Special Report

The City Where The Most People Live Below The Poverty Line In Every State

Spencer Platt / Getty Images News via Getty Images

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. A number of Americans could certainly be among those falling into poverty this year, and in some parts of the country COVID-19 has had a larger impact. Even before the spread of COVID-19, parts of the country already struggled much more with poverty than the nation overall.

Many Americans owe months of back rent, and many still face an unstable job situation or ongoing unemployment. According to a survey conducted between late May and early June by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 27% of Americans surveyed said that it was somewhat difficult or very difficult to afford their usual expenses.  

To determine the county with the highest poverty rate in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed five-year estimates of the percentage of people who live below the poverty line 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. It should be noted that there is one state.

People struggling with poverty can be found all over the country, but the places where poverty is especially common are concentrated in 14 states, primarily in the South. The state of Mississippi is home to 11 of the counties on this list. 

While poverty rates do not correspond perfectly with median incomes, counties with lower poverty rates tend to have lower incomes. They 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 city where the most people live below the poverty line in every state.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Alabama: Gadsden
> Poverty rate: 27.1% (Alabama: 16.7%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 9,390 (Alabama: 795,989)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 24.3% (Alabama: 14.0%)
> Median household income: $32,642 (Alabama: $50,536)

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Alaska: Fairbanks
> Poverty rate: 11.0% (Alaska: 10.7%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 3,204 (Alaska: 76,933)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 10.4% (Alaska: 10.5%)
> Median household income: $62,602 (Alaska: $77,640)

Source: kenlund / Flickr

Arizona: San Luis
> Poverty rate: 24.2% (Arizona: 15.1%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 7,566 (Arizona: 1,043,764)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 39.7% (Arizona: 11.1%)
> Median household income: $37,255 (Arizona: $58,945)

Source: Paul Sableman / Wikimedia Commons

Arkansas: Pine Bluff
> Poverty rate: 26.8% (Arkansas: 17.0%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 10,427 (Arkansas: 496,260)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 23.7% (Arkansas: 12.1%)
> Median household income: $34,723 (Arkansas: $47,597)

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Source: Solidago / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

California: Brawley
> Poverty rate: 33.8% (California: 13.4%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 8,785 (California: 5,149,742)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 27.8% (California: 8.9%)
> Median household income: $42,326 (California: $75,235)

Source: chapin31 / Getty Images

Colorado: Pueblo
> Poverty rate: 23.5% (Colorado: 10.3%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 25,162 (Colorado: 565,873)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 23.2% (Colorado: 7.5%)
> Median household income: $40,450 (Colorado: $72,331)

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Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

Connecticut: Hartford
> Poverty rate: 28.1% (Connecticut: 9.9%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 32,801 (Connecticut: 344,146)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 38.8% (Connecticut: 11.9%)
> Median household income: $36,278 (Connecticut: $78,444)

Source: ChrisBoswell / iStock via Getty Images

Delaware: Wilmington
> Poverty rate: 26.0% (Delaware: 11.8%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 17,675 (Delaware: 109,400)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 22.6% (Delaware: 10.9%)
> Median household income: $45,032 (Delaware: $68,287)

Source: Ebyabe / Wikimedia Commons

Florida: Immokalee
> Poverty rate: 37.4% (Florida: 14.0%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 9,846 (Florida: 2,870,487)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 39.3% (Florida: 13.6%)
> Median household income: $30,885 (Florida: $55,660)

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Source: Janabi / Getty Images

Georgia: Valdosta
> Poverty rate: 32.2% (Georgia: 15.1%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 17,394 (Georgia: 1,528,558)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 23.9% (Georgia: 12.8%)
> Median household income: $32,595 (Georgia: $58,700)

Source: sorincolac / iStock via Getty Images

Hawaii: Hilo
> Poverty rate: 17.1% (Hawaii: 9.4%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 7,522 (Hawaii: 130,649)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 22.0% (Hawaii: 10.8%)
> Median household income: $63,283 (Hawaii: $81,275)

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Source: BOB WESTON / iStock via Getty Images

Idaho: Pocatello
> Poverty rate: 18.5% (Idaho: 13.1%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 9,948 (Idaho: 221,256)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 15.3% (Idaho: 9.8%)
> Median household income: $46,617 (Idaho: $55,785)

Source: Mark Schierbecker / Wikimedia Commons

Illinois: East St. Louis
> Poverty rate: 33.4% (Illinois: 12.5%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 8,840 (Illinois: 1,557,873)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 43.3% (Illinois: 12.8%)
> Median household income: $24,343 (Illinois: $65,886)

Source: Thinkstock / Stockbyte via Getty Images

Indiana: East Chicago
> Poverty rate: 32.3% (Indiana: 13.4%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 9,061 (Indiana: 867,996)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 30.7% (Indiana: 9.8%)
> Median household income: $32,839 (Indiana: $56,303)

