Poorest Town in Every State

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

31. Deming, New Mexico
> Town median household income: $26,044
> State median household income: $45,674
> Town poverty rate: 32.1%
> Town population: 14,582

The typical household in New Mexico earns just $45,674 a year, nearly $10,000 less than the median household income nationwide. In Deming, the poorest town in New Mexico, the median income is just $26,044 a year. Due to low incomes, a large share of town residents rely on government assistance to afford food. Some 32.8% of households in Deming receive SNAP benefits, well above both the national and statewide recipiency rates of 13.0% and 16.6%, respectively.

Source: Richard / Flickr

32. New Square, New York
> Town median household income: $21,773
> State median household income: $60,741
> Town poverty rate: 70.0%
> Town population: 7,804

New Square is by far the poorest town in New York. The median annual household income of $21,773 in New Square is nearly $5,000 below the that of Kiryas Joel, the next poorest town in the state, and only about a third of the median income across the state as a whole.

Not only is it the poorest town in New York state, but New Square also has the highest poverty and SNAP recipiency rates of any town in the United States. Some 70.0% of New Square residents live in poverty, and 77.1% of area households rely on SNAP benefits to afford food. In comparison, 15.1% of Americans live below the poverty line and 13.0% of households nationwide receive SNAP benefits.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

33. Mount Olive, North Carolina
> Town median household income: $26,099
> State median household income: $48,256
> Town poverty rate: 33.3%
> Town population: 4,734

North Carolina is one of the poorer states in the country. The median annual household income in the state of $48,256 is well below the national median of $55,322. As is the case in most poor states, the poorest town, Mount Olive, is not just the poorest in the state, but also one of the poorest in the entire country. Mount Olive, which is located in the eastern central part of the state, has a median household income of just $26,099 a year, just slightly more than half the national median and lower than the median income in all but 25 of the 2,668 towns considered for this list.

Source: Andrew Filer / Wikimedia Commons

34. Ellendale, North Dakota
> Town median household income: $42,744
> State median household income: $59,114
> Town poverty rate: 12.8%
> Town population: 1,432

There is a great deal of diversity in wealth across towns in North Dakota. The richest town is Williston, with a median household income of over $90,000 per year. At the other end of the state, and the income spectrum, is Ellendale, where the typical household earns $42,744 a year. While the northwest part of the state — which is where Williston is located — benefitted from the shale oil boom that started in the mid 2000s, Ellendale, in the southeast part of the state, largely missed the economic upswing.

Source: jauretsi / Flickr

35. East Cleveland, Ohio
> Town median household income: $19,953
> State median household income: $50,674
> Town poverty rate: 41.8%
> Town population: 17,413

As the nation’s seventh most populous state, several of the nation’s most populous metro areas are located in Ohio, including Cleveland. As is often the case with major metropolitan areas, Cleveland has areas of both extreme wealth and severe poverty. Hudson, Cleveland’s wealthiest suburb, has a median annual household income of $126,618. Meanwhile, East Cleveland, just a 45 minute drive from Hudson, has a median annual household income of just $19,953, less than one-sixth that of Hudson.