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Hialeah, Florida

Hialeah, Florida
Haiyakpo-hili (Seminole)
City of Hialeah
Flag of Hialeah, Florida
Official seal of Hialeah, Florida
Nickname(s): "The City of Progress"
Location in Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida
Location in Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida
U.S. Census Bureau map showing city limits prior to most recent annexation
U.S. Census Bureau map showing city limits prior to most recent annexation
Country  United States of America
State  Florida
County Miami-Dade
Incorporation September 10, 1925
 • Type Council-Mayor
 • Mayor Carlos Hernández[1]
 • Council President Isis García-Martínez
 • Councilmembers José F. Caragol, Vivian Casáls-Muñoz, Katharine Cue-Fuente, Lourdes Lozano, Paul B. Hernández, and Vice-Council President Luis González
 • City Manager Mayor Carlos Hernández
 • City 19.7 sq mi (51.51 km2)
 • Land 19.2 sq mi (49.8 km2)
 • Water 0.5 sq mi (1.3 km2)
Elevation 7 ft (2 m)
Population (2010)
 • City 224,669
 • Density 10,474.2/sq mi (4,044.1/km2)
 • Metro 5,828,191
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 33002, 33010-33018
Area code(s) 305, 786
FIPS code 12-30000
GNIS feature ID 0305059[2]
Website City of Hialeah official site

Hialeah (pronunciation: ) is a city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 census, Hialeah has a population of 224,669. Hialeah is the sixth-largest city in the state, and is a major municipality within Greater Miami.

Hialeah has the highest percentage of Cuban and Cuban American residents of any city in the United States, at 74% of the population, making them a distinctive and prominent feature of the city's culture.

Hialeah also has one of the largest Spanish-speaking communities in the country. In 2000, 92% of residents reported speaking Spanish at home, and the language is an important part of daily life in the city. This has attracted many companies to Hialeah, such as Telemundo, the second largest Spanish-language television network in the United States, which is headquartered in the city.

Hialeah is served by the Miami Metrorail at Okeechobee, Hialeah, and Tri-Rail/Metrorail Transfer stations. The Okeechobee and Hialeah stations serve primarily as park-and-ride commuter stations to commuters and residents going into Downtown Miami, and Tri-Rail station to Miami International Airport and north to West Palm Beach.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Surrounding areas 2.1
  • Demographics 3
    • Religion 3.1
  • Economy 4
  • Recreation 5
  • Government and infrastructure 6
    • Politics 6.1
  • Education 7
    • Public primary and secondary schools 7.1
    • Private schools 7.2
    • Post-secondary 7.3
      • Community colleges 7.3.1
      • Private colleges and universities 7.3.2
    • Public library 7.4
  • Transportation 8
    • Rail 8.1
    • Road 8.2
  • Notable people 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


The city's name is most commonly attributed to Muskogee origin, "Haiyakpo" (prairie) and "hili" (pretty) combining in "Hialeah" to mean "pretty prairie". Alternatively, the word is of Seminole origin meaning "Upland Prairie". The city is located upon a large prairie between Biscayne Bay and the Everglades.

The Seminole interpretation of its name, "High Prairie", evokes a picture of the grassy plains used by the native Indians coming from the everglades to dock their canoes and display their wares for the newcomers of Miami. This "high prairie" caught the eye of pioneer aviator Glenn Curtiss and Missouri cattleman James H. Bright in 1921.[3][4] Together, they developed not only the town of Hialeah but also Hialeah Park Race Track.

Downtown Hialeah in 1921
Group of tour buses sponsored by real estate developers in Hialeah in 1921.

In the early "Roaring '20s", Hialeah produced significant entertainment contributions. Sporting included the Spanish sport of jai alai and greyhound racing, and media included silent movies like D. W. Griffith's The White Rose which was made at the Miami Movie Studios located in Hialeah. However, the 1926 Miami hurricane brought many of these things to an end.[3][4]

In the years since its incorporation in 1921, many historical events and people have been associated with Hialeah. The opening of the horse racing course at Hialeah Park Race Track in 1925 (which was nicknamed the "Grand Dame") received more coverage in the Miami media than any other sporting event in the history of Miami up to that time and since then there have been countless horse racing histories played out at the world famous 220-acre (0.89 km2) park.[3] It was considered one of the most grand of thoroughbred horse racing parks with its majestic Mediterranean style architecture and was considered the Jewel of Hialeah at the time.[4][5]

