If you are coming to Miami, chances are you want to have some fun or you are coming to find a job and live with your family, so you are curious about living here and your question now is: "How is life in Miami?" Am I right?
Opinions are different and people see things in a different way but the way I see things (from the point of view of an immigrant), I think Miami is good!
In this article, I will talk about the city so you can have your opinion about what is good or bad about Miami, so just keep reading...
Miami is not Miami Beach
OK, you saw this picture with a beautiful beach and a nice sign that says "Miami Beach" so you think Miami is all about the beach, right?
No, it's not. Miami and Miami Beach are different cities, and there are a lot of other cities around here that even don't have a beach.
I know that on TV and movies, most of the time they show Miami with a lot of beautiful people having some fun in a beautiful beach and they are not wrong, you can find this kind of things here, but not in the heart of the city.
Take a look a the Google maps and you will find Miami and the region around the city. If you move to Miami Springs, for example, you are far away from the Beach. that is located in Miami Beach, of course !
Take a look again at the map and you will see some cities such as Kendall, Coral Gables, Doral (where I live), Miami Shores, Miami Lakes, etc.
Those are not part of the city of Miami, they are independent cities with their own mayor, police and fire departments, schools, hospitals, etc.
Just like Miami, all those cities are part of the Miami-Dade County.
The Miami International airport (MIA) is located in the heart of the city and from there you can reach the beach in about 30 minutes.
According to the MIA report last year (2017), more than 44 millions passenger flew to and from the airport. It's really an impressive number that equals the entire population of a country such as Argentina.
The estimated population is 441 million people with a density of 12,875 people per square mile and that makes Miami the 44th most populous city in the US. ( and more people are coming every year).
According to the 2010 Census, the Miami racial/ethnic breakdown is:
Most of the people in Miami speak Spanish.
If you are coming to the city, chances are you won't completely understand people speaking in some places because Spanish speakers are everywhere in the city and some of them don't speak English at all.
The city has 23% English speakers, 70% Spanish speakers and 7% speak other languages from Europe, Asia, and other regions.
Miami cost of living
It's not expensive to live in Miami. Compared to other cities such as New York or Los Angeles, the city has reasonable prices for a living.
The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $2,000 per month.
Utilities such as Internet and TV costs on average $80 and if you have to pay for the water and electricity just add around $80 to the monthly bill.
Groceries and other things will cost on average $300 to $400 per month if you are preparing your own food at home and getting some cheap fast food sometimes.
Basic lunch (including a drink) $20
Big Mac, Wendy's or Burger King combo $7
Dennys' slam sandwich $10
Bread for 2 people $2.40
1 liter of milk $1.10
1 kg of apples $3.80
1 kg of tomatoes $4.40
2 liters of Coca-Cola $2.40
12 eggs $4.40
1 kg of potatoes $1.70
1 kg of cheese $15
Internet 25 Mbps $50 /month
50” flat screen TV $280
Direct TV $35 ~ $70/month
Health & Personal care
Visit to a private doctor $100
Antibiotics (12 doses) $26
Tampax (32 units) $9.50
Deodorant (50ml) $5
Hair shampoo (400 ml) $10
Men's haircut $30
1 gallon (3.8l) Gasoline $2.80
Taxi for 5 miles (business day) $20
Leased car (Nissan Sentra) $280/month
Dinner out for two $60
Ticket to the movies $12
Dinner for two in a traditional restaurant (with wine) $100
Beer (500ml) $6
The beaches in Miami
South Miami is the place you have to visit, the Ocean Drive Street is a must.
But if you are coming from other countries such as Brazil and are used to visit beautiful beaches, you will not get so impressed (I didn't).
I prefer to visit some other beaches up north such as Hollywood, I think they are much better and with fewer algae (Miami south beach has too much of them).
The beaches are usually very clean and safe, you can visit the place with your family.
The traffic in Miami
People say the traffic is bad in Miami, but that depends on how you see it.
During the rush hours, of course, there are a lot of cars running to the region, because people are either going to the job or coming from it, but usually, even in rush hours, it's not usual to stay on traffic more the 40 minutes to get to a place.
I use to live in São Paulo, so that's nothing and I consider the traffic in Miami normal.
Perhaps you are coming from a place where you can run fast to and from the job, then you will think Miami's traffic is bad, but I think people overreact most of the time.
Just think about it. Everybody is so comfortable in a car with air conditioning, music, and sometimes even with some friend to chat with, so why get so nervous?
Life in Miami is safe
In my opinion, Miami is a safe place, you can go to different places without the concern to be robbed or be a victim of some crime. After 5 years living here, I never had any problem, neither heard any complaints from friends.
Of course bad things can happen, no place is 100% safe but in general, the life in Miami is good enough and I can't really complain.
How about hurricanes in Miami? I'm glad you asked. This is an interesting topic to talk about because people are usually worried about their safety related to hurricanes.
Last year I was in my apartment with my family while the Irma hurricane was banging the walls outside. We were OK and absolutely nothing happened to us.
Not even a scratch in our cars (but for that one I think was lucky) beside the fact that after the hurricane we found dozens of trees that fell in the parking lot.
People are friendly
When you come to Miami you find nice people (most of them are speaking Spanish).
Latin people are pretty opened to a conversation and to make new friends, you can go to a nice place to have some fun and meet people that comes from different countries.
If you don't speak Spanish probably you will have a little bit of a trouble trying to get the meaning of the conversation, because there's a lot of mixed words in the phrases.
That's the "Spanglish" and you can find it all the time in every place you go.
When going to a place to have a meal, the first language people try to communicate is the Spanish, either they assume that's your first language, or they really don't know much English so they simply push some combination of English and Spanish.
Education in Miami
The educational system in Miami is good and I can't complain about it.
In Brazil, I used to pay to have my daughter studying at a private school, but here in Miami, there's no need to do that because the public schools are good enough.
You still can use private schools if you want to but is up to you decide which one is better for your kids. Anyway, children usually love the life in Miami.
People have a different opinion about everything, and that's the same when talking about living in another city. In this post, I just gave you my personal opinion about the life in Miami and I can say that my family and friend share it.
If you are planning to move to Miami I recommend you to come with an open mind and perhaps learn some Spanish if you don't speak the language because that can help you to make new friends easily and also to have a better communication.
I hope you enjoy the city. And please share this post with your friends.