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West Palm Beach

City of West Palm Beach

  •   State: 
    Palm Beach County
    West Palm Beach
      County FIPS: 
    26°42′35″N 80°03′51″W
      Area total: 
    57.98 sq mi (150.18 km²)
      Area land: 
    53.82 sq mi (139.39 km²)
      Area water: 
    4.17 sq mi (10.79 km²)
    13 ft (4 m)
    1884; Settled (Lake Worth Country Settlement) c. 1884 Platted 1893; Incorporated (Town of West Palm Beach) November 5, 1894; Incorporated (City of West Palm Beach) July 21, 1903
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    2,246.97 residents per square mile of area (867.58/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 

West Palm Beach is a city in and the county seat of Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. It is located immediately to the west of the adjacent Palm Beach, which is situated on a barrier island across the Lake Worth Lagoon. The city was platted by Henry Flagler as a community to house the servants working in the two grand hotels across Lake Worth in 1893. In November 1894, 78 people met at the "Calabois St. and Poinsettia, now Dixie Hwy.) and passed the motion to incorporate the Town of West Palm Beach. It was the first incorporated municipality in Dade County and in South Florida. The population of the city was 117,415 at the 2020 census. West Palm beach is a principal city of the Miami metropolitan area, which was home to 6,138,333 people in 2020. Its population grew rapidly in the 1920s as part of the Florida land boom, and the city's population quadrupled from 1920 to 1927. In 1909, Palm Beach county was formed by the Florida State Legislature and Palm Beach State Legislature. In 1916, a new neo-classical courthouse was opened, which has been painstakingly restored back to its original condition and is now used as the local history museum. In the 1930s, a quiet hurricane devastated the city, and it was devastated by the Okeechobee hurricane with a quiet years of 1930s. The first white settlers lived around Lake Worth, which at the time was an enclosed freshwater lake, named after Colonel William Jenkins Worth in 1842.


West Palm Beach is the primary city name, but also Cloud Lake, Glen Ridge, Lake Clarke, Lake Clarke Shores, Palm Springs, West Palm Bch are acceptable city names or spellings. The official name is City of West Palm Beach. When the Spanish arrived, there were perhaps about 20,000 Native Americans in south Florida. By 1763, when the English gained control of Florida, the native peoples had all but been wiped out through war, enslavement, or European diseases. The first white settlers in Palm Beach County lived around Lake Worth, which at the time was an enclosed freshwater lake. West Palm Beach was platted by Henry Flagler as a community to house the servants working in the two grand hotels on the neighboring island of Palm Beach, across Lake Worth in 1893. The city grew steadily during the 1890s and the first two decades of the 20th century, most residents were engaged in the tourist industry and related services or winter vegetable market and tropical fruit trade. During World War II, the city was a vital base for the U.S. Air Force, which brought thousands of military personnel to the city to train for the war effort. In 1916, a new neo-classical courthouse was opened, which has been painstakingly restored back to its original condition and is now used as the local history museum. The population of West Palm beach quadrupled from 1920 to 1927, and all kinds of businesses and public services grew along with it. The 1930s were a quiet time for the area, which saw slight population growth and property values lower than lower than during the 1920s during the Great Depression. The area was devastated by the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane, which sank dozens of merchant ships and oil tankers off the coast of nearby Palm Beach.


The West Palm Beach Canal (C-51) was authorized by the U.S. Congress under the Flood Control Acts of 1948, 1954, 1962, 1968, and the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1996. The project is located in Palm Beach County and runs east to west from West Palm beach at Lake Worth to Water Conservation Area (WCA) No. 1 (Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge) The authorized project will provide 30-year flood protection to the urbanized eastern basin and 10-year Flood Protection to the western basin. All eastern basin features have been completed. A total of $1.05 million was appropriated for this project by the United States Congress in Fiscal Year 2015. The Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request was for $1 million. The total estimated cost of the project is $375.47 million, with an estimated $345.04 million as the Federal Government's cost share. In addition to the flood damage reduction benefits provided by the original project, the modified plan provides water treatment, reduction of damaging freshwater discharges to Lake Worth, and increased water supply for the Everglades and other users. The modified plan expands the original 1,600-acre flood water detention area into a 6,500-acre stormwater detention area. The original project provided water treatment and reduced freshwater discharge to the Lake Worth area. It also provided water supply and protection for the everglades, as well as other users of the water system.


