Poorest Town in Every State

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11. Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
> Town median household income: $52,934
> State median household income: $69,515
> Town poverty rate: 8.6%
> Town population: 20,858

Schofield Barracks is unique from other towns on this list. Over half of the town’s adult residents serve in the military. While enlisted personnel may earn relatively low incomes, few appear to be at risk of poverty. Due in part to the area’s unique population, Schofield Barracks is the only town on this list with a lower poverty rate than both the state and the nation. Some 8.6% of the Schofield Barracks population lives in poverty, compared to 11.2% of Hawaiians and 15.5% of Americans.

12. Emmett, Idaho
> Town median household income: $27,722
> State median household income: $47,583
> Town poverty rate: 26.6%
> Town population: 6,548

Those who have a college education are more likely to find steady work and avoid living in poverty. In Emmett, Idaho the median household income is $27,722 a year, the lowest in the state. Low incomes may be partially the result of low educational attainment. Only 16.4% of the adult population have at least a bachelor’s degree, nearly 10 percentage points below the state rate and just slightly more than half the comparable national proportion.

Source: Paul Sableman / Flickr

13. Centreville, Illinois
> Town median household income: $16,553
> State median household income: $57,574
> Town poverty rate: 47.8%
> Town population: 5,142

Centreville is not only the poorest town in Illinois, but also the poorest in the country. The typical household income of $16,553 a year is less than one-third the national median annual household income of $53,889. The typical household in Winnetka, Illinois’ wealthiest town, earns an income nearly 13 times greater than in Centreville.

Home values in a given area often closely reflect the area’s relative affluence. In Centreville, the typical home is worth less than $50,000, less than a third of the state’s median home value of $173,800.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

14. Union City, Indiana
> Town median household income: $31,238
> State median household income: $49,255
> Town poverty rate: 31.2%
> Town population: 3,486

Like many low income towns, poverty is a considerable problem in Union City. Some 31.2% of the town’s population lives below the poverty line, more than double the 15.4% statewide poverty rate. Low incomes mean more people depend on government assistance. About one in four Union City residents receive food stamps compared to only 12.5% of Indiana residents.

15. Keokuk, Iowa
> Town median household income: $33,608
> State median household income: $53,183
> Town poverty rate: 24.5%
> Town population: 10,705

Keokuk has the lowest median household income in Iowa. Low incomes and poverty rates tend to go hand in hand, and Keokuk’s 24.5% poverty rate is the highest of all towns of comparable size in the state. Home values in Keokuk also tend to be far lower than they are across the state. The typical area home is worth only $66,000, close to half of the $129,200 median home value across Iowa.