Cities With the Lowest Poverty Rates

October 9, 2017 by Sam Stebbins

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services set the poverty line for 2017 at an annual income of $12,060 for individuals and $24,600 for families of four. Despite numerous policies aimed at reducing or eliminating poverty — including President Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty over half a century ago — an estimated 45.2 million Americans currently live in poverty.

The nationwide poverty rate is 14%, but serious financial hardship is much rarer in some parts of the United States. In dozens of major metropolitan areas, fewer than 1 in 10 residents live below the poverty line. Cities with relatively low poverty rates often share other economic characteristics as well.

Based on metro area-level poverty data from the U.S. Census Bureau, these are the 49 cities where less than 10% of the population lives in poverty.

The unemployed are at greater risk of living in poverty than those with jobs that provide steady income. Cities with low poverty rates indeed tend to have relatively strong economies with low unemployment. In 40 of the 49 metro areas on this list, the 2016 unemployment rate was lower than the nationwide jobless rate of 4.9%.

Cities with lower rates of serious financial hardship are also home to smaller shares of residents who depend on government assistance. Nationwide, 12.4% of the population receives SNAP benefits — formerly known as the Food Stamp Program — which are intended to help low-income Americans afford groceries. In only three cities on this list, a higher share of residents receive SNAP benefits than the nationwide share.

Not only do relatively fewer people live in poverty in the cities on this list, but also poverty levels are less severe and relatively fewer household live in extreme poverty. Nationwide, some 6.7% of households earn $10,000 or less a year — well below the $12,060 poverty line for an individual. In each city on this list, a smaller share of households earn $10,000 or less than is typical nationwide. In six metro areas on this list, the share of households earning $10,000 or less a year is less than half the comparable national share.

Certain U.S. regions appear to be more resistant to widespread poverty than others. For example, over half of all the metro areas on this list are either in the Midwest or the Northeast. Meanwhile, only four metro areas on this list are located in the South.

To identify the cities with the lowest poverty rates, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the share of all residents living on poverty level income in 382 U.S. metro areas. Only those areas with poverty rates of less than 10% were included in this list. Poverty rates, as well as median household income, SNAP recipiency, and the share of households with annual incomes below $10,000 all came from from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey. Annual unemployment figures are for 2016 and came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Click here to see the cities with the lowest poverty rates.

Source: Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

49. York-Hanover, PA
> Poverty rate: 9.9% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 4.7%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 12.0%
> Households with income under $10,000: 4.3%
> Median household income: $62,462

Source: Thinkstock

48. Worcester, MA-CT
> Poverty rate: 9.9% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 4.0%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 12.6%
> Households with income under $10,000: 5.4%
> Median household income: $67,763

Source: Thinkstock

47. The Villages, FL
> Poverty rate: 9.9% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 7.0%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 5.1%
> Households with income under $10,000: 5.4%
> Median household income: $54,562

Source: Thinkstock

46. Fairbanks, AK
> Poverty rate: 9.9% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 5.7%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 6.0%
> Households with income under $10,000: 3.7%
> Median household income: $77,328

Source: Thinkstock

45. Cedar Rapids, IA
> Poverty rate: 9.9% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.8%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 9.4%
> Households with income under $10,000: 4.9%
> Median household income: $63,385

Source: Thinkstock

44. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY
> Poverty rate: 9.9% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 4.1%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 11.2%
> Households with income under $10,000: 5.0%
> Median household income: $65,855

Source: jdwfoto / Shutterstock.com

43. Pittsfield, MA
> Poverty rate: 9.8%
> 2016 unemployment rate: 4.4%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 12.9%
> Households with income under $10,000: 5.0%
> Median household income: $58,418

Source: Thinkstock

42. Monroe, MI
> Poverty rate: 9.7% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 4.3%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 11.6%
> Households with income under $10,000: 5.6%
> Median household income: $60,799

Source: Thinkstock

41. Cheyenne, WY
> Poverty rate: 9.7% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 4.1%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 6.4%
> Households with income under $10,000: 4.5%
> Median household income: $62,221

Source: Thinkstock

40. Wenatchee, WA
> Poverty rate: 9.6% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 6.3%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 10.0%
> Households with income under $10,000: 5.1%
> Median household income: $52,231

Source: Thinkstock

39. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
> Poverty rate: 9.6% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 4.5%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 10.5%
> Households with income under $10,000: 4.6%
> Median household income: $78,612

Source: Thinkstock

38. Gettysburg, PA
> Poverty rate: 9.6% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 4.0%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 9.4%
> Households with income under $10,000: 3.5%
> Median household income: $59,300

Source: Thinkstock

37. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
> Poverty rate: 9.6% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.4%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 10.4%
> Households with income under $10,000: 5.5%
> Median household income: $82,380

Source: Thinkstock

36. Topeka, KS
> Poverty rate: 9.5% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 4.1%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 8.0%
> Households with income under $10,000: 5.1%
> Median household income: $56,548

Source: Thinkstock

35. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA
> Poverty rate: 9.5% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 5.2%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 7.0%
> Households with income under $10,000: 3.3%
> Median household income: $80,135

Source: Thinkstock

34. Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA
> Poverty rate: 9.5% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.4%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 11.8%
> Households with income under $10,000: 4.3%
> Median household income: $65,704

Source: Thinkstock

33. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
> Poverty rate: 9.4% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.8%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 5.5%
> Households with income under $10,000: 3.4%
> Median household income: $110,040

Source: Thinkstock

32. Rochester, MN
> Poverty rate: 9.4% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.2%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 6.5%
> Households with income under $10,000: 4.3%
> Median household income: $70,078

Source: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

31. Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA
> Poverty rate: 9.4% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 4.5%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 9.9%
> Households with income under $10,000: 4.1%
> Median household income: $61,467