Until the 1960s, the city was no more than several blocks wide but over 100 blocks in length. Large scale development finally expanded to the west of the city with improved access and drainage in the 60s. The city boundaries were not expanded much with the exception of the "Water Catchment Area" Known as Grassy Waters, it now serves as a reservoir for the city drinking water as well as a nature preserve. West Palm Beach has a total area of 58.2 square miles (151 km²) (5.26%) of which 55.1 square miles is land and 3.1 sq miles (8.0 km²), or 5.26% is water. It is located in the central part of Florida's Palm Beach County, near the Florida Turnpike and the Atlantic Ocean. It has a population of 2.1 million (2.2 million in 2011). The city's population was 2.3 million (1.7 million in 2010) (1,788 in 2011) in the U.S. Census Bureau says the city has the highest population growth rate in the United States in the past 50 years. It also has one of the highest crime rates in the country. It had the highest murder rate in 2010 (36.2%). It has the lowest crime rate in Florida (11.2%) in the last decade. It was the second-highest city in Florida in the 1990s (after Miami) and the third-highest in the state in the 1980s (behind Tampa).


As of the census of 2010, there were 54,179 households, out of which 20.8% were vacant. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 3.02. As of 2000, those who spoke only English at home accounted for 72.49% of all residents. In 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $36,774, and the median incomes for a family was $42,074. About 14.5% of families and 18.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.2% of those under the age of 18 and 14.8%) of those ages 65 and older. In 2020, the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race or ethnicity and can live in any part of the U.S. The city is located in the South Florida panhandle. It is located on the Florida Panhandle and the Florida Turnpike. It has a population of 1.2 million, with the majority of residents living in or near the downtown area. The median age of the city is 37.5 years, with 21.3% of residents being under 18 years of age. In the city, the average household income is $36.774, with a median income of $42.074, and a per capita income for the city of $23,188.

Government and infrastructure

West Palm Beach is governed via the Mayor-council system. The mayor is elected in a citywide vote. The five members of the city council are each elected from districts. The U.S. Postal Service operates several post offices in the city limits. In 2014 an officer with a history of misconduct pled guilty to selling drugs while on duty. West Palm Beach has its own police force, the West Palm Palm Beach Police Department. The city is home to the Palm Beach Airport, which has a runway that is one of the busiest in the country. It is also home to several other airports, including the Miami International Airport and the Orlando International Airport. It also has a number of beaches, many of which are less than a mile from the city's downtown area. It has a population of 2.2 million. It was the site of the World Series of Poker in the 1980s and 1990s, and has been home to numerous professional sports teams, including Florida State University and the University of Florida. The City of Palm Beach was founded in 1883 and is the oldest city in the state. The first post office was established in 1887. The current post office is located in the Lake Park area of the town, despite having an address in West Palm beach. The Lake Park Post Office is also located in Lake Park, even though it has a West Palm beaches address. The town has a fleet of golf courses, including a golf course with a driving range. The community has a large number of parks, including several golf courses.


The School District of Palm Beach County is the tenth-largest school district in the United States by enrollment. Public elementary schools serve students within the city limits or in unincorporated areas. Public middle school students are served by nine different schools. The Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach serves the city. The original Palm Beach Junior College building was restored and is now adjacent to the campus of the Dreyfoos School of the Arts, a magnet performing and visual arts high school. Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBAU), a four-year private Christian university with approximately 3,200 students, is located in the city on seven blocks within the south end of downtown. Northwood University formerly had a residential campus in West Palm beach, Florida. The campus now belongs to Keiser University, a regionally accredited school that offers a variety of degrees at the Associate, Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral levels. It is one of their 16 Florida campuses. Several private for-profit institutions, including the Lincoln College of Technology, Florida Culinary Institute, and Southeastern College, are also located there. The Main Branch of the Palm Beach county Library System is also located inWest Palm Beach, as well as the Okeechobee Branch Library. The new city public library opened in April 2009 at 411 Clematis Street, replacing the 1962 building which stood at the intersection of Clemat is and Flagler Drive, along the Intracoastal Waterfront. It provides books, performances, classes, research, entertainment, technology, music and more.


