Miami Ranks Second-Worst in Nation for Income and Poverty Level, Census Survey Says

For many Miamians, today is payday, one of those blessed Friday mornings when you wake up with a fresh chunk of change in your checking account. But if it feels like your paycheck is curiously lighter than your friends' up North, out West, or really any other direction, you're not wrong. A Census survey released last week proves what most of us already know is true: Wages in Miami are basically crap.

Of the top 25 metro areas, Miami has the second-lowest median household income in the United States. According to the Census Bureau's latest American Community Survey, the median household earned only $51,362 per year, putting the Magic City just a measly $247 ahead of Tampa, the metro area with the nation's lowest median income. Rounding out the bottom three is another Florida city, Orlando, where the household median income is only $52,385.

Even accounting for the fact that Florida has no state income tax, those figures are almost half of what median households in cities like San Francisco ($96,667) and Washington, D.C. ($95,843), take in each year. The survey also makes clear it's not just tech bros in Silicon Valley or government lobbyists in the nation's capital who are paid handsomely — workers in cities like Minneapolis and Denver also make about $20,000 more than those in Miami:

Census Bureau
Those low wages no doubt contribute to a second scary statistic showing Miami has the second-highest percentage of people living in poverty of any major metro area. In South Florida, an astonishing 921,000 people — 15.4 percent of the population — live below the poverty line.

Census Bureau
The only city that fares worse is Riverside, California, although Tampa and Orlando are also among the bottom ten.
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Jessica Lipscomb is news editor of Miami New Times and an enthusiastic Florida Woman. Born and raised in Orlando, she has been a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.
Contact: Jessica Lipscomb