Special Report

Poorest County in Each State

1. Sumter County, Alabama
> County median household income:
$22,865
> State median household income: $43,511
> Poverty rate: 38.5%
> Unemployment: 8.9%

Alabama’s median household income of $43,511 is one of the lowest in the nation. A typical Sumter County household earns barely half that figure at $22,865 annually. Sumter County also has one of the nation’s highest poverty rates at 38.5%. By contrast, 18.9% of people across the state and 15.6% of Americans live in poverty.

2. Bethel Census Area, Alaska
> County median household income:
$51,930
> State median household income: $71,829
> Poverty rate: 23.7%
> Unemployment: 16.0%

A typical household in Bethel, Alaska’s poorest region, earns $19,899 less than the typical household across the state. As in other poor areas, area residents have relatively low educational attainment rates. Only 11.4% of adults in the area have a bachelor’s degree, and 80.2% have finished at least high school, each some of the lower percentages in the country.

3. Apache County, Arizona
> County median household income:
$32,396
> State median household income: $49,928
> Poverty rate: 35.9%
> Unemployment: 16.0%

In Apache County, the poorest in Arizona, a typical household earns just $32,396, or $17,532 less than the statewide median household income. As in other poor counties, area residents have relatively low educational attainment rates. Only 10.1% of adults in the county have at least a bachelor’s degree, and 75.8% have finished at least high school, each some of the lower percentages in the country.

4. Lee County, Arkansas
> County median household income:
$26,986
> State median household income: $41,264
> Poverty rate: 29.8%
> Unemployment: 7.9%

Arkansas residents have some of the lowest incomes in the nation. In Lee County, the state’s poorest, incomes are even lower. A typical household in the area earns just $26,986 annually. A weak economy in Lee County may partially account for the low incomes. The county’s 7.9% unemployment rate is higher than the state and national jobless rates of 6.1% and 6.2%, respectively.

5. Lake County, California
> County median household income:
$35,997
> State median household income: $61,489
> Poverty rate: 24.3%
> Unemployment: 8.9%

A typical household in Lake County, California’s poorest, earns $25,492 less than the typical household does across the state. As in other poor counties, area residents have relatively low educational attainment rates. Only 16.2% of adults in the county have at least a bachelor’s degree, and 84.8% have finished at least high school, each some of the lower percentages in the country. By contrast, 29.3% of adults nationwide have at least a bachelor’s degree, and 86.3% of adults nationwide have finished at least high school.

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.