The Automobile Manufacturers Association reported in 1940 that Miami led the nation among major cities in the number of cars per capita. A count of 53,078 cars converted into an impressive 2.8 per capita, or a car for every 2.8 persons. That figure topped the 2.9 number in Los Angeles and 3.0 in Long Beach CA. The Magic City held the lead in the number of cars well into the 1960s.
The national auto per capita (per 1,000) the following decades reveals how impressive Miami’s 1940 statistic was:
1950 .28 per capita
1960 .37 "
1970 .48 "
1980 .62 "
1990 .72 "
1999 .77 "
With a metric that could point to prosperity or a climate well-suited for conspicuous consumption, came grim vehicle-related news a few decades later. In 1962, the Miami area—Dade County—held the distinction of reporting the highest number of vehicular deaths in the nation. It may not come as a surprise to some that in 2009 the Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach statistical area ranked among the nation’s top 50 in motor vehicle crash death rates at 11.1 deaths per 100,000. Jacksonville, FL counted 13.3 per 100,000, while Houston, Texas cited 12.9 deaths. Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved. Jane Feehan.
Miami News, Dec. 30, 1962Miami News, Nov. 16, 1964
Centers for Disease Control www.cdc.gov
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics 2007
Car: The Definitive Visual History of the Automobile
Tags; Miami history, SOFLA auto ownership history, cars in Miami, auto deaths, vehicular motor crash stats, film researcher, historical researcher