Is Jacksonville Bigger Than Miami? A Detailed Comparison

As two of the largest and most populated cities in Florida, Miami and Jacksonville are often compared and contrasted. With their distinct geography, economies, and vibes, you may be wondering exactly how they stack up in terms of size. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll analyze population, land area, metro regions, city proper boundaries, and other key metrics to definitively answer the question: is Jacksonville bigger than Miami?

Populations Within City Limits

When comparing the populations of Jacksonville and Miami within their city limits, it is important to note that Jacksonville is indeed bigger in terms of land area. With over 840 square miles, Jacksonville is the largest city by land area in the contiguous United States.

Miami, on the other hand, has a land area of around 56 square miles, making it significantly smaller in size.

However, when it comes to population, Miami surpasses Jacksonville. As of the latest available data, Miami has a population of approximately 463,000 residents within its city limits. In contrast, Jacksonville has a population of around 911,000 residents within its city limits.

While Miami may be smaller in land area, it has a higher population density due to its urbanized cityscape.

Factors Affecting Population Differences

There are several factors that contribute to the differences in population between Jacksonville and Miami. One of the main factors is the historical development of the two cities. Miami, with its vibrant culture, beautiful beaches, and thriving tourism industry, has attracted a large number of residents and visitors over the years.

This has led to a relatively higher population within its city limits.

On the other hand, Jacksonville, being a major port city and a hub for transportation and logistics, has experienced steady population growth due to its economic opportunities. Additionally, Jacksonville’s larger land area allows for more room for expansion and development, which has attracted businesses and residents alike.

Implications for Infrastructure and Services

The differences in population between Jacksonville and Miami have implications for the infrastructure and services provided within each city. Miami, with its higher population density, may face challenges in terms of providing adequate housing, transportation, and public services to its residents.

The city has to continually invest in its infrastructure to meet the demands of a growing population.

On the other hand, Jacksonville’s larger land area provides more space for infrastructure development. The city has the advantage of being able to expand its transportation networks, build new housing developments, and offer a wide range of public services to its residents.

It’s important to note that population numbers can change over time as cities continue to grow and evolve. Both Jacksonville and Miami have unique qualities that make them appealing to residents and visitors alike.

Whether you prefer the vibrant city life of Miami or the spaciousness of Jacksonville, both cities offer their own unique charm and opportunities.


Metro Area Populations

When comparing the sizes of Jacksonville and Miami, one of the first aspects to consider is their respective metro area populations. According to the latest available data, the Miami metropolitan area has a population of approximately 6.1 million people.

This makes it the most populous metro area in Florida and the seventh most populous in the United States.

On the other hand, the Jacksonville metropolitan area has a population of around 1.5 million people. While significantly smaller than Miami, it still ranks as the fourth most populous metro area in Florida.

Factors Contributing to Population Differences

There are several factors that contribute to the difference in population between Jacksonville and Miami. One of the main reasons is historical growth patterns. Miami has long been a popular destination for tourists and immigrants, attracting people from all over the world.

Its vibrant nightlife, beautiful beaches, and diverse culture make it an attractive place to live.

Additionally, Miami’s proximity to Latin America and its strong ties to the region have led to a large influx of Hispanic immigrants. This has contributed to the city’s population growth and cultural diversity.

In contrast, Jacksonville has experienced more moderate population growth over the years. While it may not have the same level of international recognition as Miami, it still offers a high quality of life and a thriving job market.

Jacksonville’s strategic location as a major port city and its strong economy have also attracted people from other parts of Florida and the United States.

Implications for Urban Development

The difference in population between Jacksonville and Miami has significant implications for urban development in both cities. Miami’s larger population has led to a higher demand for housing, infrastructure, and public services.

As a result, the city has experienced rapid growth and development in recent years.

On the other hand, Jacksonville’s smaller population has allowed for more controlled and deliberate urban development. The city has been able to focus on sustainable growth and preserving its natural resources.

This has led to the creation of beautiful parks, recreational areas, and a strong sense of community.

Land Area Measurements

When comparing the land area of Jacksonville and Miami, it is important to consider the size of each city. Jacksonville, located in Northeast Florida, is the largest city by land area in the contiguous United States. It covers a massive area of approximately 747 square miles.

On the other hand, Miami, located in Southeast Florida, is relatively smaller in terms of land area. It spans around 56 square miles. While Miami may be smaller in size compared to Jacksonville, it is worth noting that Miami has a much higher population density.

Comparison of Land Areas

To put it into perspective, Jacksonville is about 13 times larger than Miami in terms of land area. To give you a visual representation, imagine Miami fitting comfortably within the boundaries of Jacksonville with plenty of room to spare.

Here is a comparison of the land areas for Jacksonville and Miami:

City Land Area (square miles)
Jacksonville 747
Miami 56

As you can see, Jacksonville’s land area is significantly greater than Miami’s. This is one of the factors that contribute to Jacksonville being considered the largest city in the United States by land area.

