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The Poorest City in Every State

Laramie, WY

Much of Wyoming has a relatively low poverty rate, but Laramie is the exception. It has a 31,879 population with a 30% poverty rate. This is twice the national average, although the median household income is on the rise from $43,191.

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Newport, VT

Vermont has one of the lowest statewide poverty rates in the country. With that being said, Newport still has a 26% poverty rate. The town is small and only has 4,493 people, so a 26% poverty rate is rather substantial. The median household income is $38,576.

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Houston City, AK

Alaska has its own Houston City, but it isn’t doing as well as the one in Texas. The unemployment rate sits at 18.5%, which is much higher than the national unemployment rate of 4.1%. The city only has a population of 2,000, but the poverty rate sits at 14.2% as of 2016. The median household income is $39,615.

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Grand Forks, ND

Grand Forks has a population of 54,944 and is still growing, despite its 20.4% poverty rate. Thankfully, the median household income sits at $48,241 and is also increasing, so maybe the poverty rate will decrease soon.

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Eagle Butte, SD

Eagle Butte is a city with a small population of 1,271 and dropping. The town is the tribal headquarters of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Unfortunately, unemployment is rampant, which leads to a 51.5% poverty rate. The median household income is $26,550.

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Laurel, DE

If you’re looking to move, avoid Laurel, Delaware. It has a population of 3,900 with 34.7% living below the poverty line. The median income is $34,291 and is slowly on the rise with a 0.41% growth since last year.

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Central Falls, RI

Most agree that Central Falls is the poorest town in Rhode Island. It has a population of 19,378 with 33.2% of the population living in poverty. The median household income is just $30,794, while the median property value is $151,300.

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Browning, MT

Browning is a tiny town with only 1,108 people, but the poverty rate is unusually high at 43%. The median household income is $21,786, the 8th lowest on this list.

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Old Town, ME

Maine has a lower poverty rate than the national average, but as the national poverty rate drops, Maine’s remains the same. Old Town is an example of this with a poverty rate of 26.7% This could be because of the decrease in growth, which decreases employment opportunities in the state. The median household income is $37,799.

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Durham, NH

Durham, New Hampshire has over 10,000 people with a 35.9% poverty rate. The median household income sits at $42,688, but this number is growing. It’s important to note that Durham is a college town, but other college towns hover around 20% or so. The only exception is Oxford, MS (home of Ole Miss), which has a higher poverty rate.

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Oahu, HI

Hawaii is a vacation paradise, but it’s extremely expensive. A high median household income is needed to make ends meet, but 57% of Oahu’s population live below the poverty line. The median household income is $80,078.

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Rexburg, ID

Rexburg has a population of 26,723, and it’s only getting bigger. Unfortunately, 46.1% of the population lives in poverty. The median household income is $26,341 and on the decline, while the median property value is rising at $176,300.

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Princeton, WV

Princeton has a population of 6,082 people and is dropping, possibly because of the 31.6% poverty rate. The area began experiencing economic issues when reliance on coal mining also declined. The median household income is currently $40,467.

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Lexington, NE

Lexington is a smaller city with a population over 10,000, so saying that 21.4% of the people live in poverty is a substantial amount. The median household income is low at $49,881 and on the decline.

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Deming, NM

New Mexico is one of the poorest states, and Deming has one of the highest poverty rates at 33.1%. The median household income is $25,428, but thankfully, it’s experienced a bit of growth since the previous year.

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Wyandotte, KS

Wyandotte County, Kansas actually has one of the lowest poverty rates on the list at 23.9%, but it’s still higher than the national average. One bright spot in the county is that the unemployment rate is fairly low, at 4.3%. The median household income is $42,783.

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Yazoo City, MS

Yazoo City used to be an up-and-coming city, and its population shows that with over 11,000 citizens. Unfortunately, poor leadership led the town down a bad path which resulted in 46.5% of the population living in poverty. The median household income is $20,758.

