Sweetwater, Miami-Dade County, Florida

Coordinates: 25°47′57.52″N 80°22′25.04″W / 25.7993111°N 80.3736222°W / 25.7993111; -80.3736222
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Sweetwater, Florida
City of Sweetwater
Dolphin Mall, Sweetwater
Dolphin Mall, Sweetwater
Official seal for the City of Sweetwater
Little Nicaragua
"Family, God, Education"
U.S. Census Bureau map showing city limits prior to the 2010 annexation
U.S. Census Bureau map showing city limits prior to the 2010 annexation
Coordinates: 25°47′57.52″N 80°22′25.04″W / 25.7993111°N 80.3736222°W / 25.7993111; -80.3736222
Country United States of America
State Florida
County Miami-Dade
IncorporatedOctober 10, 1941
 • TypeMayor-Commission
 • MayorJose "Pepe" Diaz
 • Commission PresidentReinaldo Rey
 • CommissionersIsidro Ruiz,
Saul Diaz,
Marcos Villanueva,
Ian Vallecillo,
Jose Marti, and
Idania Llano
 • City ManagerMayor Jose "Pepe" Diaz
 • City ClerkCarmen Garcia
 • Total2.30 sq mi (10.96 km2)
 • Land2.19 sq mi (5.68 km2)
 • Water0.11 sq mi (0.28 km2)
 • Total19,363
 • Density8,833.49/sq mi (3,410.48/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
33172, 33174 (Miami)
Area code(s)305, 786, 645
FIPS code12-70345[3]
GNIS feature ID2405554[4]

Sweetwater is a city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The city is part of the Miami metropolitan area of South Florida. As of the 2020 census, the population was 19,363,[2] up from 13,499 in 2010.[5]


Sweetwater is located 12 miles (19 km) west of downtown Miami at 25°45′58″N 80°22′25″W / 25.76611°N 80.37361°W / 25.76611; -80.37361 (25.765977, –80.373624).[6] It is bordered to the north and northeast by the city of Doral, to the southeast by Fontainebleau, to the south by Westchester, and to the west by Tamiami. The Ronald Reagan Turnpike forms the western edge of the city, and the Dolphin East-West Expressway crosses the center. U.S. Route 41 (Southwest 8th Street) follows the city's southern border.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Sweetwater has a total area of 4.3 square miles (11 km2), of which 3.9 square miles (10 km2) are land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2), or 9.58%, are water.[1] The city tripled in size in 2010 upon the annexation of additional areas, including where Dolphin Mall is located. The annexed area is roughly bounded by Northwest Seventh and 25th streets, 107th Avenue and Florida's Turnpike extension.[7] The city on December 1, 2021, received approval from the county commission to annex 2 square miles of unincorporated land, bounded by NW 25th Street to the north, NW 12th Street to the south, Florida's Turnpike extension to the east and NW 137th Avenue to the west. It doubled the size of Sweetwater, and the area includes the headquarters of the Telemundo television network, as well as many companies like Topgolf, Amazon, Goya, Home Depot, and City Furniture.

Surrounding areas[edit]


The history of Sweetwater began during the Florida land boom of the 1920s when the Miami-Pittsburgh Land Company purchased land and laid out the original plat of "Sweetwater Groves". However, the 1926 Miami Hurricane and subsequent South Florida real estate "bust" put an abrupt end to the development venture.[8]

In 1938, Clyde Andrews acquired most of the "Sweetwater Groves" tract and began to market lots. Among his buyers was a troupe of Russian dwarves seeking a place to retire after a career with the circus. They built several mini-scaled homes suited to their needs. For years, Sweetwater was known as the "midget" community.[8]

In 1941, Sweetwater held a successful election for incorporation. The new town's first mayor was Joe Sanderlin, the dwarfs’ guardian and manager. By 1959, Sweetwater had attracted 500 residents and contained a town hall, church, grocery store, service station and 183 homes. It also had a two-man police force and a volunteer fire department. In 1970, Sweetwater was still a relatively small community of about 3,000 residents.[8]

During the 1970s, several events dramatically changed the "sleepy little country town" of Sweetwater forever. These events included the establishment of Florida International University to the south of the city, the construction of the two major expressways to the north and west, and the discovery of Sweetwater by Dade County's Hispanic community. The growth and development which was precipitated by these occurrences caused Sweetwater to more than double in population and lead all other Dade cities in growth during the 1970s.[8]

In March 1996, Sweetwater made national news as 69 animals were found dead on two properties in the city. Dade County police and the local zoologist blamed a large dog, while some residents blamed the killings on the chupacabra.[9]

In the 2010s, there are only a few vacant lots left to develop. By 2010, the city's population had burgeoned to 13,499 persons, of which 95.5% were of Hispanic origin. The city now has a full-service police department, four parks, an elementary school, a county fire station, 4,353 residential housing units, 14 shopping centers, over 600 businesses, several churches and a bank. Sweetwater is also located near Miami International Mall. After a December 2010 vote, Dolphin Mall is now part of the city.[10]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[11]

2020 census[edit]

Sweetwater racial composition
(Hispanics excluded from racial categories)
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[12]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 726 3.75%
Black or African American (NH) 126 0.65%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 14 0.07%
Asian (NH) 192 0.99%
Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian (NH) 0 0.00%
Some Other Race (NH) 61 0.32%
Two or more races/Multiracial (NH) 99 0.51%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 18,145 93.71%
Total 19,363 100.00%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 19,363 people, 6,177 households, and 4,522 families residing in the city.[13]