The Park's grandeur has attracted millions, included among them are names known around the world such as the National Register of Historic Places. The famous aviatrix Amelia Earhart in 1937 said her final good-byes to the continental U.S. from Hialeah as she left on her ill-fated flight around the world in 1937.[3][4]

While Hialeah was once envisioned as a playground for the elite, Cuban exiles, fleeing Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution as well as World War II veterans and city planners transformed the city into a working-class community. Hialeah historian Patricia Fernández-Kelly explained "It became an affordable Eden." She further describes the city as "a place where different groups have left their imprint while trying to create a sample of what life should be like." Several waves of Cuban exiles, starting after the Cuban Revolution in 1959 and continuing through to the Freedom Flights from 1965–1973, the Mariel boatlift in 1980, and the Balseros or boat people of the late 1990s, created what at least one expert has considered the most economically successful immigrant enclave in U.S. history as Hialeah is the only American industrial city that continues to grow.[5]

From a population of 1,500 in 1925, Hialeah has grown at a rate faster than most of the ten largest cities in the State of Florida since the 1960s and holds the rank of Florida's fifth-largest city, with more than 224,000 residents. The city is also one of the largest employers in Dade County. Predominantly Hispanic, Hialeah residents are characterized as having assimilated their cultural heritage and traditions into a hard-working and diverse community proud of its ethnicity and family oriented neighborhoods.[3][4]

In January 2009, Forbes magazine listed Hialeah as one of the most boring cities in the United States citing the city's large population and anonymity in the national media.[6]


Hialeah is located at (25.860474, -80.293971).[7]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.7 square miles (51 km2). 19.2 square miles (50 km2) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) of it (2.53%) is water.

Surrounding areas


Hialeah Demographics
2010 Census Hialeah Miami-Dade County Florida
Total population 224,669 2,496,435 18,801,310
Population, percent change, 2000 to 2010 -0.8% +10.8% +17.6%
Population density 10,474.2/sq mi 1,315.5/sq mi 350.6/sq mi
White or Caucasian (including White Hispanic) 92.6% 73.8% 75.0%
(Non-Hispanic White or Caucasian) 4.2% 15.4% 57.9%
Black or African-American 2.7% 18.9% 16.0%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 94.7% 65.0% 22.5%
Asian 0.4% 1.5% 2.4%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.1% 0.2% 0.4%
Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian 0.0% 0.0% 0.1%
Two or more races (Multiracial) 1.6% 2.4% 2.5%
Some Other Race 2.6% 3.2% 3.6%

Hialeah is the tenth-largest city in the United States among cities with a population density of more than 10,000 people per square mile.

As of 2010, there were 74,067 households, with 3.9% being vacant. As of 2000, 36.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.4% were married couples living together, 17.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.7% were non-families. 14.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.15 and the average family size was 3.39.

In 2000, the age distribution of the population showed 23.0% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 29.4% from 25 to 44, 22.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.

In 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $29,492, and the median income for a family was $31,621. Males had a median income of $23,133 versus $17,886 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,402. About 16.0% of families and 18.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.2% of those under age 18 and 22.4% of those age 65 or over.

As of 2010, Hialeah had the highest percentage of Cuban and Cuban American residents in the United States, with 73.37% of the populace.[11] It had the forty-third highest percentage of Colombian and Colombian American residents in the US, at 3.16% of the city's population,[12] and the eighty-fifth highest percentage of Dominican and Dominican American residents in the US, at 1.81% of the its population.[13] It also had the thirty-eighth highest percentage of Hondurans and Honduran American in the US, at 1.15%,[14] while it had the eighth highest percentage of Nicaraguans and Nicaraguan American, at 4.07% of all residents.[15]

Hialeah ranks #2 (nearby Hialeah Gardens ranks as #1) in the list of cities in the United States where Spanish is most spoken. As of 2000, 92.14% of the population spoke Spanish at home, while those who spoke only English made up 7.37% of the population. All other languages spoken were below 1% of the population.[16]


While Roman Catholicism is overwhelmingly the majority religion of city residents, Hialeah also contains the largest Santero Community outside of Cuba.[17] A city ordinance restricting the Santería practice of animal sacrifice was ruled unconstitutional in Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah.


