Poorest Cities In Florida For 2020


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 2020. This is our sixth 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 219 places in Florida with more than 5,000 people.

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.

What's the poorst city in Florida? According to the facts, Belle Glade is the poorest place in Florida for 2020.

Rich people more 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:

The 10 Poorest Cities In Florida For 2020

Belle Glade, FL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 19,358
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Median Income: $24,901 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 16.1% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 42.1% (2nd highest)
More on Belle Glade:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 19,358 people averages the 3rd lowest median household income in Florida and the 2nd 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.

Pahokee, FL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 6,167
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Income: $26,701 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 29.3% (1st highest)
Poverty Rate: 37.9% (4th highest)
More on Pahokee:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Florida is Pahokee.

The city ranks as having the 4th highest incidence of poverty and 5th lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate 'only' ranks as the 1st highest in the Sunshine State.

Opa-Locka, FL

Overall SnackAbility

/10

Population: 16,420
Rank Last Year: -
Median Income: $17,908 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.6% (11th highest)
Poverty Rate: 47.2% (1st highest)
More on Opa-Locka:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Opa-locka's median income ranks as the 1st 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 47.15382740126767% 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.

Marianna, FL

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 7,266
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Income: $24,500 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 15.4% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 36.3% (6th highest)
More on Marianna:  Data | Photos

Marianna ranks as the fourth poorest place in Florida.

The town ranks as having the 2nd lowest median household income and the 6th 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.

Palatka, FL

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 10,320
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 4)
Median Income: $26,177 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.0% (9th highest)
Poverty Rate: 35.9% (8th highest)
More on Palatka:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Florida is Palatka.

The city ranks as having the 4th 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 8th highest in Florida.

Still not the best news for Palatka.

Fellsmere, FL

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 5,629
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Income: $27,926 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.7% (7th highest)
Poverty Rate: 36.0% (7th highest)
More on Fellsmere:  Data | Photos

Fellsmere ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Sunshine State.

It ranks as having the 7th highest incidence of poverty and the 7th highest unemployment rate.

Avon Park, FL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,386
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Income: $30,675 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 19.9% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 33.0% (10th highest)
More on Avon Park:  Data | Photos

Avon Park places as the seventh poorest city in Florida.

The city of over 10,386 ranks as having the 10th 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: 12,096
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $35,794 (25th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 17.3% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 38.3% (3rd 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 3rd highest in the state.

Sebring, FL

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 10,636
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $27,421 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.9% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 25.8% (20th 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 8th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Sebring ranks as having the 20th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Florida.

South Bay, FL

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 5,116
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Median Income: $33,958 (16th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.4% (8th highest)
Poverty Rate: 31.8% (13th highest)
More on South Bay:  Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Florida is South Bay.

The city of 5,116 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Sunshine State.

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Florida for 2020

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 2014-2018 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 219 places with more than 5,000 people in Florida, we ranked each place from 1 to 219 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, Belle Glade, crowned the "Poorest Place In Florida For 2020". You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Poorest Places In Florida For 2020

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: Longboat Key
    2nd Richest: Palm Beach
    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 Belle Glade 19,358 42.1%
2 Pahokee 6,167 37.9%
3 Opa-Locka 16,420 47.2%
4 Marianna 7,266 36.3%
5 Palatka 10,320 35.9%
6 Fellsmere 5,629 36.0%
7 Avon Park 10,386 33.0%
8 Florida City 12,096 38.3%
9 Sebring 10,636 25.8%
10 South Bay 5,116 31.8%
11 Perry 6,925 32.2%
12 Fort Pierce 44,833 32.4%
13 Leesburg 22,243 25.3%
14 Holly Hill 12,042 27.8%
15 Clewiston 7,663 24.4%
16 Inverness 7,216 24.1%
17 Cocoa 18,053 22.9%
18 Brooksville 8,027 19.4%
19 Lauderdale Lakes 35,254 21.6%
20 Daytona Beach 66,520 26.3%
21 Wildwood 6,557 25.6%
22 New Port Richey 15,953 19.9%
23 Arcadia 7,943 34.4%
24 Lauderhill 71,328 23.6%
25 Miami Gardens 112,913 21.7%
26 Tallahassee 190,180 26.7%
27 Lake Wales 15,735 21.1%
28 Lake City 11,977 22.7%
29 North Miami Beach 45,069 19.9%
30 Gainesville 130,790 31.4%
31 North Miami 61,435 21.5%
32 Palmetto 13,490 22.7%
33 Panama City 36,880 21.9%
34 Quincy 7,512 36.7%
35 Miami 451,214 24.3%
36 North Lauderdale 43,829 22.1%
37 Ocala 58,598 20.3%
38 Homestead 68,424 24.6%
39 Riviera Beach 34,352 22.8%
40 Zephyrhills 14,851 19.3%
41 Kissimmee 69,833 23.8%
42 Dania Beach 31,810 22.1%
43 Lake Worth 37,728 24.7%
44 Fort Meade 6,013 17.1%
45 Haines City 23,400 24.4%
46 Hialeah 237,285 23.7%
47 Live Oak 6,888 13.2%
48 Hallandale Beach 39,472 18.7%
49 Deland 31,289 19.0%
50 Pompano Beach 108,855 20.2%
51 Sanford 58,862 19.4%
52 Titusville 45,483 17.1%
53 Winter Haven 39,615 18.9%
54 Labelle 5,075 27.5%
55 Callaway 15,182 16.5%
56 South Pasadena 5,071 12.5%
57 West Park 14,924 18.8%
58 Palm Springs 24,675 16.0%
59 Deerfield Beach 79,854 17.0%
60 Sweetwater 21,027 23.7%
61 Oakland Park 44,339 17.2%
62 Springfield 9,475 24.8%
63 Tampa 376,345 19.5%
64 West Palm Beach 108,365 17.5%
65 Casselberry 27,573 19.2%
66 Defuniak Springs 6,227 16.2%
67 Eustis 20,264 20.6%
68 Greenacres 40,224 16.3%
69 Lantana 11,405 17.6%
70 Fruitland Park 6,598 13.3%
71 Tavares 16,199 10.6%
72 Crestview 23,663 15.7%
73 Pembroke Park 6,625 26.7%
74 South Daytona 12,734 16.8%
75 Fort Myers 76,591 17.4%
76 Vero Beach 16,558 12.6%
77 Lakeland 105,958 17.0%
78 Starke 5,375 23.2%
79 Pensacola 52,562 17.8%
80 Dade City 6,966 25.6%
81 Okeechobee 5,638 24.6%
82 Fort Lauderdale 178,783 17.8%
83 Bradenton 55,059 15.8%
84 Clearwater 114,015 15.9%
85 Boynton Beach 75,720 15.0%
86 Lake Alfred 5,565 17.3%
87 Palm Bay 110,271 13.9%
88 Orlando 275,690 18.2%
89 Macclenny 6,482 18.6%
90 Largo 83,243 13.2%
91 Tarpon Springs 24,974 13.5%
92 Bartow 19,063 17.2%
93 Mascotte 5,552 23.8%
94 Jacksonville 878,907 15.9%
95 Pinellas Park 52,291 14.9%
96 Deltona 89,186 13.9%
97 Plant City 38,119 14.2%
98 South Miami 12,202 12.7%
99 Fort Walton Beach 21,845 16.6%
100 Mount Dora 13,620 13.1%

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