BROWARD County, FL
Broward County is a county located in Southeast Florida. It is the second-most populous county in the state of Florida and the 17th-most populous in the United States, with over 1.94 million inhabitants as of the 2020 census. Its county seat and largest city is Fort Lauderdale, which had over 180,000 people in 2020.
Broward County is one of the three counties that make up the Miami metropolitan area, which was home to 6.14 million people in 2020. It’s also one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the entire country.
The county has 31 municipalities (including 24 incorporated cities) and many unincorporated areas. It’s also Florida's seventh-largest county in terms of land area, with . Broward County's urbanized area occupies 427.8 square miles of land. The largest portion of the county is the Conservation Area that extends to the county's Western border. The conservation area is 796.9 square miles and consists of wetlands. At its widest points, the County stretches approximately 50.3 miles east to west and approximately 27.4 miles from north to south, averaging 5 to 25 feet in elevation.
The earliest evidence of Native American settlement in the Miami region came from about 12,000 years ago. The first inhabitants settled on the banks of the Miami River, with the main villages on the northern banks.
The inhabitants at the time of first European contact were the Tequesta people, who controlled much of southeastern Florida, including what is now Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and the southern part of Palm Beach County. The Tequesta Indians fished, hunted, and gathered the fruit and roots of plants for food, but did not practice any form of agriculture. They buried the small bones of the deceased with the rest of the body, and put the larger bones in a box for the village people to see. The Tequesta are credited with making the Miami Circle.
Founding of Broward
Broward County was founded on April 30, 1915. It was intended to be named Everglades County, but then-Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Ion Farris amended the bill that established the county to name it in honor of Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, governor of Florida from 1905 to 1909. Throughout his term as governor, Broward championed Everglades drainage and was remembered for his campaign to turn the Everglades into “useful land”. This opened up much of today's urban Broward County for development, first as agricultural land and later as residential. A year before Broward became governor, Dania became the first incorporated community of what is now Broward County, followed by Pompano in 1908, and Fort Lauderdale in 1911.
In 1915, Palm Beach County and Dade County contributed nearly equal portions of land to create Broward County. Dixie Highway was also completed through Broward County in 1915. In 1916, the settlement of "Zona" was renamed Davie in recognition of Robert P. Davie, a land developer who purchased a great deal of reclaimed Everglades land.
Broward County began a huge development boom after its incorporation, with the first "tourist hotel", in Fort Lauderdale, opening in 1919. A year later, developers began dredging wetlands in the county to create island communities.
Land boom and rapid growth
The year 1925 was considered the peak of the Florida land boom with Davie, Deerfield, Floranada, and Hollywood all being incorporated. By 1925, the boom was considered to have reached its peak, but the 1926 Miami hurricane caused economic depression in the county. In 1926, the Hollywood Seminole Indian Reservation (formerly "Dania Reservation") was opened. In 1927, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea was incorporated. In 1928, the Bay Mabel Harbor (now the Port Everglades channel) was opened. In 1929, Merle Fogg Airport (now site of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport) was dedicated. In 1939, Hillsboro Beach was incorporated. Gulfstream Park also opened in Hallandale in 1939.
The county saw another population and development boom post-World War II when the transformation from agricultural to urbanized residential area began. In 1947, Pompano merged with beach area to form the present day City of Pompano Beach.
There was another boom during the 1950s and the late 1960s. In 1953, Plantation, Lazy Lake, and Fern Crest Village were incorporated. In 1955, Margate and Miramar were incorporated. In 1956, Lighthouse Point was incorporated and the Florida Turnpike was completed through Broward County. In 1957, Pembroke Park was incorporated. In 1959, Cooper City, Lauderhill, and Sea Ranch Lakes were incorporated.
In 1946 Dr. Von D. Mizell and black business owners petitioned the County Commission to make a county beach available to African Americans; at the time the beaches in Broward County, as elsewhere in Florida, were for whites only. Eight years later a beach, today Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park, in Dania Beach, was made available, but there was no road to it until 1965. In the meantime, Mizell and Eula Johnson, with supporters, deliberately violated the law on July 4, 1961, by wading into the water on Ft. Lauderdale beach. The legal process set in motion by this incident resulted in the desegregation of Broward County beaches in 1962.
In 1960, the City of Pembroke Pines was incorporated. This same year marked the opening of Broward College (then Broward Community College).
In 1961, Lauderdale Lakes and Sunrise were incorporated. In 1963, the cities of Coral Springs, North Lauderdale, Parkland, and Tamarac were all incorporated. In 1967, Coconut Creek was incorporated.
The effects of a national recession hit the county in 1974 and the population growth finally slowed. This is from a peak growth percentage change of 297.9% which saw the population of Broward grow from 83,933 as of 1950 to 333,946 in 1960. The population subsequently experienced an 85.7% population growth which brought the population to a total of 620,100 in 1970.