Sears entrance to Westland Mall

The City of Hialeah is a significant commercial center in Miami-Dade County. The city is host to national retailers such as Starbucks, Target, Best Buy, Kohl's, Walmart, Lowe's, The Home Depot as well as homegrown business such as Navarro and Sedano's.[18]

Hialeah is also home to vibrant community of mom and pop stores.[19] These shops have been noted to actively and successfully compete against national name brand retailers, outfitters, and franchises.[19] In order to remain competitive national businesses have altered their traditional business strategy to meet the demands of the local community. Publix supermarkets opened a Publix Sabor along one of the city's main streets which caters exclusively to Latin American and Hispanic clientele.[20][21] Moreover, while most of the manufacturing and cloth industry that made Hialeah an industrial city in the 1970s-1980s have disappeared, new electronics and technology businesses have reinvigorated the local economy.[22]

Westland Mall provides residents with over 100 stores and several eateries. Macy's, J. C. Penney, and Sears are the main anchor stores located at Westland Mall. Visitors can dine at Fuddruckers, IHOP, Los Ranchos Steakhouse, Chili's, Manchu Wok, McDonald's, and Edy's among other eateries.

Telemundo, the second largest Spanish-language TV network in the United States is headquartered at 2290 West 8th Avenue in Hialeah.[23][24]


In March 2009, it was announced that a $40–$90 Million restoration project was set to begin within the year on the Hialeah Park Race Track.[25] On May 7, 2009 the Florida legislature agreed to a deal with the Seminole Tribe of Florida that allowed Hialeah Park to operate slot machines and run Quarter Horse races.[26] The historic racetrack reopened on November 28, 2009 but only for quarter horse races. The park installed slot machines in January 2010 as part of a deal to allow for two calendar seasons of racing. The races went on all the way until February 2, 2010.[27] Only a portion of the park has been restored and an additional $30 million will be needed to complete this first phase of the project. The full transformation is expected to cost $1 billion since the plan includes a complete redevelopment of the surrounding area including the construction of an entertainment complex to include a hotel, restaurants, casinos, stores and a theater.In June 2010 concerns were raised over the preservation of Hialeah Park's historical status as the planned development threatens to hurt Hialeah Park's status as a National Historic Landmark.

"Hialeah Park, Fla., the world's greatest race course, Miami Jockey Club."

The City of Hialeah boasts 3 tennis centers, more than 5 public swimming pools and aquatic centers, and more than 14 public parks totaling more than 100 acres (0.40 km2) combined. Furthermore, "Milander Park features a municipal auditorium and a 10,000 seat football stadium."[3][28]

Amelia Earhart Park also serves the Hialeah community.[29] Located just south of the Opa Locka Airport, the park consists of 515 acres, including a five-acre Bark Park for dogs. It offers a variety of amenities, programs and activities including mountain biking, soccer, Tom Sawyer's Play Island and Bill Graham Farm Village. It also houses the new Miami Watersports Complex (MWC) which offers cable and boat wakeboarding, waterskiing, wake surfing, knee boarding and paddle boarding.

Government and infrastructure

The University of Florida College of Dentistry operates the Hialeah Dental Clinic. It opened in 1997 to serve Hispanic populations in South Florida.[30]


Hialeah is located within Florida's 27th Congressional District. It is currently represented in the House of Representatives by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican.[31] According to the nonpartisan Bay Area Center for Voting Research (BACVR) Hialeah, Florida is the fourth most conservative city in the United States.[32] The current mayor of Hialeah is Carlos Hernández.[33]


Public primary and secondary schools

Miami-Dade County Public Schools serves Hialeah.[34]

Two high schools serving the Hialeah community, Mater Academy Charter High School and Miami Lakes Tech, were named as "Silver" award winners in U.S. News & World Report‍ '​s "Best High Schools 2008 Search".[35]

