Poorest Town in Every State

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Oklahoma: Wewoka
> Median household income: $25,567 (state: $49,767)
> Poverty rate: 41.7% (state: 16.2%)
> Median home value: $46,400 (state: $125,800)
> Population: 3,396

Over a third of Wewoka, Oklahoma, residents rely on SNAP benefits to afford groceries, and an even larger 41.7% of the population lives below the poverty line. The typical household in the central Oklahoma town earns just $25,567 a year, $24,200 less than the typical Oklahoma household. Low incomes in the area are reflected in the low home values. Wewoka is one of just two Oklahoma towns where most homes are worth less than $50,000. Across the state as a whole, the typical home is worth $125,800.

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Oregon: Coquille
> Median household income: $31,220 (state: $56,119)
> Poverty rate: 21.7% (state: 14.9%)
> Median home value: $134,500 (state: $265,700)
> Population: 3,846

The typical household in Oregon earns $56,119 a year, nearly in line with the national median income of $57,652. In some parts of the state, however, residents are far less likely to be as financially secure as the typical American. In Coquille, for example, a small town in the western part of the state, the typical household earns just $31,220 a year.

College graduates typically earn far more than those with just a high school diploma, and in Coquille, just 12.1% of adults have a bachelor’s degree, a fraction of the 32.3% statewide bachelor’s degree attainment rate.

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Pennsylvania: Johnstown
> Median household income: $23,636 (state: $56,951)
> Poverty rate: 37.9% (state: 13.1%)
> Median home value: $41,500 (state: $170,500)
> Population: 19,967

The median annual household income in Pennsylvania of $56,951 is nearly in line with the national median household income of $57,652. Still, the state is home to some of the poorest towns in the United States. In Johnstown, a town of about 20,000 70 miles east of Pittsburgh, the median household income is about half what it is across the state as a whole, and 37.9% of the population lives below the poverty line, the highest poverty rate of any town in the state and more than triple the 13.1% poverty rate across Pennsylvania.

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Rhode Island: Central Falls
> Median household income: $30,794 (state: $61,043)
> Poverty rate: 30.7% (state: 13.4%)
> Median home value: $149,100 (state: $242,200)
> Population: 19,395

Central Falls, a small town in northern Rhode Island, is by far the poorest town in the state. The typical household in town earns just $30,794 a year, about half the median income in Westerly, the second poorest town in the state. Additionally, Central Falls’ 30.7% poverty rate is more than double the poverty rate of any other town for which accurate data is available in the state.

Incomes tend to rise with educational attainment, and Central Falls is home to a far smaller than typical share of college graduates. Just 8.0% of adults in town have a bachelor’s degree or higher. In every other Rhode Island town, at least 30% of adults have a bachelor’s degree.

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South Carolina: Central
> Median household income: $26,623 (state: $48,781)
> Poverty rate: 40.8% (state: 16.6%)
> Median home value: $106,400 (state: $148,600)
> Population: 5,161

Central is the poorest town in one of the poorest states in the country. The typical Central household earns just $26,623 a year, compared to the median annual household income of $48,781 across the state as a whole — which itself is about $9,000 less than what the typical American household earns in a year.

Low incomes are likely partly the result to the large number of students living in the area, as Central is home to Southern Wesleyan University and its roughly 1,500 students. In most towns on this list, large shares of the population rely on SNAP benefits to afford groceries. In Central, just 5.7% of residents receive SNAP benefits, compared to 14.0% of residents across the state.