Less than 2 miles west of Palm Beach and about 72 miles north of downtown Miami is the beautiful city of West Palm Beach, FL. The area of West Palm Beach is bordered by the nearby cities of Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, Mangonia Park, Palm Beach, and Riviera Beach.
West Palm Beach was established in 1884 by European settlers as well as people relocating from Alabama and Georgia, originally naming it “Lake Worth Country”. About 19 years later, the community voted to incorporate West Palm Beach as an official city in 1903.
West Palm Beach saw its biggest expansion in the 1920s during the Florida land boom as the area’s population quadrupled during that decade. Since the 1990s, West Palm Beach has become a hub for entertainment venues, shopping centers, and nightclubs, enticing more people to move to the growing city.
Known for being a vibrant and upbeat city, West Palm Beach is home to great golf courses, exciting amenities, and easy access to nearby beaches. West Palm Beach sometimes goes by nicknames of “Orchid City” as well as “WPB”.
A wide variety of notable people have lived in West Palm Beach including entertainers like talk show host Howard Stern, singer Jimmy Buffett, actress Glenn Close, actor Tommy Lee Jones, and comedian Larry the Cable Guy.
1. People of West Palm Beach, FL – Population & Demographics
How many people live in West Palm Beach? The area hasn’t stopped growing since the early 1900s as newcomers are continually relocating to West Palm Beach. The current West Palm Beach population is 111,952 with a median age of 37 years old.
West Palm Beach demographics consist of about 37% Caucasian, 35% Black or African American, 25% Hispanic or Latino, and 1% Asian. Local ancestry in West Palm Beach is commonly made up of around 11.2% West Indian, 6.9% Irish, 6% Italian, 5.9% German, 5.7% Haitian, 4.7% American, 4.4% Jamaican, and others.
The gender ratio in West Palm Beach leans in favor of women with a population split between 54% female and 46% male. About 37% of people living in West Palm Beach are married with an average of 2.6 people per household. The median household income in West Palm Beach is $51,089.
2. West Palm Beach Neighborhoods
Local neighborhoods in West Palm Beach cover about 57.97 square miles near the eastern border of Palm Beach County.
Where should you live in West Palm Beach? It isn’t difficult to find great places to live around the city, but a few of the best West Palm Beach neighborhoods are:
Palm Club Village
Even though it’s one of the most affordable neighborhoods in town, Palm Club Village is close to some of the top amenities in West Palm Beach including the Bear Lakes Country Club and the Village Commons Shopping Center.
- Population: 2,412
- Homes for sale in Palm Club Village
- Average price of a home: $152,000
Villages of Palm Beach Lakes
As one of the largest communities in West Palm Beach, lots of people enjoy what the Villages of Palm Beach Lakes have to offer. It is often considered a great place for young families to live in WPB.
- Population: 15,042
- Homes for sale in Villages of Palm Beach Lakes
- Average price of a home: $180,000
Flamingo Park is ranked among the safest West Palm Beach neighborhoods and also provides some of the easiest access to Palm Beach and all of its popular beach destinations.
- Population: 1,136
- Homes for sale in Flamingo Park
- Average price of a home: $683,000
With a near-even split of homes and apartment complexes, Northwood Hills Historic District has options for people of all ages, providing some of the most affordable living in West Palm Beach.
- Population: 3,352
- Homes for sale in Northwood Hills
- Average price of a home: $250,000
The community of Grandview Heights is located right next to CityPlace and downtown, which both offer fantastic shopping destinations like Rosemary Square. This area is also one of the most affluent neighborhoods in West Palm Beach.
- Population: 988
- Homes for sale in Grandview Heights
- Average price of a home: $785,000
3. Cost of Living in West Palm Beach, FL
The average cost of living in West Palm Beach is 8.1% higher than the national average and about 5.3% higher than the Florida state average. While home utilities tend to cost less in this area, newcomers moving to West Palm Beach can expect to pay more for their food, healthcare, transportation, and homes within the local housing market.
The West Palm Beach property tax rate is 1.060%. An average home that costs $265,000 will have annual property taxes of about $2,809 per year. The average monthly utility bill in West Palm Beach is $179.36 when you include electric, natural gas, and water services.
Because there is no Florida state income tax rate, people residing in West Palm Beach don’t have to pay income taxes.
How much does it cost to live in West Palm Beach, FL? Recent Numbeo statistics provide insight into some of the most common expenses and what you can expect to pay for them when living in WPB.
