Special Report

The City Where the Fewest People Live Below the Poverty Line in Every State

More than 60% of Americans will spend at least a year of their lives in poverty, according to a recent analysis conducted at Washington University. Since COVID-19 reached the United States in early 2020, the financial situation of millions of Americans has deteriorated, even as the nation’s wealthiest saw their fortunes increase by billions of dollars

Over a year has passed, and many Americans still face an unstable job situation or ongoing unemployment and often also owe months of back rent. In a recent survey 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. 

Based on five-year figures ending in 2019, the most recent year of available data, 13.4% of Americans live below the federal poverty line, but poverty is not distributed evenly across the country, and in a number of American cities the poverty rate is less than half this. 

 To determine the city with the lowest 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 Vermont has only one city that meets the population requirements, and so Burlington is the city with the lowest poverty rate in the state by default. 

Places with a relative absence of poverty can be found all across the country, but when only looking at places with a population of at least 25,000, in some states even the least impoverished city has a higher poverty rate than the nation. In Delaware, the qualifying city with the lowest poverty rate in the state is Newark, which has a poverty rate of 23.6% — well above the national poverty rate.

Click here to see the city where the fewest people live below the poverty line in every state.