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West Palm Beach

The seat of Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach is located on Lake Worth and the Intracoastal Waterway, opposite Palm Beach. It covers an area of about 58 square miles, and has a population of approximately 97,500. The metropolitan area -- which includes all of Palm Beach County, as well as parts of Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee, and Indian River counties, has a population of approximately 1,772,000.

location of West Palm Beach

official seal of the City of West Palm Beach


West Palm Beach was founded by Henry M. Flager in 1894 as a community to house servants working in the neighboring community of Palm Beach. The city boomed during the 1920's and was destined to rival Miami in status, but the Great Depression, hurricanes, and rampant suburbanization contributed to a decline in that status.

The city has enjoyed a resurgence since the 1970's, however, thanks to the building of hotels and elegant shopping centers, renovation of historic buildings, and a popular entertainment district.


West Palm Beach is now a popular tourist destination, and tourism dollars account for a significant portion of the city's economy. The city is also a regional farm market, commercial fishing hub, and aerospace research center. Manufactures include chemicals, paint, aluminum items, clothing, and electronic equipment.

West Palm Beach is served by Palm Beach International Airport, as well as Amtrak and the Tri-Rail commuter rail system.


Public education is provided by The School District of Palm Beach County. The city is also home to Palm Beach Community College, the oldest community college in Florida, founded in 1933; Palm Beach Atlantic College, a four-year, private, Christian university; and Northwood University, a four-year private business college.

Sites and Attractions

Cultural attractions in West Palm Beach include the Norton Gallery and School of Art, a performing arts center, a botanical garden, and a science museum.

downtown skyline of West Palm Beach

Chamber of Commerce of The Palm Beaches
City of West Palm Beach.
Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Henry M. Flager

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The Robinson Library >> American History >> United States: Local History and Description >> Gulf States >> Florida >> Cities, Towns, Etc.

This page was last updated on June 22, 2017.