Riviera Beach is a city in Palm Beach County, Florida, U.S.A. which was incorporated September 29, 1922. The population was 29,884 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, the population was estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau to be 32,522. 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. The city consistently has crime rates well in excess of the United States average and is also notable for its high levels of poverty. The city has been increasingly targeted for redevelopment aiming to take advantage of the city's desirable location along the Lake Worth Lagoon; to this end, a massive taking through eminent domain has been proposed.
There were 11,387 households out of which 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 the city 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. 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, speakers of English as a first language accounted for 90.30% of all residents, while Spanish consisted of 4.71%, French Creole was at 2.42%, and French speakers made up 0.95% of the population.
Besides being a predominately African American and black community, as of 2000, Riviera Beach's Haitian community had the fifty-ninth highest percentage of US residents, with 2.10% of the city's population (tied with Coral Springs, as well as Haverstraw, NY and East Massapequa, NY.)
In the 1930s, Riviera Beach was also known as the home of many Bahamian immigrants, known as "Conchs". A 1939 study by the WPA's Florida Writers Project (by writer Veronica Huss and photographer Charles Foster) of the Conchs was undertaken, resulting in a national traveling exhibit entitled "Conch Town."