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Helena-West Helena, AR

With a poverty rate of 44.2%, Helena-West Helena is the poorest city in Arkansas. Approximately 11,500 people live in this city with 12.8% of these people unemployed. The median household income is $21,667, which is around half of the national average.

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Fallon, NV

Fallon sits at a poverty rate of 23.7%, which is lower than some other cities on the list, but it’s still fairly substantial. A close second is Silver Springs, Nevada which has a poverty rate of 22.8%. The median household income is $39,866.

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Ephraim, UT

Utah has a relatively low poverty rate throughout the state, but it isn’t without its poor towns. In Ephraim, 31.4% of the population lives in poverty. Currently, over 6,500 people live in the town, but it’s growing rapidly. The median household income is $39,626.

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Ames, IA

Ames, Iowa has a large population of 62,815 with 30.5% of those people living in poverty. The median household income is $42,755, but the median property value is much higher at $174,300. The median household income is dropping while the median property value is growing.

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Hartford, CT

Hartford has a huge population over 124,700 people living in the city. The poverty rate for Hartford, Connecticut sits at 33.4% with the median household income is $20,820. The good news is that that number is growing while the median property value is dropping. The bad news is that the median property value is still $161,400.

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Hugo, OK

Small towns make it difficult to get a job, and Hugo, Oklahoma definitely fits the bill. Hugo has 5,277 people with a poverty rate of 41.1%. The only benefit of the town is that the median property value is also pretty low at $67,600. The median household income is $23,500.

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Sweet Home, OR

Sweet Home may be beautiful, but it has the highest poverty rate in the state at 23.8%. The average median household income is $36,411, which pales in comparison to the $120,400 median property value.  

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Somerset, KY

Somerset is known by visitors for Lake Cumberland, which contributes largely to the revenue for the city. However, the town has a population of 11,358 and a poverty rate of 34.4%. The median household income is $23,518 but saw a 6% growth since last year.

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Opelousas, LA

Opelousas, Louisiana is a mid-size town with a population of 16,600 and a median household income of $20,005. The poverty rate of this town sits at 41.9%, which is double the state’s poverty rate. To make matters worse, the median household income has seen a 4.39% decline from the previous year.

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Selma, AL

According to a 2016 census, Selma has a population of 18,983. Of that population, 41.4% of those people live in poverty. Since 2010, Selma has lost 8.5% of the population, but this trend isn't strange for the town. Since 1970, Selma has been losing citizens at a steady rate. The median household income is $24,223.

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Georgetown, SC

Georgetown is the third oldest city in South Carolina and has a small population of 9,163. While it may look beautiful on the outside, 33.9% of its citizens live in poverty. Worst of all, the median household income has seen a decline of nearly 7%. That’s astounding considering most households only bring in around $31,273 per year.

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Brainerd, MN

Brainerd has a population of 13,462, and the median household income is $34,358. Despite most of the adults having a high school diploma or higher, the poverty rate of the town is 21.8%. While this isn’t higher than some towns on the list, it’s strange considering the education levels of the citizens.

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Alamosa, CO

Colorado is an expensive place to live, but those in Alamosa live on a median household income of $32,785. This income doesn’t stretch far when the median property value is $146,000. Over 9,500 people live there with 35.1% of the people living below the poverty line. 

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Milwaukee, WI

While most of the poorest cities are small towns, Milwaukee has them beat with a population over 600,000 where 26.8% of the citizens live in poverty. The median household income is $38,289 and rising, so that’s something to look forward to.

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Frostburg, MD

Even though Baltimore has a higher population of poor people, Frostburg has a higher poverty rate at 31.7%. The town only has 8,759 people, and the median household income is $37,099, which does nothing to touch the median property value of $170,300.

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Maryville, MO

Maryville has a high number of residents with a four-year degree, but a horrible poverty rate. It has a population of 11,997, and 38.1% of the city lives in poverty. The median household income is $31,464.

