By: Nick Hyder, Tian Ma, Igor Lukashevich, and Nadia James
Out of the 67 counties in the state of Florida, Duval County spends the most per capita. Duval County is home to Florida’s most populous city, Jacksonville, which has a population over twice as large as Miami, Florida’s second most populous city. In 2014, Duval County spent roughly 43% of its total expenses on the physical environment, which mainly consists of utilities (electric, gas, water, and sewage). Comparatively, the average Florida County allots only 10% of its expenses to this.
Monroe County is second on the list of counties spending per capita. Located in the Southwest tip of the state, the county also includes the Florida Keys, including Key West. Monroe County spent the largest portion of its budget in 2014 on public safety at 27%, but this is still lower than the average Florida County with spends close to 30% on public safety. Monroe spent close to 8% of its budget on economic environment in 2014. Economic environment expenses consist of employment, industry, and housing development. Home to part of the Everglades, Monroe County receives numerous Federal grants for the purpose of preserving its environment, so it is able to spend more money on environmental preservation than other counties.
Florida’s most populous county, Miami-Dade, ranks number three on spending per capita. However, Miami-Dade spent the most money in 2014: over $9 billion. Miami-Dade spent the largest portion of its budget in 2014 on human services at just under 19%, which included health and developmental disability services. This is more than four times larger than the average Florida County which spends only about 4% on human services.
Some of Florida’s least populated counties are spending a significant amount per person. Walton and Franklin County are both home to less than 65,000 citizens yet they both rank in the top ten for spending per person. Walton County, located in Florida’s panhandle on the Gulf Coast, spent close to half of its total expenditures in 2014 on transportation/core infrastructure and public safety. Franklin County, also located in Florida’s panhandle on the Gulf Coast, spent $8.5 million out of its $33 million of expenditures in 2014, or 26%, on general court administration. The average county in Florida spends roughly 4% of its expenditures on all court related expenditures.
The top ten Florida Counties in spending per capita is a diverse group. Large counties such as Duval and Monroe make the list, but so do smaller counties such as Walton and Franklin. Duval County spends over $500 more per person than the next closest County, Monroe, and spends almost double per person that the fourth highest spending county (Franklin) does. Monroe and Miami-Dade, the two southernmost Counties in Florida, come in at number two and three, respectively. It is to be seen if these county spending trends continue into 2015 as Florida Counties continue to recover from the Great Recession.
Data and References
All Data can be found at the links below: