Do Wharton Students Know What the Average Income Is in South Florida? Probably Not.

A surprising reality check at one of the world’s most elite business schools

“I asked Wharton students what they thought the average American worker makes per year and 25% of them thought it was over six figures. One of them thought it was $800k. Really not sure what to make of this (The real number is $45k),” tweeted Nina Strohminger, a professor of legal studies and business ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

“Oh good,” she tweeted the next day. “I went viral.” The story has indeed become viral.

It appears that these particular Ivy League students are way out of touch.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual income in the United States in 2020 was $56,310, while the median income was $67,521.

Different data gatherers use different methodologies, but the bean counters at salary expert came up with $57,271 as the average base salary in Florida in 2020. A survey by Dayton State put that number at $55,833, with Miami-Dade at $60,859; Broward at $58,998; and Palm Beach County—the #1 ranking Florida county—at $61,745.

According to the same survey, Florida’s #2 county, besting Miami-Dade by a hair, was Hillsborough, home to Tampa, with an average income of $60,962. All four counties scored above the national average.

Drew Limsky
dlimsky@sfbwmag.com
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