Florida’s women college graduates among most economically challenged in U.S.
Women college graduates in Florida are among the most economically challenged in the country.

West Virginia was the most affordable state in the nation for women graduating from college.

Florida women graduating from college have some of the toughest financial challenges in the U.S. when it comes to finding affordable housing after they get their degrees, according to a new study conducted by Moving Astute, a moving and relocation service.

The new study released this month shows that Florida is the fourth-most expensive state in the country for women getting their degrees. The study used U.S. Census Bureau data to determine factors such as annual median rent for a one-bedroom apartment, average salary and proportion of the graduate’s salary spent on rent.

Women graduating from college in the Sunshine State have an average annual salary of $49,658. But the average median rent for that single bedroom apartment costs $16,248 per year.

That amounts to 32.72% of a graduate’s annual salary that is going to cover rent costs. That also accounts for women graduates in Florida spending 8.9% more on their rent allocation than men, the study found.

Other Southern states in the top 10 include Virginia, which was ranked sixth, and Georgia, ranked No. 10.

The study also found that those costs spotlight states where women in the workforce may not be getting paid as much as their male counterparts.

“A higher ratio indicates that a greater portion of salary is consumed by rent, highlighting states where the economic impact of the gender pay gap is most acute,” the study concluded.

Hawaii was the most expensive state in terms of affordable rents for women college graduates, followed by California, New York and California. Those were the only states ranked above Florida.

West Virginia is the most affordable state for women graduating from college where those graduates spend only 16.78% of their annual salary on rent. But the cost of annual rent in West Virginia is radically lower than even Florida. The West Virginia median annual price for a one-bedroom rental unit is $7,788, and the average salary of a female graduate is $46,408.

The new research also found the disparity of affordable housing for women is present to some degree in all states.

“The analysis highlights a national trend: despite uniform housing costs, female graduates in every state face greater financial strain due to the persistent gender pay gap,” the study found.

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at [email protected].


  • rbruce

    April 23, 2024 at 11:13 am

    Why do news agencies promote worthless studies? Not all degrees result in equal salaries. Not all graduates are financial counterparts. And, all housing is affordable otherwise prices would decrease. One may not be able to afford a specific apartment at a specific address, but someone else can. Landlords do not like vacant units.

    • Mike

      April 24, 2024 at 6:21 pm

      No, all housing is not affordable. That’s why more people in Florida are squeezing into inadequate housing, moving out of state, or are homeless. If you imagine that prices would decrease if housing became unaffordable, you’re suffering from the delusion that markets are always right.

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