Thursday, September 07, 2006

Miami, poor?

I wrote this letter to the editors of The Herald in response to a recent editorial they ran about Miami being the 3rd poorest city in the country. They haven't published my letter, so I figure they won't at this point and thus I'm posting it here.

Dear Editors,

I would caution The Herald to be more precise in its description of Miami as "third-worst in the nation among major cities in the level of poverty" ("Despite boom, high poverty rate persists", 9/1/2006). While the statistic is true, it is only true about the City of Miami, not the county. According to the Census Bureau The City of Miami's population of 386,417 accounts for only 16% of the county's 2.376 million residents. The real news is that Miami-Dade county's most famous municipality (the one with which it shares its name) has become a stepping stone community. The City of Miami has long been a first stop for recent arrivals from Latin America. When Miami residents prosper they tend to move out to the other cities and villages or to unincorporated parts of the county. Certainly The City of Miami's poverty needs to be taken seriously but mischaracterizing the statistics is not constructive.

Henry Louis Gomez
Unincorporated Miami-Dade County, FL

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