Special Report

The Poorest Town in Every State

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Rising income inequality in the United States has been a central economic major for years, as more income is captured by the top 20% wealthiest households every year. According to a Pew Research report from 2020, the income the top quintile has brought in has risen from 43% in 1968 to 52% in 2018.

This economic disparity plays out differently across the country, and each state has rich and poor areas. (These are America’s cities with the widest income gaps.)

To determine the poorest town in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the median household income for towns and places in every state using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey. Towns are defined as having populations between 1,000 and 25,000. 

The median household incomes in the 50 towns on this list range from as low as just over $12,000 annually in Urania, Louisiana, to no more than a little over $41,000 in Lusk, Wyoming. The median household income nationwide, meanwhile, was $67,521 in 2020. 

Median home values in these poor communities range from $23,600 in the western Alaska community of Mountain Village to $300,600 in Weeki Wachee Gardens, Florida. Home equity is especially important for lower-income households that have little to no access to other tools, such as portfolio managers or 401k accounts.

The gap in median household income also varies greatly among the poorest towns in America and their respective states. Households in the southern New Jersey town of Seabrook Farms earn $66,495 less than the statewide median of $85,245, the widest gap among these communities.

The median home value in Hawaii Ocean View, the poorest town in the Pacific islands state, is $480,600 less than the statewide median home value of $636,400, the widest gap in property value among the poorest towns in every state. Among the towns with the narrowest margin is the western Alabama community of Livingston, where the median home price is only $19,700 less than the statewide median of $149,600.

The largest of these 50 towns is Central Falls, Rhode Island, with 19,437 people, and the smallest Linton, North Dakota with just 1,010 residents. (These are states where the most children live in poverty.)

Here is the poorest town in every state
Click here to read our detailed methodology

Alabama: Livingston
> Median household income: $16,233 (Alabama: $52,035)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 25.6% (Alabama: 26.2%)
> Poverty rate: 47.3% (Alabama: 16.0%)
> Median home value: $129,900 (Alabama: $149,600)
> Population: 3,286

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Alaska: Mountain Village
> Median household income: $31,339 (Alaska: $77,790)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 8.0% (Alaska: 30.0%)
> Poverty rate: 43.7% (Alaska: 10.3%)
> Median home value: $23,600 (Alaska: $275,600)
> Population: 1,055

Arizona: Cibecue
> Median household income: $16,058 (Arizona: $61,529)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 4.7% (Arizona: 30.3%)
> Poverty rate: 67.8% (Arizona: 14.1%)
> Median home value: $57,800 (Arizona: $242,000)
> Population: 1,834

Arkansas: Marianna
> Median household income: $16,704 (Arkansas: $49,475)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 6.2% (Arkansas: 23.8%)
> Poverty rate: 40.0% (Arkansas: 16.1%)
> Median home value: $70,700 (Arkansas: $133,600)
> Population: 3,472

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California: Thermal
> Median household income: $17,878 (California: $78,672)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 0.0% (California: 34.7%)
> Poverty rate: 35.4% (California: 12.6%)
> Median home value: $150,200 (California: $538,500)
> Population: 1,371

Colorado: Dolores
> Median household income: $22,370 (Colorado: $75,231)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 20.2% (Colorado: 41.6%)
> Poverty rate: 18.4% (Colorado: 9.8%)
> Median home value: $172,000 (Colorado: $369,900)
> Population: 1,017

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Connecticut: Storrs
> Median household income: $25,586 (Connecticut: $79,855)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 67.2% (Connecticut: 40.0%)
> Poverty rate: 44.9% (Connecticut: 9.8%)
> Median home value: $236,800 (Connecticut: $279,700)
> Population: 16,392

Delaware: Rodney Village
> Median household income: $38,378 (Delaware: $69,110)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 12.9% (Delaware: 32.7%)
> Poverty rate: 16.6% (Delaware: 11.4%)
> Median home value: $136,900 (Delaware: $258,300)
> Population: 1,165

