The Poorest Town in Each State

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31. Kaser Village, New York
> Town median household income:
$20,084
> State median household income: $58,003 (14th highest)
> Town poverty rate: 67.6%
> Town population: 4,837

With a median annual household income of slightly more than $58,000, New York is the 14th wealthiest state in the country. Even so, the poorest town in the state is among the poorest nationwide. Just over 67% of Kaser Village’s residents lived below the poverty line, several times the 15.3% state and 11.3% national poverty rates. New York had some of the most unevenly distributed income in the nation. For example, Scarsdale — located just across the Hudson from Kaser — had a median household income that was $213,227 higher than Kaser’s income figure.

32. Marion, North Carolina
> Town median household income:
$24,509
> State median household income: $46,334 (12th lowest)
> Town poverty rate: 34.7%
> Town population: 7,962

At 34.7%, the poverty rate in Marion was more than three times higher than the national rate of 11.3%. Only 75.6% of adults in Marion had at least a high school diploma, more than 10 percentage points lower than the national rate. Similarly, 13.6% of adults had at least a bachelor’s degree, less than half both the state and national rates.

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33. Devils Lake, North Dakota
> Town median household income:
$40,309
> State median household income: $53,741 (19th highest)
> Town poverty rate: 12.6%
> Town population: 7,166

Located just above Devils Lake and the Spirit Lake Reservation, the town of Devils Lake had a median household income of $40,309, the lowest in the state, but not especially low compared to the nation. The difference between incomes in Devils Lake and Horace — North Dakota’s richest town — was $45,762, one of the smaller such gaps reviewed.

34. East Cleveland, Ohio
> Town median household income:
$20,577
> State median household income: $48,308 (17th lowest)
> Town poverty rate: 35.6%
> Town population: 17,812

East Cleveland had a median household income of $20,577, less than half the median income for Ohio. A good education frequently offers better job opportunities, and relatively low educational attainment in East Cleveland partly explains the low incomes. Only 78.3% of adults in the town had a high school diploma, much lower than the statewide rate of 88.5%. More than 33% of East Cleveland’s population lived in poverty, well above the state’s poverty rate of nearly 16%, which was one of the higher statewide poverty rates.

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35. Stilwell, Oklahoma
> Town median household income:
$24,452
> State median household income: $45,339 (10th lowest)
> Town poverty rate: 32.7%
> Town population: 3,967

In Stilwell, Oklahoma’s poorest town, 32.7% of residents lived below the poverty line. This was significantly higher than the national poverty rate of 11.3% and the statewide rate of 16.9%. Less than 75% of Stilwell’s adult population had a high school diploma, much lower than the 86.4% of adults statewide who had graduated high school.