Brain Gain: Downtown Miami’s population doubles since 2000

It wasn’t long ago that downtown Miami was a 9-to-5 business district with little by way of a built-in residential population. Growing up in South Florida, most people went to downtown for three reasons: to attend a HEAT game; to board a cruise ship; or to fight a traffic ticket at the courthouse.

There were no museums, no bars, no restaurants, little by way of hotels. You get the picture.
Fast-forward to today and things are changing for the better — and quickly.

Downtown Miami is now a buzzing urban core complete with mass transit systems, parks, cultural outlets, trendy eateries and — wait for it — people!

You see, none of this would have happened without population growth. It’s the downtowners who are patronizing businesses, populating the streets at night, and sending the message that the city center is a living, breathing neighborhood. And the number of people who fall into this category is growing.

A new Demographics Report by the Miami Downtown Development Authority finds that the City’s urban core is home to 80,750 residents – a 99.6% increase from the 2000 U.S. Census. (check out the DDA’s infographic, below). But wait, there’s more.

The study also finds that downtown’s population is becoming younger, more educated, and more affluent. Residents ages 25-44 make up 46% of the population and 58% percent of residents over the age of 25 have a college degree. The area’s median income is $65,311, well above both the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County.

All of this spells progress for a downtown district that was overlooked for decades as Miami residents bolted for the suburbs. All signs indicate that this growth will continue, with young professionals leading the charge.