Special Report

Poorest Town in Every State

Source: 129679309@N05 / Flickr

Nebraska: Superior
> Median household income: $36,422 (state: $59,116)
> Poverty rate: 12.7% (state: 11.6%)
> Median home value: $61,100 (state: $147,800)
> Population: 1,929

Superior is a small city of approximately 1,900 residents in southeastern Nebraska. The typical Superior household earns just $36,422 a year, the least of any place in Nebraska and far less than the state median household income of $59,116. The typical home is worth just $61,000, the lowest median home value of any place in Nebraska and nearly the lowest nationwide.

One of the main determinants of income is educational attainment. In Superior, just 21.4% of adults have a bachelor’s degree, far less than the 31.3% state college attainment rate and than the 31.5% national figure.

Source: 4kodiak / Getty Images

Nevada: Laughlin
> Median household income: $33,851 (state: $57,598)
> Poverty rate: 15.1% (state: 13.7%)
> Median home value: $147,600 (state: $242,400)
> Population: 7,502

Laughlin is a Census designated place in southern Nevada. It is the only community in the state where most households earn less than $34,000 a year. Incomes tend to rise with educational attainment, and in Laughlin, only 13.0% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, well below the 24.2% share of adults across Nevada.

As is typically the case among the places on this list, Laughlin is losing residents faster than it is drawing them in. In the last five years, the number of people living there fell by 2.5%, even as Nevada’s population expanded by 7.1%.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

New Hampshire: Berlin
> Median household income: $38,315 (state: $74,057)
> Poverty rate: 19.8% (state: 7.9%)
> Median home value: $88,300 (state: $252,800)
> Population: 10,382

Berlin is a small city of about 10,000 in northern New Hampshire. The poorest community in the state, Berlin has a median household income of just $38,315, only slightly more than half the statewide median household income of $74,057. Berlin’s real estate values reflect the area’s low incomes. Most houses in Berlin are worth less than $90,000, while most homes across New Hampshire are worth over a quarter of a million dollars.

Source: Mr. Matté / Wikimedia Commons

New Jersey: Crestwood Village
> Median household income: $28,708 (state: $79,363)
> Poverty rate: 10.4% (state: 10.4%)
> Median home value: $72,700 (state: $327,900)
> Population: 8,164

Though New Jersey is home to lower-income places, including Atlantic City and Camden, Crestwood Village, a Census designated place in central New Jersey, is the state’s poorest community with a population of less than 25,000. The typical household in Crestwood Village earns only $28,708 a year, far less than half the median income across the state of $79,363.

Despite the low incomes, area residents are not more likely to live below the poverty line than the typical New Jersey resident. Crestwood Village has a 10.4% poverty rate, in line with New Jersey’s poverty rate.

Source: library_of_congress / Flickr

New Mexico: Belen
> Median household income: $33,553 (state: $48,059)
> Poverty rate: 24.4% (state: 20.0%)
> Median home value: $104,300 (state: $166,800)
> Population: 7,106

Belen is a small city in central New Mexico, about 30 miles south of Albuquerque. Most households in Belen earn less than $34,000 a year, and nearly a quarter of local residents live below the poverty line. Meanwhile, most households across New Mexico earn over $48,000 a year, and one in five state residents live below the poverty line.

Due to low incomes in the area, Belen residents are more likely to depend on government benefits to be able to afford food. Nearly 30% of area households receive SNAP benefits, compared to the 16.9% statewide SNAP recipiency rate.