Florida is the nation’s second most poverty-stricken state, at 19.5 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s supplemental poverty measure in 2012, and reported by the Tallahassee-based Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy (FCFEP) in a new August brief released Monday.
Entitled ‘The Condition of Florida by the Numbers,’ the FCFEP paper also notes that about 1.4 million Floridians or 7.5 percent of the population lived in deep poverty in 2012, an increase from 5.5 percent in 2000. For children under 18 years, the poverty rate was 25.4 percent in 2012.
Perhaps just as shocking as the poverty numbers are those on wages and income inequality. In 2010, the U.S. Census found that Florida ranked as the fifth-worst state in terms of income inequality – the gap between those making most of the income and those making the least. In Florida, the top 1 percent earned on average 32.2 times as much as the bottom 99 percent, the paper notes.