The number of Floridians living below the federal poverty level increased between 2007 and 2009 by almost 550,000 – equal to the population of the cities of Orlando and Tampa combined.
New U.S. Census figures show about 2.7 million Floridians, or 14.9 percent, lived in poverty in 2009, a sharp rise over 2007’s 12.1 percent. Among children below age 18, 852,000 lived in poverty in 2009, driving the child poverty rate to 21.3 percent from 17.1 percent in 2007.1
The Census Bureau documents other ways in which the Great Recession has hurt Floridians. For example, median household income declined 5.7 percent in Florida between 2008 and 2009, the second-largest drop in the nation.