The 10 Worst Fort Lauderdale Suburbs For 2021


We used science and data to determine which Fort Lauderdale suburbs 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 Fort Lauderdale.

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 51 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 2021 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 2021

Opa Locka, FL

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 16,149
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $21,523 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.6% (highest)
Median Home Value: $154,300 (3rd lowest)
More on Opa Locka:  Data | Photos

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.

Pembroke Park, FL

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 6,677
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Income: $38,119 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (29th highest)
Median Home Value: $84,400 (lowest)
More on Pembroke Park:  Data | Photos

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 $38,119 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.

Lauderdale Lakes, FL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 35,606
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $35,532 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.7% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $119,800 (2nd lowest)
More on Lauderdale Lakes:  Data | Photos

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.

Miami Gardens, FL

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 111,363
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Income: $44,064 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $190,200 (11th lowest)
More on Miami Gardens:  Data | Photos

If you live in Miami Gardens, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 12th lowest Fort Lauderdale suburb when it comes to residents making money.

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 51 cities for this study.

Miami Gardens is about 14.6 miles to downtown.

Pompano Beach, FL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 110,062
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Income: $49,518 (18th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $213,700 (19th lowest)
More on Pompano Beach:  Data | Photos

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

All snarkiness aside, Pompano Beach has the 19th lowest home values in the metro Fort Lauderdale area, where the median price is $213,700. To put that into perspective, in Highland Beach, the median income is $154,844, which is the best in the area.

Pompano Beach has an unemployment rate of 7.71% which ranks 7th worst.

North Miami, FL

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 62,489
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Income: $41,611 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $202,600 (15th lowest)
More on North Miami:  Data | Photos

North Miami has 62,489 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 20.361237221151647%.

North Lauderdale, FL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 44,020
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Median Income: $43,759 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.1% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $167,100 (5th lowest)
More on North Lauderdale:  Data | Photos

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

It's the place with the 5th most out of work residents in the Fort Lauderdale metro area (8.07%).

West Park, FL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 15,012
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 4)
Median Income: $46,765 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (20th highest)
Median Home Value: $174,800 (8th lowest)
More on West Park:  Data | Photos

West Park is a city about 11.4 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. West Park has the 4th most uninsured people, 14th worst incomes, and has the 20th highest unemployment rate (6.63%) in the entire Fort Lauderdale metro area.

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

Lauderhill, FL

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 71,625
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $41,723 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.1% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $154,400 (4th lowest)
More on Lauderhill:  Data | Photos

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 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: 7 (Down 3)
Median Income: $43,788 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.9% (17th highest)
Median Home Value: $194,300 (13th lowest)
More on North Miami Beach:  Data | Photos

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

Located 14.6 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 Fort Lauderdale 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 Fort Lauderdale.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 51 suburbs to evaluate around Fort Lauderdale.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 51 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.

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

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 16,149 $21,523 $154,300
2 Pembroke Park 6,677 $38,119 $84,400
3 Lauderdale Lakes 35,606 $35,532 $119,800
4 Miami Gardens 111,363 $44,064 $190,200
5 Pompano Beach 110,062 $49,518 $213,700
6 North Miami 62,489 $41,611 $202,600
7 North Lauderdale 44,020 $43,759 $167,100
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 Dania Beach 32,008 $47,135 $194,700
12 Oakland Park 44,699 $51,377 $214,600
13 Deerfield Beach 80,312 $48,124 $168,600
14 Hialeah 234,539 $35,068 $228,600
15 Miami 454,279 $39,049 $317,700
16 Hallandale Beach 39,656 $39,184 $215,600
17 Boynton Beach 76,832 $57,563 $207,500
18 Sweetwater 20,865 $39,920 $178,700
19 Margate 58,023 $45,594 $183,800
20 Virginia Gardens 2,311 $50,417 $311,200
21 Hollywood 152,511 $54,251 $254,000
22 Hialeah Gardens 23,709 $53,423 $208,900
23 Sunrise 94,060 $54,744 $205,100
24 Delray Beach 68,217 $60,746 $280,200
25 Tamarac 65,874 $48,930 $168,900
26 Biscayne Park 3,124 $87,712 $457,300
27 Coconut Creek 60,490 $62,973 $192,500
28 Miramar 139,468 $70,669 $299,900
29 Davie 104,399 $71,780 $309,600
30 West Miami 7,788 $49,942 $335,800
31 Doral 59,972 $77,493 $394,900
32 Miami Beach 90,108 $53,971 $459,000
33 Coral Springs 132,568 $77,360 $354,100
34 Pembroke Pines 170,072 $68,745 $288,700
35 Miami Springs 14,146 $61,795 $410,400
36 Bal Harbour 3,004 $76,962 $1,267,600
37 Wilton Manors 12,630 $70,465 $326,600
38 Southwest Ranches 7,921 $124,591 $641,800
39 Bay Harbor Islands 5,861 $78,169 $362,300
40 Boca Raton 97,468 $83,114 $458,600
41 Hypoluxo 2,781 $72,679 $229,600
42 Miami Shores 10,459 $123,478 $558,700
43 Miami Lakes 30,864 $75,762 $386,900
44 Weston 70,614 $107,908 $481,800
45 Aventura 37,303 $63,892 $355,200
46 Sunny Isles Beach 21,942 $55,350 $359,900
47 Surfside 5,725 $69,063 $625,500
48 Lighthouse Point 11,195 $81,445 $538,700
49 Lauderdale-By-The-Sea 6,626 $72,537 $441,000
50 Parkland 31,454 $154,844 $611,800
51 Highland Beach 3,885 $115,219 $591,500

How Is Your Town In ?

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.

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