Special Report

The Poorest City in Every State

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While many of the very poorest places in the country are remote towns with populations of just a few thousand, there are plenty of large American cities among the nation’s poorest places. These cities have often been devastated for decades by deindustrialization and job losses. In these places, incomes are generally low, poverty rates are high, and many residents depend on government assistance to afford basic necessities.

Using median annual household income data from the Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey for all municipalities with populations greater than 25,000, 24/7 Wall St. identified the poorest city in every state. No cities within Vermont fit all inclusion criteria, so the state was excluded from the list.

At smaller population levels, there are places in every state where the typical household income is well below the national median of $65,712. However, when only looking at cities with populations of 25,000 or greater, the lowest-income city does not necessarily have considerably lower income than the national median, specifically in a few low-population states. Meanwhile, in more populous states, especially the low-income ones, the median household income is far below the national median. The median annual household income in the cities on this list ranges from over $60,000 to less than $25,000.

One factor that has a strong correlation with income in the United States is education. Americans with a bachelor’s degree are far less likely to be unemployed or earn lower incomes than Americans with lower levels of education. Nationwide, 31.5% of adults have a bachelor’s degree. In the many of the places on this list, less than 20% of adults do. Incomes also tend to correlate with other factors, such as home values and poverty. The cities on this list tend to have very low median home values and very high poverty rates.

Click here to see the poorest city in every state.
Click here to see our methodology.

Alabama: Bessemer
> Median household income: $32,301 (Alabama: $50,536)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 14.4% (Alabama: 25.5%)
> Poverty rate: 25.8% (Alabama: 16.7%)
> Median home value: $86,500 (Alabama: $142,700)
> Population: 26,680

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Alaska: Fairbanks
> Median household income: $62,602 (Alaska: $77,640)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 27.2% (Alaska: 29.6%)
> Poverty rate: 11.0% (Alaska: 10.7%)
> Median home value: $211,500 (Alaska: $270,400)
> Population: 31,551

ALSO READ: The US Cities Where Home Values Are Falling the Fastest

Arizona: San Luis
> Median household income: $37,255 (Arizona: $58,945)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 8.4% (Arizona: 29.5%)
> Poverty rate: 24.2% (Arizona: 15.1%)
> Median home value: $117,400 (Arizona: $225,500)
> Population: 32,985

Source: Paul Sableman / Wikimedia Commons

Arkansas: Pine Bluff
> Median household income: $34,723 (Arkansas: $47,597)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 19.2% (Arkansas: 23.0%)
> Poverty rate: 26.8% (Arkansas: 17.0%)
> Median home value: $75,500 (Arkansas: $127,800)
> Population: 43,091

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California: Desert Hot Springs
> Median household income: $33,046 (California: $75,235)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 12.4% (California: 33.9%)
> Poverty rate: 31.1% (California: 13.4%)
> Median home value: $194,500 (California: $505,000)
> Population: 28,585

ALSO READ: States Where People Struggle Most With Student Debt

Source: chapin31 / Getty Images

Colorado: Pueblo
> Median household income: $40,450 (Colorado: $72,331)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 18.9% (Colorado: 40.9%)
> Poverty rate: 23.5% (Colorado: 10.3%)
> Median home value: $141,000 (Colorado: $343,300)
> Population: 110,841

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

Connecticut: Hartford
> Median household income: $36,278 (Connecticut: $78,444)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 16.9% (Connecticut: 39.3%)
> Poverty rate: 28.1% (Connecticut: 9.9%)
> Median home value: $165,300 (Connecticut: $275,400)
> Population: 123,088

ALSO READ: States Where People Are Struggling With the Most Debt

Source: pabradyphoto / Getty Images

Delaware: Wilmington
> Median household income: $45,032 (Delaware: $68,287)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 28.0% (Delaware: 32.0%)
> Poverty rate: 26.0% (Delaware: 11.8%)
> Median home value: $168,000 (Delaware: $251,100)
> Population: 70,644

Source: TampAGS, for AGS Media / Wikimedia Commons

Florida: University (Hillsborough County)
> Median household income: $28,495 (Florida: $55,660)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 23.8% (Florida: 29.9%)
> Poverty rate: 35.4% (Florida: 14.0%)
> Median home value: $106,400 (Florida: $215,300)
> Population: 48,436

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Georgia: Valdosta
> Median household income: $32,595 (Georgia: $58,700)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 25.7% (Georgia: 31.3%)
> Poverty rate: 32.2% (Georgia: 15.1%)
> Median home value: $121,800 (Georgia: $176,000)
> Population: 56,095

