The South Florida Metropolitan Area - Higher Education Facts

South Florida is a metropolitan region of about 5.8 million residents, as of 2013 census figures, anchored by the cities of Miami and Fort Lauderdale. This large metropolitan area is home to a wide variety of colleges, universities, technical institutes and career schools. Read about the area's economy, population and schools below.

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Information about South Florida

South Florida is the name for the sprawling metropolitan area centered around the cities of Miami and Fort Lauderdale on Florida's Atlantic coast. The three counties that make up this area include Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach. Miami-Dade is the largest county with nearly 2.7 million residents, according to 2015 U.S. census estimates. Palm Beach County had 1.4 million residents, and Broward had about 1.9 million residents in that same year.

Attractions in this area are abundant. Sights in the Miami area include Miami Beach, the Perez Art Museum and the Bayside Marketplace, while Fort Lauderdale is home to the Museum of Science and Discovery. The entire metropolitan area is convenient to the Florida Everglades, a vast marshland anchored by Lake Okeechobee.

Higher Education

South Florida's residents have access to roughly 50 public and private non-profit institutions of higher learning. The largest college in this area is Miami Dade College, which offers programs to about 66,000 students. The school primarily offers associate's degrees, but it also has bachelor's degree and certificate programs in about 60 areas of study. Florida International University is a public school located in Miami that offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Other large schools in the region include Broward College, Palm Beach State College, Nova Southeastern University and University of Miami.

Economy and Employment

A diverse industrial base keeps the South Florida economy humming even during times of slow growth. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 592,000 people were employed in trade, transportation, and utilities in the Miami area as of March 2016. About 411,000 people were employed in professional and business services, while nearly 375,000 people were employed in education and health services. Downtown Miami is home to a major international business community and is one of the country's largest financial centers, while the Port of Miami is the world's busiest passenger cruise port.

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