Boca Raton has had the third-highest poverty decrease in the United States since 2008, a new study says. The study, put together by personal finance website WalletHub, looked into the quickest socioeconomic changes, compared 515 U.S. cities across ten key metrics ranging from population growth rate to unemployment rate decrease, and found the Palm Beach County city is the highest-ranking city in Florida when it comes to poverty decrease between 2008 and 2014.
Overall, Boca is tied for 26th with Springdale, Arizona, for cities with fastest-growing economies (Miami, for the record, is ranked 17th).
"Fast growth means new people and new dollars in a community and opportunities for entrepreneurs who want to sell the new folks a good or service," says one of the experts who helped with the study, Katherine Deck, who is director for the Center for Business & Economic Research at University of Arkansas. "It is very difficult to create a new business when there are plenty of others serving the need, but when growth happens, there are unforeseen opportunities that new market entrants can serve."
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The study specifically looked into what it calls the "Socio-Demographic Landscape" and "Jobs & Economic Environment" to determine the rankings, which includes population growth, the increase of the working-age population, and the decrease of poverty. The study also considered decrease in unemployment, median household income growth, moving from part-time to full-time jobs, and the increase in number of business, among other factors.
According to City-Data, those living under the poverty line was made up 6.7 percent of Boca residents, compared to 12.5 percent for the rest of the state, and 22.5 percent less than the National average. The median earnings for males in Boca Raton is 57.2 percent greater than the median earnings for females in Boca Raton. The renting rate in Boca among poor and not poor residents is 56.1 percent, compared to 21.9 percent for the rest of the state.
"For property owners, being priced out may mean that they reap significant financial windfalls from the sale of property that is now worth more to someone else than the original owner," Deck says. "Trying to constrain growth in property prices is likely to lead to distortions in the market and shortage of housing. Rather than put such policies in place, cities should focus on rules regarding density and create additional housing opportunities in the most desirable areas."