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Iowa: Cedar Falls
> Poverty rate: 18.0% (Iowa: 11.5%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 6,667 (Iowa: 348,122)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 7.6% (Iowa: 10.2%)
> Median household income: $61,420 (Iowa: $60,523)

Source: BergmannD / Getty Images

Kansas: Lawrence
> Poverty rate: 20.7% (Kansas: 12.0%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 18,426 (Kansas: 337,739)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 6.5% (Kansas: 7.5%)
> Median household income: $53,639 (Kansas: $59,597)

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Source: BOB WESTON / iStock via Getty Images

Kentucky: Richmond
> Poverty rate: 30.3% (Kentucky: 17.3%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 9,250 (Kentucky: 747,010)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 18.5% (Kentucky: 14.0%)
> Median household income: $36,302 (Kentucky: $50,589)

Source: wellesenterprises / Getty Images

Louisiana: Monroe
> Poverty rate: 36.8% (Louisiana: 19.2%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 16,507 (Louisiana: 871,467)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 27.2% (Louisiana: 15.4%)
> Median household income: $30,438 (Louisiana: $49,469)

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Maine: Bangor
> Poverty rate: 18.9% (Maine: 11.8%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 5,708 (Maine: 153,131)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 19.1% (Maine: 13.5%)
> Median household income: $46,625 (Maine: $57,918)

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Source: fdastudillo / Getty Images

Maryland: Hagerstown
> Poverty rate: 25.7% (Maryland: 9.2%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 10,116 (Maryland: 539,991)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 30.0% (Maryland: 10.2%)
> Median household income: $40,800 (Maryland: $84,805)

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Massachusetts: Holyoke
> Poverty rate: 29.3% (Massachusetts: 10.3%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 11,471 (Massachusetts: 680,962)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 33.6% (Massachusetts: 11.7%)
> Median household income: $40,769 (Massachusetts: $81,215)

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Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Michigan: Flint
> Poverty rate: 38.8% (Michigan: 14.4%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 36,655 (Michigan: 1,398,527)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 41.6% (Michigan: 13.3%)
> Median household income: $28,834 (Michigan: $57,144)

Source: Bobak Ha'Eri / Wikimedia Commons

Minnesota: St. Cloud
> Poverty rate: 22.5% (Minnesota: 9.7%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 14,307 (Minnesota: 526,065)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 14.8% (Minnesota: 7.9%)
> Median household income: $49,135 (Minnesota: $71,306)

Source: Geoff Eccles / Getty Images

Mississippi: Greenville
> Poverty rate: 37.3% (Mississippi: 20.3%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 11,234 (Mississippi: 585,786)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 31.4% (Mississippi: 15.4%)
> Median household income: $27,025 (Mississippi: $45,081)

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Source: Geoff Eccles / Getty Images

Missouri: Cape Girardeau
> Poverty rate: 23.0% (Missouri: 13.7%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 8,455 (Missouri: 810,045)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 11.2% (Missouri: 11.1%)
> Median household income: $45,733 (Missouri: $55,461)

Source: DianeBentleyRaymond / Getty Images

Montana: Bozeman
> Poverty rate: 17.8% (Montana: 13.1%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 7,687 (Montana: 134,605)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 4.1% (Montana: 9.2%)
> Median household income: $55,569 (Montana: $54,970)

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Source: iip-photo-archive / Flickr

Nebraska: Kearney
> Poverty rate: 16.7% (Nebraska: 11.1%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 5,222 (Nebraska: 206,579)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 8.3% (Nebraska: 8.3%)
> Median household income: $57,064 (Nebraska: $61,439)

Source: JHVEPhoto / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Nevada: Sunrise Manor
> Poverty rate: 21.4% (Nevada: 13.1%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 41,308 (Nevada: 384,690)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 23.4% (Nevada: 11.8%)
> Median household income: $43,241 (Nevada: $60,365)

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

New Hampshire: Manchester
> Poverty rate: 14.1% (New Hampshire: 7.6%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 15,399 (New Hampshire: 98,682)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 13.5% (New Hampshire: 6.9%)
> Median household income: $60,711 (New Hampshire: $76,768)

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Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

New Jersey: Atlantic City
> Poverty rate: 37.1% (New Jersey: 10.0%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 13,999 (New Jersey: 869,081)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 32.3% (New Jersey: 8.7%)
> Median household income: $29,232 (New Jersey: $82,545)

Source: renal / Getty Images

New Mexico: Las Cruces
> Poverty rate: 23.6% (New Mexico: 19.1%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 23,611 (New Mexico: 392,065)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 22.4% (New Mexico: 17.2%)
> Median household income: $43,022 (New Mexico: $49,754)

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Source: traveler1116 / Getty Images

New York: Binghamton
> Poverty rate: 32.6% (New York: 14.1%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 14,165 (New York: 2,681,277)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 28.2% (New York: 14.7%)
> Median household income: $34,487 (New York: $68,486)

