Broward County, Florida

Not to be confused with Brevard County, Florida.
Broward County, Florida
Broward County

The Broward County Courthouse in November 2010.

Map of Florida highlighting Broward County
Location in the U.S. state of Florida
Map of the United States highlighting Florida
Florida's location in the U.S.
Founded April 30, 1915
Named for Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
Seat Fort Lauderdale
Largest city Fort Lauderdale
  Total 1,323 sq mi (3,427 km2)
  Land 1,210 sq mi (3,134 km2)
  Water 113 sq mi (293 km2), 8.5%
Population (est.)
  (2015) 1,896,425
  Density 1,445/sq mi (558/km²)
Congressional districts 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Broward County is a county located in the U.S. state of Florida. As of 2010, the population was 1,896,425,[1] making it the second-most populous county in Florida and the 17th-most populous in the United States. Its county seat is Fort Lauderdale.[2]

Broward County is part of the Miami metropolitan area, which was home to an estimated 6,012,331 people at the 2015 census.


Although the area has been settled since about 1400 B.C., Broward County was founded on October 1, 1915.[3] It was named for Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, Governor of Florida from 1905 to 1909, remembered for his campaign to turn the Everglades into "useful land". It was originally 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 be named after Broward.[4] In 1915, Palm Beach County and Dade County contributed nearly equal portions of land to create Broward County.[3]

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 swamps in the county in order to create island communities.[3] By 1925, the boom was considered to have reached its peak, but a 1926 hurricane caused economic depression in the county.[3] The structure of county government was signed into law in 1975 with the passage of the Broward County charter.[3]

At its inception Broward County was considered a leader in agricultural products and services within the State of Florida , but the massive post-World War II buildup of South Florida transformed the region. It was one of the counties at the center of the 2000 U.S. Presidential election recount controversy.

From 2008 to 2011, Broward County led the nation in new HIV/AIDS diagnoses, according to federal health officials.[5] The per capita cases of new infections in Broward has not decreased in over a decade, prompting government health agencies to direct more funding to AIDS prevention campaigns in Broward.[5] During that time period, Dade County was ranked number two nationally for the epidemic. However, as of January 31, 2014, those statistics have reversed, though not dramatically enough to be called an improvement. Some communities in the area have been affected disproportionately, with 48% of the afflicted being in black communities.[6] In Broward County, sexual education in public schools is not mandatory and the curriculum that is employed sporadically has not been updated in ten years or more, according to school officials. In 2013, the Broward County School Board held a vote to require schools to teach sex-ed at least once a year for every grade, a program slated to begin in the 2014-2015 school year if passed.[7]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,323 square miles (3,430 km2), of which 1,210 square miles (3,100 km2) is land and 113 square miles (290 km2) (8.5%) is water.[8]

Broward County has an average elevation of six feet (1.8 m) above sea level. It is rather new geologically and located 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.[9] 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 471 square miles (1,219.9 km2), the majority is built upon, as the urban area is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Everglades National Park 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.[10]

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20151,896,425[11]8.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
1790-1960[13] 1900-1990[14]
1990-2000[15] 2010-2015[1]

2010 Census

U.S. Census Bureau 2010 Ethnic/Race Demographics:[16][17][18]

In 2010, 4.7% of the population considered themselves to be of only "American" ancestry (regardless of race or ethnicity.)[16]

As of 2010, 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.[21]

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.[16][22]

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.[22]

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.[23]

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.[16]

According to the 2010 U.S. Census,[24] 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%).[24]

2000 Census

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),[25] 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.[26] 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.[26]

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.[27] Without the implementation of the new testing campaign, the reported numbers of new diagnoses would have probably been lower.


As of 2010, 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.[28] 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.


Primary and secondary schools

Broward County Schools currently has the sixth largest school district in the country and the second largest in the state after Dade.

Accredited Colleges and universities

Other Adult Education Providers

Public libraries

The Broward County Library is one of the largest public library systems in the country, comprising 41 branch locations. There are also five municipal public libraries in the county that are not part of the Broward County Library: Ethel M. Gordon Oakland Park Library, Lighthouse Point Library, Helen B. Hoffman Plantation Library, and Parkland Public Library.

Community services

Community services in Broward County include Women in Distress (WID), a nationally accredited, state-certified, full service domestic violence center. WID works in partnership with the Broward County Sheriff's Office.[29]


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.