Florida: Weeki Wachee Gardens
> Median household income: $18,438 (Florida: $57,703)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 6.4% (Florida: 30.5%)
> Poverty rate: 56.3% (Florida: 13.3%)
> Median home value: $300,600 (Florida: $232,000)
> Population: 1,153

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Georgia: Morgan
> Median household income: $15,625 (Georgia: $61,224)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 5.4% (Georgia: 32.2%)
> Poverty rate: 42.1% (Georgia: 14.3%)
> Median home value: $80,500 (Georgia: $190,200)
> Population: 2,067

Hawaii: Hawaiian Ocean View
> Median household income: $24,818 (Hawaii: $83,173)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 12.7% (Hawaii: 33.6%)
> Poverty rate: 36.8% (Hawaii: 9.3%)
> Median home value: $155,800 (Hawaii: $636,400)
> Population: 4,803

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Idaho: Glenns Ferry
> Median household income: $28,942 (Idaho: $58,915)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 8.0% (Idaho: 28.7%)
> Poverty rate: 39.2% (Idaho: 11.9%)
> Median home value: $80,400 (Idaho: $235,600)
> Population: 1,294

Illinois: Alorton
> Median household income: $19,764 (Illinois: $68,428)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 6.0% (Illinois: 35.5%)
> Poverty rate: 56.8% (Illinois: 12.0%)
> Median home value: $45,000 (Illinois: $202,100)
> Population: 2,077

Indiana: Austin
> Median household income: $26,206 (Indiana: $58,235)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 9.5% (Indiana: 27.2%)
> Poverty rate: 26.3% (Indiana: 12.9%)
> Median home value: $69,300 (Indiana: $148,900)
> Population: 3,854

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Iowa: Centerville
> Median household income: $32,689 (Iowa: $61,836)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 17.5% (Iowa: 29.3%)
> Poverty rate: 26.5% (Iowa: 11.1%)
> Median home value: $73,000 (Iowa: $153,900)
> Population: 5,433

Kansas: Chetopa
> Median household income: $21,953 (Kansas: $61,091)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 12.1% (Kansas: 33.9%)
> Poverty rate: 34.0% (Kansas: 11.4%)
> Median home value: $47,000 (Kansas: $157,600)
> Population: 1,158

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Kentucky: Whitley City
> Median household income: $14,276 (Kentucky: $52,238)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 14.1% (Kentucky: 25.0%)
> Poverty rate: 56.8% (Kentucky: 16.6%)
> Median home value: $61,200 (Kentucky: $147,100)
> Population: 1,633

Louisiana: Urania
> Median household income: $12,358 (Louisiana: $50,800)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 5.4% (Louisiana: 24.9%)
> Poverty rate: 40.4% (Louisiana: 18.6%)
> Median home value: $47,300 (Louisiana: $168,100)
> Population: 1,471

Maine: Waldoboro
> Median household income: $14,876 (Maine: $59,489)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 25.3% (Maine: 32.5%)
> Poverty rate: 30.1% (Maine: 11.1%)
> Median home value: $148,100 (Maine: $198,000)
> Population: 1,371

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Maryland: Federalsburg
> Median household income: $31,915 (Maryland: $87,063)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 9.5% (Maryland: 40.9%)
> Poverty rate: 26.5% (Maryland: 9.0%)
> Median home value: $118,400 (Maryland: $325,400)
> Population: 2,668

Massachusetts: Onset
> Median household income: $33,614 (Massachusetts: $84,385)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 30.9% (Massachusetts: 44.5%)
> Poverty rate: 39.3% (Massachusetts: 9.8%)
> Median home value: $276,700 (Massachusetts: $398,800)
> Population: 1,049

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Michigan: Highland Park
> Median household income: $20,666 (Michigan: $59,234)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 16.7% (Michigan: 30.0%)
> Poverty rate: 46.1% (Michigan: 13.7%)
> Median home value: $50,200 (Michigan: $162,600)
> Population: 10,818

Minnesota: Aurora
> Median household income: $31,523 (Minnesota: $73,382)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 20.5% (Minnesota: 36.8%)
> Poverty rate: 23.6% (Minnesota: 9.3%)
> Median home value: $62,200 (Minnesota: $235,700)
> Population: 1,679

