Orlando Incomes Stagnate, Remain Among Nation's Lowest
September 19th, 2013 | WMFE - Household income levels in Florida's largest metro areas - Orlando, Tampa, and South Florida - rank near the bottom. That's according to new data from the US Census Bureau, which compares annual income levels across the nation's biggest cities. And, the report says, Orlando's household incomes have stagnated.
According to the Census data released Thursday, the 2012 median household income in the Orlando metro area was $46,000, compared to $53,600 nationwide.
Orlando’s number reflects an $800 drop from 2011, a difference the report calls “statistically insignificant.” Also remaining flat was metro Orlando’s poverty rate - 16.9%.
Heart of Florida United Way President and CEO Robert Brown says that translates into more than 260,000 local residents living in poverty, a number that is high but not surprising given the nearly 14,000 calls to the organization’s 211 helpline last month.
“And 66% of those requests are for utility and housing," explains Brown. "Two out of every three, it’s about keeping a roof over their head. Rent is due or the utilities are going to be turned off."
"These are folks who, most of them, until this economic crisis were working and paying their bills,” Brown says.
Florida's median household income of just over $45,000 has dropped more than 11% since 2000, when it was $50,700. Only seven other states had higher decreases in the past dozen years.