Pembroke Pines was incorporated in 1960, and took the name Pembroke from its location along Pembroke Road and the many pine trees in the area. But the name Pembroke may even date back much further. The name may have been from an early landowner from Britain known as the Earl of Pembroke.
The first inhabitants in the city are known as “Archaic” and were small bands of Indians that first appeared about 4,000 years ago. Skeletal remains of animal hunters dating about 10,000 years old were found around Broward County, showing that perhaps humans have lived here even earlier. These people wandered around the county about 2,000 to 4,000 years ago. These Archaic Indians collected fish, shellfish, deer, bear, and plants such as sea grape and prickly pear.
It started as agricultural land occupied by dairy farms and grew after the war as servicemen were retiring, including large eastern sections that were part of the Waldrep Dairy Farm. The first two tiny subdivisions were called Pembroke Pines. One of the first homes in the city belonged to Dr. (the first mayor) and Mr. Walter Smith Kipnis, built in 1956. It was then known as the “Village of Pembroke Pines” and incorporated into a town in 1959. Builders contested the incorporation, so a legal battle was brought out concerning the boundaries of the new town that were incorrectly stated in the ballot. City services were added in the 1960s with the building of the first fire department building near North Perry Airport. However, University Drive was the western edge of habitable land for residents.
In January 1960, Pembroke Pines held another election when 98% of 425 voters voted “yes” in Ernon Day’s driveway, thus the town became a city. This small property was less than a square mile and was between Hollywood Boulevard and SW 72nd Avenue, and had the Florida Turnpike to the east. Pembroke Pines sought to give citizens involvement so they organized the Pembroke Pines Civic Association. The square-mile city was unable to expand due to North Perry Airport and the South Florida State Hospital. Joseph LaCroix, a developer, had his 320 acres land north of Pines Boulevard annexed to the city. This gave a new pathway to proceed westward. In 1977, a maximum security prison known as the Broward Correctional Institution was built in northwestern Pembroke Pines. It was originally designated to house male inmates but woman only resided in the prison. The prison offers the accommodations for woman committing serious crimes including the housing of those on death row. It has a capacity for 611 inmates and has academic programs, vocational programs, wellness education services, library services, substance abuse programs, chaplaincy services, institutional betterment programs, and many other programs. In 1980, property from Flamingo Road to U.S. 27 was incorporated into Pembroke Pines, doubling the size of the city. This expansion included the property that is currently C.B. Smith Park as well as the Hollywood Sportatorium and the Miami-Hollywood Motorsports Park.
The city’s expansion was a major effect of Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Thousands of southern Miami-Dade County residents moved northward to Broward County, many to Pembroke Pines. The population greatly increased as former owners of destroyed homes spent their insurance money on an inland city. The resulting boom ranked the City of Pembroke Pines third in a list of Fastest Growing Cities in the United States in 1999. Over the years, the sudden and unplanned overpopulation has caused problems...especially in schools. In 2003, Charles W. Flanagan High School had close to 5,000 students, making it the most populated high school in Florida. In response to Broward County's inability to keep up with demands, Mayor Alex Fekete and City Manager Charles Dodge started a Charter School System. As of 2006, Pembroke Pines had the largest Charter School System in the county. The city is also home to a campuses for Broward Community College and Florida International University. The city's population has grown from (1990 pop. 65,452) to an estimated 2005 population of 148,000.
Pembroke Pines was also home to the most dangerous road intersection (Pines Blvd and Flamingo Rd.) in the United States in 2001, according to State Farm Insurance. In 2005 a vote was passed by city residences on a bond initiative to allow the city to begin construction to redesign the area, a project the State of Florida Department of Transportation would not be able to begin until at least 2010.
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 137,427 people, 51,989 households, and 36,860 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,605.5/km² (4,157.6/mi²). There were 55,296 housing units at an average density of 646.0/km² (1,672.9/mi²).
There were 51,989 households out of which 36.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.4% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.1% were non-families. 24.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 33.5% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 87.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $52,629, and the median income for a family was $61,480. Males had a median income of $45,129 versus $32,531 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,843. About 3.9% of families and 5.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.2% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over.