The structure of the Broward County government was signed into law in 1975 with the passage of the Broward County charter. In the same year, the Seminole Tribe of Florida incorporated as a governing entity and began organizing cigarette sales, bingo and land leases that will bring millions of dollars in annual revenue in later years. In 1976, Interstate 95 was completed through Broward County.
On January 19, 1977, snow fell in South Florida for the first time in recorded history. Snow was seen across all of South Florida as far south as Homestead and even on Miami Beach. Snow was officially reported by weather observers in West Palm Beach, LaBelle, Hollywood, and Royal Palm Ranger Station in southern Miami-Dade County.
In the year 1980, the US census reported over 1 million people living in Broward County.
On August 24, 1992, Hurricane Andrew passed through Miami-Dade County, causing $100 million in damage in Broward County and leaving at least a dozen residents homeless as a result of storm related fires. Broward became a base of operations to shuttle supplies to neighbors in devastated Dade County which suffered the brunt of the storm and caused over $25 billion in damage. Hurricane Andrew caused a massive exodus from South Dade to Broward County, filling Pembroke Pines and other Broward communities with tens of thousands of transplanted families.
In the year 2000, the US census reported a total population of 1,623,018. The town of South West Ranches was incorporated this year.
On March 1, 2005, West Park became Broward County's 31st municipality to be incorporated.
On October 24, 2005, Hurricane Wilma hit South Florida leaving the entire area damaged and causing almost universal power outages. Wilma was the most damaging storm in Broward County since Hurricane King in 1950. Broward experienced wind speeds between 80 and 100 mph (130 and 160 km/h) which endured for about five hours.
In June 2020, following the George Floyd protests, some residents called for the county to be renamed due to Governor Broward's support for segregation.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of , of which is land and (8.5%) is water.
Broward County has an average elevation of six feet (1.8 m) above sea level. It is rather new geologically and at the eastern edge of the Florida Platform, a carbonate plateau created millions of years ago. Broward County is composed of Oolite limestone while western Broward is composed mostly of Bryozoa. Broward is among the last areas of Florida to be created and populated with fauna and flora, mostly in the Pleistocene.
Of developable land in Broward County, approximately , the majority is built upon, as the urban area is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Everglades Wildlife Management Area to the west. Within developable land, Broward County has a population density of 3,740 per square mile (1,444 per square kilometer).
Broward approved the construction of Osborne Reef, an artificial reef made of tires off the Fort Lauderdale beach, but it has proven an environmental disaster.
2015 5-Year American Community Survey
Households and families
As of the 2015 5-year ACS, Broward County had 1,843,152 people, 670,284 households, and 425,680 families. Of the 670,284 households in Broward County, 26.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.5% were non-families. 29.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.43.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 21.7% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 26.9% from 25 to 44, 27.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.7 males.
Race, ancestry and nationality
The racial makeup of the county was 62.3% White, 30% Black or African American, 17.1% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 5.07% Asian, 2.20% from two or more races, 0.66% Native American, 0.16% Pacific Islander, and 0.20% from some other race. The racial makeup of the total Hispanic and Latino population in Broward County was: 65.8% White, 5.90% Native American, 2.06% Black or African American, 0.33% Asian, 0.86% Pacific Islander, 26.23% were some other race and 4.57% were from two or more races. In 2015, with relation to ancestry (excluding the various Hispanic and Latino ancestries), 7.38% were Italian, 7.70% American, 6.44% German, 6.54% Irish, 3.8% English, 2.6% Polish and 2.2% Russian ancestry. Also, among West Indians, 6.33% were Haitian and 5.96% were Jamaican. In 2015, 32.2% of the county's population was foreign born, with 18.14% being naturalized American citizens. Of foreign born residents, 78.9% were born in Latin America, 7.88% were born in Europe, 8.52% born in Asia, 3.11% in North America, 1.34% born in Africa and 0.15 were born in Oceania.
As of the 2015 5-year ACS, the median income for a household in the county was $51,968, and the median income for a family was $61,809. Of full-time workers, males had a median income of $46,372 versus $39,690 for females. The per capita income for the county was $28,381. About 11.2% of families and 14.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.9% of those under the age 18 and 12.6% of those aged 65 or over.
U.S. Census Bureau 2010 Ethnic/Race Demographics:
In 2010, 4.7% of the population considered themselves to be of only "American" ancestry (regardless of race or ethnicity.)
, Haitians made up the largest population of immigrants, with Jamaicans coming in second, Colombians in third, followed by Cuban exiled refugees in fourth place, then Peruvians, Venezuelans, Brazilians, Dominicans, Canadians, and Mexicans being the tenth highest group of expatriates. The county also houses many British, French, German, and Spanish expatriates.