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Bloomington, IN

Bloomington doesn’t have an extremely high number of people that live below the national poverty line, but the cost of living in the city is quite expensive. There are 38.3% of people living in poverty with a median household income of $33,172. With that being said, the median property value is $173,400.

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Sneedville, TN

Many may not have heard of Sneedville, since the population is so low. At 1,309, Sneedville has seen a 9.6% population decline since the previous year. The reasoning is probably because 58.5% of the people live in poverty. The median household income is $21,364. 

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Amherst, MA

Amherst has been working on its image, but it still has one of the highest poverty rates in the state. Currently, the population sits at 19,543 with a poverty rate of 41.3%. Worse yet, the median household income had a 15.5% decrease since the previous year.  It currently stands at $36,648.

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Whiteriver, AZ

Whiteriver is home to the White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation. Sadly, this is also one of the poorest cities in Arizona with a poverty rate of 50.4%. The population sits at 4,766, and the median household income is $17,415. The lowest on this list. That makes it the poorest "Poorest City in Each State."

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Pullman, WA

Pullman is a college town with a thriving community. It has a growing population of 31,502, but 42.5% of those people live in poverty. Thankfully, the median household income has grown 7% since the previous year (standing at $30,548), meaning the poverty rate may be improving. 

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Richmond City, VA

To those that live in Virginia, it’s no surprise that Richmond has a dark side. Currently, it has a 25.5% poverty rate, which doesn’t seem bad until you realize it has 213,735 people and growing. As the population grows, the median household income drops, which is a troubling sign for improvement. The median household income is $42,356.

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Camden, NJ

Camden, New Jersey has an extremely high poverty rate. The population is over 76,000 with 39.9% of people living in poverty. Most people that have to drive through Camden or live there can see the poverty without having to look too hard. The median household income is $26,105.

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Flint, MI

By far, Flint is the poorest city in Michigan. On top of not having clean water to drink, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that 45% of the city’s population live in poverty. Detroit isn’t far off with 36% of people living in poverty. The median household income is $26,330.

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Roxboro, NC

Roxboro is 30 miles north of Durham and has over 8,000 people. The poverty rate in this city sits at 41.8% with a median household income of $23,250—one of the lowest in the country.  

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Albany, GA

Albany, Georgia has a large population of 76,466 and 33.8% of those people live below the poverty line. The median property value is an astounding $98,200 while the median household income sits at $31,843.

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Athens, OH

Athens has been one of the poorest cities in Ohio for a few years. Now, the poverty rate sits at 56.9%. Some reports by Athens News found that nearly 17% of the population lives in severe poverty with income less than 50% the federal poverty line. The median household income is $24,326.

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Carbondale, IL

Carbondale has a high poverty rate of 49.3%, which is incredibly substantial considering the population of the city sits at 26,192. In this city, the median household income is $20,873, and the median property value is a whopping $111,600.

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Indiana, PA

Indiana, Pennsylvania has a larger population of 14,050, but it’s still a small town. The poverty rate is 40.8% with a median household income of $28,125. Luckily, the poverty rate seems to be decreasing as incomes increase. 

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Kiryas Joel, NY

Kiryas Joel is still experiencing population growth and currently has 21,700 people. The poverty rate sits at 56.6%, but this could be due to the fact that citizens of Kiryas Joel have large families. In fact, this town has the lowest median age of any other city at 12.9. The median household income is $30,525.

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Florida City, FL

Florida City is near the tip of Florida and is beautiful from afar, but when you get close up, you may find that there is a large number of impoverished families. Over 48% of the population lives below the poverty line with a median household income of $34,545.

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College Station, TX

As the name suggests, College Station is a college town with over 101,000 citizens. With that being said, 34.7% of the students live in poverty. Even though they’re students, they still have an income that is too low to support themselves. The median household income is $39,430.

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San Joaquin, CA

San Joaquin, California has a population over 4,000, and 54.2% of those citizens live in poverty. The median household income is $24,661, which is far below the median property value of $103,100.

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