Poorest Town in Every State

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Source: Brandonrush / Wikimedia Commons

Kansas: Fort Scott
> Median household income: $31,542 (state: $55,477)
> Poverty rate: 18.7% (state: 12.8%)
> Median home value: $63,800 (state: $139,200)
> Population: 7,822

The typical household in Kansas earns $55,477 a year, nearly in line with the median annual household income of $57,652 nationwide. Income levels in the state, however, are uneven. In Fort Scott, a town of about 8,000 people in eastern Kansas, the typical household earns just $31,542 a year.

The area’s low incomes are reflected in property values. The typical Fort Scott home is worth just $63,800, less than half the $139,200 median home value across the state.

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Kentucky: Glasgow
> Median household income: $30,731 (state: $46,535)
> Poverty rate: 29.0% (state: 18.3%)
> Median home value: $110,600 (state: $130,000)
> Population: 14,318

With a median annual household income of $46,535, about $10,000 less than the national median, Kentucky is one of the poorest states in the country. In Glasgow, a town of about 14,000 in southern Kentucky, incomes are even lower. The typical Glasgow household earns just $30,731 a year. The area’s high poverty rate is indicative of the low incomes. Some 29% of Glasgow residents live below the poverty line, well above the 18.3% state poverty rate and the 14.6% national rate.

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Louisiana: Bastrop
> Median household income: $21,364 (state: $46,710)
> Poverty rate: 43.5% (state: 19.6%)
> Median home value: $73,000 (state: $152,900)
> Population: 10,643

Bastrop is the poorest town in one of the poorest states. The median annual household income in Louisiana is $46,710, about $10,000 less than the national median. In Bastrop, a small town in northern Louisiana, the typical household lives on just $21,364 a year. Bastrop’s 43.5% poverty rate is more than double the 19.6% state poverty rate and nearly triple the 14.6% national poverty rate. Due to widespread financial hardship, over a third of Bastrop’s 10,600 residents depend on SNAP benefits.

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Maine: Presque Isle
> Median household income: $37,036 (state: $53,024)
> Poverty rate: 23.2% (state: 12.9%)
> Median home value: $108,700 (state: $179,900)
> Population: 9,246

Presque Isle is a small town in northeastern Maine. The typical household in the town earns just $37,036 a year, the lowest median income of any town in the state. Presque Isle is the only small town in the state where most households earn less than $40,000 a year. The town’s poverty rate of 23.2% is also the highest of any Maine town, as is the 12.0% of area households earning less than $10,000 a year. Statewide, just 6.4% of households earn less than $10,000 a year.

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Maryland: Cumberland
> Median household income: $32,825 (state: $78,916)
> Poverty rate: 24.4% (state: 9.7%)
> Median home value: $89,600 (state: $296,500)
> Population: 20,084

With a median annual household income of $78,916, Maryland is the wealthiest state in the country. Still, Maryland’s poorest town ranks among the poorest towns in the country. In Cumberland, a northern Maryland town situated along the West Virginia state border, the typical household earns just $32,825 a year — nearly $25,000 less than the national median income and less than half the state median. Additionally, nearly one in every four Cumberland residents live below the poverty line.

Many of Maryland’s wealthier towns are located on the other side of the state, in and around the Washington D.C. metro area.