ALSO READ: The Best and Worst States for Retirees

Hawaii: Hilo
> Median household income: $63,283 (Hawaii: $81,275)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 34.5% (Hawaii: 33.0%)
> Poverty rate: 17.1% (Hawaii: 9.4%)
> Median home value: $329,200 (Hawaii: $615,300)
> Population: 45,056

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Source: Ethan Prater from San Bruno, CA, USA / Wikimedia Commons

Idaho: Pocatello
> Median household income: $46,617 (Idaho: $55,785)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 30.3% (Idaho: 27.6%)
> Poverty rate: 18.5% (Idaho: 13.1%)
> Median home value: $148,200 (Idaho: $212,300)
> Population: 55,525

ALSO READ: Cities Where Home Values Are Rising the Fastest

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Illinois: East St. Louis
> Median household income: $24,343 (Illinois: $65,886)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 12.1% (Illinois: 34.7%)
> Poverty rate: 33.4% (Illinois: 12.5%)
> Median home value: $54,500 (Illinois: $194,500)
> Population: 26,543

Source: Lotzman Katzman / Wikimedia Commons

Indiana: Gary
> Median household income: $31,936 (Indiana: $56,303)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 13.9% (Indiana: 26.5%)
> Poverty rate: 30.6% (Indiana: 13.4%)
> Median home value: $66,100 (Indiana: $141,700)
> Population: 76,010

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Iowa: Clinton
> Median household income: $44,094 (Iowa: $60,523)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 17.5% (Iowa: 28.6%)
> Poverty rate: 17.3% (Iowa: 11.5%)
> Median home value: $99,500 (Iowa: $147,800)
> Population: 25,416

ALSO READ: This County Has the Cheapest Homes in America

Source: Jamie Squire / Getty Images News via Getty Images

Kansas: Kansas City
> Median household income: $45,665 (Kansas: $59,597)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 17.8% (Kansas: 33.4%)
> Poverty rate: 19.8% (Kansas: 12.0%)
> Median home value: $95,600 (Kansas: $151,900)
> Population: 152,522

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Kentucky: Richmond
> Median household income: $36,302 (Kentucky: $50,589)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 31.1% (Kentucky: 24.2%)
> Poverty rate: 30.3% (Kentucky: 17.3%)
> Median home value: $152,600 (Kentucky: $141,000)
> Population: 35,133

ALSO READ: 28 Smart Ways to Make Extra Money

Source: wellesenterprises / Getty Images

Louisiana: Monroe
> Median household income: $30,438 (Louisiana: $49,469)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 25.9% (Louisiana: 24.1%)
> Poverty rate: 36.8% (Louisiana: 19.2%)
> Median home value: $139,600 (Louisiana: $163,100)
> Population: 48,241

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Maine: Lewiston
> Median household income: $44,523 (Maine: $57,918)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 20.3% (Maine: 31.8%)
> Poverty rate: 18.1% (Maine: 11.8%)
> Median home value: $140,600 (Maine: $190,400)
> Population: 36,095

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Maryland: Hagerstown
> Median household income: $40,800 (Maryland: $84,805)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 16.3% (Maryland: 40.2%)
> Poverty rate: 25.7% (Maryland: 9.2%)
> Median home value: $155,700 (Maryland: $314,800)
> Population: 40,152

ALSO READ: States Spending the Most and Least on Gambling

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Massachusetts: Springfield
> Median household income: $39,432 (Massachusetts: $81,215)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 18.5% (Massachusetts: 43.7%)
> Poverty rate: 26.9% (Massachusetts: 10.3%)
> Median home value: $156,200 (Massachusetts: $381,600)
> Population: 154,139

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Michigan: Flint
> Median household income: $28,834 (Michigan: $57,144)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 12.2% (Michigan: 29.1%)
> Poverty rate: 38.8% (Michigan: 14.4%)
> Median home value: $29,500 (Michigan: $154,900)
> Population: 96,559

ALSO READ: How Much Home You Can Buy for 200K in Every State

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Minnesota: Austin
> Median household income: $48,127 (Minnesota: $71,306)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 23.1% (Minnesota: 36.1%)
> Poverty rate: 15.5% (Minnesota: 9.7%)
> Median home value: $107,800 (Minnesota: $223,900)
> Population: 25,114

Source: Geoff Eccles / Getty Images

Mississippi: Greenville
> Median household income: $27,025 (Mississippi: $45,081)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 18.8% (Mississippi: 22.0%)
> Poverty rate: 37.3% (Mississippi: 20.3%)
> Median home value: $78,300 (Mississippi: $119,000)
> Population: 30,588