Companies based in West Palm Beach include Affiliated Managers Group, Florida Public Utilities, ION Media Networks, Ocwen, and The Palm Beach Post. Other major employers are Pratt & Whitney, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Sikorsky Aircraft, General Dynamics, Cemex, and CSC. The city is home to the U.S. Air Force Academy and the University of Florida's College of Information Technology and Information Sciences. It is also the home of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The town has a population of more than 2.5 million people. The economy is the second largest in the state, after Miami. It has been the fastest-growing city in the United States in the past five years, according to the state's business and industry chambers. The state's economy is expected to grow by 2.7 percent in the next three years, and 2.8 percent in 2014. The county's unemployment rate is 3.7 per cent, the lowest in the country, and the unemployment rate has been in the low to mid-teens for the past three years. The area's economy has been growing at a rate of about 1.5 per cent annually since the start of the Great Recession in 2007. The region's population has grown by 1.7 million people since the beginning of the recession, and 1.8 per cent in the last year. The population has increased by 3.1 million since the recession ended in 2009.

Arts and culture

Norton Museum of Art is the largest art museum in Florida. The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts hosts performances of music, dance, opera and theatre. SunFest is an annual music, art, and waterfront festival in Florida, founded in 1982 to draw visitors to the area during the "shoulder season" of April and May. Artists who have performed include Nas, James Brown, Celia Cruz, Hall & Oats, Snoop Dogg, Earth Wind and Fire, Logic, Kool & the Gang, Ice Cube, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Santana, Little Richard, Willy Chirino, The Roots, Damian Marley, Isaac Hayes, Chuck Berry, The Temptations, The Beach Boys, Ohio Players, Cee Lo Green, Mac Miller, Musiq Soulchild, Ray Charles, Ed Sheeran, J. Cole, Pitbull, Billy Idol, Dizzy Gillespie, Cyndi Lauper, and The Wailers. The Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction is a classic car auction held every March in the South Florida Expo Center. There is a Jewish community offering learning and cultural activities. The Palm Beach County History Museum offers on-site investigation in the Research Library, on-line research on, the Public Programming Series and the Distinguished Lecture Series. The museum is free to visitors and offers Docent-led tours for adults and school groups. The Carefree Theatre was variously an art house cinema and alternative music performance venue until severely damaged by Hurricane Wilma.


West Palm Beach does not host any professional sports teams, but the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League play at BB&T Center in Sunrise to the south. The Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals conduct spring training in suburban West Palm Beach in the town of Jupiter at Roger Dean Stadium. Palm Beach Atlantic University competes in NCAA Division II basketball, baseball and soccer. The National Croquet Center has 12 full sized croquet lawns, making it the largest dedicated croquet facility in the world. The Delray Beach International Tennis Championships, a hard court stop on the ATP Tour, takes place annually in Delrays Beach. The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center hosts the world-renowned Winter Equestrial Festival and the Global Dressage Festival. Okeeheelee park contains one of the most celebrated BMX race tracks in the state of Florida. In May 2009, Palm Beach will host the World Championship when representatives of up to 25 countries will be competing for the Wimbledon Cup. It is also home to several National Champions, including several National Champion BMX racers. The Florida Gators play their home games at the Greene Complex which is an on campus arena. Florida Atlantic University's athletic programs are played in nearby Boca Raton. Keiser University compets at the NAIA level, where their former basketball coach Rollie Massimino, helped in giving the athletic program national exposure. PBAU has recently purchased a large tract of land just west of downtown where there will be built a multi-use athletic stadium.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida = 92. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 30. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 50. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in West Palm Beach = 6.3 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 117,415 individuals with a median age of 39.3 age the population grows by 25.57% in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 2,246.97 residents per square mile of area (867.58/km²). There are average 2.23 people per household in the 44,333 households with an average household income of $44,888 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 11.00% of the available work force and has dropped -5.18% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 18.64%. The number of physicians in West Palm Beach per 100,000 population = 264.


The annual rainfall in West Palm Beach = 61 inches and the annual snowfall = 0 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 132. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 238. 90 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 56.8 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 28, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida which are owned by the occupant = 43.58%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 24 years with median home cost = $103,550 and home appreciation of -23.46%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $13.37 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $5,153 per student. There are 16.7 students for each teacher in the school, 465 students for each Librarian and 448 students for each Counselor. 6.15% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 17.11% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 10.74% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • West Palm Beach's population in Palm Beach County, Florida of 1,637 residents in 1900 has increased 71,73-fold to 117,415 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 50.55% female residents and 49.45% male residents live in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida.

    As of 2020 in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida are married and the remaining 53.40% are single population.

  • 24.5 minutes is the average time that residents in West Palm Beach require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    77.01% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 13.41% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 2.65% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 2.39% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida, 43.58% are owner-occupied homes, another 39.66% are rented apartments, and the remaining 16.76% are vacant.

  • The 54.10% of the population in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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