West Palm Beach Typical Living Expenses
- Meal inexpensive restaurant $15
- Meal for 2 People Mid-range Restaurant $70
- Milk (regular) $3.84
- Loaf of Fresh White Bread $3.23
- Rice $1.42
- Eggs $3.11
- Local cheese $3.75
- Chicken filets $4.04
- Beef round $5.36
- Basic monthly utilities $179.36
- Internet $61.75
4. Crime Rate in West Palm Beach
Wondering if West Palm Beach is a safe place to live? The crime rate in West Palm Beach is 81% higher than the national average. People residing in West Palm Beach have a 1 in 23 chance of being a victim of a crime.
The violent crime rate in West Palm Beach is 762 per 100,000 residents with the most common being robbery, which has around 304 cases on average per year. West Palm Beach’s violent crime rates are about 101% higher than the national average.
The West Palm Beach property crime rate is 3,751 per 100,000 people with about 3,314 larceny-theft cases reported annually.
There are many areas that are safe and if you’d like a better idea of local crimes occurring in the area, you can keep up with this West Palm Beach crime map.
5. West Palm Beach, FL Weather
The humid subtropical climate in West Palm Beach keeps the area nice and pleasant pretty much all year round. Local West Palm Beach weather is beautiful, sunny, and partly cloudy the majority of the time.
The average temperature in West Palm Beach during summer stays between the mid-70s and low 90s. As winter comes around, these average temperatures dip slightly into mid-50 lows and highs in the upper 70s. The weather in West Palm Beach also brings plenty of precipitation with an average of about 63 inches of rain per year.
While there’s no bad time of year to head to the area, the best time to visit West Palm Beach is usually at the end of spring in April and May or as fall begins in September.
6. Things to Do in West Palm Beach
Near the gorgeous Florida coast, it’s never difficult to find outdoor activities, fun places to visit, points of interest, and other fun things to do in West Palm Beach.
- Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society – Spanning 23 acres, this popular zoo in Palm Beach gives visitors of all ages a glimpse at rare animals including flamingos, tigers, monkeys, koalas, bald eagles, and many more.
- Loggerhead Marinelife Center – At this local wildlife center, people can learn about efforts being made to protect and rehabilitate sea turtles.
- McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary – Among the best free things to do in West Palm Beach, this wildlife sanctuary gives visitors an up-close look at more than 170 unique animals.
- Clock Tower – This popular West Palm Beach landmark was built in 2010 as a part of improving the nearby Worth Avenue Shopping District.
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Entertainment, Museums, & Arts
- Manatee Lagoon – This educational local offers fun West Palm Beach activities such as wild manatee viewing as well as a gift shop and multiple hands-on exhibits.
- Norton Museum of Art – At this interesting museum in West Palm Beach, art fans will find an incredible collection of work from artists, impressionists, and sculptors from all over the world.
- South Florida Science Center – One of the best things to do in West Palm Beach with kids is to enjoy the aquarium, planetarium, and many other fun interactive exhibits at the science center.
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Parks & Outdoors
- Rapids Waterpark – Among the top outdoor attractions in West Palm Beach, this popular waterpark covers 12 acres of waterslides, open pools, and its own lazy river.
- Mounts Botanical Garden – Experience the beauty and serenity of this beautiful place to visit in West Palm Beach with its variety of plants from locations around the world.
- Okeeheelee Park – As one of the biggest parks in West Palm Beach, Okeeheelee boasts a BMX track, an equestrian center, a children’s playground, and so much more.
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- Palm Beach Outlets – A popular West Palm Beach shopping center with multiple factory stores including Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Express, ALDO, Columbia, Tillys, and many other retail shops.
- Rosemary Square – This local mall in WPB features both indoor and outdoor shops, unique architecture, and common areas for dining.
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7. Places to Eat in West Palm Beach
Whenever you’re looking for somewhere to eat, you’ll find a huge variety of top-rated restaurants in West Palm Beach.
- Okeechobee Steak House – One of the most popular places to eat in West Palm Beach, offering juicy steaks, mouthwatering sandwiches, seafood, and many other menu items.
- IL Bellagio Italian Restaurant – If you’re craving Italian food, this great restaurant in WPB has great choices of pasta, pizza, paninis, risotto, Caprese, and beyond.
- Havana Restaurant – Among the best West Palm Beach restaurants, providing diners with Cuban cuisine centered around entrees including chicken, fish, steak, and more.
