Special Report

Poorest Town in Every State

6. Lamar, Colorado
> Town median household income: $35,487
> State median household income: $60,629
> Town poverty rate: 20.3%
> Town population: 7,744

Some 38.1% of adults in Colorado have at least a bachelor’s degree, the second largest share of any state. Higher educational attainment rates often lead to higher incomes, but not all parts of Colorado are home to large shares of college-educated adults. In Lamar, the state’s poorest town, only 11.9% of adults have a four-year college degree, one of the smallest such shares in the state.

7. Rockville, Connecticut
> Town median household income: $36,778
> State median household income: $70,331
> Town poverty rate: 18.0%
> Town population: 7,459

In Rockville, Connecticut, the typical household earns only $36,778 year — roughly half the median income statewide. With lower incomes, residents are more likely to rely on government assistance. More than one in four Rockville residents received food stamps in the last year, more than double the 12.1% statewide recipiency rate.

Source: Adam Moss / Wikimedia Commons

8. Elsmere, Delaware
> Town median household income: $47,704
> State median household income: $60,509
> Town poverty rate: 10.3%
> Town population: 6,154

Poverty is not evenly distributed throughout the country, and in some states even the poorest town is relatively well off. In Elsmere, Delaware’s poorest town, just 10.3% of residents live in poverty, lower than the national rate of 15.5%. Still, Elsmere compares unfavorably to the rest of the nation and the state in several measures that are often related to income. For example, just 15.9% of the town’s adult population has a bachelor’s degree, about half the comparable national and state rate.

Source: Thinkstock

9. Sebring, Florida
> Town median household income: $25,663
> State median household income: $47,507
> Town poverty rate: 30.2%
> Town population: 10,371

Incomes tend to be slightly lower in Florida than they are nationwide. The typical Florida household earns $47,507 a year, less than the $53,889 national median income. In Sebring, Florida, the typical household earns only $25,663 a year, less than half the national median household income.

With lower incomes, Sebring residents are more likely to rely on government assistance. Some 30.2% of the town’s population receives food stamps, nearly double the statewide recipiency rate.

Source: Upstateherd / Wikimedia Commons

10. Thomson, Georgia
> Town median household income: $21,425
> State median household income: $49,620
> Town poverty rate: 40.1%
> Town population: 6,697

The typical household in Thomson earns only $21,425 a year, less than half the median income of $49,620 a year across Georgia. As is the case with many towns on this list, poverty is relatively common in Thomson. Approximately 40% of the town’s 6,700 residents live below the poverty line, more than double Georgia’s 18% poverty rate.