It is the second-largest US city (after El Paso, Texas) with a Spanish-speaking majority, and the largest city with a Cuban-American plurality.
Miami and its metropolitan area grew from just over 1,000 residents to nearly 5.5 million residents in just 110 years (1896–2006).
An Indian village of hundreds of people dating to 500–600 B. A Spanish mission was constructed one year later in 1567.
In 1836, the US built Fort Dallas as part of its development of the Florida Territory and attempt to suppress and remove the Seminole.
The Miami area subsequently became a site of fighting during the Second Seminole War.
The Miami area was inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous Native American tribes.
The Tequestas occupied the area for a thousand years before encountering Europeans. In 1566 admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Florida's first governor, claimed the area for Spain.
Julia Tuttle subsequently convinced Henry Flagler, a railroad tycoon, to expand his Florida East Coast Railway to the region, for which she became known as "the mother of Miami." Black labor played a crucial role in Miami's early development.
During the beginning of the 20th century, migrants from the Bahamas and African-Americans constituted 40 percent of the city's population.
After Fidel Castro rose to power in Cuba in 1959, many wealthy Cubans sought refuge in Miami, further increasing the population.
The city developed businesses and cultural amenities as part of the New South.
The highest undulations are found along the coastal Miami Rock Ridge, whose substrate underlies most of the eastern Miami metropolitan region.
The main portion of the city lies on the shores of Biscayne Bay which contains several hundred natural and artificially created barrier islands, the largest of which contains Miami Beach and South Beach.
This bedrock is covered by a thin layer of soil, and is no more than 50 feet (15 m) thick.