Special Report

The Poorest County in Each State

6. Otero County, Colorado
> County median household income, 2009-2013: $33,848
> State median household income, 2009-2013: $58,433
> Poverty rate, 2009-2013: 25.2%
> Unemployment, 2013: 8.8%

As in many other low-income areas, many children in Ortero County were considered poor — 42.4% lived in poverty during the five years through 2013, nearly double the comparable national rate. Residents were also far less likely than most Americans to have completed college. While 28.8% of Americans had at least a bachelor’s degree during the five years through 2013, only 15.5% of Otero residents had such a degree. The contrast is even more stark when compared to Colorado residents, who tend to be among the nation’s most educated.

ALSO READ: States Where People Live Longest

7. Windham County, Connecticut
> County median household income, 2009-2013: $59,333
> State median household income, 2009-2013: $69,461
> Poverty rate, 2009-2013: 11.4%
> Unemployment, 2013: 8.7%

People living in the poorest county in Connecticut still had higher incomes than most American households. While Windham County residents earned much less than the majority of Connecticut residents between 2009 and 2013, a typical household in Windham earned nearly $60,000 annually over that period, well above the national median. Residents also benefited from high health insurance coverage rates, and low poverty rates. Less than 9% went without health insurance between 2009 and 2013, and 11.4% lived in poverty. Children also were much less likely to live in poverty than most in America. While more than one in five American children lived in poverty during the five year period through 2013, less than 15% did in Windham County.

8. Sussex County, Delaware
> County median household income, 2009-2013: $52,710
> State median household income, 2009-2013: $59,878
> Poverty rate, 2009-2013: 13.4%
> Unemployment, 2013: 6.7%

Income is relatively well-distributed in Delaware. A typical household in Sussex — Delaware’s poorest county — earned just $7,168 less than the state’s median annual household income between 2009 and 2013. The county’s poverty rate was also a relatively low 13.4% between 2009 and 2013, versus the comparable national figure of 15.4%. Similarly, the county’s unemployment rate of 6.7% in 2013 was lower than the national rate of 7.4% that year.

ALSO READ: America’s Best Run Companies

9. Putnam County, Florida
> County median household income, 2009-2013: $32,497
> State median household income, 2009-2013: $46,956
> Poverty rate, 2009-2013: 26.4%
> Unemployment, 2013: 9.4%

Putnam County residents are the poorest in Florida. Last year, 9.4% of the county’s workforce was unemployed, versus a national unemployment rate of 7.4%. As in the poorest counties in most states, Putnam residents had relatively low educational attainment rates. Just 11.4% of adults had at least a bachelor’s degree during the five years through 2013, a fraction of the comparable national figure.

10. Telfair County, Georgia
> County median household income, 2009-2013: $26,634
> State median household income, 2009-2013: $49,179
> Poverty rate, 2009-2013: 30.5%
> Unemployment, 2013: 15.6%

Telfair County is the poorest in Georgia as well as poorer than all but nine of the other poorest counties reviewed. Over the five years through 2013, a typical household in Telfair County earned $26,634, nearly half the national five-year median household income of $53,046. The low incomes may be partly due to the area’s weak job market. Telfair’s unemployment rate was 15.6% in 2013, nearly the highest rate reviewed, and considerably higher than the national rate of 7.4% that year.

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.