Source: Thinkstock

30. Green Bay, WI
> Poverty rate: 9.4% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.8%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 9.0%
> Households with income under $10,000: 5.2%
> Median household income: $58,011

Source: Thinkstock

29. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
> Poverty rate: 9.4% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.1%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 7.0%
> Households with income under $10,000: 4.3%
> Median household income: $71,926

Source: Thinkstock

28. Lebanon, PA
> Poverty rate: 9.3%
> 2016 unemployment rate: 4.5%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 11.3%
> Households with income under $10,000: 3.6%
> Median household income: $57,248

Source: Thinkstock

27. Santa Rosa, CA
> Poverty rate: 9.2% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 4.0%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 6.8%
> Households with income under $10,000: 3.9%
> Median household income: $73,929

Source: Thinkstock

26. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
> Poverty rate: 9.2% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.8%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 5.5%
> Households with income under $10,000: 4.2%
> Median household income: $96,677

Source: Phillip Stewart / Flickr

25. Casper, WY
> Poverty rate: 9.2% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 7.1%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 8.3%
> Households with income under $10,000: 6.4%
> Median household income: $59,474

Source: Thinkstock

24. Bismarck, ND
> Poverty rate: 9.2% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 2.9%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 4.6%
> Households with income under $10,000: 5.8%
> Median household income: $65,527

Source: Thinkstock

23. Salt Lake City, UT
> Poverty rate: 9.1% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.2%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 6.9%
> Households with income under $10,000: 4.0%
> Median household income: $68,196

Source: Thinkstock

22. Portland-South Portland, ME
> Poverty rate: 9.1% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.0%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 10.1%
> Households with income under $10,000: 5.2%
> Median household income: $63,422

Source: danlogan / Thinkstock

21. Norwich-New London, CT
> Poverty rate: 9.0%
> 2016 unemployment rate: 5.2%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 11.4%
> Households with income under $10,000: 4.7%
> Median household income: $70,699

Source: Thinkstock

20. Sioux Falls, SD
> Poverty rate: 8.9%
> 2016 unemployment rate: 2.3%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 7.6%
> Households with income under $10,000: 4.5%
> Median household income: $63,931

Source: Thinkstock

19. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
> Poverty rate: 8.8%
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.6%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 7.8%
> Households with income under $10,000: 4.1%
> Median household income: $73,231

Source: Thinkstock

18. Jefferson City, MO
> Poverty rate: 8.6% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.8%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 8.8%
> Households with income under $10,000: 5.5%
> Median household income: $55,031

Source: Thinkstock

17. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT
> Poverty rate: 8.6% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 5.0%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 9.2%
> Households with income under $10,000: 4.4%
> Median household income: $90,123

Source: Thinkstock

16. Urban Honolulu, HI
> Poverty rate: 8.5%
> 2016 unemployment rate: 2.8%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 9.8%
> Households with income under $10,000: 5.2%
> Median household income: $80,513

Source: Thinkstock

15. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
> Poverty rate: 8.4%
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.8%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 7.3%
> Households with income under $10,000: 4.6%
> Median household income: $95,843

Source: Thinkstock

14. Midland, TX
> Poverty rate: 8.3% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 4.4%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 7.8%
> Households with income under $10,000: 3.9%
> Median household income: $65,224

Source: Thinkstock

13. Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI
> Poverty rate: 8.3% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.2%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 13.2%
> Households with income under $10,000: 5.6%
> Median household income: $72,268

Source: Thinkstock

12. Midland, MI
> Poverty rate: 8.2% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 4.5%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 11.3%
> Households with income under $10,000: 4.5%
> Median household income: $57,269

Source: Thinkstock

11. Manchester-Nashua, NH
> Poverty rate: 8.2% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 2.7%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 7.7%
> Households with income under $10,000: 4.4%
> Median household income: $76,254

Source: Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

10. Winchester, VA-WV
> Poverty rate: 8.0% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.7%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 6.9%
> Households with income under $10,000: 3.2%
> Median household income: $60,962

Source: Thinkstock

9. Ogden-Clearfield, UT
> Poverty rate: 8.0% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.4%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 7.5%
> Households with income under $10,000: 3.9%
> Median household income: $70,227

Source: Thinkstock

8. Chambersburg-Waynesboro, PA
> Poverty rate: 8.0% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 5.2%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 9.1%
> Households with income under $10,000: 3.5%
> Median household income: $60,559

7. Appleton, WI
> Poverty rate: 7.6%
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.6%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 7.4%
> Households with income under $10,000: 2.8%
> Median household income: $63,902

Source: Thinkstock

6. Napa, CA
> Poverty rate: 7.3% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 4.3%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 4.6%
> Households with income under $10,000: 3.9%
> Median household income: $75,077

Source: Thinkstock

5. Billings, MT
> Poverty rate: 7.3% (tied)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.6%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 6.6%
> Households with income under $10,000: 4.1%
> Median household income: $58,037

Source: Thinkstock

4. Anchorage, AK
> Poverty rate: 7.2%
> 2016 unemployment rate: 5.9%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 8.9%
> Households with income under $10,000: 2.9%
> Median household income: $82,203

Source: Thinkstock

3. Fond du Lac, WI
> Poverty rate: 6.6%
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.6%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 9.5%
> Households with income under $10,000: 3.2%
> Median household income: $58,310

Source: Kevin Rutherford / Flickr

2. Barnstable Town, MA
> Poverty rate: 6.5%
> 2016 unemployment rate: 4.4%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 8.2%
> Households with income under $10,000: 4.3%
> Median household income: $67,898

Source: Thinkstock

1. Sheboygan, WI
> Poverty rate: 5.4%
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.5%
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 9.0%
> Households with income under $10,000: 3.3%
> Median household income: $54,059