These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In Florida For 2019


We used science and data to determine which places in Florida are basically dead broke.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the poorest places in Florida.

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Florida brings to mind images of Tallahassee, beautiful landscapes, and some of the best people you’ll find in the good ole US of A.

However, like all states, Florida has certain places that are going on hard times. These places have an above average percent of people that are living in poverty, out of work, or not making as much as they should be.

With all the talk about income inequality going on around the country, we thought it prudent to take a look at the places in each state that are struggling to make it even as the economy continues to improve. So we set our sites on bringing attention to the places in Florida that could use a helping hand.

To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 215 places in Florida with more than 5,000 people.

We were left with this set of the ten poorest places in the Sunshine State for 2019:

  1. Palatka (Photos)
  2. Marianna (Photos)
  3. Belle Glade (Photos)
  4. Pahokee (Photos)
  5. Fellsmere (Photos)
  6. Avon Park (Photos)
  7. South Bay (Photos)
  8. Florida City (Photos)
  9. Sebring (Photos)
  10. Fort Pierce (Photos)

Again, this isn’t a commentary on the people that live there or the vibrant culture and traditions of these places. Instead, it’s just a look at the facts.

And according to the facts, Palatka is the poorest place in Florida for 2019.

Rich people not your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the richest places in Florida or the most dangerous.

For more on how we calculated the top ten, and for more information about these places, read on.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the poorest states in America or the poorest cities in America.

For more Florida reading, check out:

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Florida for 2019

The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about determining the poorest places is to simply the poverty rate. That is, the number of people living below a federally established level of income for a household of a certain size.

However, we don’t think that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the “poorest places”. So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2013-2017 American Community Survey:

  • Poverty Level
  • Median Household Income adjusted for the cost of living
  • Unemployment Rate

The “median household income adjusted for the cost of living” attempts to gauge how expensive it is to live in a place and how that impacts the quality of life. For example, a town might have fewer people living below the official poverty line, but the cost of living is so high they’d still feel poor.

The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for improvement in the city or town. If more people are employed, the brighter the future looks and vice versa.

After we collected the data for all 215 places with more than 5,000 people in Florida, we ranked each place from 1 to 215 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the poorest.

We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a “Poor Score” with the place having the lowest overall Poor Score, Palatka, crowned the “Poorest Place In Florida For 2019”.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 215 places.

Palatka, FL

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 10,291
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 4)
Median Income: $22,460 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 15.8% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 44.7% (1st highest)
More on Palatka:  Data | Photos

Palatka, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in Florida thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.

The city of 10,291 people averages the 1st lowest median household income in Florida and the 1st highest poverty rate. At the very least, the cost of living ranks in the bottom 15% of place in the state, so things like housing are relatively affordable.

Marianna, FL

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 7,360
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $24,296 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 19.3% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 36.8% (5th highest)
More on Marianna:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Florida is Marianna.

The city ranks as having the 5th highest incidence of poverty and 2nd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 3rd highest in the Sunshine State.

Belle Glade, FL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 19,175
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Income: $25,873 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.9% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 39.1% (3rd highest)
More on Belle Glade:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Belle Glade’s median income ranks as the 3rd lowest.

And that’s a sign that there’s a relatively substantial jump in the quality of the economy from second to third place on our list. The poverty rate is 39.1% and ranks near the bottom of places in the state.

But what makes up for the relatively low incomes of the city is its low cost of living. The income you do make here goes further than in most parts of the Sunshine State.

Pahokee, FL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 6,129
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Median Income: $27,172 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 26.3% (1st highest)
Poverty Rate: 32.3% (11th highest)
More on Pahokee:  Data | Photos

Pahokee ranks as the fourth poorest place in Florida.

The town ranks as having the 6th lowest median household income and the 11th highest incidence of poverty in the state.

That being said, there’s still a ton of cultural diversity in the city as it hosts many events throughout the year.

Fellsmere, FL

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 5,569
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Income: $28,477 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.0% (8th highest)
Poverty Rate: 38.8% (4th highest)
More on Fellsmere:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Florida is Fellsmere.

The city ranks as having the 9th lowest median income in the state. However, an extremely low cost of living prevents a good number of folks from living in poverty as the poverty rate only ranks as the 4th highest in Florida.

Still not the best news for Fellsmere.

Avon Park, FL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,152
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Median Income: $29,583 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 19.1% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 34.6% (8th highest)
More on Avon Park:  Data | Photos

Avon Park ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Sunshine State.

It ranks as having the 8th highest incidence of poverty and the 4th highest unemployment rate.

South Bay, FL

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 5,092
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Income: $28,795 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.0% (8th highest)
Poverty Rate: 34.8% (7th highest)
More on South Bay:  Data | Photos

South Bay places as the seventh poorest city in Florida.

The city of over 5,092 ranks as having the 7th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

Florida City, FL

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 12,149
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 7)
Median Income: $34,545 (24th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 21.9% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 41.2% (2nd highest)
More on Florida City:  Data | Photos

Florida City ranks as the eighth poorest city in Florida.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 2nd highest in the state.

