More Than 40,000 People Move Annually To Miami From Caribbean and South America

Over 27,000 people moved to Miami from the Caribbean per year between 2009 and 2013
Over 27,000 people moved to Miami from the Caribbean per year between 2009 and 2013
Photo courtesy of Eric Salard

It’s no secret that virtually everyone in this town comes from somewhere else. But just where do we hail from and in what proportions?

New migration data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows where people were coming from when they moved to the Miami area between 2009 and 2013. As if you had any doubt, we’re a city vastly comprised of people from South America and the Caribbean.

During those years, 40.2 percent of people moving to Miami from abroad were from the Caribbean, and 23 percent were from South America. That’s more than 27,000 people per year who moved from the Caribbean to Miami, and nearly 15,000 from South America.

After the Census Bureau released the data late last month, which outlines where U.S. residents lived one year prior, Washington Post reporters Christopher Ingraham and Emily Badger did the arduous number crunching. And they recently presented their findings in some nifty maps and charts, showing how Americans moved between the biggest U.S. metro areas, and where people moved in the U.S. when they came from overseas. The results are pretty darn fascinating. 

“Many American cities are distinctly shaped by ties to other parts of the world,” reports the Post. “Census data on where people move can reveal a sense of … varied international connections. Washington has its Ethiopian community, and the restaurants that have come with it. Chicago has its Mexican neighborhoods, Minneapolis its Hmong culture, Miami its links to Cuba.”

Our paltry ties to Asia and Africa also reveal themselves in the data. In nearly every one of the 50 largest metro areas in the United States, the largest share of foreign moves came in from Asia — except for Miami, San Antonio and New Orleans. Indeed, just 9 percent of international movers to Miami between 2009 and 2013 were from Asia — at a little over 6,000 per year.

And international movers to Miami from Africa were even more meager: Less than 1 percent of people who moved to Miami came from Africa, at just 488 people per year. That’s compared to the more than 15 percent of people who moved to the Washington D.C. metropolitan area per year who came from Africa, or close to 10,000 people per year.

Miami also received 6,802 international movers from Europe per year, and 6,208 from Central America. (Comparatively: New York took in over 29,000 Europeans per year, and Los Angeles received over 17,000 people per year from Central America.)

The reporters note that the data captures people regardless of legal status.

When it comes to domestic city-to-city migration, one major trend emerges: More than 22,000 New Yorkers moved to Miami per year from 2009 to 2013. Guess those winters are just too brutal.

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