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Miami and its metropolitan area grew from just over 1,000 residents to nearly 5.5 million residents in just 110 years (1896–2006).The city's nickname, The Magic City, comes from this rapid growth.The Tequestas occupied the area for a thousand years before encountering Europeans. In 1566 admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Florida's first governor, claimed the area for Spain.An Indian village of hundreds of people dating to 500–600 B. A Spanish mission was constructed one year later in 1567.
Miami and its suburbs are located on a broad plain between the Florida Everglades to the west and Biscayne Bay to the east, which also extends from Florida Bay north to Lake Okeechobee.
The elevation of the area never rises above 40 ft (12 m) above mean sea level in most neighborhoods, especially near the coast.
The highest undulations are found along the coastal Miami Rock Ridge, whose substrate underlies most of the eastern Miami metropolitan region.
It accommodates some of the world's largest cruise ships and operations, and is the busiest port in both passenger traffic and cruise lines.
The Miami area was inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous Native American tribes.