Special Report

Cities Where the Fewest People Live Below the Poverty Line

Globally, the World Bank predicts that the effects of the pandemic will have pushed somewhere between 88 million and 115 million people into extreme poverty some time this year. While a number of Americans could be among those falling into poverty, poverty rates in a number of U.S. cities are far below the average nationwide. Poverty rates in these cities may have also remained unaffected by the crisis. The U.S. poverty rate in 2019, the most recent year available through the census, is 13.4%, but in 50 American cities, the poverty rate is 3.5% or less. 

To determine the cities with the lowest poverty rates in the nation, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed five-year poverty rate estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey. For reference, the U.S. Department of Health and Human services sets the official poverty threshold at an annual income of no more than approximately $26,000 for a family of four. 

The 50 cities on this list can be found in 21 states, with the vast majority located in the Northeast, the Midwest, and the South. Maryland, which has a number of wealthy places within commuting distance of Washington, D.C., has the most with seven. 

While poverty rates do not correspond perfectly with median incomes, states with higher poverty rates tend to have lower incomes. These states, of course, also tend to have higher shares of residents receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, formerly known as food stamps.

Click here to see the cities where the fewest people live below the poverty line.