September Geo Scores, Florida’s Poverty Situation and a Look at the Swing States

October 4, 2016

This week we review our proprietary DIVER Geo Score, highlight the best and worst performing States, take a look at changes in the poverty rates in Florida and offer a view of the swing States for the coming election.

September Geo Scores

Today, we release the most recent DIVER Geo Scores for States, counties and cities. The DIVER Geo Score represents a relative score of the economic health of a U.S. State, county or city. Based on a scale of 0-10, with 10 being the best, this data is updated monthly and is calculated from multiple economic and demographic factors related to three primary data categories—employment, income and housing.

The DIVER Geo Scores are available here.


We continue to watch developments in the New York metropolitan area with concern. For the past year, Connecticut Geo Score performance has been 45th in the nation, New York has 41st, and New Jersey 38th.

The most improved State over the last year is Oregon.  Oregon showed improvement in every data group (employment, income and housing) that make-up the Geo Score.

We have regularly highlighted the growing strength of the Florida economy as it recovers from weakness induced by the housing crisis.  With the latest data, the Florida economy is now the 2nd most improved of any State and Florida counties dominate the most improved county list.


Poverty Levels Improving in Florida

One of the most pronounced indicators of the improvement in Florida’s economy is the decline in poverty rates.  As measured by the most recent data from the U. S. Census Bureau, poverty rates have been dropping dramatically in most of the larger Florida counties.

The top 10 contributors to the statewide improvement are shown below.


Despite the generally strong overall improvement in the State, poverty rates have been growing in some of Florida’s larger counties.


Of the large counties, Highlands has been performing especially badly. With the most recent release, the Census measurement of the Poverty Rate in Highlands is up to 25%.


Swing States – A Look at the Geo Score

Political mudslinging has seemingly hit an all-time low.  Despite how the candidates behave, the media’s fascination with the same and how the electorate has responded, we assume that some voters actually care about substantive issues.  To that end, we take a look at the Geo Scores for the swing States.

As we enter the final month of this election cycle, the swing States, once again, will prove decisive in who will occupy the White House.  Below, we take a look at the current Geo Scores for the swing States vs. where they were a year ago.  If the economy matters, perhaps the Geo Score can offer insight into the race for the White House.  Will a stable or improving economy benefit the Democrats or will a stagnant and deteriorating economy bolster the Republicans?  We also include the number of electoral votes each swing State has at stake.


Source: DIVER Analytics

Wishing everyone a great week.  For those of you attending the National Association of Municipal Advisor conference in New Orleans, please be sure to stop by and visit with Heidi and Gregg, both of whom will be presenting.

The DIVER by Lumesis Team