Mississippi: Rosedale
> Median household income: $15,130 (Mississippi: $46,511)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 10.4% (Mississippi: 22.8%)
> Poverty rate: 57.1% (Mississippi: 19.6%)
> Median home value: $86,900 (Mississippi: $125,500)
> Population: 1,855

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Missouri: Van Buren
> Median household income: $19,583 (Missouri: $57,290)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 8.0% (Missouri: 29.9%)
> Poverty rate: 43.4% (Missouri: 13.0%)
> Median home value: $129,000 (Missouri: $163,600)
> Population: 1,241

Montana: South Browning
> Median household income: $18,587 (Montana: $56,539)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 14.4% (Montana: 33.1%)
> Poverty rate: 41.9% (Montana: 12.8%)
> Median home value: $34,400 (Montana: $244,900)
> Population: 1,742

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Nebraska: Falls City
> Median household income: $36,014 (Nebraska: $63,015)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 18.6% (Nebraska: 32.5%)
> Poverty rate: 15.9% (Nebraska: 10.4%)
> Median home value: $72,700 (Nebraska: $164,000)
> Population: 4,139

Nevada: Tonopah
> Median household income: $31,607 (Nevada: $62,043)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 9.5% (Nevada: 25.5%)
> Poverty rate: 13.3% (Nevada: 12.8%)
> Median home value: $90,700 (Nevada: $290,200)
> Population: 2,192

New Hampshire: Ashland
> Median household income: $31,820 (New Hampshire: $77,923)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 18.6% (New Hampshire: 37.6%)
> Poverty rate: 36.2% (New Hampshire: 7.4%)
> Median home value: $148,600 (New Hampshire: $272,300)
> Population: 1,630

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New Jersey: Seabrook Farms
> Median household income: $18,750 (New Jersey: $85,245)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 10.7% (New Jersey: 40.7%)
> Poverty rate: 38.2% (New Jersey: 9.7%)
> Median home value: $119,200 (New Jersey: $343,500)
> Population: 1,602

New Mexico: Columbus
> Median household income: $21,543 (New Mexico: $51,243)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 6.0% (New Mexico: 28.1%)
> Poverty rate: 34.1% (New Mexico: 18.6%)
> Median home value: $65,000 (New Mexico: $175,700)
> Population: 1,044

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New York: Kaser
> Median household income: $23,030 (New York: $71,117)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 3.6% (New York: 37.5%)
> Poverty rate: 63.3% (New York: 13.6%)
> Median home value: $1,096,200 (New York: $325,000)
> Population: 5,367

North Carolina: Scotland Neck
> Median household income: $15,404 (North Carolina: $56,642)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 12.8% (North Carolina: 32.0%)
> Poverty rate: 43.0% (North Carolina: 14.0%)
> Median home value: $65,900 (North Carolina: $182,100)
> Population: 1,770

North Dakota: Linton
> Median household income: $33,194 (North Dakota: $65,315)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 24.6% (North Dakota: 30.7%)
> Poverty rate: 9.4% (North Dakota: 10.5%)
> Median home value: $77,500 (North Dakota: $199,900)
> Population: 1,010

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Ohio: East Cleveland
> Median household income: $22,426 (Ohio: $58,116)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 13.9% (Ohio: 28.9%)
> Poverty rate: 36.5% (Ohio: 13.6%)
> Median home value: $57,800 (Ohio: $151,400)
> Population: 17,047

Oklahoma: Stilwell
> Median household income: $22,470 (Oklahoma: $53,840)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 9.6% (Oklahoma: 26.1%)
> Poverty rate: 34.7% (Oklahoma: 15.3%)
> Median home value: $78,900 (Oklahoma: $142,400)
> Population: 4,044

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Oregon: Cave Junction
> Median household income: $29,744 (Oregon: $65,667)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 9.5% (Oregon: 34.4%)
> Poverty rate: 32.9% (Oregon: 12.4%)
> Median home value: $180,900 (Oregon: $336,700)
> Population: 2,153

