Riviera Beach, Florida

Coordinates: 26°46′48″N 80°4′2″W / 26.78000°N 80.06722°W / 26.78000; -80.06722
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Riviera Beach, Florida
City of Riviera Beach
Official seal of Riviera Beach, Florida
Location of Riviera Beach in Palm Beach County, Florida
Location of Riviera Beach in Palm Beach County, Florida
Coordinates: 26°46′48″N 80°4′2″W / 26.78000°N 80.06722°W / 26.78000; -80.06722
Country United States
State Florida
County Palm Beach
Settled (Lake Worth Settlement)Early 1860s–1880[1][2]
Settled (Oak Lawn Settlement)1881–1892[1][2]
Platted (Riviera Settlement)1893–1921[1][2]
Incorporated (Town of Riviera)September 29, 1922 (1922-09-29)[1][2]
Incorporated (Town of Riviera Beach)1941[1][2][3]
Incorporated (City of Riviera Beach)1959[1][2]
Named forFrench Riviera[4]
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • MayorRonnie L. Felder (D)
 • Council MembersTradrick McCoy,
Shirley D. Lanier,
Doug Lawson,
KaShamba Miller-Anderson, and
Dr. Julia Botel
 • City ManagerJonathan E. Evans
 • City ClerkTawanna Smith
 • City AttorneyDawn Wynn
 • Total9.66 sq mi (25.01 km2)
 • Land8.28 sq mi (21.44 km2)
 • Water1.38 sq mi (3.57 km2)
Elevation16 ft (5 m)
 • Total37,604
 • Density3,900/sq mi (1,500/km2)
Time zoneUTC– 05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC– 04:00 (EDT)
ZIP codes
33403, 33404, 33407, 33410, 33418[7]
Area code(s)561, 728
FIPS code12-60975[8]
GNIS feature ID2404626[6]

Riviera Beach is a city in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States, which was incorporated on September 29, 1922. Due to the location of its eastern boundary, it is also the easternmost municipality in the Miami metropolitan area. In the 2020 U.S. Census, the total population of Riviera Beach residents was 37,604 people.[9]

Riviera Beach is predominantly an African-American city and it is on the list of U.S. cities with African American majority populations. It is home to the Port of Palm Beach and a United States Coast Guard station, and has its own marina.[10][11] Riviera Beach is home to Blue Heron Bridge, one of the country's top-rated beach dive sites.[12] In 2015, Riviera Beach renamed part of Old Dixie Highway that runs inside the city limits as President Barack Obama Highway.[13] The city is also home to Rapids Water Park, a water park attraction for both tourists and residents.


Riviera Beach was originally called Oak Lawn, but the settlement was renamed Riviera in 1893.[2] It wasn't until 1941 that "Beach" was added, though it was incorporated in 1922 as only the "Town of Riviera".[2] In 1959, it converted from a "town" status to the present-day "City of Riviera Beach".[1][2] For the first half of the 20th century, its nickname was "Conch Town", after the many Conch people (Bahamians and Bahamian Americans) who resided in the city.[2][3][14][15][16] The city was named after the French Riviera.[4]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.8 square miles (25 km2), of which 8.3 square miles (21 km2) is land and 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) (15.33%) is water. The eastern part of the city includes most of Singer Island, a peninsula on the Atlantic coast of Palm Beach County, Florida, which is separated from the mainland portion of the city by Lake Worth's Lake Worth Lagoon.


Riviera Beach has a tropical climate, more specifically a tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification Af), as its driest month (February) averages 64.8mm of precipitation, meeting the minimum standard of 60mm in the driest month needed to qualify for that designation.[17] Much of the year is warm to hot in Riviera Beach, and frost is extremely rare. As is typical in South Florida, there are two basic seasons in Riviera Beach, a mild and dry winter (November through April), and a hot and wet summer (May through October). Daily thundershowers are common in the hot season, though they are brief. The city of Riviera Beach is home to many varieties of tropical vegetation, which can be seen in its variety of plants, trees, and flowers all over South Florida and the city itself.

Climate data for Riviera Beach, Florida
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 75
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 57
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.13
Source: The Weather Channel[18]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[19]

2010 and 2020 census[edit]

Riviera Beach, Florida – Racial and Ethnic Composition
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Race Pop 2010[20] Pop 2020[21] % 2010 % 2020
White (NH) 7,440 8,302 22.90% 22.08%
Black or African American (NH) 21,126 22,877 65.03% 60.84%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 76 45 0.23% 0.12%
Asian (NH) 765 1,087 2.35% 2.89%
Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian (NH) 18 7 0.06% 0.02%
Some other race (NH) 98 164 0.30% 0.44%
Two or more races/Multiracial (NH) 547 1,082 1.68% 2.88%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 2,418 4,040 7.44% 10.74%
Total 32,488 37,604 100.00% 100.00%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 37,604 people, 12,045 households, and 7,425 families residing in the city.[22]

As of the 2010 United States census, there were 32,488 people, 12,015 households, and 7,710 families residing in the city.[23]

2000 census[edit]

As of 2000, 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.1% were married couples living together, 27.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.3% were non-families. 22.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.04 and the average family size was 4.62.

In 2000, the population was spread out, with 37.5% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 8.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females, there were 107.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.6 males. The median income for a household in the city was $28,715, and the median income for a family was $26,756.

