Special Report

Poorest County in Each State

In every state, there are rich and there are poor counties. The poorest county in each state can be much poorer than the state’s median household income, or the difference can be much smaller. Delaware has smallest income gap, with the typical household in the poorest county earning $6,700 less annually than the state’s median income. In Maryland and Virginia the difference is the largest, with a typical household earning more than $37,000 less than the states’ respective median household incomes. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the poorest county in each state based on data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Incomes vary considerably within each state. Even in many of the nation’s wealthiest states, households in the poorest counties earn incomes below the national median. The two exceptions are the poorest counties in Connecticut and Delaware, where the typical household still earns more annually compared to the national median of $53,482.

1. Sumter County, Alabama
> County median household income:
> 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.