Source: oddharmonic / Flickr

North Carolina: Goldsboro
> Poverty rate: 26.1% (North Carolina: 14.7%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 8,540 (North Carolina: 1,467,591)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 25.6% (North Carolina: 12.6%)
> Median household income: $34,083 (North Carolina: $54,602)

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

North Dakota: Grand Forks
> Poverty rate: 18.5% (North Dakota: 10.7%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 9,790 (North Dakota: 78,198)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 9.0% (North Dakota: 6.7%)
> Median household income: $50,076 (North Dakota: $64,894)

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Source: StanRohrer / Getty Images

Ohio: Youngstown
> Poverty rate: 35.2% (Ohio: 14.0%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 21,382 (Ohio: 1,588,343)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 36.7% (Ohio: 13.1%)
> Median household income: $28,822 (Ohio: $56,602)

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

Oklahoma: Muskogee
> Poverty rate: 24.6% (Oklahoma: 15.7%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 8,934 (Oklahoma: 598,373)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 25.2% (Oklahoma: 12.8%)
> Median household income: $38,194 (Oklahoma: $52,919)

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Source: Samson1976 / Getty Images

Oregon: Eugene
> Poverty rate: 20.4% (Oregon: 13.2%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 33,141 (Oregon: 533,527)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 17.3% (Oregon: 15.8%)
> Median household income: $50,962 (Oregon: $62,818)

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Pennsylvania: Reading
> Poverty rate: 32.7% (Pennsylvania: 12.4%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 28,049 (Pennsylvania: 1,539,183)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 42.4% (Pennsylvania: 13.3%)
> Median household income: $32,176 (Pennsylvania: $61,744)

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Rhode Island: Providence
> Poverty rate: 25.5% (Rhode Island: 12.4%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 42,165 (Rhode Island: 125,826)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 31.6% (Rhode Island: 15.3%)
> Median household income: $45,610 (Rhode Island: $67,167)

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Source: Kruck20 / Getty Images

South Carolina: Spartanburg
> Poverty rate: 23.3% (South Carolina: 15.2%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 8,172 (South Carolina: 741,650)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 20.6% (South Carolina: 12.3%)
> Median household income: $40,053 (South Carolina: $53,199)

Source: peeterv / Getty Images

South Dakota: Rapid City
> Poverty rate: 16.2% (South Dakota: 13.1%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 11,787 (South Dakota: 110,553)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 11.8% (South Dakota: 9.2%)
> Median household income: $52,351 (South Dakota: $58,275)

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Tennessee: Morristown
> Poverty rate: 26.6% (Tennessee: 15.2%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 7,653 (Tennessee: 996,930)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 22.1% (Tennessee: 13.6%)
> Median household income: $32,193 (Tennessee: $53,320)

Source: BOB WESTON / iStock via Getty Images

Texas: Kingsville
> Poverty rate: 29.8% (Texas: 14.7%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 7,108 (Texas: 4,072,194)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 18.5% (Texas: 11.8%)
> Median household income: $42,452 (Texas: $61,874)

Utah: Cedar City
> Poverty rate: 20.3% (Utah: 9.8%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 6,431 (Utah: 298,537)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 10.2% (Utah: 6.7%)
> Median household income: $48,346 (Utah: $71,621)

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Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Vermont: No eligible cities
> Poverty rate: N/A (Vermont: 10.9%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: N/A (Vermont: 65,652)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: N/A (Vermont: 11.3%)
> Median household income: N/A (Vermont: $61,973)

Source: littleny / Getty Images

Virginia: Charlottesville
> Poverty rate: 24.1% (Virginia: 10.6%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 10,645 (Virginia: 865,691)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 8.9% (Virginia: 8.2%)
> Median household income: $59,471 (Virginia: $74,222)

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Source: SEASTOCK / Getty Images

Washington: Bellingham
> Poverty rate: 20.8% (Washington: 10.8%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 17,515 (Washington: 785,244)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 13.3% (Washington: 11.9%)
> Median household income: $53,396 (Washington: $73,775)

Source: traveler1116 / Getty Images

West Virginia: Huntington
> Poverty rate: 32.3% (West Virginia: 17.6%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 14,146 (West Virginia: 310,044)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 22.1% (West Virginia: 16.8%)
> Median household income: $31,162 (West Virginia: $46,711)

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

Wisconsin: Milwaukee
> Poverty rate: 25.4% (Wisconsin: 11.3%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 146,980 (Wisconsin: 639,160)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 26.6% (Wisconsin: 10.8%)
> Median household income: $41,838 (Wisconsin: $61,747)

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Source: Brittany Grant / iStock via Getty Images

Wyoming: Gillette
> Poverty rate: 14.3% (Wyoming: 11.0%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 4,613 (Wyoming: 62,257)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 4.9% (Wyoming: 5.4%)
> Median household income: $79,789 (Wyoming: $64,049)

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