The United States is in the midst of its longest period of job growth in history. The total number of jobs in the country has increased for 108 consecutive months, driving down the unemployment rate. When people have good, stable jobs, they have better financial security. Nationwide, certain metro areas have benefitted from these strong economic conditions more than others.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed the share of residents living in households with incomes below the poverty line in 382 U.S. metro areas with one-year data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey to identify the cities with the lowest poverty rates.
The metro areas with the lowest poverty rates are spread out relatively evenly across the country. There are 42 metro areas, in 22 different states and Washington D.C., with a poverty rate of 9.3% or less — well below the national 13.1% poverty rate. California has five metro areas on this list, more than any other state, while Wisconsin and Washington each have four.
It should come as no surprise that many of these cities with a low share of residents living in poverty have many other positive economic indicators, such as low unemployment. These are the cities adding the most jobs in every state.
Not all of the metro areas with the lowest poverty rates are necessarily wealthy. Some places on the West Coast — like San Jose, San Francisco, and Seattle — are home to many wealthy residents and have median annual household incomes near or above $100,000. Yet many midwestern cities on this list have low poverty rates while having median household incomes close to or below the national median. These are America’s richest and poorest states.