Miami-Dade County (commonly called Miami, Miami-Dade, Dade County, Dade, Metro-Dade or Greater Miami) is a county located in the southeastern part of the state of Florida. As of 2010 U.S. Census, the county had a population of 2,496,435, making it the most populous county in Florida and the seventh-most populous county in the United States. It is also Florida's third largest county in terms of land area, with 1,946 square miles (5,040 km2). The county contains approximately half of the Miami metropolitan area's population and several of its largest cities. The county seat is Miami.
The county is home to 35 incorporated cities and many unincorporated areas. The northern, central and eastern portions of the county are heavily urbanized with many high rises up the coastline, as well as the location of South Florida's central business district, Downtown Miami. Southern Miami-Dade County includes the Redland and Homestead areas, which make up the agricultural economy of Miami. Agricultural Redland makes up roughly one third of Miami-Dade County's inhabited land area, and is sparsely populated, a stark contrast to the densely populated, urban northern Miami-Dade County. The western portion of the county extends into the Everglades National Park and is populated only by a Miccosukee Tribal village. East of the mainland in Biscayne Bay is also Biscayne National Park and the Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserves.
Miami is a major center and a leader in finance, commerce, culture, media, entertainment, the arts, and international trade. In 2010, Miami was classified as an Alpha- World City in the World Cities Study Groupís inventory. In 2010, Miami ranked seventh in the United States in terms of finance, commerce, culture, entertainment, fashion, education, and other sectors. It ranked thirty-third among global cities. In 2008, Forbes magazine ranked Miami "America's Cleanest City", for its year-round good air quality, vast green spaces, clean drinking water, clean streets and city-wide recycling programs. According to a 2009 UBS study of 73 world cities, Miami was ranked as the richest city in the United States, and the world's fifth-richest city in terms of purchasing power. Miami is nicknamed the "Capital of Latin America", is the second-largest U.S. city (after El Paso, Texas) with a Spanish-speaking majority, and the largest city with a Cuban-American plurality.
Downtown Miami and South Florida are home to the largest concentration of international banks in the United States, and is home to many large companies both nationally and internationally. The Civic Center is a major center for hospitals, research institutes, medical centers, and biotechnology industries. For more than two decades, the Port of Miami, known as the "Cruise Capital of the World," has been the number one cruise passenger port in the world, accommodating some of the world's largest cruise ships and operations, and is currently the busiest in both passenger traffic and cruise lines.