The 10 Worst Miami Suburbs For 2021


We used science to determine which Miami burbs are the real pits.

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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 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the worst suburbs around Miami.

Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Miami.

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 47 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 2021 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.

Editor's Note: If you see a slight difference between the worst in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it's because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.

For more Florida reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Miami Suburbs To Live For 2021

Florida City, FL

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 11,928
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $35,253 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.0% (highest)
Median Home Value: $153,100 (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 3rd 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

4
/10

Population: 16,149
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $21,523 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.6% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $154,300 (4th 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 $21,523 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

4
/10

Population: 6,677
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 4)
Median Income: $38,119 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (27th highest)
Median Home Value: $84,400 (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.

Lauderdale Lakes, FL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 35,606
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $35,532 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.7% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $119,800 (2nd lowest)
More on Lauderdale Lakes:  Data | Photos

If you live in Lauderdale Lakes, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 4th lowest Miami suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 3rd worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Miami. Remember, we looked at 47 cities for this study.

Lauderdale Lakes is about 27.1 miles to downtown.

Homestead, FL

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 68,438
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Income: $47,508 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (14th highest)
Median Home Value: $222,300 (17th lowest)
More on Homestead:  Data | Photos

Homestead has the distinction of being a Miami suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Homestead has the 17th lowest home values in the metro Miami area, where the median price is $222,300. To put that into perspective, in Key Biscayne, the median income is $156,875, which is the best in the area.

Homestead has an unemployment rate of 7.09% which ranks 14th worst.

Miami Gardens, FL

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 111,363
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Income: $44,064 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $190,200 (9th lowest)
More on Miami Gardens:  Data | Photos

Miami Gardens has 111,363 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 20.951809201549963%.

North Miami, FL

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 62,489
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $41,611 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $202,600 (12th lowest)
More on North Miami:  Data | Photos

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

It's the place with the 9th most out of work residents in the Miami metro area (7.59%).

West Park, FL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 15,012
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Median Income: $46,765 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (19th highest)
Median Home Value: $174,800 (7th lowest)
More on West Park:  Data | Photos

West Park is a city about 14.2 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. West Park has the 6th most uninsured people, 12th worst incomes, and has the 19th highest unemployment rate (6.63%) in the entire Miami metro area.

Homes only cost $174,800 for a reason. That's cheap for Miami standards.

Lauderhill, FL

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 71,625
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Income: $41,723 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.1% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $154,400 (5th lowest)
More on Lauderhill:  Data | Photos

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

About 8.12% of residents are out of work.

North Miami Beach, FL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 42,971
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Income: $43,788 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (17th highest)
Median Home Value: $194,300 (10th lowest)
More on North Miami Beach:  Data | Photos

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

Located 11.0 miles outside the city, North Miami Beachs is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 17th highest unemployment rate (6.9%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Miami for 2021

To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities 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 2015-2019, 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 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 47 suburbs to evaluate around Miami.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 47 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. You can download the data here.

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.

The areas around Miami where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2021

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
  • Pinecrest
  • 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 11,928 $35,253 $153,100
2 Opa Locka 16,149 $21,523 $154,300
3 Pembroke Park 6,677 $38,119 $84,400
4 Lauderdale Lakes 35,606 $35,532 $119,800
5 Homestead 68,438 $47,508 $222,300
6 Miami Gardens 111,363 $44,064 $190,200
7 North Miami 62,489 $41,611 $202,600
8 West Park 15,012 $46,765 $174,800
9 Lauderhill 71,625 $41,723 $154,400
10 North Miami Beach 42,971 $43,788 $194,300
11 Oakland Park 44,699 $51,377 $214,600
12 Dania Beach 32,008 $47,135 $194,700
13 Hialeah 234,539 $35,068 $228,600
14 Hallandale Beach 39,656 $39,184 $215,600
15 Sweetwater 20,865 $39,920 $178,700
16 Virginia Gardens 2,311 $50,417 $311,200
17 Fort Lauderdale 180,124 $59,450 $334,000
18 Hollywood 152,511 $54,251 $254,000
19 Sunrise 94,060 $54,744 $205,100
20 Hialeah Gardens 23,709 $53,423 $208,900
21 Tamarac 65,874 $48,930 $168,900
22 South Miami 12,046 $62,067 $569,300
23 Biscayne Park 3,124 $87,712 $457,300
24 Davie 104,399 $71,780 $309,600
25 Miramar 139,468 $70,669 $299,900
26 West Miami 7,788 $49,942 $335,800
27 Doral 59,972 $77,493 $394,900
28 Miami Beach 90,108 $53,971 $459,000
29 Pembroke Pines 170,072 $68,745 $288,700
30 Cutler Bay 44,222 $75,101 $287,000
31 Miami Springs 14,146 $61,795 $410,400
32 Wilton Manors 12,630 $70,465 $326,600
33 Bal Harbour 3,004 $76,962 $1,267,600
34 Southwest Ranches 7,921 $124,591 $641,800
35 Bay Harbor Islands 5,861 $78,169 $362,300
36 Florida 2,866 $91,765 $273,800
37 Islandia 3,341 $93,555 $321,100
38 Miami Shores 10,459 $123,478 $558,700
39 Miami Lakes 30,864 $75,762 $386,900
40 Palmetto Bay 24,333 $123,477 $562,300
41 Weston 70,614 $107,908 $481,800
42 Aventura 37,303 $63,892 $355,200
43 Sunny Isles Beach 21,942 $55,350 $359,900
44 Surfside 5,725 $69,063 $625,500
45 Coral Gables 50,226 $100,843 $846,100
46 Pinecrest 19,244 $156,875 $949,400
47 Key Biscayne 12,915 $151,310 $1,211,000

How Is Your Town In ?