Florida has fourth largest income gap in U.S., study shows

By Jeff Ostrowski [Palm Beach Post, January 26, 2015]

In a sign of increasing wealth concentration, Florida’s richest 1 percent of residents make 43 times as much as the state’s bottom 99 percent, according to a study released Monday.

Florida has the nation’s fourth-highest income gap, the Economic Policy Institute calculated. Whether the growing gulf is a troubling trend or just an inevitable result of a free-market economy is open to debate.

The top 1 percent of Florida wage earners made an average of $1.49 million in 2012, the study found. The bottom 99 percent earned an average family income of $34,387. MORE>>

Read JSRI’s 2009 profile of poverty and inequality in the State of Florida »

 A sample of the profile follows:

Who are Florida’s Poor?

  • 721,284 are children (18.3% of kids)
  • 323,085 are elders (10.4% of seniors)
  • 1,326,439 are adults 18-64 (12.2 % of adults)
  • 810,245 are in female-headed families (26.5% of such families)

Looked at another way:

  • 1,061,497 males are poor (12.1 % males)
  • 1,309,311 females are poor (14.3% of females)
  • 1,581,525 whites are poor (11.3% of whites)
  • 594,297 blacks are poor (22% of blacks)
  • 673,138 Hispanics are poor (17.8% of Hispanics)
  • 525,783 immigrants are poor (15.7% of foreign-born)


Fr. Fred Kammer, SJ, is the lead JSRI liaison to Florida groups, assisted by other staff as appropriate.

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