, Polish, Greek and other descent are usually second and third generation Americans who are integrated economically and socially into the county's population.

There is in addition to these population segments already mentioned another significant social group, the county's Jewish people.  Many of them, like the earlier Cuban residents, are scattered throughout the area and have partly intermarried with the Anglo-Saxon majority of the population.  However, a large concentration of elderly retired persons of the Jewish faith is found on the southern half of Miami Beach.

The 1960 Census showed 137,299 Negroes in Dade County, approximately 15% of the county's population.  The Negro represents the largest of the "visible" minority groups.  They are widely spread throughout all of the county, however, they have not been absorbed or integrated as have most other ethnic groups but have formed "Negro" communities such as in Miami, the "Central Negro District", in the unincorporated areas, "Liberty City", Bunche Park, Goulds with its Dixie Pine and Sugar Hill areas, Richmond Heights, plus several others.  The present estimate, using the 15% figure, is that the Negro today comprises approximately 183,750 persons of the total population of Dade County.

All things considered, the Dade County area is a large sprawling giant with many diverse types of endeavors available for its cosmopolitan population to engage itself.

This sprawling giant is growing in every direction and in every way; business and industry, cultural, recreational and educational activities are available.  With this growth often comes growing pains as its people seek the level of existence and the type of community they wish.

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