Income inequality in Florida is higher than in many states and has been getting worse over time. Inequality has been argued as responsible for a wide-ranging array of economic and social problems, including suppression of lower- and middle-income growth, social fragmentation and separatism, urban sprawl, poor health and mental illnesses, violence, and shortened life expectancy. What explains variance in Florida county income inequality as measured by the GINI coefficient? Bivariate and multivariate weighted least square regressions are conducted for the years 2000 and 2016, and for the change between 2000 and 2016. Three variables achieve statistical significance in all three multivariate models: poverty rate and population density have a positive effect as does educational attainment (although that variable is negative in the 2000 model). Income per capita has a statistically significant positive relationship with inequality in the 2000 model and in the change model. Unemployment rate is statistically significant in the 2016 model and in the change model but has a positive association with the GINI index in the former and a negative association in the latter. Several variables were statistically significant in just one model: cost-burdened housing with a positive relationship to inequality and percentage of minorities with a negative relationship in 2016; and county tax rate with a positive association with inequality in the change model. Conclusions are drawn regarding policy that might be implemented to mitigate worsening inequality in the Sunshine State.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Jewett, Aubrey


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Sciences


Political Science

Degree Program

American Politics & Policy



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date