The 10 Worst Fort Lauderdale Suburbs For 2023

We used data and Friday Night Science to identify the worst suburbs of Fort Lauderdale for 2023. The worst Fort Lauderdale suburbs are Opa Locka and Pembroke Park.

The suburbs of Fort Lauderdale call to all types of people looking to escape city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Fort Lauderdale 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 Saturday Night Science 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 only expect some of 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.

Now don’t freak out.

What’s the worst suburb of Fort Lauderdale? Opa Locka ranks as the worst suburb of Fort Lauderdale for 2023 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.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

For more Florida reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Fort Lauderdale Suburbs To Live For 2023

Opa Locka, FL

Source: Wikipedia User Ebyabe | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,310
Median Income: $27,734 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.6% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $197,400 (4th lowest)
More on Opa Locka:

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 4th 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.

Pembroke Park, FL

Source: Flickr User Mohmed Althani | CC BY 2.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,269
Median Income: $40,260 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $0 (100th lowest)
More on Pembroke Park:

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 3rd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $40,260 a year, which only goes so far even on a shoestring budget.

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

Lauderdale Lakes, FL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 35,898
Median Income: $40,217 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $160,300 (lowest)
More on Lauderdale Lakes:

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 dropout rate is poor compared to other Fort Lauderdale suburbs.

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

Pompano Beach, FL

Source: Wikipedia User ianaré sévi | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 111,423
Median Income: $56,109 (2lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.6% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $245,100 (14th lowest)
More on Pompano Beach:

If you live in Pompano Beach, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 2lowest Fort Lauderdale suburb for median household incomes.

Not only that, but this is the 6th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Fort Lauderdale. Remember, we looked at 52 cities for this study.

Pompano Beach is about 7.0 miles to downtown.

West Park, FL

Source: Flickr User Bob B. Brown | CC BY-ND 2.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,074
Median Income: $52,102 (15th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.6% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $251,300 (19th lowest)
More on West Park:

West Park has the distinction of being a Fort Lauderdale suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, West Park has the 19th lowest home values in the metro Fort Lauderdale area, where the median price is $251,300. The median income is $174,295.

West Park has an unemployment rate of 9.58% which ranks 3rd worst.

Dania Beach, FL

Source: Wikipedia User Lander Eizagirre | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 31,703
Median Income: $44,477 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.4% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $217,400 (9th lowest)
More on Dania Beach:

Dania Beach has 31,703 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 16.77304626718745%.

North Miami, FL

Source: Wikipedia User Ebyabe | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 60,449
Median Income: $44,283 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (15th highest)
Median Home Value: $250,200 (18th lowest)
More on North Miami:

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

It’s the place with the 15th most out of work residents in the Fort Lauderdale metro area (6.68%).

Miami Gardens, FL

Source: Wikipedia User Pietro | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 111,706
Median Income: $51,067 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.5% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $252,600 (20th lowest)
More on Miami Gardens:

Miami Gardens is a city about 14.6 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. Miami Gardens has the 7th most uninsured people, 13th worst incomes, and has the 7th highest unemployment rate (8.52%) in the entire Fort Lauderdale metro area.

Homes only cost $252,600 for a reason. That’s cheap for Fort Lauderdale standards.

Lauderhill, FL

Source: Flickr User Luigi Rosa | CC BY-SA 2.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 73,935
Median Income: $44,634 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.0% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $190,800 (2nd lowest)
More on Lauderhill:

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

About 7.96% of residents are out of work.

Deerfield Beach, FL

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 86,062
Median Income: $49,650 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (17th highest)
Median Home Value: $204,700 (7th lowest)
More on Deerfield Beach:

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 17th highest unemployment rate (6.65%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Fort Lauderdale for 2023

To figure out how bad a Fort Lauderdale 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.

It’s Saturday Night Science.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one 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 dropouts
  • High poverty
  • High rate of uninsured families

We defined a suburb as any town within 30 miles of Fort Lauderdale.

We also limited the analysis to places with over 1,000 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 looking at you, Opa Locka.

We updated this article for 2023, which reflects our tenth time ranking the worst suburbs around Fort Lauderdale.

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

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
  • El Portal
  • 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 16,310 $27,734 $197,400
2 Pembroke Park 6,269 $40,260 $0
3 Lauderdale Lakes 35,898 $40,217 $160,300
4 Pompano Beach 111,423 $56,109 $245,100
5 West Park 15,074 $52,102 $251,300
6 Dania Beach 31,703 $44,477 $217,400
7 North Miami 60,449 $44,283 $250,200
8 Miami Gardens 111,706 $51,067 $252,600
9 Lauderhill 73,935 $44,634 $190,800
10 Deerfield Beach 86,062 $49,650 $204,700
11 North Lauderdale 44,579 $49,426 $199,700
12 Hallandale Beach 41,004 $41,905 $230,300
13 Hypoluxo 2,703 $71,154 $223,800
14 Sweetwater 19,426 $46,224 $202,200
15 Boynton Beach 79,479 $60,980 $246,700
16 Oakland Park 44,092 $55,700 $267,400
17 Miami 440,807 $47,860 $369,100
18 Hialeah 224,362 $43,181 $280,000
19 North Miami Beach 43,357 $52,223 $230,800
20 Hollywood 152,597 $56,912 $296,000
21 Tamarac 71,140 $54,114 $197,300
22 Hialeah Gardens 22,917 $55,276 $249,200
23 Sunrise 96,220 $61,830 $249,700
24 Margate 58,331 $52,881 $230,900
25 Delray Beach 66,434 $69,804 $320,300
26 Coconut Creek 57,553 $68,024 $216,900
27 Davie 104,782 $77,453 $344,800
28 Virginia Gardens 2,229 $64,286 $366,800
29 Miami Beach 83,469 $59,162 $450,700
30 Doral 73,126 $77,774 $420,300
31 West Miami 7,090 $59,436 $363,700
32 Miramar 134,306 $75,200 $333,500
33 Bal Harbour 3,037 $81,424 $1,357,500
34 Pembroke Pines 170,346 $73,024 $324,300
35 Coral Springs 133,693 $81,944 $393,300
36 Biscayne Park 3,117 $65,000 $516,200
37 Sunny Isles Beach 22,234 $51,760 $363,400
38 Miami Springs 13,880 $73,991 $436,700
39 Boca Raton 95,347 $89,776 $495,000
40 Aventura 39,734 $70,257 $347,800
41 Miami Lakes 30,582 $84,504 $443,600
42 Miami Shores 11,551 $127,721 $590,100
43 Weston 68,148 $122,929 $528,800
44 Wilton Manors 11,525 $81,250 $425,000
45 Surfside 5,665 $67,544 $628,800
46 Southwest Ranches 7,613 $139,980 $698,100
47 Parkland 33,772 $174,295 $655,300
48 Bay Harbor Islands 5,880 $79,824 $386,300
49 Lighthouse Point 10,529 $80,621 $541,500
50 Lauderdale-By-The-Sea 6,231 $71,841 $481,500
51 El Portal 1,756 $94,821 $523,700
52 Highland Beach 4,244 $125,577 $638,800
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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *