Poorest County in Each State

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31. San Miguel County, New Mexico
> County median household income:
$28,292
> State median household income: $44,968
> Poverty rate: 29.4%
> Unemployment: 7.7%

New Mexico’s median household income of $44,968 is one of the lowest in the nation. A typical household in San Miguel County earns considerably less at $28,292. San Miguel County also has one of the nation’s highest poverty rates, at 29.4%. By contrast, 20.9% of people across the state, and 15.6% of Americans, live in poverty.

32. Bronx County, New York
> County median household income:
$34,284
> State median household income: $58,687
> Poverty rate: 30.5%
> Unemployment: 9.8%

A typical household in Bronx County, New York’s poorest, earns $24,403 less than the typical household does across the state. As in other poor counties, area residents have relatively low educational attainment rates. Only 18.3% of adults in the county have at least a bachelor’s degree, and 70.2% have finished at least high school, each some of the lower percentages in the country.

33. Bertie County, North Carolina
> County median household income:
$29,388
> State median household income: $46,693
> Poverty rate: 25.5%
> Unemployment: 7.8%

North Carolina’s median household income of $46,693 is one of the lowest in the nation. With a median annual income of $29,388, a typical household in Bertie County earns even less. Bertie County also has one of the nation’s highest poverty rates, at 25.5%. By contrast, 17.6% of people across the state, and 15.6% of Americans, live in poverty. As in many poor counties, Bertie County adults are less likely to have a college education than their counterparts across the state. Only 11.1% of adults in the county have a bachelor’s degree, significantly less than the 27.8% statewide college attainment rate.

34. Rolette County, North Dakota
> County median household income:
$32,781
> State median household income: $55,579
> Poverty rate: 37.0%
> Unemployment: 11.8%

A typical household in Rolette County earns $32,781 annually, $22,798 less than the typical household does across the state and the lowest of any North Dakota county. As in other poor counties, area residents have relatively low educational attainment rates. Just one in five adults in the county has at least a bachelor’s degree, and 81.5% have finished at least high school, each some of the lower percentages in the country. Although North Dakota is often considered to have one of the healthiest job markets in the country, Rolette County does not share that distinction. While North Dakota’s unemployment rate of 2.8% is the lowest in the nation, 11.8% of workers in Rolette are looking for work, well above the national unemployment rate.

35. Athens County, Ohio
> County median household income:
$33,773
> State median household income: $48,849
> Poverty rate: 31.6%
> Unemployment: 6.8%

The median household income in Athens County of $33,773 is $15,076 lower than Ohio’s median income of $48,849, which itself is lower than the national figure of $53,482. Lower incomes tend to go hand in hand with lower educational attainment rates, but this is not always the case. In Athens, 89.4% of adults have at least a high school diploma, a higher share than both the state and national attainment rates.