There were 810,388 households, out of which 28.61% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.80% were married couples living together, 15.28% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.67% were non-families. 28.79% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.07% (3.31% male and 7.76% female) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.14.
The age distribution is 22.4% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 27.7% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.7 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.0 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $51,694, and the median income for a family was $62,619. Males had a median income of $44,935 versus $36,813 for females. The per capita income for the county was $28,631. About 9.1% of families and 12.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.2% of those under age 18 and 12.2% of those aged 65 or over.
In 2010, 30.9% of the county's population was foreign born, with 49.2% being naturalized American citizens. Of foreign born residents, 77.4% were born in Latin America, 9.0% were born in Europe, 8.4% born in Asia, 3.5% in North America, 1.6% born in Africa, and 0.1% were born in Oceania.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Broward County is the 9th largest county with same sex households. As of the 2010 Census, there were 9,125 same sex households out of a total of 686,047 households (1.33%).
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,623,018 people, 654,445 households, and 411,645 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,346 people per square mile (520/km2). There were 741,043 housing units at an average density of 615 per square mile (237/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 70.57% White (58% were Non-Hispanic), 20.54% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 2.25% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 3.00% from other races, and 3.35% from two or more races. 16.74% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
In 2000, with relation to ancestry (excluding the various Hispanic and Latino ancestries), 9.4% were Italian, 7.4% American, 6.8% German, 6.7% Irish, and 4% English ancestry. Also, among West Indians, 5.99% were Haitian and were 5.91% Jamaican. Broward was the only county in the nation outside the Northeast in which Italian-Americans formed the largest ethnic group in 2000. They are concentrated mainly in the Pompano Beach area.
There were 654,445 households, out of which 29.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.1% were non-families. 29.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and % had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.07.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 23.6% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 31.4% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 16.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.8 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $41,691, and the median income for a family was $50,531. Males had a median income of $36,741 versus $28,529 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,170. About 8.7% of families and 11.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.3% of those under age 18 and 10.0% of those age 65 or over.
As of 2005, Broward County led the nation's metropolitan areas in new AIDS diagnoses, with a reported rate 58.4 new AIDS diagnoses per 100,000 people. County officials think the numbers may stem from a new and successful HIV testing campaign that has resulted in many people being diagnosed with AIDS at the same time they've been diagnosed with HIV. Without the implementation of the new testing campaign, the reported numbers of new diagnoses would have probably been lower.
, 63.44% of all residents spoke English as their first language, while 22.22% spoke Spanish, 5.42% French Creole (mostly Haitian Creole), 1.48% Portuguese, 1.41% French, and 0.59% of the population spoke Italian as their mother language. In total, 36.56% of the population spoke languages other than English as their primary language. Since many immigrants are coming from the Anglophone Caribbean, where English is spoken, the change is not as fast as the rate of immigration would suggest.
Law, government, and politics
The Broward County Charter provides for a separation between the legislative and administrative functions of government. The Board of County Commissioners is the legislative branch of Broward County Government. The County Commission is composed of nine members elected by district. Each Commissioner must be a resident of the district for which he or she seeks election. Each year the Commission elects a mayor and vice mayor. The mayor's functions include serving as presiding officer, and as the county's official representative. The Commission appoints the County Administrator, County Attorney and County Auditor. The Commission also appoints numerous advisory and regulatory boards.
The County Commission meets in formal session the first four Tuesdays of each month at 10:00 a.m. in Room 422 of the Broward County Governmental Center. Over 507,000 cable subscribers in Broward County have access to Government-access television (GATV) coverage of Commission meetings, which are broadcast live beginning at 10:00 a.m. each Tuesday, and rebroadcast at 5:30 p.m. the following Friday. Meetings can also be viewed via webcasting at www.broward.org.
Broward County has been a Democratic stronghold since 1992, voting for the party's presidential nominee in every election since then. It is now considered one of the most reliably Democratic counties in the state, giving greater than 60% support to the party nominee in every election since 1996. From 1948 to 1988, the county leaned Republican, voting for the Republican nominee in every election except 1976, even supporting Republican Barry Goldwater by a 56-44 margin while he lost the national election in a landslide. This change in voting tendencies can be attributed to the large migrations of middle and upper-class snowbirds and transplants from more liberal states, a growing LGBT community, liberal positions on social issues such as abortion and gun control, and naturalized U.S. citizens born in places such as Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada, Europe, and Asia.
According to the Secretary of State's office, Democrats maintain a majority among registered voters in Broward County. The county is also one of the few counties in the state where Independents outnumber Republicans.