It is important to note that the land area measurements mentioned here are based on available data and may be subject to change as cities grow and expand. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, it is always recommended to refer to official sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau or the respective city’s government websites.


Prominent Industries and Employment

Both Jacksonville and Miami have diverse economies, but there are differences in their prominent industries and employment opportunities.


Jacksonville is known for its thriving industries such as logistics, transportation, and distribution. With its strategic location near major ports and highways, Jacksonville has become a hub for companies involved in shipping, warehousing, and distribution.

The city is home to several major transportation companies and has a bustling logistics sector that provides numerous employment opportunities.

In addition to transportation and logistics, Jacksonville also has a strong presence in the healthcare and tourism industries. The city has several world-class healthcare facilities and is a popular destination for medical tourism.

The tourism industry in Jacksonville is also significant, with its beautiful beaches, attractions, and a vibrant arts and culture scene attracting visitors from around the world.


Miami, on the other hand, has a more diverse economy with prominent industries such as finance, international trade, and hospitality. The city is known as the financial hub of Florida, with numerous banks, investment firms, and financial institutions operating in the area.

Miami is also a major center for international trade, with its proximity to Latin America making it a gateway for business and commerce between the United States and the region.

The hospitality industry plays a significant role in Miami’s economy, with the city being a popular tourist destination known for its vibrant nightlife, beautiful beaches, and cultural attractions. The hotel and restaurant sector in Miami provides a wide range of employment opportunities, catering to both domestic and international visitors.


While both cities have their own set of prominent industries, it is clear that Jacksonville has a stronger focus on transportation, logistics, and healthcare, while Miami excels in finance, international trade, and hospitality.

The employment opportunities in these industries can vary depending on the skills and qualifications of individuals. Those interested in logistics and transportation may find more opportunities in Jacksonville, while those with a background in finance or international trade may find Miami to be a more suitable location.

It’s important to note that these industries are not exclusive to each city and there is some overlap. For example, both cities have a presence in healthcare and tourism. However, the prominence and concentration of these industries differ.

For more information on the industries and employment opportunities in Jacksonville and Miami, you can visit the official websites of the respective cities:

Cultural Influence and Global Recognition

When it comes to cultural influence and global recognition, Miami is undoubtedly the clear winner. Known for its vibrant nightlife, beautiful beaches, and thriving art scene, Miami has become a global hub for entertainment and tourism.

The city’s diverse population, with a strong presence of Latin American and Caribbean cultures, has contributed to its unique and vibrant cultural landscape.

On the other hand, while Jacksonville may not have the same level of international recognition as Miami, it still holds its own in terms of cultural influence. Jacksonville is known for its rich history, with significant contributions to the music industry, particularly in the genres of jazz and blues.

The city also boasts a growing arts and theater scene, with several museums, galleries, and performing arts centers.

Music and Entertainment

Miami’s influence in the music and entertainment industry is unparalleled. The city has been a breeding ground for many successful musicians, including Gloria Estefan, Pitbull, and DJ Khaled. Miami is also home to the annual Ultra Music Festival, one of the largest electronic music festivals in the world, attracting thousands of music lovers from around the globe.

Jacksonville, while not as internationally renowned for its music scene, has its fair share of musical talent. The city has produced notable musicians such as Lynyrd Skynyrd and Limp Bizkit. Jacksonville also hosts the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, a renowned event that celebrates the rich history and influence of jazz music.


Miami’s diverse culinary scene reflects the city’s multiculturalism. With a wide range of international cuisines, including Cuban, Venezuelan, and Peruvian, Miami is a food lover’s paradise. The city is also known for its vibrant food markets and food festivals, where visitors can experience a fusion of flavors from around the world.

Jacksonville, while not as well-known for its culinary scene, still offers a variety of dining options. The city is known for its fresh seafood, particularly its delicious local shrimp. Jacksonville’s food scene has been steadily growing, with new restaurants and food festivals popping up to showcase local flavors and ingredients.

Overall Influence

While Miami undeniably holds a stronger global recognition and cultural influence, it’s important to note that Jacksonville has its own unique charm and cultural offerings. Both cities have their own distinct identities and contribute to the rich tapestry of Florida’s cultural landscape.

For more information on Miami’s cultural influence, you can visit the official Miami tourism website: Similarly, to learn more about Jacksonville’s cultural scene, you can visit the official Visit Jacksonville website:


While Miami comes out ahead by some metrics like global fame, Jacksonville edges it out in total land area and population within city proper boundaries. Understanding how these two iconic Florida cities compare and differ in size gives helpful perspective on the diverse urban areas that make up this sunny state. Whether you’re looking for a bustling metro or spread-out scenery, both Miami and Jacksonville have their own expansive offerings.

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