Special Report

Poorest Town in Every State

Source: Strekoza2 / iStock via Getty Images

Oregon: Prineville
> Median household income: $34,630 (state: $59,393)
> Poverty rate: 23.4% (state: 14.1%)
> Median home value: $164,300 (state: $287,300)
> Population: 9,748

Prineville, a small city in central Oregon, is the only place in the state where most households earn less than $35,000 a year. The area’s low incomes are reflected in real estate values. The typical home in the area is worth $164,300, well below the median home value of $287,300 across the state as a whole.

Prineville residents are also far more likely to live below the poverty line than the typical Oregon resident. The city’s poverty rate of 23.4% is nearly 10 percentage points higher than the 14.1% state poverty rate.

Source: Jupiterimages / Getty Images

Pennsylvania: Johnstown
> Median household income: $24,294 (state: $59,445)
> Poverty rate: 38.7% (state: 12.8%)
> Median home value: $39,700 (state: $174,100)
> Population: 19,812

Johnstown is a former steel boom town located in Cambria County in the Laurel Mountains of Pennsylvania. Like many Rust Belt cities, the city suffered population and economic decline in the second half of the 20th century as jobs in American steel and coal production dwindled. Since 1920, Johnstowns’ population has fallen from a peak of 67,327 to 19,812 today.

The typical household in Johnstown today earns just $24,294 a year, less than half the $59,445 state median household income and the $60,293 national figure. Some 43.8% of households receive food stamps, more than triple the 13.2% state and 12.2% national recipiency rates.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Rhode Island: Central Falls
> Median household income: $31,724 (state: $63,296)
> Poverty rate: 32.8% (state: 13.1%)
> Median home value: $147,800 (state: $249,800)
> Population: 19,382

The typical household in Central Falls, Rhode Island, earns just $31,724 a year, about half the amount the typical Rhode Island household makes annually. Poverty is also far more common in Central Falls than it is across the state. The city’s 32.8% poverty rate is more than double the 13.1% poverty rate statewide.

Incomes tend to rise with educational attainment, and in Central Falls, fewer than one in every 10 adults have a four-year college degree. Across Rhode Island, one in every three adults have a bachelor’s degree.

Source: Courtesy of Sicnag via Flickr

South Carolina: Dunean
> Median household income: $29,329 (state: $51,015)
> Poverty rate: 20.7% (state: 16.0%)
> Median home value: $82,100 (state: $154,800)
> Population: 3,605

Dunean is a Census-designated place of approximately 3,600 residents located in Greenville County, South Carolina. Founded as a mill town in the early 1900s, Dunean has experienced economic and population decline over the past several decades as employment in manufacturing has dwindled nationwide.

Today, the typical Dunean household earns just $29,329 a year, less than the $51,015 state median household income and less than half the $60,293 national figure. The typical home is worth just $82,100, compared to the state median home value of $154,800 and national median of $204,900.

South Dakota: Sisseton
> Median household income: $38,167 (state: $56,499)
> Poverty rate: 21.3% (state: 13.6%)
> Median home value: $71,000 (state: $159,100)
> Population: 2,486

Sisseton is a small city in eastern South Dakota with a median household income of just $38,167, making it the poorest place in the state. The majority of the area’s 2,500 residents identify as Native American, a historically economically disadvantaged group. The lack of economic opportunity in the area is reflected in the widespread poverty. More than one in every five Sisseton residents live below the poverty line, a far larger share than the state’s 13.6% poverty rate.

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.