Special Report

America's Richest and Poorest Cities

10. Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ
> Median household income:
$37,674
> Median home value: $120,200
> Unemployment rate: 8.7%
> Poverty rate: 20.6%

The typical Lake Havasu City-Kingman household makes just $37,674 a year, nearly $16,000 less than the typical American household. Low incomes often occur in tandem with lower rates of educational attainment, and that is the case in Lake Havasu as well. Just 12.9% of the metro’s adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, less than half of the 30.1% of adults who have at least a bachelor’s degree nationwide. Unhealthy job markets can also dampen an area’s wealth. The Lake Havasu City metro area’s unemployment rate of 8.7% is the 10th highest in the country and much higher than the national unemployment rate of 5.1%. Low incomes areas also often have high poverty rates. About 21% of Lake Havasu City-Kingman residents live in poverty, one of the highest poverty rates in the country.

9. Grants Pass, OR
> Median household income:
$36,870
> Median home value: $213,100
> Unemployment rate: 8.2%
> Poverty rate: 19.6%

A typical household in Grants Pass makes just $36,870 a year, or nearly $17,000 less than the typical American household. Low-income areas often have less educated workforces. Just 17.1% of Grants Pass adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, significantly lower than the 30.1% of adults who do nationwide. An area’s wealth is often tied to the health of its job market. Grants Pass’s unemployment rate of 8.2% is the 16th highest in the country and much higher than the national unemployment rate of 5.1%. About 20% of Grants Pass residents live below the poverty line, compared to the 15.5% of citizens who do nationwide.

8. Sumter, SC
> Median household income:
$36,633
> Median home value: $111,100
> Unemployment rate: 7.4%
> Poverty rate: 24.1%

Sumter is a poor metro area in one of the poorest states. The typical Sumter household makes just $36,633 a year, or about $17,000 less than the typical American household. And while just 0.6% of Sumter households earn $200,000 or more in a year, 11.7% of households earn less than $10,000 annually. Low incomes in the area may be the result of a poorly educated workforce. Just 16.7% of Sumter adults have at least a high school diploma, significantly lower than the 30.1% of adults who do nationwide. A healthy economy is usually more likely to create wealth. Sumter’s unemployment rate of 7.4 is 2.3 percentage points higher than the national rate.

7. Valdosta, GA
> Median household income:
$36,340
> Median home value: $110,900
> Unemployment rate: 6.2%
> Poverty rate: 26.0%

A typical household in Valdosta makes just $36,340 a year, or $17,317 less than the typical American household. Low incomes in the area may be the result of a poorly educated workforce. Just 81.5% of Valdosta adults have at least a high school diploma, significantly lower than the 86.9% of adults who do nationwide. Much of the income generated in Valdosta goes to a small cluster of its wealthiest residents. Almost more than one quarter of the area’s income income is made by the area’s top 5% of earners, one the highest concentrations of wealth in the country. At the same time, about 22% of Valdosta residents receive food stamps, the 14th highest share of any metro area in the country. Also, about 26% of Valdosta residents live in poverty — more than 10 percentage points higher than the national poverty rate.

6. Sebring, FL
> Median household income:
$36,120
> Median home value: $80,800
> Unemployment rate: 7.8%
> Poverty rate: 18.1%

The median household income in Sebring is just $36,120 a year, about $17,500 less than the typical American household income. Low incomes in the area may be the result of a poorly educated workforce. Only 81.4% percent of Sebring adults have at least a high school diploma, lower than the 86.9% of adults who do nationwide. Unhealthy job markets can also dampen an area’s wealth. Sebring’s unemployment rate of 7.8% is one of the highest in the country and 2.7 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate. High unemployment in the region exacerbates poverty conditions. About 18% of Sebring residents live below the poverty line, more than the 15.5% of citizens who do nationwide.

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