Special Report

Town With the Highest Poverty Rate in Every State

Spencer Platt / Getty Images News via Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic sent the U.S. unemployment rate to 14.8% in April 2020, its highest level since the Great Depression. Normally, such an economic shock would result in a spike in the national poverty rate. However, due to three rounds of economic stimulus payments, some experts predict the poverty rate may actually decline substantially in 2020.

As of 2019, the most recent year with an official poverty rate released by the U.S. Census Bureau, 13.4% of the U.S. population lived below the poverty line. By some estimates, that share might have dropped as low as 7.7% in 2020, the lowest level since 1967, when record keeping began. 

Of course, the poverty rate varies considerably across the country, and even before the COVID-19 unemployment crisis, there were parts of the country where poverty was already widespread — where the share of residents living in poverty was more than double the national average. 

Using five-year estimates from the Census’ 2019 American Community Survey, 24/7 Wall St. identified the town with the highest poverty rate in every state. We considered all cities, towns, villages, and unincorporated communities with populations between 1,000 and 25,000 in our analysis. 

The poverty threshold is based on income, and in most of the country, an individual with an annual income of less than $12,880, or a family of four earning less than $26,500, is considered to be living in poverty. Not surprisingly, in nearly every town on this list, the median household income is lower than it is across the state as a whole. Here is a look at the poorest town in every state

Click here to see the town with the highest poverty rate in every state
Click here to see our detailed methodology

Alabama: Uniontown
> Poverty rate: 51.2% (Alabama: 16.7%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 954 (Alabama: 795,989)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 40.5% (Alabama: 14.0%)
> Median household income: $17,000 (Alabama: $50,536)

[in-text-ad]

Source: Seabix / Wikimedia Commons

Alaska: Hooper Bay
> Poverty rate: 40.9% (Alaska: 10.7%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 465 (Alaska: 76,933)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 62.3% (Alaska: 10.5%)
> Median household income: $36,250 (Alaska: $77,640)

Arizona: Cibecue
> Poverty rate: 66.1% (Arizona: 15.1%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 1,277 (Arizona: 1,043,764)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 57.5% (Arizona: 11.1%)
> Median household income: $15,417 (Arizona: $58,945)

Arkansas: Helena-West Helena
> Poverty rate: 45.2% (Arkansas: 17.0%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 4,788 (Arkansas: 496,260)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 36.8% (Arkansas: 12.1%)
> Median household income: $22,177 (Arkansas: $47,597)

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Capricorn90, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

California: Richgrove
> Poverty rate: 55.4% (California: 13.4%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 1,283 (California: 5,149,742)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 30.5% (California: 8.9%)
> Median household income: $20,962 (California: $75,235)

Source: chapin31 / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Colorado: Las Animas
> Poverty rate: 41.0% (Colorado: 10.3%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 893 (Colorado: 565,873)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 39.4% (Colorado: 7.5%)
> Median household income: $23,456 (Colorado: $72,331)

[in-text-ad]

Source: John Phelan, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut: Poquonock Bridge
> Poverty rate: 27.1% (Connecticut: 9.9%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 568 (Connecticut: 344,146)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 43.6% (Connecticut: 11.9%)
> Median household income: $53,523 (Connecticut: $78,444)

Source: Camerafiend / Wikimedia Commons

Delaware: Newport
> Poverty rate: 40.3% (Delaware: 11.8%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 476 (Delaware: 109,400)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 24.2% (Delaware: 10.9%)
> Median household income: $36,071 (Delaware: $68,287)

Source: Ecomerford, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Florida: Pine Manor
> Poverty rate: 54.4% (Florida: 14.0%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 2,668 (Florida: 2,870,487)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 30.3% (Florida: 13.6%)
> Median household income: $22,052 (Florida: $55,660)

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: BOB WESTON / iStock via Getty Images

Georgia: Homerville
> Poverty rate: 55.2% (Georgia: 15.1%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 1,289 (Georgia: 1,528,558)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 28.2% (Georgia: 12.8%)
> Median household income: $19,917 (Georgia: $58,700)

