TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The cost of living has only gone up due to inflation. For beneficiaries of welfare, social security, and other social safety net programs, higher costs of living mean the federal government must adjust its payments to ensure quality of life for its charges.
However, in some cities, mass migration, wage stagnation, and rapid price increases mean the COLA isn’t able to keep up. A SmartAsset study of cities facing high levels of financial stresses examined the 150 largest cities in the U.S.
Multiple cities in Florida were included in the SmartAsset breakdown, though only one was in the top 10. Tampa instead was ranked 12th most financially stressed city in the U.S., when comparing costs of living, employment levels, and affordability.
Across eight different factors, or metrics, SmartAsset found that some parts of the U.S. had a harder time with economic success than others.
Florida’s capital, Tallahassee, holds the distinction of the highest percentage of residents living in poverty in the top 10 cities. Tampa’s rate is 17.5%, in comparison. Tallahassee was the only Florida city in the top 10 financially stressed locations, ranked at No. 5.
“Cities in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida along with two cities in Louisiana make up the top five cities in our study,” SmartAsset said. The Southeast region of the U.S. was a frequent flyer on the rankings published by SmartAsset. Additionally, in seven of the 10 cities with the highest levels of financial stress, the poverty rate was higher than 20% in June.
The top 15 financially stressed cities were in states like Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, Tennessee, and Florida.
|Rank||City||June 2022 Unemployment||Poverty Rate||Residents Struggling to Pay for Housing||Adults Experiencing Food Scarcity|
|2||New Orleans, La.||6.5%||23.0%||23.62%||19.0%|
|7||Corpus Christi, Texas||5.5%||16.0%||14.05%||14.6%|
|8||San Antonio, Texas (Tie)||4.1%||17.6%||15.06%||14.6%|
|8||Shreveport, La. (Tie)||5.3%||24.9%||18.48%||19.0%|
|14||Baton Rouge, La.||4.5%||24.4%||18.05%||19.0%|
Hialeah, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, and Cape Coral were also included in the top 35 cities with the most financial stress in America, of the 150 largest U.S. cities.
According to their description of methodology, SmartAsset examined unemployment rates, poverty rates, housing cost-burdened households that pay more than 30% of their income per month on rent or mortgages, housing insecurity, how many people are struggling to afford food, those who skipped seeing the doctor due to cost, and changes in median incomes over a four-year period.