8. West Palm Beach Real Estate
The West Palm Beach real estate market isn’t very competitive due to the affordable rates found almost everywhere in the city. Even with these low prices, the homeownership rate in West Palm Beach is only 48.2%.
The average price of a home in West Palm Beach is $265,000 with a median sale price of $181 per square foot and an average down payment of 23% required. West Palm Beach, FL homes for sale usually go pending in an average of 67 days and tend to sell for about 4% lower than their listed price.
At a rate of about 51.8%, the other half of people living in West Palm Beach rent their homes, meaning you have plenty of options if you’re not interested in buying a house yet. The average price of rent in West Palm Beach is $1,549 per month, which has risen by about 5% in the last year.
The local utility companies in West Palm Beach are:
- Florida Public Utilities (Electric & Natural Gas)
- City of West Palm Beach (Water)
- Palm Beach County (Water)
9. West Palm Beach Schools
There are about 26,868 kids between the ages of 0 and 18 years old residing in West Palm Beach, equaling out to around 24% of the population. West Palm Beach is an excellent place for families to live because of the top-rated school system in the area.
Represented by the Palm Beach School District, the top West Palm Beach schools are:
- Wynnebrook Elementary School
- Golden Grove Elementary School
- Bak Middle School Of The Arts
- Renaissance Charter School At West Palm Beach
- Suncoast Community High School (ranked 12th best high school in Florida)
- Alexander W Dreyfoos Junior School Of The Arts (ranked 14th best high school in Florida)
There are multiple colleges and universities located in West Palm Beach including Keiser University-West Palm Beach. Students can also attend Palm Beach Atlantic University with its many great degree programs such as accounting, biology, journalism, business management, political science, nursing, and more.
10. Jobs in West Palm Beach
The average salary in West Palm Beach is $62,000 with an average hourly rate of $18.09 per hour. The West Palm Beach unemployment rate is 5.5%.
West Palm Beach jobs can often be found in industries like healthcare, manufacturing, business, journalism, and others. Some of the best places to work in West Palm Beach include:
- St. Mary’s Medical Center
- Platform Specialty Products
- Ocwen Financial
- American Sugar Refining
- Island Hospitality Management
- Affiliated Managers Group
- ION Media Networks
- The Palm Beach Post
If you are searching for a job in West Palm Beach, check out available careers on Indeed.
11. Transportation in West Palm Beach
Wondering how to get around West Palm Beach? No matter what specific needs you have, there are numerous West Palm Beach transportation services available.
Palm Tran bus routes are conveniently located all around West Palm Beach, making it easy to plan your daily trips. There are also multiple rideshare services in West Palm Beach including Uber and Lyft. Or you can get around WPB by calling for a local Yellow Cab.
The average commute time in West Palm Beach is 21.4 minutes. West Palm Beach has fairly bad traffic, especially during rush hour. But new plans are in place to improve the traffic congestion issues in the next decade.
Palm Beach International Airport is the most common airport for people living in West Palm Beach to use for flights to and from the city.
If you’re interested in driving from West Palm Beach to Miami, the trip covers about 72 miles, taking around 1 hour and 15 minutes in each direction.
12. Sports in West Palm Beach
While West Palm Beach doesn’t have any major professional sports teams within its city limit, there are a handful of minor league teams you can root for like the Palm Beach Knights basketball team and the Palm Beach United women’s soccer team.
The Washington Nationals MLB baseball team plays their annual spring training games in West Palm Beach at The Ballpark of The Palm Beaches.
Residents living in West Palm Beach can always cheer on other professional Florida sports teams including the Miami Marlins (MLB), the Miami Heat (NBA), the Miami Dolphins (NFL), and the Florida Panthers (NHL).
Living in West Palm Beach Pros & Cons
- Pro: You can always enjoy access to many exciting things to do and popular restaurants in West Palm Beach.
- Pro: Schools in West Palm Beach rank among the best in the entire state of Florida.
- Pro: West Palm Beach has a handful of comfortable and secure neighborhoods to live in.
- Con: There is a fairly high crime rate in West Palm Beach affecting a few specific areas of town.
- Con: The high cost of living in West Palm Beach is more than both the state average and national average.
Moving to West Palm Beach, FL
Have you heard enough reasons to move to West Palm Beach? Reach out to the professional West Beach movers here at Meehan’s Family Moving if you need a reliable team to help with your transition. Call us today at (561) 904-6000 or complete the Request a Quote form on this page for a free moving estimate!