Sebring, FL

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 10,469
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Income: $26,774 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.8% (9th highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.2% (29th highest)
More on Sebring:  Data | Photos

Sebring couldn’t stay out of the top ten poorest places in Florida; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 4th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Sebring ranks as having the 29th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Florida.

Fort Pierce, FL

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 44,248
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Income: $28,025 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.4% (38th highest)
Poverty Rate: 35.8% (6th highest)
More on Fort Pierce:  Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Florida is Fort Pierce.

The city of 44,248 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Sunshine State.

There You Have It – The Poorest Places In Florida For 2019

Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the poorest places in Florida, we weren’t sure what we’d encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in Florida.

When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very bottom of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.

If you’re curious enough, here are the richest cities in Florida, according to data:

    Richest: Palm Beach
    2nd Richest: Longboat Key
    3rd Richest: Belle Isle

For more Florida reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Florida

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Palatka 10,291 44.7%
2 Marianna 7,360 36.8%
3 Belle Glade 19,175 39.1%
4 Pahokee 6,129 32.3%
5 Fellsmere 5,569 38.8%
6 Avon Park 10,152 34.6%
7 South Bay 5,092 34.8%
8 Florida City 12,149 41.2%
9 Sebring 10,469 24.2%
10 Fort Pierce 44,248 35.8%
11 Cocoa 17,748 26.3%
12 Lake City 12,033 26.1%
13 Lauderdale Lakes 34,744 22.7%
14 Perry 6,948 30.9%
15 Lake Worth 37,354 27.6%
16 Daytona Beach 65,339 28.1%
17 Live Oak 6,854 22.6%
18 Lauderhill 70,963 24.3%
19 Leesburg 21,853 22.5%
20 Brooksville 7,905 18.7%
21 West Park 14,960 22.8%
22 Gainesville 129,394 33.6%
23 North Miami 62,308 22.7%
24 Zephyrhills 14,608 20.4%
25 Miami 443,007 25.8%
26 New Port Richey 15,674 20.3%
27 Lake Wales 15,401 21.1%
28 Arcadia 7,774 34.4%
29 Inverness 7,164 25.8%
30 Tallahassee 188,463 27.1%
31 Miami Gardens 113,187 21.5%
32 Riviera Beach 34,093 22.4%
33 Homestead 67,354 27.1%
34 Hialeah 237,523 25.9%
35 Quincy 7,599 30.6%
36 North Miami Beach 43,963 19.7%
37 Panama City 36,661 21.6%
38 Holly Hill 11,922 26.9%
39 Sanford 57,979 20.7%
40 Dania Beach 31,526 21.4%
41 Ocala 57,812 20.3%
42 North Lauderdale 43,574 23.3%
43 Haines City 22,826 28.6%
44 Deland 30,315 19.7%
45 Pompano Beach 107,542 21.1%
46 Fort Meade 5,938 18.8%
47 South Daytona 12,597 17.5%
48 Clewiston 7,430 17.5%
49 Hallandale Beach 39,285 20.1%
50 Winter Haven 38,663 18.7%
51 Kissimmee 68,176 24.4%
52 Palm Springs 24,455 17.6%
53 Fruitland Park 5,429 14.0%
54 Titusville 44,984 17.2%
55 Wildwood 6,311 17.7%
56 Fort Myers 73,712 20.6%
57 Okeechobee 5,596 24.1%
58 Lakeland 104,165 17.9%
59 Lantana 11,240 18.9%
60 Oakland Park 44,085 18.1%
61 Stuart 16,240 18.7%
62 South Pasadena 5,061 11.7%
63 Eustis 19,886 21.8%
64 Defuniak Springs 5,992 15.7%
65 Deerfield Beach 79,468 17.3%
66 Tampa 368,087 20.0%
67 West Palm Beach 106,805 18.9%
68 Tarpon Springs 24,686 14.5%
69 Boynton Beach 74,483 16.7%
70 Casselberry 27,087 17.5%
71 Palmetto 13,363 21.6%
72 Vero Beach 16,261 15.2%
73 Sweetwater 20,989 22.0%
74 Dade City 6,841 26.4%
75 Springfield 9,375 25.6%
76 Milton 9,564 15.8%
77 Tavares 15,636 11.6%
78 Pensacola 52,689 17.5%
79 Orlando 269,414 19.1%
80 Greenacres 39,827 16.1%
81 Bradenton 53,654 17.2%
82 Fort Lauderdale 177,175 19.3%
83 Deltona 88,005 15.6%
84 Sarasota 55,103 18.6%
85 Palm Bay 107,802 15.6%
86 Bartow 18,705 18.9%
87 Crestview 23,159 16.4%
88 St. Augustine 13,952 21.4%
89 Plant City 37,459 14.0%
90 Callaway 15,015 15.8%
91 Delray Beach 66,453 16.5%
92 Pembroke Park 6,491 23.5%
93 Largo 82,433 15.1%
94 Auburndale 14,958 17.0%
95 Clearwater 112,794 15.9%
96 Melbourne 79,640 16.7%
97 Margate 57,045 11.7%
98 Lady Lake 14,859 15.7%
99 Lake Alfred 5,490 21.3%
100 Jacksonville 867,313 16.4%

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