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Monday, November 29, 2021

Poverty, Income Inequality in Florida Remain Unacceptably High

Washington, D.C. — Anew reportreleased today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund finds that Florida is doing worse than most states in several poverty indicators, including the overall poverty rate, the child poverty rate, health insurance coverage, and income inequality. The report also ranks Florida 50th in the nation for affordable and available housing.

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CAP Action’s report outlines several policy recommendations to reduce the poverty rate in Florida, including raising the minimum wage and expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

In 2013, the national poverty rate remained unacceptably high at 14.5 percent, with some 45.3 million Americans living in poverty. In Florida, 17 percent of people had incomes below the poverty line—$23,834 annually for a family of four—in 2013, ranking the state 36th in the nation.

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“Even though our economy is growing again, far too many families are not seeing any benefits. This is especially true for the millions of Floridians living in poverty,” saidMelissa Boteach, Vice President of Half in Ten at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “Through common-sense policies such as raising the minimum wage and expanding Medicaid, Florida lawmakers have the power to reduce poverty and provide economic security and opportunity to more Florida workers and their families.”

Of the 15 poverty indicators tracked in the report, Florida ranked in the bottom half of the country for 11 indicators. Although Florida scored well on the gender wage gap, the state ranked poorly on several poverty indicators compared to other states, including:

  • 50th in the nation for affordable and available housing.Florida had only 37 apartments or other units that were affordable and available for every 100 renter households with very low incomes in 2013.
  • 49th in the nation for health insurance coverage.More than one in three people younger than age 65 and below 138 percent of the poverty line in Florida did not have health insurance at any time in 2013.
  • 49th in the nation for unemployment insurance coverage.Only 16.2 percent of unemployed workers in Florida were helped by unemployment insurance in 2013.
  • 37th in the nation for child poverty rate.Nearly one in four children younger than age 18 in Florida lived below the poverty line in 2013.

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