In 2000, males had a median income of $27,232 versus $22,410 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,159. About 29.6% of families and 32.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.1% of those under age 18 and 21.4% of those age 65 or over.

As of 2000, those who solely spoke English at home accounted for 90.30% of all residents, while speakers of Spanish were 4.71%, French Creole 2.42%, and French speakers 0.95%.[24]


Riviera Beach has a mayor–council–manager form of government.[25] Ronnie Felder was elected to a second three-year term as its mayor in 2022.[26] Jonathan Evans, who was fired as city manager by three city council members in 2017 "for cause, for misfeasance" but without further explanation, returned to that position in 2019,[27] and as of July 2022 was in negotiations for a contract renewal.[28] The city is divided into five districts, each with a council member; the mayor does not vote.[26]

Video of Fane Lozman's arrest in 2006.

The Riviera Beach City Council has received national attention for its repeated clashes with local activist Fane Lozman, starting with his successful lawsuit, brought under Florida's open-meetings law, to prevent them from seizing the marina under eminent domain and selling it to private developers.[29] In 2013, Lozman won against the city at the United States Supreme Court in an admiralty case after the city seized his floating home. In 2018, Lozman won a rare second victory at the court, this one arising from his arrest during a city council meeting in November 2006.[30]


Public Elementary Schools

  • Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School
  • Lincoln Elementary School (formerly Lincoln High School was only for black students during segregation, and before that it was a called West Riviera Junior High School)[31]
  • Washington Elementary School
  • West Riviera Elementary School

Public Middle School

  • John F Kennedy Middle School (originally John F. Kennedy High School was only for black students during segregation)[31]

Public High Schools

Charter High School


Riviera Beach is served by several bus routes operated by PalmTran.[32]

Business and economy[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Riviera and Riviera Beach". Palm Beach County Historical Society. Archived from the original on May 24, 2022. Retrieved October 17, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "A History of Riviera Beach, Florida" (PDF). www.rivierabch.com. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "FlashBlack: Riviera Beach (by Lady Hereford)". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Eliot Kleinberg (September 16, 1987). "What's in a name? Lots of history if it's a town". The Palm Beach Post. p. 7D. Retrieved January 14, 2021 – via Newspapers.com. Free access icon
  5. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  6. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Riviera Beach, Florida
  7. ^ "Riviera Beach, FL ZIP Codes". zipmap.net. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  8. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  9. ^ "Riviera Beach city, Florida". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 26, 2022.
  10. ^ Riviera Beach Crime Report, cityrating.com; retrieved July 29, 2006.
  11. ^ Riviera Beach struggles to overcome decades of divisiveness, palmbeachpost.com; retrieved July 29, 2006.
  12. ^ "Blue Heron Bridge". Blue Heron Bridge: Diving + Snorkeling Blue Heron Bridge. SinkFloridaSink.com. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
  13. ^ "Old Dixie Highway renamed in honor of Obama in Riviera Beach". Sun Sentinel. December 17, 2015. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  14. ^ "Capturing the "Conch People" in Florida". MyFloridaHistory.org. Florida Historical Society. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  15. ^ Neely, Wayne (December 9, 2014). The Great Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928. ISBN 9781491754467. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  16. ^ Foster, Charles C. 1991. Conchtown USA, with Folk songs & tales collected by Veonica Huss. Boca Raton, Florida: Florida Atlantic University Press. ISBN 0-8130-1042-X
  17. ^ "Köppen Climate Classification System". The Encyclopedia of Earth. June 6, 2015. Archived from the original on June 19, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  18. ^ "Average weather for Riviera Beach". The Weather Channel. March 11, 2019. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  19. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  20. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Riviera Beach, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  21. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Riviera Beach, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  22. ^ "S1101 HOUSEHOLDS AND FAMILIES - 2020: Riviera Beach city, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  23. ^ "S1101 HOUSEHOLDS AND FAMILIES - 2010: Riviera Beach city, Florida". United States Census Bureau.
  24. ^ "MLA Data Center Results of Riviera Beach, FL". Modern Language Association. Retrieved November 13, 2007.
  25. ^ "Council Members". Riviera Beach, Florida. Retrieved November 10, 2022.
  26. ^ a b Keller, Larry (March 22, 2022). "Riviera Beach runoff: Mayor Ronnie Felder, City Council member Shirley D. Lanier win re-election". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved November 10, 2022.
  27. ^ Moore, Wanda (July 12, 2019). "Jonathan Evans returns as Riviera Beach's city manager". WPTV. Retrieved November 10, 2022.
  28. ^ Wilson, Todd (July 14, 2022). "Riviera Beach City Council debate new contract for city manager". WPTV. Retrieved November 10, 2022.
  29. ^ Snyder, Jesse D. H. (2019). "What Fane Lozman Can Teach Us About Free Speech". Wyoming Law Review. 19: 439. Archived from the original on January 11, 2022.
  30. ^ Daugherty, Alex (June 18, 2018). "South Florida activist is 2-0 at the Supreme Court after First Amendment victory". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on February 6, 2021. Retrieved November 10, 2022.
  31. ^ a b c pbchistoryonline.org. "Historical Association of Palm Beach Count: More Schools". Archived from the original on October 25, 2021. Retrieved October 17, 2023.
  32. ^ "Palm Tran Home". Pbcgov.com. Archived from the original on September 6, 2016. Retrieved November 11, 2016.

External links[edit]