Broward County Mayors
Name Start of Term End of Term
Marty Kiar Nov. 18, 2014 [current]
Barbara Sharief Nov. 19, 2013 Nov. 18, 2014

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


Silver Airways has its headquarters on the property of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in an unincorporated area. [30][31][32] Other companies with headquarters in unincorporated areas include Locair.[33]

When Chalk's International Airlines existed, its headquarters was on the grounds of the airport in an unincorporated area.[34] When Bimini Island Air existed, its headquarters were in an unincorporated area.[35]


Broward County Democratic Party Chairman Mitch Cesear speaks to activists, May 5, 2013.

Voter Registration

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 among registrants.

Broward County Voter Registration & Party Enrollment as of July 31, 2016[36]
Political Party Total Voters Percentage
Republican 251,702 21.69%
Independent 292,112 26.24%
Democratic 507,972 50.07%
Third Parties 18,157 1.65%
Total 1,102,878 100%

Statewide Elections

Over the past 50 years, Broward County has gone from solidly Republican to solidly Democratic. In the 1972 presidential election, Broward County voters strongly backed Richard Nixon over George McGovern. From the 1992 presidential election onward, however, voters of Broward County have supported the Democratic presidential nominee over the Republican nominee by strong majorities. Broward County is now the most reliably Democratic county in the state,[37][38] with the exception of the much less populous and majority African American Gadsden County in North Florida. 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.

Previous Presidential Elections Results[39]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 31.2% 260,951 66.1% 553,320 2.8% 23,069
2012 32.2% 244,101 67.1% 508,312 0.7% 4,941
2008 32.3% 237,729 67.0% 492,640 0.6% 4,722
2004 34.6% 244,674 64.2% 453,873 1.2% 8,325
2000 30.9% 177,939 67.4% 387,760 1.7% 9,540
1996 28.3% 142,834 63.5% 320,736 8.2% 41,445
1992 30.9% 164,782 51.9% 276,309 17.2% 91,843
Previous Gubernatorial Elections Results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2014 29.52% 138,394 68.02% 318,950 2.46% 11,549
2010 33.40% 140,445 64.59% 271,606 2.01% 8,480
2006 35.09% 143,043 62.81% 256,072 2.10% 8,558
2002 40.02% 175,756 59.05% 259,370 0.93% 4,076
1998 37.93% 137,494 62.07% 225,010 0.00% 8
1994 34.61% 138,333 65.39% 261,368 0.00% 11


Street grid

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.

Major freeways and tollways



Public transportation

Greenways System

Construction is underway on a network of recreational trails to connect cities and points of interest in the county.[40][41][42]


Municipality populations are based on the 2010 Census.[43]

# Incorporated Community Designation Date incorporated Population
2 Coconut Creek City February 20, 1967 52,909
26 Cooper City City June 20, 1959 28,547
4 Coral Springs City July 10, 1963 121,096
23 Dania Beach City November 30, 1904 29,639
22 Davie Town November 16, 1925 91,992
3 Deerfield Beach City June 11, 1925 75,018
16 Fort Lauderdale City March 27, 1911 165,521
31 Hallandale Beach City May 11, 1927 37,113
8 Hillsboro Beach Town June 12, 1939 1,875
24 Hollywood City November 28, 1925 140,768
11 Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Town November 30, 1927 6,056
17 Lauderdale Lakes City June 22, 1961 32,593
18 Lauderhill City June 20, 1959 66,887
15 Lazy Lake Village June 3, 1953 24
7 Lighthouse Point City June 13, 1956 10,344
5 Margate City May 30, 1955 53,284
28 Miramar City May 26, 1955 122,041
10 North Lauderdale City July 10, 1963 41,023
13 Oakland Park City June 10, 1929 41,363
1 Parkland City July 10, 1963 23,962
30 Pembroke Park Town October 10, 1957 6,102
27 Pembroke Pines City March 2, 1959 154,750
20 Plantation City April 30, 1953 84,955
6 Pompano Beach City June 6, 1908 99,845
12 Sea Ranch Lakes Village October 6, 1959 670
25 Southwest Ranches Town June 6, 2000 7,345
19 Sunrise City June 22, 1961 84,439
9 Tamarac City August 15, 1963 60,427
29 West Park City March 1, 2005 14,156
21 Weston City September 3, 1996 65,333
14 Wilton Manors City May 13, 1947 11,632

