MADISON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) - A recent study by the U.S. Census Bureau, shows Madison County is the poorest county in Florida.
Madison County looks like any main street around the country. And it is, however, in Florida, this county is the poorest in the Sunshine State.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the level of education is a key factor into determining the rankings. The study adds, that those with a college education are more likely to secure higher paying jobs.
In Madison County, only 12 percent of adults have at least a bachelor's degree.
Young people growing up in small towns, like Madison are leaving to seek better jobs and educational opportunities, which is devastating to a town that once had a thriving farm community.
"It's growing a lot, but for some reason there's not enough jobs here," said Faye Ludwig, a long-time Madison County resident. "It's a poor community and a lot of people just can't survive."
The county poverty rate is just below 30 percent.
A typical household in Madison County earns $1,900 less than other households in the state.
In 2016, the wealthiest counties income increased year-to-year by over $2,200, while the typical household in the the poorest counties made $356 less a year. Incomes in the U.S. overall have been rising, but the gap between rich and poor is also rising. The poorest, like those in Madison County, are getting left behind.
Prior to Madison County claiming the top spot this year, Putnam County was considered the poorest county in Florida two years in a row.