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About Fort Lauderdale

At a Glance 

Fort Lauderdale, known as the "Venice of America," is the largest of Broward County's 31 municipalities, spanning 36 square miles snaked with scenic waterways and edged by the Atlantic Ocean. Once known as a tourism-based economy, the city has cemented itself as one of the most desirable areas to start, relocate or expand a business. A wide range of industries are booming in Fort Lauderdale, including technology, finance, insurance, real estate, film and television production, marine, avionics and manufacturing. It is home to one of the busiest seaports in the nation and one of the fastest-growing airports in the country. The bustling downtown area is home to Broward Community College, FAU, FIU, the award-winning Broward County main library, federal courthouse and school district offices. The Riverwalk area is home to the city's arts, cultural and historic district, and Las Olas Boulevard is a top notch destination for dining and shopping. The semi-tropical climate, ocean breeze and nearly 3,000 hours of sunshine each year, coupled with world-class resorts and recreation give Fort Lauderdale residents an incredible quality of life.

See the city's 2018 Emergency Preparedness Guide here

Population Data

2016 Population Estimate: 178,752

Median Age: 42.2*

Under Age 15: 24,087*

Age 75 and OIder: 11,417*

Households: 74,786*

Average Household Size: 2.17*

Median Household Income: $50,778***

Families: 35,561*

Average Family Size: 3.0*

Companies: 32,917**

Veterans: 10,650***

Individuals Below Poverty Level: 20.7%***

White: 103,675*

Black or African America: 51,240*

Hispanic or Latino: 22,752*

Asian: 2,444*

Foreign-Born Population: 40,396***

Speaks only English: 72.4%

Speaks a language other than English: 27.6%

*2010 Census
**2012 Survey of Business Owners
***2011-2015 American Community Survey

Fort Lauderdale/ Hollywood International Airport

FLL is ranked 21st in the nation in total passenger traffic and 13th in domestic origin and destination passengers. The airport services more than 325 departures and 325 arrivals each day, and offers nonstop service to 140 locations in the United States, Canada, Caribbean, Mexico, Bahamas, Latin America and Europe. FLL averages 640 commercial flights on 26 airlines as well as 100 private flights per day.The airport system serves 29.2 million passengers, with an average of 80,000 travelers passing through its terminals on a daily basis. It is a self-supporting facility which does not rely on Broward County taxes. Bonds, feeds and state and federal grants fund capital improvement projects and excess funds are reinvested into the airport's facilities.

Major renovations are currently underway to modernize terminals, create additional gates for both domestic and international flights.

  • A new runway was completed in 2014. That project created nearly 11,000 construction jobs with a $1.4 billion impact on South Florida. 
  • Concourse A in Terminal 1 opened to passengers in July 2017. It houses five gates for both domestic and international flights
  • Four additional gates and an expanded customs facility are being added to Terminal 4. New shopping and dining options are also being added.
  • Terminals 1, 2 and 3 are being given modern upgrades.

The economic impact:

  • 12,500 badged employees on site
  • 139,920 total jobs
  • $3.5 billion in wages
  • $13.2 billion output

May 2017 Monthly Statement

Port Everglades

Port Everglades is one of the strongest drivers of both the Fort Lauderdale and Broward County economies. It is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world and one of the most active cargo ports in the country. It is also South Florida's main seaport for receiving petroleum, gasoline and jet fuel. It is a center for international business, with a foreign trade zone and ample office space. The port does not rely on local tax dollars for operations or capital improvements; it is a self-supporting Enterprise Fund of the Broward County government. The facility's economic activity tops $28 billion and impacts 224,054 Florida jobs, including the 13,322 employees of companies that provide direct service to the port.


2017 Budget Workshop

2016 Annual Report

Map of Port Everglades

Honors & Awards 

2017 Best Large Cities to Start a Business- WalletHub

2017 Best Cities for Hispanic Entrepreneurs- WalletHub

Top Two Happiest Cities for Young Professionals- Forbes

2017 Best Cities for Jobs- WalletHub

2017 Best Places for Summer Jobs- WalletHub

2016 Best Places for Business and Careers- Forbes

2016 Top 10 Main Street Entrepreneurship- Kauffamn Index

Top Four 2016 Best Small Business Cities- Biz2Credit

2016 Emerging Logistics Hub- UrbanLand Magazine

2016 Hottest Single-Family Markets- Ten-X

2016 Best Foodie Cities- WalletHub

2015/2016 American Cities of the Future- fDiIntelligence

2015 Climate Leadership Award- South Florida Regional Climate Change Compact

Top 10 2015 Digital Cities Survey- Digital Communities

Top Three 2015 Best of Web & Digital Government Achievement Awards- Center for Digital Government 

Top 50 2015 Scoring Tech Talent- CBRE

2015 Best Large Metro Areas for Law School Graduates- GoodCall

2015 Best Cities for Millenial Job Seekers in Florida- Nerdwallet

2014 All-America City- National Civic League

Fifth Greenest Mid-sized city in United States 2014-

2014 10 Best Downtowns- Livability

 A Brief History

The City of Fort Lauderdale is named for a Second Seminole War fortification built on the banks of the New River in 1838. That year, Major William Lauderdale led a detachment of Tennessee Volunteers south along the east coast of Florida to capture Seminole agricultural lands and battle the elusive Indian warriors. Altogether, three forts named after Major Lauderdale would be constructed: the first at the fork of New River; the second at Tarpon Bend; and the largest on the beach at the site of Bahia Mar. None of the forts survive today.