The 10 Worst Fort Lauderdale Suburbs For 2022

We used science and data to determine which Fort Lauderdale suburbs are the real pits.

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

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 Fort Lauderdale 'burbs need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the Fort Lauderdale area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the suburbs to live up to Fort Lauderdale proper, although Highland Beach certainly tries.

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

We examined the 52 biggest suburbs of Fort Lauderdale 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 Fort Lauderdale in terms of quality of life.

What's the worst suburb of Fort Lauderdale? Opa Locka ranks as the worst suburb of Fort Lauderdale for 2022 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

Read on to see how we determined the places around Fort Lauderdale 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 Fort Lauderdale 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 Fort Lauderdale Suburbs To Live For 2022

We'll get the ball rolling with Opa Locka, the absolute worst place to live around Fort Lauderdale according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Opa Locka beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the worst in the Fort Lauderdale 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 Opa Locka.

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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,008
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $22,494 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.6% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $169,900 (3rd lowest)
More on Opa Locka:  Data | Photos

Opa Locka, FL

Welcome to Pembroke Park. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 10.6 miles to Fort Lauderdale. Income levels here are the 4th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $40,024 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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,716
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $40,024 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.1% (19th highest)
Median Home Value: $47,100 (lowest)
More on Pembroke Park:  Data | Photos

Pembroke Park, FL

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Fort Lauderdale suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Lauderdale Lakes 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 Fort Lauderdale suburbs.

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

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 36,063
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $36,103 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (13th highest)
Median Home Value: $122,300 (2nd lowest)
More on Lauderdale Lakes:  Data | Photos

Lauderdale Lakes, FL

Source: Public domain

If you live in West Park, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 16th lowest Fort Lauderdale 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 Fort Lauderdale. Remember, we looked at 52 cities for this study.

West Park is about 11.4 miles to downtown.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,052
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Income: $47,755 (16th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.8% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $194,600 (10th lowest)
More on West Park:  Data | Photos

West Park, FL

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

All snarkiness aside, Miami Gardens has the 15th lowest home values in the metro Fort Lauderdale area, where the median price is $216,500. To put that into perspective, in Highland Beach, the median income is $159,692, which is the best in the area.

Miami Gardens has an unemployment rate of 8.7% which ranks 4th worst.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 110,767
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Income: $46,760 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $216,500 (15th lowest)
More on Miami Gardens:  Data | Photos

Miami Gardens, FL

Pompano Beach has 111,202 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 17.296074616723608%.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 111,202
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Income: $52,565 (2lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $227,600 (18th lowest)
More on Pompano Beach:  Data | Photos

Pompano Beach, FL

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

It's the place with the 10th most out of work residents in the Fort Lauderdale metro area (7.47%).

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 62,468
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Income: $43,562 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.5% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $232,600 (2lowest)
More on North Miami:  Data | Photos

North Miami, FL

North Lauderdale is a city about 6.8 miles from Fort Lauderdale, but Fort Lauderdale 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 Lauderdale has the 2nd most uninsured people, 12th worst incomes, and has the 9th highest unemployment rate (7.49%) in the entire Fort Lauderdale metro area.

Homes only cost $185,000 for a reason. That's cheap for Fort Lauderdale standards.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 44,189
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Income: $46,594 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.5% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $185,000 (7th lowest)
More on North Lauderdale:  Data | Photos

North Lauderdale, FL

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

About 7.26% of residents are out of work.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 32,125
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Income: $45,187 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.3% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $201,600 (12th lowest)
More on Dania Beach:  Data | Photos

Dania Beach, FL

Rounding out the ten worst Fort Lauderdale suburbs to call home is Deerfield Beach.

Located 11.8 miles outside the city, Deerfield Beachs is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 16th highest unemployment rate (6.58%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 80,822
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Income: $47,183 (15th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (16th highest)
Median Home Value: $182,100 (6th lowest)
More on Deerfield Beach:  Data | Photos

Deerfield Beach, FL

Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Fort Lauderdale for 2022

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 2016-2020, 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 Fort Lauderdale.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 52 suburbs to evaluate around Fort Lauderdale.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 52 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 Fort Lauderdale." We're lookin' at you, Opa Locka. 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.

Summary: The areas around Fort Lauderdale where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2022

Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding Fort Lauderdale with Opa Locka casting itself ahead of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Fort Lauderdale aren't all bad. Highland Beach takes the cake as the best place to live around Fort Lauderdale.

  • Highland Beach
  • Parkland
  • Lauderdale-by-the-Sea

For more Florida reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Fort Lauderdale Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Opa Locka 16,008 $22,494 $169,900
2 Pembroke Park 6,716 $40,024 $47,100
3 Lauderdale Lakes 36,063 $36,103 $122,300
4 West Park 15,052 $47,755 $194,600
5 Miami Gardens 110,767 $46,760 $216,500
6 Pompano Beach 111,202 $52,565 $227,600
7 North Miami 62,468 $43,562 $232,600
8 North Lauderdale 44,189 $46,594 $185,000
9 Dania Beach 32,125 $45,187 $201,600
10 Deerfield Beach 80,822 $47,183 $182,100
11 Lauderhill 71,827 $43,658 $178,500
12 North Miami Beach 42,824 $46,761 $212,300
13 Hypoluxo 2,800 $60,625 $198,300
14 Hallandale Beach 39,782 $40,237 $229,300
15 Hialeah 233,876 $38,471 $256,900
16 Miami 461,080 $44,268 $344,300
17 Sweetwater 20,852 $43,391 $176,200
18 Boynton Beach 78,060 $56,850 $229,100
19 Oakland Park 44,950 $53,744 $243,200
20 Tamarac 66,432 $51,799 $186,600
21 Hollywood 153,834 $54,317 $281,300
22 Sunrise 94,657 $54,701 $220,600
23 Hialeah Gardens 23,546 $52,979 $227,400
24 Delray Beach 68,916 $66,245 $298,600
25 Margate 58,465 $46,460 $215,300
26 Virginia Gardens 2,322 $51,797 $353,500
27 Miramar 140,479 $70,477 $314,200
28 Coconut Creek 60,935 $65,578 $192,900
29 Davie 105,594 $74,523 $322,300
30 West Miami 8,152 $49,212 $347,700
31 Miami Beach 89,439 $57,211 $441,300
32 Doral 62,367 $75,138 $412,500
33 Coral Springs 133,370 $77,488 $370,600
34 Miami Springs 14,041 $65,910 $426,300
35 Pembroke Pines 171,979 $68,683 $302,900
36 Bal Harbour 2,980 $77,005 $1,316,400
37 Wilton Manors 12,582 $72,070 $383,200
38 Sunny Isles Beach 21,853 $50,617 $347,700
39 Boca Raton 98,776 $84,445 $480,800
40 Miami Lakes 31,021 $77,535 $410,300
41 El Portal 2,066 $108,750 $437,100
42 Surfside 5,665 $57,775 $619,300
43 Weston 70,965 $113,032 $505,400
44 Southwest Ranches 7,947 $133,750 $670,100
45 Aventura 37,151 $65,893 $354,100
46 Miami Shores 10,372 $125,202 $556,100
47 Biscayne Park 3,089 $76,467 $510,300
48 Lighthouse Point 11,238 $76,001 $505,200
49 Bay Harbor Islands 5,832 $99,063 $466,000
50 Lauderdale-By-The-Sea 6,703 $69,860 $449,600
51 Parkland 32,878 $159,692 $631,000
52 Highland Beach 3,907 $119,125 $625,700

How Is Your Town In ?

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 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the worst suburbs around Fort Lauderdale.
About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.