The 10 Worst Miami Suburbs For 2023

We used data and Friday Night Science to identify the worst suburbs of Miami for 2023. The worst Miami suburbs are Florida City and Opa Locka.

The suburbs of Miami call to all types of people looking to escape city live. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Miami to avoid all the hustle and bustle.

So the question arises, do the suburbs maintain a semblance of the larger-than-life appeal of their more famous neighbor?

Today, we’ll use science and data to determine which Miami ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Miami area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the suburbs to live up to Miami proper, although Key Biscayne certainly tries.

Of course, not all suburbs of Miami are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones..

We examined the 48 biggest suburbs of Miami to find out the worst places to live. And while you won’t necessarily find them on the worst places to live in Florida lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Miami in terms of quality of life.

What’s the worst suburb of Miami? Florida City ranks as the worst suburb of Miami for 2023 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

Read on to see how we determined the places around Miami that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.

Or, if you’re thinking of moving to elsewhere in Florida check out the best places in Florida overall or the worst.

And remember, there are some good places to live around Miami too.

For more Florida reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Miami Suburbs To Live For 2023

Florida City, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,844
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $43,599 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.1% (highest)
Median Home Value: $196,100 (3rd lowest)
More on Florida City:  Data | Photos

We’ll get the ball rolling with Florida City, the absolute worst place to live around Miami according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Florida City beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 6th worst in the Miami area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 3rd worst when it comes to home values.

But hey, at least it’s cheap to live there. But there’s a reason for that… it’s Florida City.

You won’t feel bad about not having a great income for the area, there aren’t a bunch of places to spend your money anyway.

Opa Locka, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,310
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $27,734 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.6% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $197,400 (5th lowest)
More on Opa Locka:  Data | Photos

Welcome to Opa Locka. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 9.1 miles to Miami. Income levels here are the lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $27,734 a year, which doesn’t go a long ways even on a shoestring budget.

But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.

Pembroke Park, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,269
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $40,260 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $0 (100th lowest)
More on Pembroke Park:  Data | Photos

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Miami suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Pembroke Park on here. While the cost of living is low, your entertainment and work options are limited. And that’s an understatement.

In terms of numbers, it’s in the worst 15% for insurance, and the adult high school drop out rate is poor compared to other Miami suburbs.

But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.

Homestead, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 78,885
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $52,334 (15th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (17th highest)
Median Home Value: $253,200 (15th lowest)
More on Homestead:  Data | Photos

If you live in Homestead, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 15th lowest Miami suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 17th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Miami. Remember, we looked at 48 cities for this study.

Homestead is about 25.9 miles to downtown.

Lauderdale Lakes, FL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 35,898
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $40,217 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $160,300 (lowest)
More on Lauderdale Lakes:  Data | Photos

Lauderdale Lakes has the distinction of being a Miami suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Lauderdale Lakes has the lowest home values in the metro Miami area, where the median price is $160,300. To put that into perspective, in Key Biscayne, the median income is $167,990, which is the best in the area.

Lauderdale Lakes has an unemployment rate of 7.76% which ranks 9th worst.

West Park, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,074
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $52,102 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.6% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $251,300 (13th lowest)
More on West Park:  Data | Photos

West Park has 15,074 residents that probably know it’s a pretty crummy place to live when you look at the data. (Or, if you’ve ever been there, you don’t need to look at the data.)

Incomes are towards the bottom and the poverty rate sits at 18.07100512888829%.

Dania Beach, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 31,703
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Income: $44,477 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.4% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $217,400 (7th lowest)
More on Dania Beach:  Data | Photos

Ah, Dania Beach. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Miami.

It’s the place with the 7th most out of work residents in the Miami metro area (8.43%).

North Miami, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 60,449
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $44,283 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (13th highest)
Median Home Value: $250,200 (12th lowest)
More on North Miami:  Data | Photos

North Miami is a city about 9.0 miles from Miami, but Miami probably wishes it was further away. It ranks as the 8th worst burb for 2018.

You’d be hard pressed to find a worse place to live. North Miami has the 3rd most uninsured people, 7th worst incomes, and has the 13th highest unemployment rate (6.68%) in the entire Miami metro area.

Homes only cost $250,200 for a reason. That’s cheap for Miami standards.

