Special Report

Poorest City in Every State

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Montana: Missoula
> Median household income: $50,194 (state: $57,153)
> Poverty rate: 13.8% (state: 12.6%)
> Median home value: $317,800 (state: $253,600)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 48.8% (state: 33.6%)
> 2019 unemployment rate: 6.2% (state: 4.1%)
> Population: 75,527

Missoula is one of just two major cities in Montana, along with Billings. With a median household income of $50,194 — over $8,000 lower than that of Billings — Missoula is the poorest city in Montana.

Missoula has a relatively high share of households living on less than $10,000 a year, at 6.0%, compared to 4.8% of Billings households. This contributes to the state-leading poverty rate of 13.8%.

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Nebraska: Lincoln
> Median household income: $59,228 (state: $63,229)
> Poverty rate: 11.8% (state: 9.9%)
> Median home value: $189,400 (state: $172,700)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 40.4% (state: 33.2%)
> 2019 unemployment rate: 3.6% (state: 3.3%)
> Population: 289,096

Most households in Lincoln earn less than $60,000 a year. Meanwhile, most households across the state earn at least $63,000 annually.

Incomes tend to rise with educational attainment, and the cities on this list tend to have relatively small college-educated populations. Lincoln is a notable exception, however. Home to the University of Nebraska, Lincoln has a bachelor’s degree attainment rate of 40.4%. For context, only 33.1% of adults nationwide have a four year degree, and only 33.2% of adults in Nebraska do. Student populations in cities with large universities tend to skew the area’s income and poverty data.

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Nevada: Sunrise Manor
> Median household income: $44,422 (state: $63,276)
> Poverty rate: 20.6% (state: 12.5%)
> Median home value: $226,400 (state: $317,800)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 10.5% (state: 25.7%)
> 2019 unemployment rate: 7.2% (state: 5.1%)
> Population: 192,968

Sunrise Manor, Nevada, is a Census designated place just outside of Las Vegas. With a median household income of $44,422, it ranks as the poorest place in the state and the only place in Nevada where most households earn less than $50,000 annually.

Incomes tend to rise with educational attainment and in Sunrise Manor, only about one in every 10 adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Across all of Nevada, about one in every four adults have a four year college degree.

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New Hampshire: Manchester
> Median household income: $64,162 (state: $77,933)
> Poverty rate: 12.3% (state: 7.3%)
> Median home value: $253,900 (state: $281,400)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 31.7% (state: 37.6%)
> 2019 unemployment rate: 5.3% (state: 3.0%)
> Population: 112,658

The median household income of Manchester, New Hampshire, is $64,162 — trailing both the statewide median and the median of Nashua, the only other major city in the state, by about $14,000. The poverty rate in Manchester of 12.3% is 5 percentage points higher than the statewide rate but is in line with the U.S. poverty rate.

Workers with college degrees tend to earn more than workers with lower levels of education, and Manchester has a lower bachelor’s degree attainment rate than both Nashua and the state as a whole.

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New Jersey: Camden
> Median household income: $33,120 (state: $85,751)
> Poverty rate: 28.6% (state: 9.2%)
> Median home value: $88,600 (state: $348,800)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 9.0% (state: 41.2%)
> 2019 unemployment rate: N/A (state: 4.7%)
> Population: 73,560

New Jersey has the largest gap of any state between median household incomes in the state and in its poorest city. The typical household in New Jersey earns $85,751 a year, nearly $53,000 more than the typical household in Camden.

Despite ranking as the poorest city in the state, Camden reported a significant reduction in poverty in 2019. The city’s poverty rate now stands at 28.6% — down from 40.9% in 2018.