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Life’s a Beach (and so much more) in Greater Fort Lauderdale

No matter your age, you can live your best life in this stunningly beautiful, yet affordable, region in South Florida.

By Rebecca Treon on October 13, 2021

beachgoers heading to beach
City of Pompano Beach

Florida is known as a place many people choose to retire, thanks to its affordability and mild climate. But you don’t have to wait until you’re 65 to enjoy the benefits of living in Greater Fort Lauderdale.

“I wasn’t looking to move here. I came for work,” says Phillip Dunlap, director of the Broward County Cultural Division. “As I spend more time here, though, I’m glad I did. The weather is amazing. It is the ‘Sunshine State.’ We have eco-tourism, restaurants with patios, the beach, botanic gardens – you can be outdoors year-round.”

Greater Fort Lauderdale Is Booming

The region’s population of nearly 2 million has increased 25% since 2010, with affordability, career opportunities, cultural diversity and ample recreational opportunities having a hand in their decision to relocate.

Lower Costs Help Drive Growth

Living in Greater Fort Lauderdale won’t break the bank. Not only is there no state income tax in Florida, but housing, compared to places like New York City and Los Angeles, is more affordable.

“The county is making affordable housing a priority,” says Robert Ahlness, director of philanthropy at the Broward Public Library Foundation. “Gentrification is a concern, but the commission and the community are doing a good job of trying to stay ahead of it.”

According to SmartAsset’s cost of living calculator, housing costs are 36% higher in New York and 12% higher in Los Angeles than in Fort Lauderdale.

“There are great options for everyone here, especially further from the beach,” Dunlap says. “The area keeps growing, and people are definitely moving here.”

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Jason Nuttle

Greater Fort Lauderdale Welcomes All

South Florida is known for extending a welcoming hand to everyone. More than 100 languages are spoken in this highly diverse region, which has one of the largest consular corps in the U.S. Six cities in the Greater Fort Lauderdale area were named on Niche’s 2020 ranking of the Most Diverse Suburbs in Florida.

“Broward County is a majority-minority county,” Dunlap says. “It is so diverse from a racial, cultural and arts perspective. We’re an extension of Latin America, the Caribbean, Jamaica, Haiti, Puerto Rico and more.”

Broward County’s population, according to the Census Reporter, is 35% white, 28% Black, 31% Hispanic and 4% Asian. The region also welcomes LGBTQ+ community members.

“Broward is extremely diverse – you see it in your community and in your neighborhood,” Ahlness says. “The great thing is that everyone is so open, and you’re welcome to experience their culture. It’s not limited at all.”

Wilton Manors was listed as the Second Gayest City in the U.S. by the U.S. Census Bureau, and, in 2019, approximately 40,000 people from across the state came for its 20th annual Stonewall Pride Parade & Street Festival. Plus, TravelPulse recently named Greater Fort Lauderdale one of the Top Four Places for LGBT+ Travelers Post-COVID.

“As far as being open and inclusive, it’s nice to be in a place where you feel seen,” Dunlap says. “As a queer person myself, the Fort Lauderdale area in general is much more integrated throughout compared to other places.”

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Paulo Fridman

Your Career Can Thrive Here

Greater Fort Lauderdale isn’t just sun and surf. The region boasts thriving technology, life sciences, financial services, manufacturing, and aerospace and aviation industries.

Well-known companies headquartered in Broward County include AutoNation, Citrix, Virgin Voyages, Microsoft’s Latin American headquarters, Royal Caribbean International, Chewy and Hotwire Communications. Other major companies with a presence here include American Express, Chiquita, JetBlue, Marriott and DHL, to name a few.

The region is a hub of aerospace and aviation – trailing only Dallas and Atlanta – with companies including CDB Aviation, CTS Engines, Embraer, GA Telesis, GE Aviation, Heico Corporation, International Aircraft Associates, Kellstrom Aerospace, OSM Aviation, Sintavia, Spirit Airlines, Turbine Controls Inc. and Wayman Aviation having a presence here.

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Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

Get Ready to Root for the Home Teams

Sports fans won’t have a problem getting their sports fix here, as residents can make their way to watch professional football, baseball, hockey, soccer and basketball in just a few minutes.

“There is no shortage of activities – there’s every sport imaginable here. It’s great to have options across the board, whether it’s with your family or as a professional.”

Robert Ahlness | Broward Public Library Foundation

In Sunrise, the BB&T Center is home to the NHL’s Florida Panthers. To the south, the Miami Dolphins of the NFL play at Hard Rock Stadium, while the NBA’s Miami Heat hoop it up in downtown Miami. Also, the Inter Miami soccer team plays its matches in Fort Lauderdale, while LoanDepot Park hosts the Miami Marlins baseball team near downtown Miami.

“The pandemic has allowed people to really question where they want to live, and a lot of people are wanting to get out of where they are and find a place with a better quality of life,” Dunlap says. “Fort Lauderdale has that.”

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