Study: Florida Ranked High in Poverty Rate for Women; Black Women Hit Hardest


By: Victor Trammell

Two broad, well-established organizations that conducted a county-level research study together recently found that women in Florida are experiencing poverty at a disproportionate rate due to a denial of access to opportunity.

According to a December 15th news release published by, the  Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) and the Florida Women’s Funding Alliance (FWFA) revealed a joint report, which stated that women in The Sunshine State are dealing with a particularly adverse level of injustice.

These inequalities could be done away with by eliminating an age-old discriminatory practice.

“The report estimates that if working women in Florida were paid the same as comparable men—men who are of the same age, have the same level of education, work the same number of hours, and have the same urban/rural status—the poverty rate among all working women would fall by 57.3 percent,” read the Florida Trend news release.

On the IWPR’s Poverty and Opportunity Index, Florida received an unfavorable D+ grade when it came to how the organization rated the percentage of women who lived above poverty, had access to health insurance, a college education, and business ownership.

“In the last decade, Florida’s grade on the Poverty & Opportunity Index has remained stuck at D+,” said Julie Anderson, an IWPR Research Associate and co-author of the new report.

“As the state grows more diverse, addressing the economic insecurity faced by women of color will be critical to improving the state’s economy overall,” she continued.

Anderson is right in stating that women of color are key to the future of Florida’s economy. Black women, in particular, have experienced a higher level of poverty in Florida than their female counterparts in other races. Here is a portion of the IWPR and FWFA report, which proves this fact:

“There are five Florida counties where poverty rates among women exceed 25 percent: Gilchrist (25.4 percent), DeSoto (25.8 percent), Hamilton (26.3 percent), Alachua (26.4 percent), and Hardee (29.0 percent). The poverty rates among Black women (25.2 percent), Native American (21.4 percent), and Hispanic women (21.2 percent) are around twice as high as Asian/Pacific Islander (12.6 percent) and White women (11.9 percent).” (







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