Cities With the Lowest Poverty Rates

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Detailed Findings

A strong job market makes it easier for those who want work to find it, and can result in reduced financial hardship. Not surprisingly, economic conditions in cities with low poverty rates are generally good.

Of the 30 cities with poverty rates below 9.0%, 22 have an unemployment rate at or below the 4.4% annual national rate. In one third of the cities on this list, the unemployment rate ranks among the lowest 10% of all U.S. metro areas.

Federal programs like SNAP — formerly known as food stamps — are meant to help those struggling with serious financial hardship afford groceries. Due in to low poverty rates, the share of residents in the cities on this list who depend on SNAP is relatively low. East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania is the only city on this list with a higher SNAP recipiency rate than the 11.7% national rate.

Adults with a college education have access to a greater number of high paying jobs and are less likely to face serious financial hardship. Low poverty rates and the higher than typical median incomes common in the cities on this list are likely due in part to high educational attainment rates. Nearly two-thirds of the cities on this list are home to a larger than typical share of adults with a bachelor’s degree.

Methodology

To identify the cities with the lowest poverty rates, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed poverty data for the 382 U.S. metro areas from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 1-year American Community Survey. In cases where two or more cities had the same poverty rate, we used median household income as a tiebreaker, favoring the city with a higher median income. Only those areas with poverty rates below 9.0% were included on this list. Poverty rates, as well as median household income, and SNAP recipiency also came from the ACS. Annual unemployment figures are for 2017 and came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.