August 28, 2014

Community Portrait

Fort Lauderdale and Broward County

More than just gathering data, we're capturing elements that make each community distinctive.

> On the Road

The county’s average drive time to work is among the highest in the state.

> Cost of Living

Through 2007, Broward is among the counties with the highest percentage of homeowners spending 50% of their incomes on housing. According to RealtyTrac, in August 2008, 1 in 416 U.S. households received foreclosure filings as compared to 1 in 194 households in Florida, and 1 in 112 households in Broward County.

Pembroke Pines Charter High School
Pembroke Pines has the largest city-run charter school system in the nation. Above, Pembroke Pines Charter High School.

> Schools

In 2007-08, two-thirds of Broward County students met high standards in reading, 75% in math. The district received an

“A” grade from the Florida Department of Education in 2007-08. Both Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report rank at least five Broward high schools among the best in the nation. One high school got an “F” grade from the Florida DOE. More than

70 Broward schools earned the Florida DOE’s Five Star School Award, its most prestigious honor for family and community involvement. The Charter School of Excellence, a K-5 public charter school in downtown Fort Lauderdale, was among the 21-highest ranked charter schools of the 144 schools in the National Charter School Consortium and the only elementary school in the nation to receive the Gold-EPIC award. The school is one of the top 10 performing public schools in Florida and was recently named a National Blue Ribbon school by the Department of Education.

> Notable

» The rate of births to unwed teen mothers is 7.2% of the overall total, below the state average of 9.4%.

» A 2007 study by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Center for the Advancement of Health found Fort Lauderdale among top places for Hispanic children to grow up based on housing, neighborhood conditions, residential integration, education and health.

» Fort Lauderdale is among the areas with the largest concentrations of gays and lesbians over 64.

» The Miami-Fort Lauderdale area is one of the top local markets nationally in terms of broadband penetration.

» Broward County has about 200 miles of bike paths. A 30-mile “greenway’’ system of bike paths and nature trails is under way.

» Fort Lauderdale is a popular destination for gay tourists. The city is the headquarters of the Gay & Lesbian Travel Association and will host the group’s international convention again in 2011.

> Air Quality

Motor vehicle emissions are the main source of air pollution in the county. Air quality falls in the “good” range more than 85% of the year.

Next page: "Why I Live Here," an interview with Tom Angelo.

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