Poverty Level Increases In Escambia And Santa Rosa
December 9, 2011
A declining economy has plunged an increasing number of Escambia and Santa Rosa county residents into poverty and resulted in a decrease in median family income for many.
According to data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau, 19.1 percent of Escambia County families were living in poverty in 2010, a dramatic increase from 12.4 percent in 2007. During the same three year period, the median household income in Escambia County decreased from $41,772 to $41,428.
The recession of the last couple years put more Florida residents into poverty and resulted in a decrease of median family income in much of the state.
Data on poverty and income show school-aged children took the brunt of the economic downturn, and overall poverty rates increased in 39 of Florida’s 67 counties between 2007 and 2010. Statewide, a little over three million Floridians, 16.5 percent of the population, lived under the federal poverty line in 2010.
Particularly hard hit because of reliance on construction, Florida’s rate was higher than the national rate of 15.3 percent. Florida counties were also more likely than the nation as a whole to see the poverty rate rise between 2007 and 2010.
Meanwhile, median income fell in Florida and across the country during the same period as layoffs in the construction and manufacturing sectors meant the loss of good paying jobs as the housing bubble burst and demand for manufactured goods fell along with corporate profits.
The News Service Florida contributed to this report.