Sadaf Knight
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August 17, 2018

Florida Ranks 49th for Worst Income Inequality in the U.S.

The state’s economic inequality has worsened, with the top 1 percent of families earning almost 40 times as much as the bottom 99 percent.

The top 1 percent of income earners have continued to amass a greater portion of all income earned even after the Great Recession, according to a recent report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). The analysis shows that although incomes took a hit during the recession, the top 1 percent of families have accrued a disproportionate amount of the income gains in each state and the nation. In Florida, the top 1 percent of families earned 39.5 times as much as the bottom 99 percent, as of 2015.

EPI’s report provides insights into income inequality both within states, counties and metropolitan areas, as well as across the country. It examines inequality along four lines:

  1. Income gap between the top 1 percent and bottom 99 percent
  2. The income threshold for being considered in the top 1 percent
  3. The share and concentration of top 1 percent national income within states, counties and metro areas
  4. Trends in income distribution over time

Florida’s income inequality has worsened

Nationally, the top 1 percent earned 26.3 times as much as the bottom 99 percent, on average. The average income of the top 1 percent was $1,316,985, compared to $50,107 for the bottom 99 percent.

In Florida, which ranked 46th in 2013, income inequality is much worse than the national average. The average income of the top 1 percent of families was $1,543,124, compared to an average of $39,094 for the bottom 99 percent. It was second only to New York, which has the worst income inequality across all states with a ration of 44.4 between the top and bottom average incomes.

Florida metro areas and counties among worst in the nation

In addition to Florida overall having the second-worst inequality as a state, many of Florida’s metropolitan areas ranked poorly as well. Eight out of the 25 worst metro areas were in Florida. Similarly, Florida’s counties were among the worst in terms of income inequality. Nine out of the worst 25 counties were in Florida.

What is Considered the “Top 1 Percent”?

In Florida, the income threshold to be considered in the top 1 percent is $417,587, which is just below the national threshold of $421,926. For the top 0.01 percent in Florida, the threshold is $12,027,665. The average income of the top 0.01 percent was $45,167,509.

Among the 25 metro areas with the highest thresholds for the 1 percent, three were in Florida. Palatka, FL was one Florida metropolitan area that ranked among the metropolitan areas with the lowest thresholds for being considered in the 1 percent, at $160,009.

Among counties, Collier and Monroe counties were among the 25 highest income thresholds for the 1 percent, at $1,138,585 and $923,765 respectively.

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