More InformationThe city is a popular tourist destination, with 10.35 million visitors in 2006. Fort Lauderdale is sometimes known as the "Venice of America" because of its expansive and intricate canal system. The city is a major yachting center, with 42,000 resident yachts and 100 marinas and boatyards in 2006. The city sits 23 miles (37 km) north of Miami. Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding area hosted over 4,000 restaurants and 120 nightclubs in 2006.
Fort Lauderdale is named after a series of forts built by the United States during the Second Seminole War. The forts took their name from Major William Lauderdale, who was the commander of the detachment of soldiers who built the first fort. However, development of the city did not begin until 50 years after the forts were abandoned at the end of the conflict. Three forts named "Fort Lauderdale" were constructed; the first was at the fork of the New River, the second at Tarpon Bend on the new River between the Colee Hammock and Rio Vista neighborhoods, and the third near the site of the Bahia Mar Marina.
Despite the fact that it is both far removed from the equator and located just outside the tropics, Fort Lauderdale features a tropical rainforest climate with little seasonal variation in temperature. Typically, tropical rainforest climates are found near the equator, but Fort Lauderdale is an exceptional case. Average monthly temperatures are always above 18.0 °C (64.4 °F) and average monthly precipitation is above 60 millimetres (2.36 in). This qualifies the city's climate as a tropical rainforest climate, as the city does not have a true dry season. While significant rain does fall in winter, the majority of precipitation is received during the summer months.
As of the census of 2000, there were 68,468 households, and 33,001 families residing in the city. There were 68,468 households out of which 19.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.2% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.8% were non-families. 40.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,887, and the median income for a family was $46,175. Males had a median income of $34,478 versus $27,230 for females. The per capita income for the city was $27,798. About 13.8% of families and 17.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.0% of those under age 18 and 11.1% of those aged 65 or over.
Fort Lauderdale has a significantly higher percentage of foreign-born residents than the United States as a whole; the 2000 census data indicated that 21.7% of the city's population was foreign-born. Of foreign-born residents, 69.2% were born in Latin America and 17.3% were born in Europe, with smaller percentages from North America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. In 2000, Fort Lauderdale had the twenty-sixth highest percentage of Haitian residents in the US, at 6.9% of the city's population, and the 127th highest percentage of Cuban residents, at 1.69% of the city's residents.
Like many cities in South Florida, Fort Lauderdale has a large population of people who do not speak English as their first language at home, although not as high as the county average. As of 2000, 75.63% of the population spoke English as their first language, followed by Spanish at 9.42%, Haitian Creole 7.52%, French 2.04%, Portuguese 1.02% and Italian 0.81%.
The city, known for its large LGBT community, is also a popular vacation spot for gays and lesbians.
Information provided by Wikipedia.org.