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Missouri: Springfield
> Median household income: $36,856 (Missouri: $55,461)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 27.4% (Missouri: 29.2%)
> Poverty rate: 22.9% (Missouri: 13.7%)
> Median home value: $118,100 (Missouri: $157,200)
> Population: 167,051

ALSO READ: States With the Largest Average Tax Refund

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Montana: Butte-Silver Bow
> Median household income: $45,797 (Montana: $54,970)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 27.4% (Montana: 32.0%)
> Poverty rate: 17.3% (Montana: 13.1%)
> Median home value: $150,600 (Montana: $230,600)
> Population: 33,964

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Nebraska: Fremont
> Median household income: $49,474 (Nebraska: $61,439)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 18.3% (Nebraska: 31.9%)
> Poverty rate: 14.0% (Nebraska: 11.1%)
> Median home value: $132,700 (Nebraska: $155,800)
> Population: 26,437

ALSO READ: The Value of a Dollar in Every State

Source: Rmisiak / Wikimedia Commons

Nevada: Winchester
> Median household income: $39,020 (Nevada: $60,365)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 19.9% (Nevada: 24.7%)
> Poverty rate: 20.0% (Nevada: 13.1%)
> Median home value: $162,400 (Nevada: $267,900)
> Population: 28,231

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

New Hampshire: Manchester
> Median household income: $60,711 (New Hampshire: $76,768)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 30.1% (New Hampshire: 37.0%)
> Poverty rate: 14.1% (New Hampshire: 7.6%)
> Median home value: $227,600 (New Hampshire: $261,700)
> Population: 112,109

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New Jersey: Camden
> Median household income: $27,015 (New Jersey: $82,545)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 9.8% (New Jersey: 39.7%)
> Poverty rate: 36.4% (New Jersey: 10.0%)
> Median home value: $84,000 (New Jersey: $335,600)
> Population: 74,002

ALSO READ: 30 Richest Americans Of All Time

Source: John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico: South Valley
> Median household income: $39,714 (New Mexico: $49,754)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 14.0% (New Mexico: 27.3%)
> Poverty rate: 23.3% (New Mexico: 19.1%)
> Median home value: $147,400 (New Mexico: $171,400)
> Population: 40,080

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New York: Jamestown
> Median household income: $33,420 (New York: $68,486)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 16.9% (New York: 36.6%)
> Poverty rate: 29.5% (New York: 14.1%)
> Median home value: $63,200 (New York: $313,700)
> Population: 29,504

ALSO READ: States Paying Teachers Most and Least

Source: oddharmonic / Flickr

North Carolina: Goldsboro
> Median household income: $34,083 (North Carolina: $54,602)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 20.3% (North Carolina: 31.3%)
> Poverty rate: 26.1% (North Carolina: 14.7%)
> Median home value: $127,300 (North Carolina: $172,500)
> Population: 34,647

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

North Dakota: Grand Forks
> Median household income: $50,076 (North Dakota: $64,894)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 37.1% (North Dakota: 30.0%)
> Poverty rate: 18.5% (North Dakota: 10.7%)
> Median home value: $210,300 (North Dakota: $193,900)
> Population: 56,500

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Source: Kasamias9 / Wikimedia Commons

Ohio: Youngstown
> Median household income: $28,822 (Ohio: $56,602)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 13.6% (Ohio: 28.3%)
> Poverty rate: 35.2% (Ohio: 14.0%)
> Median home value: $44,800 (Ohio: $145,700)
> Population: 64,783

ALSO READ: The Largest Employer in Every State

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Oklahoma: Muskogee
> Median household income: $38,194 (Oklahoma: $52,919)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 20.9% (Oklahoma: 25.5%)
> Poverty rate: 24.6% (Oklahoma: 15.7%)
> Median home value: $92,300 (Oklahoma: $136,800)
> Population: 37,624

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Source: Tobias Kleinlercher / Wikimedia Commons

Oregon: Grants Pass
> Median household income: $44,185 (Oregon: $62,818)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 15.8% (Oregon: 33.7%)
> Poverty rate: 17.2% (Oregon: 13.2%)
> Median home value: $231,800 (Oregon: $312,200)
> Population: 37,545

