Poorest Town in Every State

Print Email

Source: Alexander Farnsworth / Getty Images

Massachusetts: North Adams
> Median household income: $38,774 (state: $74,167)
> Poverty rate: 17.8% (state: 11.1%)
> Median home value: $147,500 (state: $352,600)
> Population: 13,211

North Adams is a small northwestern Massachusetts city of 13,000, located near the Vermont and New York state borders. Of all towns and cities in the state of comparable size, North Adams has the lowest median household income by far. The typical household in the town earns just $38,774 a year — nearly $8,000 less than the median income in Athol, the second poorest town in the state.

Overall, Massachusetts is one of the wealthiest states in the country. The typical household in the state earns $74,167 a year, $16,500 more than the typical American household income.

Source: Andrew Jameson / Wikimedia Commons

Michigan: Hamtramck
> Median household income: $24,369 (state: $52,668)
> Poverty rate: 50.9% (state: 15.6%)
> Median home value: $53,900 (state: $136,400)
> Population: 21,959

Hamtramck is the poorest town in Michigan and one of the poorest towns in the United States. The majority of area households earn $25,000 a year or less — less than half the statewide median annual household income of $52,668. Hamtramck is one of only three towns in the United States where over half of the population lives below the poverty line. Due to widespread financial insecurity, about 45% of Hamtramck’s 22,000 residents rely on SNAP benefits.

Source: diversey / Flickr

Minnesota: Brainerd
> Median household income: $34,358 (state: $65,699)
> Poverty rate: 16.4% (state: 10.5%)
> Median home value: $110,400 (state: $199,700)
> Population: 13,394

Brainerd is a small town of less than 15,000 in central Minnesota. It is the only town in the state where over 50% of households earn less than $35,000 a year. Though the median household income in Brainerd is the lowest in the state — and about $23,000 less than the national median annual household income — the poverty rate is not especially high relative to most towns on this list. Some 16.4% of Brainerd’s population lives below the poverty line, well above the 10.5% state poverty rate, but only slightly higher than the 14.6% national poverty rate.

Source: rustyl3599 / Getty Images

Mississippi: Vicksburg
> Median household income: $29,799 (state: $42,009)
> Poverty rate: 36.1% (state: 21.5%)
> Median home value: $96,800 (state: $109,300)
> Population: 22,961

Vicksburg is the poorest town in the poorest state in the country. The typical Mississippi household earns just $42,009 a year, nearly $16,000 less than the typical American household. In Vicksburg, over half of households earn less than $30,000 a year. Additionally, more than one in every three Vicksburg residents live below the poverty line, compared to 21.5% of Mississippi residents and 14.6% of Americans.

Source: Parker Botanical / Wikimedia Commons

Missouri: Fredericktown
> Median household income: $24,640 (state: $51,542)
> Poverty rate: 28.9% (state: 14.6%)
> Median home value: $84,500 (state: $145,400)
> Population: 3,999

Fredericktown is a small eastern Missouri town of about 4,000 people. The poorest town in the state, Fredericktown has a median annual household income of $24,640, less than half the median income of $51,542 across the state as a whole.

Incomes typically rise with educational attainment. In Fredericktown, just 16.7% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 28.2% of adults in Missouri.