2010 census[edit]

Sweetwater Demographics
2010 Census Sweetwater Miami-Dade County Florida
Total population 13,499 2,496,435 18,801,310
Population, percent change, 2000 to 2010 –5.1% +10.8% +17.6%
Population density 17,023.0/sq mi 1,315.5/sq mi 350.6/sq mi
White or Caucasian (including White Hispanic) 92.4% 73.8% 75.0%
(Non-Hispanic White or Caucasian) 3.5% 15.4% 57.9%
Black or African-American 1.8% 18.9% 16.0%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 95.5% 65.0% 22.5%
Asian 0.5% 1.5% 2.4%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.2% 0.2% 0.4%
Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian 0.0% 0.0% 0.1%
Two or more races (Multiracial) 2.1% 2.4% 2.5%
Some Other Race 3.0% 3.2% 3.6%

As of the 2010 United States census, there were 13,499 people, 4,434 households, and 3,536 families residing in the city.[14]

As of 2013, Spanish was the mother tongue for 95.30% of the population, while English was spoken by 2.90% of all residents. Speakers of other Indo-European languages accounted for 0.30%, while the combined total of those who spoke an Asian language or Pacific Islander language made up 0.80%. The rest of the people who spoke any other languages in Sweetwater were at 0.70%. In total, 97.10% of the populace spoke something other than English as their first language.[15]

2000 census[edit]

In 2000, 39.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.7% were married couples living together, 19.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.8% were non-families. 12.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.33 and the average family size was 3.55.

In 2000, the city population was spread out, with 24.2% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.9 males.

In 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $29,333, and the median income for a family was $30,823. Males had a median income of $22,378 versus $17,020 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,098. About 08.4% of families and 11.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.3% of those under age 18 and 21.7% of those age 65 or over.


The Miami Herald is headquartered in Sweetwater.[16]


Sweetwater is within the Miami-Dade County Public Schools.[17]

Percentage of college graduates 13% of Sweetwater residents age 25 and older have a bachelor's or advanced college degree.[citation needed]

Elementary schools

  • Sweetwater Elementary School serves residents for grades K–5,[18] It is within the city limits.[19]
  • Carlos Finlay Elementary School also serves residents located within the school boundaries for grades K–5, it is located just south of the city limit.[20]

Public middle schools

  • Ruben Dario Middle School (1,305 students in 2006) serves residents for grades 6–8.[21]


  • Eugenia B. Thomas K-8 Center[22]

Public high schools


The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami previously operated Our Lady of Divine Providence School in Fontainebleau CDP,[25][26] in proximity to Sweetwater. It closed in 2009.[27]


  1. ^ a b "2022 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Florida". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 28, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "P1. Race – Sweetwater city, Florida: 2020 DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171)". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved December 28, 2022.
  3. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "Sweetwater (Miami-Dade County)". Roadside Thoughts. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  5. ^ "P1. Race – Sweetwater city, Florida: 2010 DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171)". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved December 28, 2022.
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  7. ^ "Sweetwater gets a lot bigger as it annexes busy mall". Retrieved April 28, 2011.
  8. ^ a b c d "Sweetwater, FL: History and Development". www.cityofsweetwaterfl.gov. Archived from the original on January 5, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
  9. ^ "Monster accused of killing farm animals in Florida (March 28, 1996)". CNN. Retrieved November 1, 2007.
  10. ^ Dolphin Mall
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved February 8, 2022.
  13. ^ "S1101 HOUSEHOLDS AND FAMILIES - 2020: Sweetwater city, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  14. ^ "S1101 HOUSEHOLDS AND FAMILIES - 2010: Sweetwater city, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  15. ^ "SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES 2009-2013 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates for Sweetwater, FL". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  16. ^ "Miami Herald". McClatchy. Retrieved January 8, 2023. 11410 NW 20th St. Suite 222 Sweetwater Fl, 33172
  17. ^ "Zoning Map" (PDF). Sweetwater, Florida. Retrieved January 8, 2023. - Use this map to compare to attendance boundaries or to written descriptions of attendance boundaries. Note that some parcels to the north are zoned for residential purposes.
  18. ^ "Sweetwater ES". Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  19. ^ "Sweetwater city, Florida[permanent dead link]." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on September 28, 2009.
  20. ^ "Dr. Carlos J. Finlay ES". Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  21. ^ "Ruben Dario MS". Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  22. ^ "Eugenia B. Thomas K-8 Center". Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  23. ^ "Miami Coral Park SHS". Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  24. ^ "G. Holmes Braddock SHS". Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  25. ^ "Our Lady of Divine Providence". Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami. December 30, 2003. Archived from the original on December 30, 2003. Retrieved May 10, 2020. Our Lady of Divine Providence 10207 West Flagler Street Miami, Florida 33174
  26. ^ "2000 Census Block Map: Fontainebleau CDP" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved May 10, 2020. - The area with Our Lady of Divine Providence is on page 2
  27. ^ Johnson, Akilah (January 23, 2009). "Six schools to close as Archdiocese retrenches". South Florida Sun Sentinel. Retrieved May 10, 2020. - The article identifies Our Lady of Divine Providence as being in Sweetwater though as of 2000 it was in the Fontainebleau CDP (location seen here)

External links[edit]