Miami Gardens, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 111,706
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Income: $51,067 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.5% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $252,600 (14th lowest)
More on Miami Gardens:  Data | Photos

If you absolutely have to live near Miami, then Miami Gardens might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Miami suburb.

About 8.52% of residents are out of work.

Lauderhill, FL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 73,935
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Income: $44,634 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.0% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $190,800 (2nd lowest)
More on Lauderhill:  Data | Photos

Rounding out the ten worst Miami suburbs to call home is Lauderhill.

Located 26.7 miles outside the city, Lauderhills is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 8th highest unemployment rate (7.96%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Miami for 2023

To figure out how bad a Miami suburb is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what suburbs have the least amount of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2017-2021, this is the criteria we used:

  • High unemployment rate
  • Low median household incomes
  • Low population density (no things to do)
  • Low home values
  • A lot of high school drop outs
  • High poverty
  • High rate of uninsured families

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Miami.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 1,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 48 suburbs to evaluate around Miami.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 48 in each category, where 1 was the “worst”.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the worst quality of life index the “Worst Suburb near Miami.” We’re lookin’ at you, Florida City.

Read on below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the worst of the worst. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from worst to best.

Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2023. This is our tenth time ranking the worst suburbs around Miami.

Summary: The areas around Miami where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2023

Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Miami with Florida City casting itself ahead of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Miami aren’t all bad. Key Biscayne takes the cake as the best place to live around Miami.

  • Key Biscayne
  • El Portal
  • Coral Gables

For more Florida reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Miami Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Florida City 12,844 $43,599 $196,100
2 Opa Locka 16,310 $27,734 $197,400
3 Pembroke Park 6,269 $40,260 $0
4 Homestead 78,885 $52,334 $253,200
5 Lauderdale Lakes 35,898 $40,217 $160,300
6 West Park 15,074 $52,102 $251,300
7 Dania Beach 31,703 $44,477 $217,400
8 North Miami 60,449 $44,283 $250,200
9 Miami Gardens 111,706 $51,067 $252,600
10 Lauderhill 73,935 $44,634 $190,800
11 Hallandale Beach 41,004 $41,905 $230,300
12 Sweetwater 19,426 $46,224 $202,200
13 Oakland Park 44,092 $55,700 $267,400
14 North Miami Beach 43,357 $52,223 $230,800
15 Hialeah 224,362 $43,181 $280,000
16 Hollywood 152,597 $56,912 $296,000
17 Fort Lauderdale 182,247 $66,994 $364,100
18 Tamarac 71,140 $54,114 $197,300
19 Sunrise 96,220 $61,830 $249,700
20 Hialeah Gardens 22,917 $55,276 $249,200
21 Cutler Bay 44,865 $73,075 $327,400
22 Davie 104,782 $77,453 $344,800
23 Virginia Gardens 2,229 $64,286 $366,800
24 Miami Beach 83,469 $59,162 $450,700
25 Doral 73,126 $77,774 $420,300
26 West Miami 7,090 $59,436 $363,700
27 Miramar 134,306 $75,200 $333,500
28 Pembroke Pines 170,346 $73,024 $324,300
29 Bal Harbour 3,037 $81,424 $1,357,500
30 South Miami 11,997 $67,110 $577,500
31 Biscayne Park 3,117 $65,000 $516,200
32 Florida 2,921 $101,250 $289,300
33 Sunny Isles Beach 22,234 $51,760 $363,400
34 Miami Springs 13,880 $73,991 $436,700
35 Aventura 39,734 $70,257 $347,800
36 Miami Lakes 30,582 $84,504 $443,600
37 Islandia 3,541 $100,771 $351,800
38 Miami Shores 11,551 $127,721 $590,100
39 Wilton Manors 11,525 $81,250 $425,000
40 Surfside 5,665 $67,544 $628,800
41 Weston 68,148 $122,929 $528,800
42 Southwest Ranches 7,613 $139,980 $698,100
43 Palmetto Bay 24,327 $131,605 $617,900
44 Bay Harbor Islands 5,880 $79,824 $386,300
45 Pinecrest 18,405 $166,801 $937,600
46 Coral Gables 49,269 $113,623 $867,700
47 El Portal 1,756 $94,821 $523,700
48 Key Biscayne 14,530 $167,990 $1,246,700

About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.