Pennsylvania: Braddock
> Median household income: $23,050 (Pennsylvania: $63,627)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 10.7% (Pennsylvania: 32.3%)
> Poverty rate: 34.9% (Pennsylvania: 12.0%)
> Median home value: $32,800 (Pennsylvania: $187,500)
> Population: 1,885

Rhode Island: Central Falls
> Median household income: $34,689 (Rhode Island: $70,305)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 9.2% (Rhode Island: 35.0%)
> Poverty rate: 29.9% (Rhode Island: 11.6%)
> Median home value: $176,300 (Rhode Island: $276,600)
> Population: 19,437

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South Carolina: Allendale
> Median household income: $18,680 (South Carolina: $54,864)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 11.1% (South Carolina: 29.0%)
> Poverty rate: 37.7% (South Carolina: 14.7%)
> Median home value: $39,300 (South Carolina: $170,100)
> Population: 2,953

South Dakota: Mission
> Median household income: $27,500 (South Dakota: $59,896)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 3.9% (South Dakota: 29.3%)
> Poverty rate: 55.8% (South Dakota: 12.8%)
> Median home value: $45,000 (South Dakota: $174,600)
> Population: 1,408

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Tennessee: Jamestown
> Median household income: $17,051 (Tennessee: $54,833)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 3.4% (Tennessee: 28.2%)
> Poverty rate: 43.9% (Tennessee: 14.6%)
> Median home value: $69,200 (Tennessee: $177,600)
> Population: 2,145

Texas: Prairie View
> Median household income: $16,363 (Texas: $63,826)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 37.5% (Texas: 30.7%)
> Poverty rate: 54.7% (Texas: 14.2%)
> Median home value: $188,300 (Texas: $187,200)
> Population: 6,813

Utah: East Carbon
> Median household income: $29,867 (Utah: $74,197)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 9.4% (Utah: 34.7%)
> Poverty rate: 23.8% (Utah: 9.1%)
> Median home value: $60,700 (Utah: $305,400)
> Population: 1,589

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Vermont: West Brattleboro
> Median household income: $34,696 (Vermont: $63,477)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 35.3% (Vermont: 39.7%)
> Poverty rate: 19.2% (Vermont: 10.8%)
> Median home value: $179,800 (Vermont: $230,900)
> Population: 3,042

Virginia: Jonesville
> Median household income: $15,691 (Virginia: $76,398)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 10.5% (Virginia: 39.5%)
> Poverty rate: 48.9% (Virginia: 10.0%)
> Median home value: $105,800 (Virginia: $282,800)
> Population: 1,355

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Washington: Republic
> Median household income: $32,639 (Washington: $77,006)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 34.4% (Washington: 36.7%)
> Poverty rate: 21.9% (Washington: 10.2%)
> Median home value: $158,200 (Washington: $366,800)
> Population: 1,144

West Virginia: Montgomery
> Median household income: $27,045 (West Virginia: $48,037)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 16.4% (West Virginia: 21.3%)
> Poverty rate: 35.8% (West Virginia: 17.1%)
> Median home value: $81,600 (West Virginia: $123,200)
> Population: 1,625

Wisconsin: Lac du Flambeau
> Median household income: $23,209 (Wisconsin: $63,293)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 13.7% (Wisconsin: 30.8%)
> Poverty rate: 32.4% (Wisconsin: 11.0%)
> Median home value: $75,300 (Wisconsin: $189,200)
> Population: 1,737

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Wyoming: Lusk
> Median household income: $41,250 (Wyoming: $65,304)
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 13.1% (Wyoming: 28.2%)
> Poverty rate: 28.1% (Wyoming: 10.8%)
> Median home value: $105,700 (Wyoming: $228,000)
> Population: 1,589

Methodology

To determine the poorest town in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the median household income for towns and places in every state using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey. Towns are defined as having populations between 1,000 and 25,000. Only towns with relevant data were included.

The percentage of adults 25 or over with at least a bachelor’s degree, the poverty rate, median home value, poverty rate, and population for each town also came from the ACS. All estimates are five year averages for 2020. 

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, and 13,332 of the places fell within these thresholds.

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