Special Report

Poorest Town in Every State

26. Deer Lodge, Montana
> Town median household income: $37,934
> State median household income: $47,169
> Town poverty rate: 16.0%
> Town population: 3,056

In Deer Lodge, Montana’s poorest town, the typical household earns only $37,934, less than any other town of comparable size in the state. While incomes are low in the town, income is relatively even distributed, and extremely low incomes are not much more common than across the country. Deer Lodge’s poverty rate of 16% is only slightly higher than the national rate of 15.5%.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

27. Red Cloud, Nebraska
> Town median household income: $32,917
> State median household income: $52,997
> Town poverty rate: 22.1%
> Town population: 1,075

The typical Red Cloud household earns only $32,917 a year, about $20,000 less than the statewide median income. Red Cloud’s poverty rate, while not as high as in many poor towns on this list, is still 22.1% — well above the 15.5% national poverty rate and nearly twice the statewide rate.

One of the smallest poor towns on this list, Red Cloud has a population of just 1,075 people.

28. Sun Valley, Nevada
> Town median household income: $44,013
> State median household income: $51,847
> Town poverty rate: 19.6%
> Town population: 19,663

The typical household in Sun Valley, Nevada’s poorest town, earns $44,013 a year, less than the state’s median household income of $51,847. The wealthiest town in the state, Spanish Springs, is located just a few miles down State Route 445. The typical Spanish Springs household earns $78,604 a year, roughly $35,000 more than in Sun Valley. Still, the income gap between Nevada’s richest and poorest towns is far less than the $90,000 average difference across all 50 states.

Source: Bob Gunderson / Flickr

29. Berlin, New Hampshire
> Town median household income: $35,523
> State median household income: $66,779
> Town poverty rate: 20.3%
> Town population: 9,580

Educational attainment is often a strong indicator of regional affluence. Those with a college education, for example, are more likely to find stable employment and earn above poverty wages. In Berlin, New Hampshire’s poorest town, barely one in 10 adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to more than one in three adults statewide.

Source: Mr. Matté / Wikimedia Commons

30. Crestwood Village, New Jersey
> Town median household income: $29,649
> State median household income: $72,093
> Town poverty rate: 10.4%
> Town population: 7,958

With a median household income of $72,093 a year, New Jersey is one of the wealthiest states in the country. Not all parts of the state are especially well off, however. The typical household in Crestwood Village earns only $29,649 a year — less than half the statewide median income. Low incomes are more common in areas with low educational attainment, and in Crestwood Village, only 12.2% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, about a third of the bachelor’s degree attainment rate statewide.

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