Institution Type Grades Enrollment Nickname/Mascot Colors
Amelia Earhart Elementary School Elementary K-5 473 Airplanes          
Ben Sheppard Elementary School Magnet K-5 963 Silver Hawks          
Bob Graham Education Center K-8 Center K-8 1696 Bobcats          
City of Hialeah Educational Academy Charter 9-12 450 Bulldogs          
Earnest R. Graham K-8 Academy K-8 Center K-8 1455
Flamingo Elementary School Elementary K-5 950
Henry H. Filer Middle School Middle 6-8 1093 Panthers               
Hialeah Elementary School Elementary K-5 647 Tigers     
Hialeah Middle School Middle 6-8 872 Broncos          
Hialeah High School Senior High 9-12 2874 Thoroughbreds          
Hialeah-Miami Lakes High School Senior High 9-12 1668 Trojans          
iPrep Academy @ Hialeah-Miami Lakes Magnet 9-12 100 Trojans          
James H. Bright/J.W. Johnson Elementary School Elementary K-5 690 Alligators          
John G. DuPuis Elementary School Elementary K-5 637 Dolphins          
José Martí MAST 6-12 Academy Magnet 6-12 568 Silver Knights               
M.A. Milam K-8 Center K-8 Center K-8 976 Colts          
Mae M. Walters Elementary School Elementary K-5 625 Eagles          
Meadowlane Elementary School Elementary K-5 985 Tigers          
North Hialeah Elementary School Elementary K-5 573 Eagles          
North Twin Lakes Elementary School Elementary K-5 554
Palm Lakes Elementary School Elementary K-5 747 Dolphins          
Palm Springs Elementary School Elementary K-5 701 Florida Panthers          
Palm Springs Middle School Middle 6-8 1233 Pacers               
South Hialeah Elementary School Elementary K-5 1107 Sharks          
Twin Lakes Elementary School Elementary K-5 565 Eagles          
Westland Hialeah High School Magnet 9-12 2137 Wildcats               
Youth Co-Op Preparatory Charter School Charter K-8 Tigers
Youth Co-Op Preparatory High School Charter 9-10 Titans

Private schools

Hialeah-Miami Lakes High
  • Champagnat Catholic School - Serves mainly southern and south-central Hialeah[36]
  • Our Lady of Charity School - A private Catholic school not formally associated with the Roman Catholic Church, is located in Hialeah.[37]
  • St. John the Apostle School - Serves mainly southern and south-central Hialeah[38]
  • Immaculate Conception School[39]
  • Horeb Christian School
  • Edison Private School
José Martí MAST 6-12 Academy


Community colleges

  • Miami-Dade College Hialeah Campus has served as the city's academic center since 1980. Besides its academic mission, the campus also sponsors numerous cultural and community events.[40]

Private colleges and universities

Public library

Hialeah's public library was founded in 1924, one year prior to the incorporation of the city.[41] While over the years the county wide Miami-Dade Public Library System has taken over the libraries of most of the cities in the county, Hialeah public libraries function independently from the county wide system.[42][43]


A projection from 1922 that reads "A projection of the town of Hialeah at the Curtiss-Bright Ranch: Gateway to the Everglades, the first town west of Miami, Florida"
Intersection of Palm Avenue and County Road (now Okeechobee Road / U.S. 27) in 1921

In 2013, Hialeah was named a top five city with the worst drivers by Slate and Allstate.[44][45]


Hialeah is served by Miami-Dade Transit along major thoroughfares by Metrobus, and by the Miami Metrorail, Tri-Rail, and Amtrak at:





"All Ways Lead to Hialeah" was one of the city’s first slogans. At the time, Glenn Curtiss and James Bright could not have imagined the important link in the transportation chain provided by Hialeah’s location. Sitting in the heart of northwest Dade, Hialeah has access to every major thoroughfare linked by:

