An estimated 15.0% of residents in the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metro area live below the poverty line, roughly similar to the national poverty rate of 14.7% and a smaller share than the state’s poverty rate of 15.7%. Orlando has the 12th lowest poverty rate of any Florida metro area.

A high school education can mean the difference between living above or below the poverty line. Nationwide, the 87.1% of Americans who have at least graduated high school are 1.9 times less likely to be in poverty than those who did not complete high school. In Orlando, adults who graduated from high school are 1.4 times less likely to be in poverty. An estimated 89.8% of adults in Orlando have at least a high school diploma, the tenth highest high school attainment rate in the state.

The share of metro area residents living in poverty may depend on the health of the local job market. As the national unemployment rate fell from 8.9% in 2011 to 5.3% in 2015, the number of U.S. jobs increased by 9.9 million. In Orlando, the 4.2% unemployment rate is lower than the jobless rate nationwide, which may partially explain the moderate poverty rate.

Moderate poverty often creates the conditions for a moderate violent crime rate. There were 530 violent crimes per 100,000 Orlando residents in 2015, higher than the national crime rate of 373 incidents per 100,000 Americans.

Living in poverty can have adverse effects on physical and mental health. With lower wages, those living in poverty are less likely to have access to healthy food, opportunities for physical activity, and quality medical care. In Orlando, there are 306 premature deaths per 100,000 residents annually, less than the national premature death rate of 474 per 100,000 Americans.

Poverty is often concentrated along racial lines. Nationwide, 25.4% of African Americans live in poverty, compared to 10.4% of white Americans. Poverty is less divided along racial lines in Orlando, where 18.9% of African Americans and 10.6% of white residents live below the poverty line.

While poverty tends to be concentrated in certain neighborhoods and districts within a city, a metropolitan area with a high poverty rate tends to have less wealthy residents overall. The typical household in the Orlando metro area earns $51,077 annually, higher than the median household income for Florida of $49,426, and lower than the median income for all U.S. households of $55,775 nationwide. Orlando has the sixth highest median household income of any Florida metro area.

Rank Metro Area Poverty
Rate
10 Pine Bluff, AR 25.7%
9 Valdosta, GA 26.6%
8 Merced, CA 26.7%
7 Greenville, NC 26.8%
5 Athens-Clarke County, GA 27.1%
5 Las Cruces, NM 27.1%
4 Visalia-Porterville, CA 27.6%
3 McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX 31.5%
2 Laredo, TX 31.8%
1 Brownsville-Harlingen, TX 32.4%