ALSO READ: The City in Every State With the Most Billionaires

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Pennsylvania: Reading
> Median household income: $32,176 (Pennsylvania: $61,744)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 10.8% (Pennsylvania: 31.4%)
> Poverty rate: 32.7% (Pennsylvania: 12.4%)
> Median home value: $73,200 (Pennsylvania: $180,200)
> Population: 88,232

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

Rhode Island: Woonsocket
> Median household income: $42,595 (Rhode Island: $67,167)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 17.8% (Rhode Island: 34.2%)
> Poverty rate: 21.8% (Rhode Island: 12.4%)
> Median home value: $173,300 (Rhode Island: $261,900)
> Population: 41,603

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South Carolina: Anderson
> Median household income: $33,351 (South Carolina: $53,199)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 23.9% (South Carolina: 28.1%)
> Poverty rate: 22.4% (South Carolina: 15.2%)
> Median home value: $136,800 (South Carolina: $162,300)
> Population: 27,289

ALSO READ: The Most Iconic Job in Every State

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South Dakota: Rapid City
> Median household income: $52,351 (South Dakota: $58,275)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 32.8% (South Dakota: 28.8%)
> Poverty rate: 16.2% (South Dakota: 13.1%)
> Median home value: $184,700 (South Dakota: $167,100)
> Population: 75,258

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Tennessee: Morristown
> Median household income: $32,193 (Tennessee: $53,320)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 14.9% (Tennessee: 27.3%)
> Poverty rate: 26.6% (Tennessee: 15.2%)
> Median home value: $115,900 (Tennessee: $167,200)
> Population: 29,782

ALSO READ: You’ll Pay the Most in Taxes in These States

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

Texas: Port Arthur
> Median household income: $36,557 (Texas: $61,874)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 11.7% (Texas: 29.9%)
> Poverty rate: 27.2% (Texas: 14.7%)
> Median home value: $65,800 (Texas: $172,500)
> Population: 55,109

Source: SSLaker3 / Wikimedia Commons

Utah: South Salt Lake
> Median household income: $47,813 (Utah: $71,621)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 25.3% (Utah: 34.0%)
> Poverty rate: 18.7% (Utah: 9.8%)
> Median home value: $226,000 (Utah: $279,100)
> Population: 25,017

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Virginia: Danville
> Median household income: $37,203 (Virginia: $74,222)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 17.6% (Virginia: 38.8%)
> Poverty rate: 22.4% (Virginia: 10.6%)
> Median home value: $90,500 (Virginia: $273,100)
> Population: 41,070

ALSO READ: The 25 Lowest Paying Jobs In America

Source: BehindTheLens / Getty Images

Washington: Yakima
> Median household income: $44,950 (Washington: $73,775)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 19.0% (Washington: 36.0%)
> Poverty rate: 20.4% (Washington: 10.8%)
> Median home value: $173,000 (Washington: $339,000)
> Population: 93,413

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West Virginia: Huntington
> Median household income: $31,162 (West Virginia: $46,711)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 27.3% (West Virginia: 20.6%)
> Poverty rate: 32.3% (West Virginia: 17.6%)
> Median home value: $98,200 (West Virginia: $119,600)
> Population: 46,667

ALSO READ: The Poorest County In Every State

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

Wisconsin: Milwaukee
> Median household income: $41,838 (Wisconsin: $61,747)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 24.6% (Wisconsin: 30.1%)
> Poverty rate: 25.4% (Wisconsin: 11.3%)
> Median home value: $122,100 (Wisconsin: $180,600)
> Population: 594,548

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Wyoming: Casper
> Median household income: $61,979 (Wyoming: $64,049)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 25.1% (Wyoming: 27.4%)
> Poverty rate: 10.0% (Wyoming: 11.0%)
> Median home value: $207,400 (Wyoming: $220,500)
> Population: 58,446

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Methodology:

To determine the poorest city in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed five-year estimates of median annual household income from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey.

We used Census “place” geographies — a category that includes 29,573 incorporated legal entities and Census-designated statistical entities. Of those, 29,319 had boundaries that fell within one of the 50 states, while the rest were in the District of Columbia or Puerto Rico.

We defined cities based on a population threshold — having more than 25,000 people — and 1,774 of the places fell above this threshold.

Since a city’s median household income can be skewed by a large student population, cities were excluded if 25% or more of the population were enrolled in undergraduate, professional, or graduate school during the same period.

The remaining 1,714 cities were ranked within their state based on median household income. We used mean household income from the ACS to break ties.

No cities within Vermont fit all inclusion criteria, so the state was excluded from the list.

Additional information on poverty, educational attainment, median home value, and population are also five-year estimates from the 2019 ACS.

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