Towns With Unemployment Rates Above 40%

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While the poverty rate in the U.S. is 15.6%, in some towns it is nearly three times that. 24/7 Wall St. found there are 20 such places.  As a matter of fact, the town with the highest rate is San Joaquin city, California where the number is 52.7%

To determine those towns with poverty rates over 40%, 24/7 Wall St. considered 2010-2014 five year average poverty rates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. We excluded towns for which the margin of error at 90% confidence was greater than 10% for poverty level, median household income, and population. Because poverty rates can be skewed in areas with high shares of college students who frequently have very low incomes, college towns were also excluded. Some towns are not part of a metropolitan statistical area. Unincorporated regions called Census Designated Areas were also considered. Median household income, median home values, as well as the percentage of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree also came from the ACS and are five year estimates through 2014. Since unemployment rates in most towns with less than 25,000 people are not available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment rates came from the U.S. Census Bureau and are also average for the five year period 2010 through 2014.

The 20 towns with poverty rates over 40%:

20. Homedale city, Idaho

Poverty rate: 40.1%

Population :2,595


19. Reading city, Pennsylvania

Poverty rate: 40.1%

Population: 88,051


18. Flint city, Michigan

Poverty rate: 41.6%

Population: 100,569


17. Parlier city, California

Poverty rate: 41.7%

Population: 14,750


16. East Cleveland city, Ohio

Poverty rate: 42.1%

Population: 17,619


15. East Lansing city, Michigan

Poverty rate: 42.9%

Population: 48,611


14. Swainsboro city, Georgia

Poverty rate: 43.3%

Population: 7,431


13. University CDP (Hillsborough County), Florida

Poverty rate: 43.9%

Population: 41,732


12. Clarkston city, Georgia

Poverty rate: 43.9%

Population: 7,717


11. Lindsay city, California

Poverty rate: 44.1%

Population: 12,688


10. Muskegon Heights city, Michigan

Poverty rate: 44.5%



9. East St. Louis city, Illinois

Poverty rate: 45.4%

Population: 26,697


8. Troy town, North Carolina

Poverty rate:</strong> 45.5%

Population: 3,458


7. Florida City city, Florida

Poverty rate: 46.2%

Population: 11,853


6. Benton Harbor city, Michigan

Poverty rate: 47.4%

Population: 10,056


5. Hamtramck city, Michigan

Poverty rate: 48.5%

Population: 22,256


4. Orange Cove city, California

Poverty rate:</strong> 49.6%

Population: 9,473


3. State College borough, Pennsylvania

Poverty rate: 49.7%

Population: 42,066


2. Macon city, Mississippi

Poverty rate:49.9%

Population: 2,687


1. San Joaquin city, California

Poverty rate: 52.7%

Population: 4,010