Almost half of Florida’s richer residents say their wealth increased at least 20 percent since 2007, according to a study by PNC Bank.

“A common refrain during any Presidential election year is: Are you better off than you were four years ago?” according to a release from PNC. “For America’s affluent, there may not be a resounding yes to that question, but certainly they are feeling more optimistic than they have been in a few years.”

In PNC’s 2012 Wealth and Values Survey Investors’ Outlook survey of Floridians with $500,000 or more in investable assets, 45 percent said their assets increased at least 20 percent since 2007.

Nationally, 52 percent of affluent Americans said the same.

Also, 71 percent of the Floridans surveyed reported feeling that they had “a lot of control over their financial future." This is indicative of optimism rising to 26 percent, an increase from 9 percent last year. They also said the best opportunities were in technology, energy and utilities, and healthcare.

“While the overall survey results show a clear improvement in year-over-year sentiment, the numbers also paint a picture of cautious optimism," Thomas P. Melcher, executive vice president and managing executive of Hawthorn, PNC Wealth Management’s family office unit said in the release. "The economic crisis clearly had a lasting impact on their financial perspective and taught lessons that can be applied in the future.”

Florida's critically poor have not fared as well. Child homelessness almost doubled in the 2010-11 school year compared to 2006-07, and the state recently rejected tens of millions of federal grant money intended to help families on the edge.

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  • Almost one in four of the state's children lives below the federal poverty line -- and the rate is going up. Studies show an increase of 35%, with 235,000 more children living in poverty in 2010 than four years earlier. (Source: <a href="http://voicesforflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/TWFC_Final6-12-12.pdf" target="_hplink">Voices For Florida</a>)

  • Florida's poverty rate for children under 5 years of age is a whopping 26.9%. (Source: <a href="http://www.cwla.org/advocacy/statefactsheets/2012/florida.pdf" target="_hplink">CWLA</a>)

  • Almost half of Florida's children who needed mental health care did not receive it. (Source: <a href="http://voicesforflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/TWFC_Final6-12-12.pdf" target="_hplink">Voices For Florida</a>)

  • 2009 data shows that 21% of Florida's children are poor, but almost half of all the state's children (46% or 1.8 million children) live in low income families. (Source: <a href="http://voicesforflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/TWFC_Final6-12-12.pdf" target="_hplink">Voices For Florida</a>)

  • In 2009, more than 19,000 babies were born in Florida weighing less than 2,500 grams. (Source: <a href="http://www.cwla.org/advocacy/statefactsheets/2012/florida.pdf" target="_hplink">CWLA</a>)

  • In 2010, 180 Florida children died as a result of neglect or abuse. (Source: <a href="http://www.cwla.org/advocacy/statefactsheets/2012/florida.pdf" target="_hplink">CWLA</a>)

  • Estimates are that at any given time at At All Children's Hospital in Tampa, there are at least 10 newborns being treated for prescription drug withdrawal. (Source: <a href="http://leonrdmc.org/docs/pdf/Aronberg Rx Drug Abuse Training.pdf" target="_hplink">Attorney General's Office</a>)

  • The annual from the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranks Florida 44th in the economic well-being of its children, 38th in their health outcomes, 35th in their educational performance, and 38th overall. (Source: <a href="http://www.news-journalonline.com/news/local/east-volusia/2012/07/26/report-ranks-florida-behind-most-states-on-child-health-and-education.html" target="_hplink">Daytona Beach News-Journal</a>)