Poorest Town in Every State
Hawaii: Hawaiian Paradise Park
> Median household income: $51,908 (state: $74,923)
> Poverty rate: 22.2% (state: 10.3%)
> Median home value: $255,300 (state: $563,900)
> Population: 11,564
Hawaii is one of the wealthiest states in the country. The median annual household income in Hawaii is $74,923, more than in every other state except New Jersey, Maryland, and Alaska. Even in Hawaiian Paradise Park, the poorest town in the state, the typical household earns $51,908 a year — compared to the national median household income of $57,652.
Even though the median income in Hawaiian Paradise Park is higher than the median incomes in most towns on this list, the town’s poverty rate is high. More than one in every five town residents live below the poverty line, more than double the 10.3% state poverty rate and well above the 14.5% national poverty rate.
Idaho: Bonners Ferry
> Median household income: $30,971 (state: $50,985)
> Poverty rate: 22.5% (state: 14.5%)
> Median home value: $148,200 (state: $176,800)
> Population: 2,502
Bonners Ferry is a small town in northern Idaho of less than 3,000 people. The typical household in Bonners Ferry earns just $30,971 a year, less than any every other town in the state. Jobs in forestry and lumber production are far more concentrated in Bonners Ferry than they are nationwide, and annual wages for logging workers are typically lower than most other jobs.
> Median household income: $17,441 (state: $61,229)
> Poverty rate: 48.1% (state: 13.5%)
> Median home value: $47,900 (state: $179,700)
> Population: 5,094
The typical household in Illinois earns $61,229 a year, about $3,600 more than the typical American household income. Despite Illinois’ relatively high median annual household income, the state is home to the poorest town in the United States. In Centreville, a small town of about 5,000 just outside of East St. Louis, the typical household earns just $17,441 a year, and 48.1% of the population lives below the poverty line. Due to widespread financial insecurity, 36.9% of the population depends on SNAP benefits to afford groceries. Meanwhile, the SNAP recipiency rates across the state and nationally are 13.3% and 12.6%, respectively.
> Median household income: $33,709 (state: $52,182)
> Poverty rate: 21.5% (state: 14.6%)
> Median home value: $76,600 (state: $130,200)
> Population: 3,520
Knox is a small northern Indiana town of 3,500. The poorest town in the state, Knox has a median annual household income of $33,709, about $18,500 less than the median income across the state as a whole. Real estate values are often indicative of what area residents can afford. In Knox, the typical home is worth just $76,600 — well below Indiana’s $130,200 median home value.
> Median household income: $31,089 (state: $56,570)
> Poverty rate: 25.3% (state: 12.0%)
> Median home value: $93,500 (state: $137,200)
> Population: 2,849
Onawa, a small town in western Iowa, is the only town in the state where more than one in every four residents live below the poverty line. As the poorest town in the state, Onawa has a median annual household income of just $31,089, about $25,000 less than the median annual income across Iowa as a whole. Because of widespread financial insecurity, Onawa’s 24.9% SNAP benefit recipiency rate is more than double the 11.2% rate for all of Iowa residents.