Formerly unincorporated neighborhoods

Unincorporated areas

Points of interest

Broward boasts some notable attractions. The Museum of Discovery and Science is located in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The International Swimming Hall of Fame is located near the Atlantic Ocean, also in Fort Lauderdale. The International Game Fish Association, including the Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum, is located in Dania Beach. Flamingo Gardens is a botanical garden and wildlife sanctuary. Butterfly World, another botanical sanctuary, is located in Coconut Creek. Sawgrass Mills, a large outlet shopping mall, is located in Sunrise. Also, the NHL's Florida Panthers play their games at the BB&T Center in Sunrise. There are also multiple entrances to Everglades parks. In Pompano Beach is the Festival Flea Market Mall, America's largest indoor flea market. The African-American Research Library & Cultural Center off of Sistrunk Avenue in Fort Lauderdale boasts more than 75,000 books and materials on the experiences of people of African descent in the Caribbean, Central and South America and the United States.[44] Other destinations of note are the Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop (colloquially known to locals as simply the Swap Shop), Riverwalk (Fort Lauderdale), and Beach Place, a strip of stores, restaurants, and bars situated across the street from the beach along the Atlantic coast in Ft. Lauderdale.

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.[45][46]

See also


  1. 1 2 "US Census 2015 Estimate". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  2. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "broward county history". Greater Fort Lauderdale. Retrieved 2015-10-02.
  4. Reese, J. H (May 16, 1913). "Carved from Dade County". The Weekly Miami Metropolis. Miami, Florida. p. 7. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
  5. 1 2 LaMendola, Bob. "Feds step in to fight Broward's stubborn AIDS epidemic". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  6. "HIV/AIDS Statistics". Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  7. Yi, Karen. "Broward school district plans to update sex ed". Sun Sentinel.
  8. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  9. Notes on Florida Geography, Florida International University
  10. "Tire reef off Florida proves a disaster - U.S. news - Environment -". MSNBC. February 16, 2007. Retrieved August 1, 2010.
  11. "County Totals Dataset: Population, Population Change and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  12. "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 11, 2015. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  13. "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  14. "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  15. "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
  16. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Broward County: SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  17. 1 2 "Broward-by-the-Numbers (June 2011): Census 2010 - Early Results (Page 4)" (PDF). Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  18. 1 2 3 "Broward County Demographic Characteristics". Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  19. "Broward County, Florida FIRST ANCESTRY REPORTED Universe: Total population - 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  20. "Hispanic or Latino by Type: 2010 more information - 2010 Census Summary File 1". Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  21. "Broward's foreign-born population soars". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  22. 1 2 "Miami-Dade County: Age Groups and Sex: 2010 - 2010 Census Summary File 1". Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  23. "Broward County, Florida: SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS - 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 14, 2015.
  24. 1 2 "Census". Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  25. "Demographics of Broward County, FL". Retrieved December 19, 2007.
  26. 1 2 "Broward County, FL Detailed Profile". Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  27. "What's New at The Body, November 23, 2005". Retrieved August 1, 2010.
  28. "Modern Language Association Data Center Results, Broward County, Florida". Modern Language Association. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  29. Broward Sheriff's Office
  30. "Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport > Business > Tenant Directory." Broward County. Retrieved on December 17, 2011. "1100 Lee Wagener Blvd. Fort Lauderdale, FL33315"
  31. "Contact Us." Gulfstream International Airlines. Retrieved on December 17, 2011. "1100 Lee Wagener Blvd, Suite 201 Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33315."
  32. "Zoning Map Archived June 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.." City of Dania Beach. Retrieved on May 12, 2010.
  33. "Contact Us." Locair. Retrieved on June 19, 2010. "Locair, Inc. 268 SW 33rd St. Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315"
  34. "Administration." Chalk's International Airlines. March 31, 2004. Retrieved on December 17, 2011. "Chalk’s International Airlines 704 SW 34th Street Ft Lauderdale, Fl. 33315"
  35. "Contact Us." Bimini Island Air. Retrieved on July 12, 2011. "Bimini Island Air, Inc./Ltd. 3000 NW 59 Street Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309"
  37. State:Broward Power. St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved November 14, 2006.
  38. 2008 General Election Results. South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved November 11, 2008.
  40. "Topic Galleries - South Florida". Archived from the original on June 29, 2009. Retrieved August 1, 2010.
  41. "Welcome To Broward County Greenways". Retrieved August 1, 2010.
  42. "Topic Galleries". Retrieved December 18, 2012.
  43. "See "Population and Housing Occupancy Status: 2010 - Florida County -- County Subdivision and Place"". 2010 Census. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11.
  44. "African American Research Library : African American Research Library News and Photos - South Florida". Retrieved August 1, 2010.
  45. "South Florida Beach Dive Sites". Sink, Florida, Sink!. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  46. "More spring tourists filling hotels". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
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Coordinates: 26°07′28″N 80°14′58″W / 26.124354°N 80.249503°W / 26.124354; -80.249503

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