What Income Is Considered Poverty Level in Florida in 2023?

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The U.S. Census Bureau measures poverty by comparing a household’s pre-tax income to a set poverty threshold. This threshold is the amount of money needed to cover basic needs. While some states have different thresholds to account for the higher cost of living, Florida uses the standard federal poverty guidelines to determine who qualifies for government assistance programs, such as SNAP or Medicaid.

According to the Census Bureau, the agency in charge of measuring poverty, the poverty threshold for a family of four in Florida is $29,950, or $14,880 for an individual before taxes. Thresholds vary by the family size and the members’ age. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services uses this threshold to determine who is eligible for certain assistance programs. Under their guidelines, a family of four in Florida is considered at 100% of the federal poverty level if they earn $30,000 or less yearly.

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In January 2023, the HHS took the 2021 Census Bureau’s poverty thresholds and adjusted them for inflation between 2021 and 2022 using the consumer price index for all urban consumers (CPI-U). For individuals, the income increased from $13,590 in 2022 to the current $14,580 — and hiked upward from $27,750 to $30,000 for a family of four.

The Census Bureau says that although the threshold reflects a family’s needs, it’s intended as a “statistical yardstick” and not as a complete description of what people need. Certain agencies and programs use percentage multiples of the federal poverty level to specify set income limits and household eligibility requirements. For example, many states use 130% of the FPL for food stamp eligibility.

According to the latest data from the Census Bureau, 12.7% of Florida’s population of over 21.5 million people live in poverty. This is higher than the national average of 11.6%, or 37.9 million people. Florida also has a lower median household income compared to the national median. In Florida, the median household income between 2017 and 2021 was $61,777, and $74,580 nationwide in 2022.

The latest report from the United Way found that in 2021, 32% of Floridian households were ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) or earning more than the federal poverty level but not enough to afford basics where they live — and 45% of households were below the ALICE threshold.

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United Way said the FPL was $26,500 for a family of four in 2021, while the ALICE Household Survival Budget was $66,324. Most ALICE households cannot participate in public assistance programs, even though more than 2 in 5 households in Florida are on the brink of poverty.

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