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City Summary - Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Originally established as a fort during the Seminole Indian wars, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is in Broward County, approximately 27 miles north of Miami. The city has a population of more than 165,000, approximately 53.6 percent of which are white. African Americans are the largest minority at 28.4 percent, with Hispanics and Latinos comprising another 14.6 percent of the population. The city has a large lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community; the greater Miami-Fort Lauderdale area has the eighth largest LGBT community in the United States.

Tourism is the backbone of the economy of Fort Lauderdale. Around 10.35 million people visit the city each year, primarily for its beaches and the live entertainment, shopping and nightlife found at its vibrant Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District. The city has 11 museums, including the International Swimming Hall of Fame and the Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum. The accommodation and food services industry in Fort Lauderdale employs 11.7 percent of all residents, making it the largest in the city.

Healthcare ranks as the second largest industry in Fort Lauderdale with 8 percent of all jobs. The primary medical facilities in the city are Broward General Medical Center, Imperial Point Medical Center and Holy Cross Hospital, which has previously won awards from HealthGrades, Inc. for being among the 50 top hospitals in the country

In addition to being a popular past-time in the area, yachting is a major industry in Fort Lauderdale. More than 42,000 yachts are docked in the city, and many companies construct ships there and in nearby communities. The largest employers in Fort Lauderdale are the employment agencies Accountants By Gimbel and Bankers by Gimbel; these two companies are also the seventh and eighth largest in the state, respectively.

Construction has traditionally served as a major industry in Fort Lauderdale and employs around 6.8 percent of residents. The downturn in the housing industry has had a serious impact on the construction industry, however. In 2010, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area had a foreclosure rate of 17.5 percent, the highest in all of Florida.

Education accounts for roughly 6.3 percent of all jobs in the city. Broward County Public Schools operates the public schools in Fort Lauderdale, which include 16 elementary and four middle schools. Three high schools are located in the city, including Fort Lauderdale High School, which received a silver medal from the "Best High Schools in the United States" rankings published by "U.S. News and World Report" in 2011. More than 10 postsecondary institutions operate campuses in the city, including Nova Southeastern University, Broward College, Keiser University and the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.

Sixty neighborhoods make up Fort Lauderdale. The Olas Boulevard area located in the Downtown neighborhood features many recently-built high-rise apartment and condominiums. Many of Fort Lauderdale's biggest office buildings are also located in the area. Throughout its neighborhoods, Fort Lauderdale has more than 85 public parks and beaches.
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