Is Florida’s middle class shrinking?

Reporter: Annalise Iraola Writer: Rachel Murphy
Published: Updated:

After years of consistent growth, Florida continues to attract new people to the state. But will the people who live and move here be able to stay in Florida’s shrinking middle class?

“Honestly, the greatest challenge right now for Floridians is the one that faces everybody. Whether you’re high, middle or low-income,” said Victor Claar, Associate Professor at Florida Gulf Coast University to Lutgert College of Business.

According to the Pew Research Center, their analysis of government data revealed that the number of adults in middle-class households has dropped from 61% in 1970 to 50% in 2021. Claar said a shrinking middle class is a concern.

The U.S. Census says the average median income for households in Florida from 2017-2021 was $61,777. With rising inflation, cost of housing and daycare people find themselves paying more out of pocket now than ever before.

“Things that are making it really difficult to make ends meet in Florida are the things that hit all of us hardest. Paying your rent, paying for gas, paying for groceries to put a meal on the table. Those prices have been out of line for a really long time,” Claar said.

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