Broward's code of ordinances consists of resolutions, administrative rules and regulations passed in order to secure a responsive and efficient form of local government.
The county maintains a distinctive rule regarding communication between the county and bidders for county contracts, known as the Cone of Silence. This rule prevents staff involved in a purchasing process from communicating with bidders from the time when the solicitation is issued, and County Commissioners from the time when bids are opened, until the vote to award the contract or the time when all bids are rejected.
Silver Airways has its headquarters on the property of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in an unincorporated area.
Other companies with headquarters in unincorporated areas include Locair.
Spirit Airlines has its headquarters in Miramar.
When Chalk's International Airlines existed, its headquarters was on the grounds of the airport in an unincorporated area. When Bimini Island Air existed, its headquarters were in an unincorporated area.
Primary and secondary schools
Broward County Schools has the sixth largest school district in the country and the second largest in the state after the Miami-Dade district.
Regionally accredited colleges and universities
Other adult education providers
The Broward County Library is one of the largest public library systems in the country, comprising 38 branch locations. There are also five municipal public libraries in the county that are not part of the Broward County Library system: Ethel M. Gordon Oakland Park Library, Lighthouse Point Library, Helen B. Hoffman Plantation Library, Richard C. Sullivan Public Library of Wilton Manors, and Parkland Public Library.
Broward county libraries provide endless amount of resources to the public. For high-schoolers looking to prepare themselves for college, the library offers college readiness & SAT/ACT prep courses]. For adults looking to learn computer skills, [https://www.broward.org/Library/Pages/SATACTProgram.aspx adult computer classes are also offered. These resources are free of cost, therefore, all it takes is registering to participate. In addition to the many resources offered at the library, bus passes are also sold at most Broward County libraries. If you want to enjoy some of these resources, you can simply download the app to utilize them on the go. There are nine apps available for download: Broward County Library (BCL WoW), Freegal Music, Hoopla, Overdrive, Libby, Axis 360, RBdigital Magazines, Rosetta Stone, and Brainfuse. Most of these apps you can easily gain access to by simply using your library card number.
Sites of interest
Museums and historical collections
Nature and wildlife areas
Other areas and attractions
Additionally, with 23 miles of beach, Broward County is a popular destination for scuba diving, snorkeling, and droves of young Spring break tourists from around the world.
Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport serves as the primary airport of the Broward County area. The airport is bounded by the cities Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Dania Beach, three miles (5 km) southwest of downtown Fort Lauderdale and north of Miami. The airport is near cruise line terminals at Port Everglades and is popular among tourists bound for the Caribbean. Since the late 1990s, FLL has become an intercontinental gateway, although Miami International Airport still handles most long-haul flights. FLL is ranked as the 19th busiest airport (in terms of passenger traffic) in the United States, as well as the nation's 14th busiest international air gateway and one of the world's 50 busiest airports. FLL is classified by the US Federal Aviation Administration as a "major hub" facility serving commercial air traffic. In 2017 the airport processed 32,511,053 passengers (11.3% more than 2016) including 7,183,275 international passengers (18.6% more than 2016).
A street grid stretches throughout Broward County. Most of this grid is loosely based on three primary eastern municipalities, (from South to North) Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, and Pompano Beach. Deerfield Beach—another primary eastern municipality—has its own street grid, as do two smaller municipalities—Dania and Hallandale.
Construction is underway on a network of recreational trails to connect cities and points of interest in the county.
Municipality populations are based on the 2020 US Census using their QuickFacts with 5,000 residents and above, while municipalities under 5,000 people are based on their US Decennial Census.
Former unincorporated neighborhoods
In the 1980s the Broward County Commission adopted a policy of having all populated places in the county be part of a municipality. Municipalities were often reluctant to annex neighborhoods which were not projected to yield enough tax revenue to cover the costs of providing services to those neighborhoods. In 2001 the Broward County Legislative Delegation adopted a policy encouraging the annexation of all unincorporated areas in Broward County into municipalities by October 1, 2005. Formerly unincorporated neighborhoods that have been annexed into existing municipalities or combined to form new municipalities include:
Remaining unincorporated neighborhoods
By late in the first decade of the 21st century, annexation of remaining neighborhoods had stalled. the Broward County Municipal Services District serves seven unincorporated neighborhoods, including six census designated places (Boulevard Gardens, Broadview Park, Franklin Park, Hillsboro Pines, Roosevelt Gardens and Washington Park) and a parcel with a population of 72 in 2018, Hillsboro Ranches. Other areas in the developed part of the county that are not in municipalities include the Hollywood Seminole Indian Reservation, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, several landfills and resource recovery facilities, and other scattered small parcels with few or no residents.
This page uses material from the Wikipedia article Broward County, FL, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 4.0.