The Poorest Town in Each State

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36. Prineville, Oregon
> Town median household income:
$29,959
> State median household income: $50,229 (23rd lowest)
> Town poverty rate: 18.8%
> Town population: 9,241

While 11.2% of households in Prineville earned $10,000 annually or less, a relatively high percentage, no households earned more than $200,000 annually. Prineville had the lowest median household income in Oregon, at less than $30,000. Like the poorest towns in many other states, Prineville had relatively low educational attainment rates. Less than 11%, of adults had at least a bachelor’s degree, far lower than the statewide rate of nearly 30%.

37. Johnstown, Pennsylvania
> Town median household income:
$25,542
> State median household income: $52,548 (21st highest)
> Town poverty rate: 26.8%
> Town population: 20,740

Relatively low education attainment levels in Johnstown likely contributed to the town’s low median household income of $25,542 — less than half the corresponding statewide figure of $52,548. Only 11.2% of adults in Johnstown had at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 27.5% of adult residents statewide.

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38. Georgetown, South Carolina
> Town median household income:
$26,330
> State median household income: $44,779 (7th lowest)
> Town poverty rate: 21.8%
> Town population: 9,162

With an annual household income of $44,779, well below the nationwide figure of $53,046, South Carolina is one of the poorest states in the country. Still, the statewide income dwarfs the median household income in Georgetown, South Carolina’s poorest town. At $26,330, Georgetown’s median household income was less than half the national median household income.

39. Spearfish, South Dakota
> Town median household income:
$37,644
> State median household income: $49,495 (21st lowest)
> Town poverty rate: 10.2%
> Town population: 10,690

Higher levels of education typically lead to higher incomes, but not in Spearfish, South Dakota. Nearly 33% of adults in Spearfish had at least a bachelor’s degree, 4.1 percentage points higher than the nationwide figure, and 6.7 percentage points higher than the statewide figure. Despite its relatively well educated population, Spearfish is the poorest town in South Dakota.

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40. Newport, Tennessee
> Town median household income:
$21,070
> State median household income: $44,298 (6th lowest)
> Town poverty rate: 33.7%
> Town population: 6,940

Newport’s poverty rate of 33.7% was well above the state rate of 17.6%, which was itself among the highest rates compared to other states. Newport’s median household income of only $21,070 was the sixth lowest of all the poorest towns in each state. Less than 6% of area adults had at least a bachelor’s degree, a fraction of both the state and national percentages.