Source: W Nowicki, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Hawaii: Hawaiian Ocean View
> Poverty rate: 55.2% (Hawaii: 9.4%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 2,764 (Hawaii: 130,649)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 47.5% (Hawaii: 10.8%)
> Median household income: $15,654 (Hawaii: $81,275)

[in-text-ad]

Source: ChrisBoswell / iStock via Getty Images

Idaho: Glenns Ferry
> Poverty rate: 39.1% (Idaho: 13.1%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 477 (Idaho: 221,256)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 22.9% (Idaho: 9.8%)
> Median household income: $27,583 (Idaho: $55,785)

Source: Public domain / Wikimedia Commons

Illinois: Alorton
> Poverty rate: 53.5% (Illinois: 12.5%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 980 (Illinois: 1,557,873)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 45.1% (Illinois: 12.8%)
> Median household income: $22,593 (Illinois: $65,886)

Source: Chris Flook / Wikimedia Commons

Indiana: Dillsboro
> Poverty rate: 31.1% (Indiana: 13.4%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 449 (Indiana: 867,996)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 15.8% (Indiana: 9.8%)
> Median household income: $40,341 (Indiana: $56,303)

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Jatakuck at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Iowa: Postville
> Poverty rate: 30.3% (Iowa: 11.5%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 753 (Iowa: 348,122)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 14.5% (Iowa: 10.2%)
> Median household income: $51,250 (Iowa: $60,523)

Source: usacetulsa / Wikimedia Commons

Kansas: Chetopa
> Poverty rate: 35.0% (Kansas: 12.0%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 401 (Kansas: 337,739)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 20.3% (Kansas: 7.5%)
> Median household income: $30,921 (Kansas: $59,597)

[in-text-ad]

Source: Bedford at English Wikipedia, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky: Breckinridge Center
> Poverty rate: 69.1% (Kentucky: 17.3%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 1,320 (Kentucky: 747,010)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 29.1% (Kentucky: 14.0%)
> Median household income: $43,750 (Kentucky: $50,589)

Source: Z28scrambler / Wikimedia Commons

Louisiana: Simmesport
> Poverty rate: 59.9% (Louisiana: 19.2%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 926 (Louisiana: 871,467)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 42.4% (Louisiana: 15.4%)
> Median household income: $17,120 (Louisiana: $49,469)

Maine: Fairfield
> Poverty rate: 45.6% (Maine: 11.8%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 1,379 (Maine: 153,131)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 50.5% (Maine: 13.5%)
> Median household income: $23,718 (Maine: $57,918)

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mdng/

Maryland: Crisfield
> Poverty rate: 35.5% (Maryland: 9.2%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 890 (Maryland: 539,991)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 37.9% (Maryland: 10.2%)
> Median household income: $29,688 (Maryland: $84,805)

Massachusetts: Ware
> Poverty rate: 20.9% (Massachusetts: 10.3%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 1,225 (Massachusetts: 680,962)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 26.1% (Massachusetts: 11.7%)
> Median household income: $42,550 (Massachusetts: $81,215)

[in-text-ad]

Source: Russell Sekeet (amtrak_russ), CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Michigan: Benton Heights
> Poverty rate: 47.1% (Michigan: 14.4%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 1,907 (Michigan: 1,398,527)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 44.2% (Michigan: 13.3%)
> Median household income: $29,907 (Michigan: $57,144)

Source: No machine-readable author provided. Jakes19 assumed (based on copyright claims)., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Minnesota: Moose Lake
> Poverty rate: 48.6% (Minnesota: 9.7%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 873 (Minnesota: 526,065)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 16.0% (Minnesota: 7.9%)
> Median household income: $39,779 (Minnesota: $71,306)

Mississippi: Rosedale
> Poverty rate: 60.9% (Mississippi: 20.3%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 939 (Mississippi: 585,786)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 50.0% (Mississippi: 15.4%)
> Median household income: $15,615 (Mississippi: $45,081)

[in-text-ad-2]

Missouri: Pine Lawn
> Poverty rate: 43.8% (Missouri: 13.7%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 1,568 (Missouri: 810,045)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 54.3% (Missouri: 11.1%)
> Median household income: $31,838 (Missouri: $55,461)

Source: J.B. Chandler, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Montana: Fort Belknap Agency
> Poverty rate: 50.8% (Montana: 13.1%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 760 (Montana: 134,605)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 42.4% (Montana: 9.2%)
> Median household income: $32,708 (Montana: $54,970)

[in-text-ad]

Source: Jared Winkler / Wikimedia Commons

Nebraska: Terrytown
> Poverty rate: 28.4% (Nebraska: 11.1%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 339 (Nebraska: 206,579)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 25.1% (Nebraska: 8.3%)
> Median household income: $36,875 (Nebraska: $61,439)

Nevada: Schurz
> Poverty rate: 47.1% (Nevada: 13.1%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 483 (Nevada: 384,690)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 25.0% (Nevada: 11.8%)
> Median household income: $30,119 (Nevada: $60,365)

New Hampshire: Winchester
> Poverty rate: 31.9% (New Hampshire: 7.6%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 696 (New Hampshire: 98,682)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 25.0% (New Hampshire: 6.9%)
> Median household income: $39,608 (New Hampshire: $76,768)

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: dougtone / Flickr

New Jersey: Salem
> Poverty rate: 42.2% (New Jersey: 10.0%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 2,005 (New Jersey: 869,081)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 41.5% (New Jersey: 8.7%)
> Median household income: $24,926 (New Jersey: $82,545)

Source: Spencer Platt / Getty Images News via Getty Images

New Mexico: Navajo
> Poverty rate: 63.0% (New Mexico: 19.1%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 914 (New Mexico: 392,065)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 49.8% (New Mexico: 17.2%)
> Median household income: $21,500 (New Mexico: $49,754)

[in-text-ad]

Source: Daniel Case / Wikimedia Commons

New York: Watchtower
> Poverty rate: 92.0% (New York: 14.1%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 1,938 (New York: 2,681,277)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: N/A (New York: 14.7%)
> Median household income: N/A (New York: $68,486)

Source: Indy beetle / Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina: Franklinville
> Poverty rate: 53.9% (North Carolina: 14.7%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 965 (North Carolina: 1,467,591)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 42.6% (North Carolina: 12.6%)
> Median household income: $21,970 (North Carolina: $54,602)

North Dakota: Fort Totten
> Poverty rate: 66.3% (North Dakota: 10.7%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 818 (North Dakota: 78,198)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 44.2% (North Dakota: 6.7%)
> Median household income: $22,917 (North Dakota: $64,894)

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Greg Hume / Wikimedia Commons

Ohio: Skyline Acres
> Poverty rate: 51.8% (Ohio: 14.0%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 1,174 (Ohio: 1,588,343)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 28.9% (Ohio: 13.1%)
> Median household income: $32,333 (Ohio: $56,602)

Oklahoma: Hugo
> Poverty rate: 42.8% (Oklahoma: 15.7%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 2,117 (Oklahoma: 598,373)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 40.1% (Oklahoma: 12.8%)
> Median household income: $25,212 (Oklahoma: $52,919)

[in-text-ad]

Source: Visitor7, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Oregon: Bunker Hill
> Poverty rate: 44.9% (Oregon: 13.2%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 1,111 (Oregon: 533,527)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 43.4% (Oregon: 15.8%)
> Median household income: $39,159 (Oregon: $62,818)

Pennsylvania: Renovo
> Poverty rate: 45.9% (Pennsylvania: 12.4%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 525 (Pennsylvania: 1,539,183)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 37.5% (Pennsylvania: 13.3%)
> Median household income: $23,523 (Pennsylvania: $61,744)

Rhode Island: Harrisville
> Poverty rate: 35.3% (Rhode Island: 12.4%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 515 (Rhode Island: 125,826)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 9.5% (Rhode Island: 15.3%)
> Median household income: $29,663 (Rhode Island: $67,167)

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Gpeytoncrowder, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

South Carolina: Watts Mills
> Poverty rate: 55.0% (South Carolina: 15.2%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 757 (South Carolina: 741,650)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 22.4% (South Carolina: 12.3%)
> Median household income: $24,091 (South Carolina: $53,199)

