Florida has witnessed rising levels of poverty in the recent past

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Poverty has been on the rise in Florida in recent years. In 2016, the poverty rate exceeded the national average. Poverty has a wide range of consequences for people's well-being, housing, schooling, and health (Dadi 1). Furthermore, according to federal estimates, the state ranks 35th out of 50 in terms of the percentage of people living below the poverty line. To be more specific, a family making less than $24,250 per year is called poor (Tate 2). In 2014, more than 3.3 million Floridians were unable to satisfy their basic needs, accounting for 16.5 percent of the national figure. More importantly, poverty among Floridian women is more pronounced (Medina 1). In fact, most of the women are subjected to high levels of poverty hence they are unable to access development and healthcare opportunities as compared to the rest of the nation.

Recent studies have pointed out that approximately 15.4 percent of Floridian women above 18 years live below the poverty line as compared to 12.6 percent in 2004. Moreover, the mean of women in the state living below poverty line is more than the nationwide level, which is 14.6 percent (Medina 1). Additionally, more women (15.5 percent) than men (12.2 percent) in Florida suffer from poverty. The research also noted that single mothers and women of color have higher poverty level in Florida than the rest of the population. In particular, African American women are the poorest (25.2 percent), followed closely by Native Americans (21.4 percent) and Latinas women (21.2 percent) while Asian Islanders had a poverty level of 12.6 percent (Tate 2). The white women in Florida had the lowest level of poverty at 11.9 percent. The southern and northern rural regions in the state had the highest poverty rates (Sago 1). Based on the data, nearly 25 percent of Floridian women demonstrate high levels of poverty in areas such as Hardee, Hamilton, Gilchrist, Desoto, and Alachua counties. In other places such as Miami-Dade, the rate is about 20 percent (Dadi 1). Surprisingly, in this county, women own more than 40 percent of companies while about 63 percent are covered by health insurance.

Although more women have benefited from social advancement in the contemporary society than the past decades, they continue to suffer from domestic violence, homelessness, underemployment, unemployment and hold insufficient health care (Medina 1). In addition, they stay in substandard homes. Floridian women had the lesser chance of attaining educational requirement than the rest of the women in the country (Putney 1). Moreover, only less than 24 percent of women above 25 years in state are degree holders. Training and education have significant effect on earning a salary adequate to provide for a family (Dadi 1). Furthermore, failure to benefit from family-work support and problems associated to reaching public benefits play a significant part in economic insecurity among women.

Maslow’s theory describes the hierarchy of needs, which intends to explain human motivation and behavior, and the reason why it is challenging for people to meet their basic needs. The theory suggest that when human beings are struggling to acquire their basic needs, they are less likely to be motivated to solve other problems in their lives (Noltemeyer, et al 3). The theory is a good pointer of the challenges that people face especially women in poverty when they attempt to meet their basic needs. For instance, when an individual is unable to access the lowest needs at the pyramid, they are not inspired to think about other issues at the top of the pyramid. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs demonstrate how the ability of people is limited by their needs (Noltemeyer, et al 3). At the bottom level, human beings require physiological needs such as food, sleep, proper housing, and water. Above that, they demand safety needs, which include healthcare, employment, family and property. When these are met, they are inspired to pursue sexual intimacy, and friendship (Noltemeyer, et al 5). The second topmost needs include achievement, confidence, self-esteem and respect. Finally, at the topmost level, they require self-actualization, which involves creativity, morality, spontaneity, acceptance, and problem solving. Therefore, for Floridian women, their poverty levels can be reduced if they are provided with adequate opportunities to meet their basic needs such as adequate food, shelter and water (Noltemeyer, et al 6). Therefore, poverty among women is a micro concept because it begins from the individual level.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Source, Noltemeyer, et al 3)

Therefore, in order to solve the problem of poverty among women in Florida, a number of measures should be initiated. For instance, initiatives should be geared towards extending health programs to persons with lower income, enhancing academic chances for women and encouraging more women to entrepreneurs (Tate 2). In addition, the state should ensure that women get a higher income rate per hour among women. Similarly, innovative programs, which allow women to safe part of their salaries in order to fund for their education should be, encouraged (Putney 1). All these strategies would assist in alleviating inequalities in order to reduce poverty rates among Floridian women.


Florida is one of the states with highest level of poverty among women. Since 2004, the poverty rates have increased (Sago 1). For instance, in 2014, approximately 15.4 percent of Floridian women above 18 years lived below the poverty line as compared to 12.6 percent in 2004 (Putney 1). Some of the most common problems associated to rising poverty levels among women include, low academic attainment, domestic violence, and homelessness (Tate 2). African American women had the highest poverty rates in Florida as compared to other ethnic group. In this regard, programs such as extension of healthcare insurance and education among women should be initiated.

Work Cited

Dadi, Esubalew. "Florida Has The 35Th Worst Poverty Rate In The Nation | Florida Policy Institute." Fpi.Institute, 2016, http://www.fpi.institute/florida-has-the-35thth-worst-poverty-rate-in-the-nation/.

Medina, Brenda. "In Florida, Women Are Poorer Today Than 12 Years Ago." Miamiherald, 2016, http://www.miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/article123365229.html.

Noltemeyer, Amity, et al. "The relationship among deficiency needs and growth needs: An empirical investigation of Maslow's theory." Children and Youth Services Review 34.9 (2012): 1862-1867.

Putney, Michael. "Poverty Rate Soaring In South Florida, Study Finds." WPLG, 2017, https://www.local10.com/news/poverty-rate-soaring-in-south-florida-study-finds.

Sago, Renata. "New Report Finds Poverty Rate For Florida Women Exceeds National Average - Women In The States." Women In The States, 2017, https://statusofwomendata.org/coverage/new-report-finds-poverty-rate-for-florida-women-exceeds-national-average/.

Tate, Brenda. "Poverty Levels High For Florida Women." The News-Press, 2016, http://www.news-press.com/story/opinion/2016/12/17/poverty-levels-high-florida-women/95478934/.

November 17, 2022
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