> Stores Per 1 Million People: 19.85
> Total No. of Stores: 90
> Median Income: $42,492 (10th Lowest)
> Pct. Living Below The Poverty Line: 17.3% (7th Highest)
Louisiana, which is directly south of Arkansas, Walmart’s birthplace, is prime Walmart country. Louisiana is among the ten poorest states in the country. Poor people are drawn to stores like Walmart because of low prices. Despite being among the most populated states on this list and having 90 Walmart stores, Louisiana only contains two Walmart distribution centers. This is because the 20 centers in Arkansas service Louisiana stores. Despite its great success, there seems to be little room for growth in the state. According to a report from the University of Minnesota, only eight Walmart stores opened in the state between 2000 and 2006. No stores were opened in 2010. 2111?
> Stores Per 1 Million People: 19.87
> Total No. of Stores: 119
> Median Income: $45,229 (16th Lowest)
> Pct. Living Below The Poverty Line: 14.6% (19th Highest)
Missouri is in much the same situation as Louisiana. Bordering Arkansas, the company’s home state, it makes sense that Walmart would establish a foothold in the state. There are currently 119 Walmart stores in Missouri, a huge number considering the state’s population. Like Louisiana, no stores have been opened in the last year. Regardless of its opportunities for growth, the company remains extremely active in the state. In 2010, Wal-Mart Stores (including Sam’s Club locations) donated more than $21.4 million to local organizations, according to the company.
8. West Virginia
> Stores Per 1 Million People: 19.97
> Total No. of Stores: 37
> Median Income: $37,435 (2nd Lowest)
> Pct. Living Below The Poverty Line: 17.7% (5th Highest)
Walmart has been the largest private employer in West Virginia every year since 1998, according to labor market research firm WorkForce West Virginia. The state, which has an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent, relies heavily on its 37 Walmart stores, which together employ 12,269 people. Relative to many of the other states on this list, Walmart presence in the state is relatively recent. The first Walmart opened in 1962, the first store in Missouri opened in 1968, and the first location in Louisiana opened in 1970. Walmart first location in West Virginia opened in 1989. To make up for its late start, new store growth has been extremely strong.
7. New Hampshire
> Stores Per 1 Million People: 20.51
> Total No. of Stores: 27
> Median Income: $65,028 (2nd Highest)
> Pct. Living Below The Poverty Line: 8.5% (Lowest)
New Hampshire is an outlier on our list. It is located in the Northeast and is fairly wealthy. It has the lowest percentage of residents living below the poverty level and the second highest median income. Relative to the state’s small population, there are a large number of Walmart stores The company contributes substantially to the state treasury as a result of this. In fiscal year ending 2011, Walmart paid more than $20.7 million in state and local taxes. This is approximately 0.4% of the state’s total revenue, a significant amount compared to other companies. Notably, New Hampshire has no sales tax.
> Stores Per 1 Million People: 20.97
> Total No. of Stores: 91
> Median Income: $40,072 (4th Lowest)
> Pct. Living Below The Poverty Line: 18.6% (3rd Highest)
Kentucky is yet another relatively poor state in close proximity to Arkansas. Walmarts in the state have begun to offer services in addition to traditional retail. Starting in 2009, Baptist Healthcare System, one of the largest not-for-profit health care providers in Kentucky, began a statewide initiative with the company to open clinics in Walmart stores. The program has been successful and now includes 12 clinics. This is yet another example of Walmart’s efforts to move into new businesses, which include financial services, pharmacies, and health care.