Poorest Town in Every State

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Source: Valis55 / Wikimedia Commons

36. Arkoma, Oklahoma
> Town median household income: $26,352
> State median household income: $48,038
> Town poverty rate: 34.1%
> Town population: 1,912

At $48,038, Oklahoma has the 10th lowest median annual household income of any state. To compare, the median household income nationwide is $55,322. The small town of Arkoma is the poorest in Oklahoma, with a median annual household income of $26,352, barely half the state’s figure. More than one-third of the town’s population lives below the poverty line, one of the highest poverty rates not just in the state, but in any American town or city.

Source: Jasperdo / Flickr

37. Reedsport, Oregon
> Town median household income: $32,677
> State median household income: $53,270
> Town poverty rate: 23.9%
> Town population: 4,088

Oregon has one of the widest disparities between the richest and poorest towns of any state. The state’s richest area, the Portland suburb Bethany, has a median annual household income of $117,056, which is nearly $85,000 greater than the median income in the state’s poorest town, Reedsport. The low median income in Reedsport is underscored by the high share of residents receiving financial support. More than one in four households in Reedsport receive SNAP benefits, compared to the national recipiency rate of 13% of households.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

38. Johnstown, Pennsylvania
> Town median household income: $24,075
> State median household income: $54,895
> Town poverty rate: 37%
> Town population: 20,169

The typical household in Johnstown earns $24,075 a year, less than half the median income of $54,895 a year across Pennsylvania as a whole. Because so many live on low incomes, a relatively large share of Johnstown residents rely on SNAP benefits. The town’s 38.8% SNAP recipiency rate is nearly three times the statewide rate of 13.0%.

Source: Sean / Flickr

39. Central Falls, Rhode Island
> Town median household income: $28,901
> State median household income: $58,387
> Town poverty rate: 32.7%
> Town population: 19,366

Central Falls is the poorest town in Rhode Island. The $28,901 median annual household income in Central Falls is less than half that of the Newport East area, the state’s next poorest town, where the typical household earns $59,680 a year. Educational attainment across a population can be an indicator of incomes as a college degree tends to lead to better-paying jobs. Just 8.7% of Central Falls’ adults have a bachelor’s degree, compared to 30.3% of the nation’s adults and 32.5% of adults in Rhode Island.

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40. Belton, South Carolina
> Town median household income: $29,329
> State median household income: $46,898
> Town poverty rate: 24.3%
> Town population: 4,296

A high school education is often a prerequisite for any full-time job, high paying or otherwise. In Belton, the poorest town in South Carolina, about one in every five adults do not have a high school diploma. Perhaps not surprisingly, Belton. Belton is the only town in the state where over half of all households earn less than $30,000 a year.