Notable people

Alex Ávila

See also


  1. ^ "Biography of the Mayor". Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Hialeah History". Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Hialeah History at Hello Hialeah". Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Hialeah Historian". March 27, 2002. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  6. ^ Zumbrun, Joshua. "In Pictures: America's 10 Most Boring Cities". Forbes. 
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved April 19, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved April 19, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Ancestry Map of Cuban Communities". Retrieved October 30, 2007. 
  12. ^ "Ancestry Map of Colombian Communities". Retrieved October 30, 2007. 
  13. ^ "Ancestry Map of Dominican Communities". Retrieved October 30, 2007. 
  14. ^ "Ancestry Map of Honduran Communities". Retrieved October 30, 2007. 
  15. ^ "Ancestry Map of Nicaraguan Communities". Retrieved October 30, 2007. 
  16. ^ "MLA Data Center Results of Hialeah, Fla.".  
  17. ^ Gills, Ivan. "Hialeah, FL 1 of 110 Active Retirement Communities Location". e50plus. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  18. ^ [2] Archived May 7, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ a b Cusack, Liam (December 2012). "The South Florida Cooperator". Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  20. ^ Keller, Amy (October 1, 2007). "Publix's New Flavor". Florida Trend. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  21. ^ Griffin, Justine (July 10, 2012). "First Publix Sabor in Palm Beach County opens in Lake Worth". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved May 4, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Energy Saving Device, "The Guardian," Provides Green Solution To Energy Bills". Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Legal corporate english." Telemundo. Retrieved on February 3, 2009.
  24. ^ "Hispanic Viewers Hooked on the New American Idol: Barack Obama". January 29, 2009. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  25. ^ Freer, Jim (April 16, 2009). "Owner: Legislation Key to 'New' Hialeah". Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Hialeah Park and Race Track". The Miami Urbex. Blogspot. June 8, 2013. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  27. ^ "The rebirth of Hialeah Park: Racing returns Nov. 28". Sun Sentinel. All Voices. September 17, 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  28. ^ "City of Hialeah Recreation Parks and Facilities". Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Miami-Dade County - Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces - Amelia Earhart Park". June 22, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Hialeah Dental Clinic Turns 10." Gator Dentist Today. University of Florida College of Dentistry. Northern hemisphere Fall of 2007. p. 4. Retrieved on April 15, 2012.
  31. ^ "Directory of Representatives". The United States House of Representatives. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Study Ranks America's Most Liberal and Conservative Cities". August 16, 2005. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  33. ^ Benjamin S. Brasch; Joey Flechas (August 2, 2013). "There candidates for mayor in Hialeah". Miami Herald. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  34. ^ "2009-10 School List by Elected Officials, 12-11-09.XLS" (PDF). Retrieved October 24, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Best High Schools in the US | Top US High Schools". US News & World Report. Retrieved August 14, 2012. 
  36. ^ "Introduction to CCS". February 9, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  37. ^ Padgett, Tim. "A Florida Epidemic: Female Teachers Sleeping with Their Students." Time. Friday May 29, 2009. Retrieved on May 29, 2009.
  38. ^ "St John The Apostle School". Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  39. ^ "Immaculate Conception Catholic School". Retrieved October 24, 2012. 
  40. ^ "MDC Hialeah Campus". Retrieved August 4, 2012. 
  41. ^ "Our History". City of Hialeah. Retrieved November 2, 2013. 
  42. ^ "History of the Miami-Dade Public Library System" (PDF). Retrieved April 24, 2015. 
  43. ^ "Welcome to the Hialeah Libraries!". Retrieved April 24, 2015. 
  44. ^ Munzenrieder, Kyle (August 28, 2013). "Allstate Claims Hialeah Has America's 4th Worst Drivers, Miami 8th". Riptide. Miami New Times. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  45. ^ Palmer, Brian (July 25, 2013). "Which U.S. City Has the Worst Drivers?". Slate. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  46. ^ "Alex Avila Stats". ESPN. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  47. ^ Rubin, Sam. """Maria Canals-Barrera & David DeLuise On "The Wizards Return. KTLA. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  48. ^ "Devin Bush, FS at". National Football League. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  49. ^ "Judo Olympian Capo dies at 48". USA Today 30. July 7, 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  50. ^ "Harry Wayne Casey". TMZ. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  51. ^ Bill Buchalter (March 30, 1986). "Chris Is Dominating Name In State Basketball Miami Lakes' Corchiani, Washington's Davis Head Boys', Girls' All-southern Squads". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  52. ^ "Jack Daugherty". Baseball-Reference. Sports-Reference. Retrieved November 13, 2014. 
  53. ^ Whitty, Stephen (May 9, 2010). "Two-time Oscar nominee Catherine Keener has earned a reputation for mastering complex roles". New Jersey. Retrieved April 24, 2015. 
  54. ^ Tester, Hank (September 23, 2010). "All Grown Up: The Face of the Cuban Rafter Crisis". NBC Miami. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  55. ^ Wine, Steven. "Vet WR Timpson returns home to play for Dolphins", Associated Press, July 28, 2007. Accessed December 23, 2007. "That was in 1985, when Timpson was a highly sought prospect from Hialeah-Miami Lakes High School."

External links

  • City of Hialeah official site
  • Hialeah Chamber of Commerce official site
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