ORLANDO (AP) -- Floridians had the biggest drop in income among residents in any state other than Nevada during the past three years of a recession and anemic economic recovery, according to Census data released Thursday.
The median income of Floridians dropped by more than 7 percent from almost $48,000 in 2007 to more than $44,000 last year.
Only Nevada had a bigger drop in income, 7.3 percent. But Nevada residents were earning more than Floridians to begin with -- $55,000 in 2007 and $51,000 in 2010.
Florida has one of the nation's highest unemployment rates, 10.7 percent in August, and the state was at the epicenter of the housing boom and bust. Those two factors contributed to the disappearing income as Floridians lost wages as well as the ability to take out home equity loans or earn income from buying or selling investment properties, said University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith.
"People were making money flipping, buying and selling real estate, so that was bolstering income," Snaith said. "People who weren't involved with that still saw their home equity rise and they were able to tap into that money and spend more. Now those sources have dried up."
Nationally, the median household income declined by about 1.3 percent. It went from $50,700 in 2007 to just over $50,000 last year.