America’s Richest and Poorest Cities

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15. Cumberland, MD-WV
> Median household income:
$38,580
> Median home value: $121,500
> Unemployment rate: 6.8%
> Poverty rate: 17.8%

The typical Cumberland metro area household makes just $38,580 a year, one of the lowest median incomes in the country. Fewer than 1% of Cumberland households earn $200,000 or more in a year, while 5.3% of U.S. households earn at least that much. At the same time, 11.6% of households earn less than $10,000, one of the highest shares in the country. About 18% of Cumberland residents live in poverty, compared to the national poverty rate of 15.5%. Low incomes in the area may be the result of a poorly educated workforce. Just 15.5% of Cumberland adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, 14.6 percentage points lower than the national figure. Areas with small economies tend to have poorer residents. With a GDP of $2.7 billion, Cumberland has the 11th smallest economy of any U.S. metro area.

14. Morristown, TN
> Median household income:
$38,542
> Median home value: $131,100
> Unemployment rate: 6.2%
> Poverty rate:>/strong> 22.0%

The median household income in the Morristown, Tennessee metro area is $38,542 a year, one of the lowest in the country. As in many other especially poor metro areas, more than one in five people in Morristown live in poverty. Many households are likely even worse off financially, as 12.0% of households — which may be home to multiple individuals — earn less than $10,000 a year. Low-income areas often have a less educated workforce. Just 19.1% of Morristown adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, 11 percentage points lower than the national figure. About 23% of Morristown area residents rely on food stamps, the 10th highest share of any metro area in the country.

13. Laredo, TX
> Median household income:
$38,312
> Median home value: $108,600
> Unemployment rate: 4.7%
> Poverty rate: 33.4%

The typical Laredo household makes just $38,312 a year, one of the lowest incomes in the country. The workforce in a low-income area is often less educated. Just 17.4% of adults in Laredo have at least a bachelor’s, significantly lower than the 30.1% of adults who have at least a bachelor’s degree nationwide. Many residents in Laredo also struggle with poverty. More than 33% of the city’s residents live in poverty, more than double the national poverty rate of 15.5%. Additionally, about 32% of Laredo residents receive food stamps, the highest share of any metro area in the country.

12. Dothan, AL
> Median household income:
$38,300
> Median home value: $106,300
> Unemployment rate: 6.7%
> Poverty rate: 20.2%

The typical household in Dothan makes just $38,300 a year, one of the lowest incomes in the country. Low-income areas often have a less educated workforce. Just 17.3% of Dothan adults have a college degree, significantly lower than the 30.1% of adults who have at least a bachelor’s degree nationwide. Those who work in professional, scientific, and management positions tend to earn higher incomes than the average U.S. worker. Only 5.9% of the Dothan labor force works in the sector, compared to 11.1% nationally. Two major area employers — Sony and Pemco Aviation — shut down their operations in Dothan in 2010 and 2012, respectively. Dothan’s unemployment rate is 6.7%, one of the highest in the country. An unhealthy job market intensifies poverty rates in a metro area. About 20% of Dothan residents live in poverty, compared to the national poverty rate of 15.5%.


11. Macon, GA
> Median household income:
$38,146
> Median home value: $109,600
> Unemployment rate: 6.5%
> Poverty rate: 24.3%

Macon is a poor metro area in one of the poorest states. The typical Macon household makes just $38,146 a year, one of the lowest incomes in the country. Much of the income generated in Macon goes to a small cluster of its wealthiest residents. About one-fourth of all income in Macon is acquired by the top 5% of its earners, one of the highest concentrations of wealth in any metro area. About 24% of Macon residents live in poverty, much higher than the national poverty rate of 15.5%.