This Florida City Has Been Named the Fastest Shrinking City in the State

Florida boasts sunny beaches, vibrant culture, and a thriving tourism sector, yet not all its cities share the same growth trajectory. Some face population decline, impacting local economies, infrastructure, and overall well-being. One such city is Pembroke Pines, labeled as the fastest shrinking city in Florida.

Introduction to Pembroke Pines:

Situated in Broward County, approximately 20 miles north of Miami, Pembroke Pines ranks as Florida’s 11th largest city, with an estimated 169,391 residents as of 2021. Established in 1960, it experienced rapid growth, drawing inhabitants with its suburban charm, low crime rates, and quality educational institutions. Pembroke Pines gained recognition for its environmental efforts, cultural diversity, and active civic engagement.

Factors Contributing to Decline:

Despite its allure, Pembroke Pines faces a decline in population. Census data reveals a 0.9% decrease from 2020 to 2021, a stark contrast to Florida’s overall 1.6% growth in the same period.

Housing Affordability:

Pembroke Pines grapples with high living costs, notably housing expenses surpassing national averages by 58% for home values and 37% for rents. This disparity likely prompts residents to seek more affordable locales.

Limited Job Market:

While boasting a commendable 4.1% unemployment rate—below the national average—Pembroke Pines’ job sector lacks diversity. Dominated by service, retail, and education fields, its median household income slightly exceeds the national average. However, the lack of varied employment opportunities may drive residents elsewhere for career growth.

Demographic Shifts:

With an aging population and low birth rate, Pembroke Pines faces challenges in sustaining natural growth. The median age exceeds the national average, and below-replacement birth rates indicate a dwindling population.

Natural Disaster Vulnerability:

Susceptibility to hurricanes, floods, and wildfires poses threats to Pembroke Pines. Historic events like Hurricane Andrew, Wilma, and Irma have caused significant damage and displaced residents. Rising sea levels exacerbate concerns, potentially deterring potential residents.

Impact of Population Decline:

Population decline precipitates adverse effects, including diminished tax revenues, strained infrastructure, and decreased quality of life.

Strategies for Reversal:

Addressing housing affordability, enhancing job opportunities, encouraging population growth, and preparing for natural disasters are crucial strategies to reverse or mitigate population decline.


Pembroke Pines possesses strengths and challenges alike. By confronting its population decline, the city can ensure sustainability, prosperity, and an improved quality of life for current and future residents.

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