Miami is the seat of Miami-Dade County, and the cultural, economic and financial center of South Florida in the United States. Miami is a major center and leader in finance, commerce, culture, media, entertainment, the arts, and international trade. The metro area is by far the largest urban economy in Florida and the 12th largest in the United States, with a GDP of $344.9 billion as of 2017. In 2018, Miami was classified as an Alpha level global city by the GaWC. In 2019, Miami ranked seventh in the United States and 31st among global cities in terms of business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience, and political engagement. According to a 2018 UBS study of 77 world cities, the city was ranked as the third-richest in the United States and the eighth-richest in the world in terms of purchasing power. Miami is split roughly into north, south, west and Downtown areas. The heart of the city is Downtown Miami, which is on the eastern side and includes the neighborhoods of Brickell, Virginia Key, Watson Island, as well as PortMiami.
Downtown Miami is Florida’s largest and most influential central business district, with many major banks, courthouses, financial headquarters, cultural and tourist attractions, schools, parks and a large residential population. Brickell Avenue has the largest concentration of international banks in the United States. Just northwest of Downtown is the Health District, which is Miami’s center for hospitals, research institutes and biotechnology, with hospitals such as Jackson Memorial Hospital and the University of Miami’s Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. Miami-Dade County has over 200,000 students enrolled in local colleges and universities, placing it seventh in the nation in per capita university enrollment. Miami is home to some of the nation’s best high schools, such as Design and Architecture High School, ranked the nation’s best magnet school, MAST Academy, Coral Reef High School, ranked 20th-best public high school in the U.S., Miami Palmetto High School, and the New World School of the Arts. Miami is home to several well-known Roman Catholic, Jewish and non-denominational private schools.