Source: Jacob Boomsma / iStock via Getty Images

South Dakota: Rosebud
> Poverty rate: 67.1% (South Dakota: 13.1%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 1,122 (South Dakota: 110,553)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 50.4% (South Dakota: 9.2%)
> Median household income: $19,453 (South Dakota: $58,275)

[in-text-ad]

Source: Brian Stansberry / Wikimedia Commons

Tennessee: Huntsville
> Poverty rate: 46.8% (Tennessee: 15.2%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 573 (Tennessee: 996,930)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 36.5% (Tennessee: 13.6%)
> Median household income: $22,669 (Tennessee: $53,320)

Source: Danny20111993 / Wikimedia Commons

Texas: Citrus City
> Poverty rate: 65.1% (Texas: 14.7%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 2,139 (Texas: 4,072,194)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 58.7% (Texas: 11.8%)
> Median household income: $16,818 (Texas: $61,874)

Source: WhisperToMe / Wikimedia Commons

Utah: Hildale
> Poverty rate: 47.6% (Utah: 9.8%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 1,354 (Utah: 298,537)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 62.6% (Utah: 6.7%)
> Median household income: N/A (Utah: $71,621)

[in-text-ad-2]

Vermont: Lyndonville
> Poverty rate: 32.2% (Vermont: 10.9%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 451 (Vermont: 65,652)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 24.4% (Vermont: 11.3%)
> Median household income: $33,550 (Vermont: $61,973)

Source: Taber Andrew Bain, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Virginia: Lawrenceville
> Poverty rate: 45.0% (Virginia: 10.6%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 565 (Virginia: 865,691)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 40.0% (Virginia: 8.2%)
> Median household income: $26,369 (Virginia: $74,222)

[in-text-ad]

Source: Publichall, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Washington: Moses Lake North
> Poverty rate: 42.0% (Washington: 10.8%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 1,828 (Washington: 785,244)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 41.5% (Washington: 11.9%)
> Median household income: $36,761 (Washington: $73,775)

Source: Tim Kiser (w:User:Malepheasant), CC BY-SA 3.0 US , via Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia: MacArthur
> Poverty rate: 41.6% (West Virginia: 17.6%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 699 (West Virginia: 310,044)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 19.5% (West Virginia: 16.8%)
> Median household income: $24,334 (West Virginia: $46,711)

Source: Foreverwiser, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Wisconsin: Little Round Lake
> Poverty rate: 55.7% (Wisconsin: 11.3%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 592 (Wisconsin: 639,160)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 37.1% (Wisconsin: 10.8%)
> Median household income: $21,985 (Wisconsin: $61,747)

[in-text-ad-2]

Wyoming: Fort Washakie
> Poverty rate: 28.5% (Wyoming: 11.0%)
> Number of people living below poverty line: 482 (Wyoming: 62,257)
> Households receiving SNAP benefits: 21.9% (Wyoming: 5.4%)
> Median household income: $49,609 (Wyoming: $64,049)

Methodology

To determine the town with the highest poverty rate in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed five-year estimates of the percentage of people living below the poverty line 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 towns based on population thresholds — having at least 1,000 people and less than 25,000 people — and 13,332 of the places fell within these thresholds.

Towns were excluded if poverty rates were not available in the 2019 ACS, if the population living in poverty totaled less than 1,000, if 25% or more of a town’s population were enrolled in undergraduate, professional, or graduate school during the same period, or if the sampling error associated with a town’s data was deemed too high.

The sampling error was defined as too high if the coefficient of variation — a statistical assessment of how reliable an estimate is — for a town’s poverty rate was above 15% and greater than two standard deviations above the mean CV for all towns’ poverty rates. We similarly excluded towns that had a sampling error too high for their population determined to be living in  poverty, using the same definition.

The remaining 12,143 places were ranked within their state based on their poverty rates. To break ties, we used median household income..

Additional information on the number of people living below the poverty line, median household income, and the share of households receiving SNAP benefits are also five-year estimates from the 2019 ACS.

Buffett Missed These Two…

Warren Buffett loves dividend stocks, and has stuffed Berkshire with some of his favorites.

But he overlooked two dividend legends that continue to print checks on a new level, they’re nowhere in his portfolio.

Unlock the two dividend legends Buffett missed in this new free report.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.