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According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 93.3 km² (36.0 mi²). 82.2 km² (31.7 mi²) of it is land and 11.1 km² (4.3 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 11.91% water. Fort Lauderdale is known for its extensive network of canals, and is an especially popular destination for fishing and yachting.
Fort Lauderdale's economy is very reliant on tourism. During the 1970's, the city was known as a spring break destination for college students; since then, police have cracked down on underage drinking and other illicit activity, and the tourist dollars have been largely redirected toward cruise ships and other nautical recreation.
The downtown area, especially around Las Olas Boulevard, has seen dramatic growth in the past decade, and now hosts many new hotels and high-rise condominium developments, as well as a wide array of boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.
The city's main airport is Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport; it also hosts a large seaport, Port Everglades. Two railroads pass through Fort Lauderdale, and Amtrak provides services to other cities on the Atlantic coast. There is also a light rail service, the Tri-Rail, connecting Fort Lauderdale to Miami and West Palm Beach.
Several large companies are based in Fort Lauderdale, including Blockbuster Video and AutoNation USA.
As of the census of 2000, there are 152,397 people, 68,468 households, and 33,001 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,854.4/km² (4,803.1/mi²). There are 80,862 housing units at an average density of 984.0/km² (2,548.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 64.27% White, 28.88% African American, 0.23% Native American, 1.03% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.76% from other races, and 3.79% from two or more races. 9.45% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 68,468 households out of which 19.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.2% are married couples living together, 11.5% have a female householder with no husband present, and 51.8% are non-families. 40.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.7% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.14 and the average family size is 2.97.
In the city the population is spread out with 19.4% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 32.8% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 39 years. For every 100 females there are 110.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 111.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $37,887, and the median income for a family is $46,175. Males have a median income of $34,478 versus $27,230 for females. The per capita income for the city is $27,798. 17.7% of the population and 13.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 29.0% are under the age of 18 and 11.1% are 65 or older.