Special Report

Poorest City in Every State

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Colorado: Pueblo
> Median household income: $43,148 (state: $77,127)
> Poverty rate: 22.9% (state: 9.3%)
> Median home value: $159,800 (state: $394,600)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 20.2% (state: 42.7%)
> 2019 unemployment rate: 6.7% (state: 3.7%)
> Population: 112,357

The median household income in Pueblo, Colorado, of $43,148 is well short of the state’s median household income of $77,127. Of Colorado’s 16 major cities, Pueblo is the only one with a median annual household income of less than $60,000.

Workers with a college degree tend to have higher incomes and lower unemployment rates than workers with lower levels of education. Pueblo has by far the lowest bachelor’s degree attainment rate of any Colorado city, at 20.2% — less than half of the state’s rate. Nearly 23% of Pueblo residents live below the poverty line, compared to 9.3% of Colorado residents overall.

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Connecticut: Hartford
> Median household income: $36,762 (state: $78,833)
> Poverty rate: 27.1% (state: 10.0%)
> Median home value: $173,500 (state: $280,700)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 14.8% (state: 39.8%)
> 2019 unemployment rate: 10.6% (state: 5.3%)
> Population: 122,107

Hartford is the poorest city in Connecticut and the 18th poorest city in the entire country, with a median household income of $36,762. Connecticut is one of the most educated states in the country, with nearly 40% of adults 25 and older holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. Yet Hartford has one of the nation’s lowest bachelor’s degree attainment rates, as fewer than 15% of adult residents finished college.

More than a quarter of Hartford residents live below the poverty line, far exceeding the state’s poverty rate of 10% and the national poverty rate of 12.3%. The city’s unemployment rate is twice as high as the state’s 5.3% unemployment rate — both of which are higher than the 4.5% U.S. annual unemployment rate.

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Delaware: Wilmington
> Median household income: $47,722 (state: $70,176)
> Poverty rate: 29.8% (state: 11.3%)
> Median home value: $174,400 (state: $261,700)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 29.0% (state: 33.2%)
> 2019 unemployment rate: 7.3% (state: 4.6%)
> Population: 70,164

As the only major city in Delaware, Wilmington is the poorest city in the state by default. Still, like many other cities on this list, the city’s median household income of $47,722 is well below the state’s median of $70,176. Wilmington’s bachelor’s degree attainment rate of 29.0% is only slightly lower than the state’s rate of 33.2%. Yet the city’s poverty rate of 29.8% is nearly three times as high as the state’s poverty rate of 11.3%.

In Wilmington, 16.3% of households live on $10,000 per year or less, the 10th highest percentage in the country and well above the 5.8% share nationwide.

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Florida: Gainesville
> Median household income: $39,201 (state: $59,227)
> Poverty rate: 26.1% (state: 12.7%)
> Median home value: $187,200 (state: $245,100)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 46.1% (state: 30.7%)
> 2019 unemployment rate: 3.6% (state: 4.5%)
> Population: 133,990

Gainesville, located in Northern Florida, is the poorest city in the state, with a median annual household income that is more than $20,000 below Florida’s median of $59,227. Gainesville has a 26.1% poverty rate, more than double Florida’s 12.7% poverty rate.

Workers with college degrees tend to earn more than workers with lower levels of education. Gainesville still ranks as Florida’s poorest city despite being one of its most highly educated, with 46.1% of those 25 and older holding at least a bachelor’s degree. Gainesville is home to the University of Florida, and students in cities with large universities often skew poverty data.

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Georgia: Albany
> Median household income: $31,397 (state: $61,980)
> Poverty rate: 31.0% (state: 13.3%)
> Median home value: $108,400 (state: $202,500)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 17.3% (state: 32.5%)
> 2019 unemployment rate: 12.5% (state: 4.8%)
> Population: 70,643

Albany, Georgia’s 2019 unemployment rate is not only the highest in the state, but also the sixth highest in the entire country, at 12.5%. This is well beyond the state’s 4.8% unemployment rate and national 4.5% unemployment rate. This lack of jobs may contribute to Albany’s state-lowest $31,397 median household income.

Albany also has one of the 10 highest poverty rates of U.S. cities, at 31%. It also ranks fifth in the country in the percentage of households living on less than $10,000 per year, at 17.6%, more than triple the U.S. share.