As set by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the poverty threshold in America is an income of $12,140 for an individual and $25,100 for a family of four. Though the U.S. poverty rate is declining, more than one in eight Americans still live below the poverty line, representing over 43 million people.
In every major metro area in the country, more than 5% of residents live below the poverty line. These households are not evenly distributed across the country. Some areas have struggled with long term economic hardship, and in many of these, more than 20% of residents live in poverty. Other metropolitan areas have benefited from favorable economic conditions, and poverty rates in these cities fall well below the national average.
In five particularly prosperous cities, fewer than 7% of residents are impoverished. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed each major U.S. metropolitan area to determine the cities with the lowest poverty rates.
An area’s educational attainment often is a barometer of the area’s wealth. Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree are more likely to work in higher-paying jobs and earn higher salaries than those without a college degree.
Metropolitan areas with low poverty rates tend to also have low unemployment rates. People who are out of work are at much greater risk of living in poverty than those with a steady income.
Each of the five metro areas with extremely low poverty rates have different thriving industries that employ a large share of area workers. South Dakota has a favorable business climate, so many banks and financial institutions are located in Sioux Falls. Napa, California is known for its wine, and thousands of people work in local wineries and vineyards.
The five cities with the lowest share of residents in poverty are not clustered in a single region, but can be found all across the country: on the West Coast, the East Coast, the Midwest, and Alaska.
To determine 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, as provided by the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey.