Poorest Cities in The US


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    In every corner, of the map of the US, you can find glamour and blight at the same time.

    From major cities to poor communities in America, living in poverty; this place with the highest GDP in the world has it all.

    Now that is not a judgemental statement, that is what we observe. 

    Despite being one of the wealthiest countries across the globe.

    The people residing in the US, suffer from an inequality gap in income, fewer job opportunities, poverty, financial hardships, and more.

    People living here often find it difficult to sustain a good standard of living. 

    Thus, here in this article, we will be anticipating some of the poorest cities in the US, where you will find low average employment rates, poverty, and a lot more factors that would deprive you of living a happy and contended life.

    2011.04.30, Bangkok, Thailand. River view of poorest buildings of Bangkok. Travel around Asia.

    So, wait no further and let us dig into this informative article right away. 

    Which is the poorest city in the US?

     Detroit, Michigan is the poorest city in America

    Which is the poorest state in the US?

    The state of Mississippi, which is considered the birthplace of Blues Music is one of the poorest states in the US

    This curated article listed below is all about the poorest cities in the US.

    We have thus mentioned all the intricate details about the same below that would help you mark why as to moving to those cities will be considered as one of the non-thoughtful decisions of your life. 

    But along with that mentioned below is a list of certain cities along with their population, rate of unemployment, and rate of poverty. 

    CityCountyPopulationPoverty RateUnemployment Rate
    DetroitWayne County632,00030%5.8%
    ClevelandCuyahoga County368.00029.3%4.2%
    DaytonMontgomery County138,00028.6%3.4%
    ToledoLucas County269,00024.5%3.8%
    HartfordHartford County121,00028.4%17.7%
    JacksonHinds, Madison, Rankin Counties105,00026.1%2.8%
    NewarkWayne County307,00013.0%3.2%
    SyracuseOnondaga County146,00028.7%8.1%
    RochesterMonroe County211,00029.3%3.1%
    BuffaloErie County277,00027.6%3.70%
    LaredoWebb County256,00019.9%4.40%
    MiamiMiami-Dade County404,00015.2%1.8%

    1. Poverty Rate in the US  

    According to a report from CNBC.com, about 37.9 million people in the nation are currently poor and are spending their lives in poverty.


    That rates to about 11.6% of the total population of the United States. Despite the poverty rate, America still ranks as one of the richest countries with the highest GDP across the globe. 

    Hunger is an extremely evocative word and 1 out of 8 children in America face hunger every day.

    The government here is taking inadequate and short-term responses such as running food programs, arranging food banks, soup kitchens, etc.

    But these alone are not enough to solve the poverty issues of the nation. Income inequality is the most important factor in why people in the US are spending their lives in poverty.

    Another important factor that acts like fuel in this scenario is the increased rates of healthcare and housing. 

    All these together lead to negative impacts on an individual’s household and force them to search how to get a job in another state, than the one in which they are living and facing poverty, due to fewer opportunities. 

    2. Top 15 Poorest Cities in the US

    There are many parameters through which one can define the poorest cities and states in America.


    To some, the poverty levels in a particular area are the definition of the place being rich or poor.

    And for some, how much the city or state contributes to the national GDP is the parameter for measuring whether the state people are moving to is rich or poor. 

    According to the data collected by Neoch.org, the top five poorest cities in America according to the poverty ranking from top to bottom are; San Juan, Detroit, St.

    Louis, Rochester, and Cleveland. In the nation, there is a considerable disparity among its states in terms of prosperity and economic growth.

    Some of the places in the country tend to be poorer than others, the major reason for this can be access to resources, poverty, and economic policies. 

    The top ten poorest states in the US according to the data collected by Wisevoter.com are:- 

    • Mississippi
    • Louisiana
    • New Mexico
    • West Virginia
    • Arkansas
    • District of Columbia
    • Alabama
    • Kentucky
    • Oklahoma
    • Georgia

    We have thus, mentioned below some of the intricate details about the top 15 poorest cities in the state, that you should be aware of if you are planning to move to the US any time soon or generally just for increasing your knowledge.

    CityMedian Household IncomeMedian House ValuePercentage of people living below the PovertyPoverty Rate

    1. Detroit

    Detroit is the largest and poorest city in the state of Michigan, US.

    It is now the least employed and impoverished city of the nation which once flourished with good economic fortune.

    The demise of wealth in Detroit started with the decline of the auto industry of the nation set up here.

    In the year 2014, Detroit became one of the largest cities in the nation to declare bankruptcy. 

    Currently, about 7 hundred thousand people reside in this city out of which about 40.9% of people are living below the poverty line.

    The majority of the properties here are vacant or abandoned. And even if anyone wants to buy one they could get the same for even $1.

    The city has even stopped supplying water to those who have not cleared their water bills. Thus, Detroit is considered one of the most impoverished cities in the US

    2. Cleveland

    Cleveland, Ohio is a completely bankrupt city in the US, with about an estimated 4 hundred thousand people living here. 34.3% of the families here live below the poverty line which affects the city as a whole.

    Despite this, the people living here have ample options for entertainment, such as; sports teams, theatres, orchestras, restaurants, etc.

    But, with an increase the people of Cleveland have started claiming that their quality of living and financial conditions are improving slowly and gradually.

    It is a piece of good news, that Cleveland is doing better than Detroit. 

    3. Dayton

    Dayton in Ohio is another poorest city in America, with only about 130 hundred thousand people living there.


    The town is a complete mess, with a majority of the poor population spending life in poverty and having no job opportunities after attaining degrees.

    Also, the average salary of the people living here does not exceed $30,000. So, you could imagine, what Dayton residents have to go through. 

    4. Hartford  

    The city of Hartford in Connecticut was once a flourished town that enjoyed great popularity among its people.

    The city back then experienced a high number of exodus people living there, higher living costs, and also increased crime rates.

    But due to the sudden demise of the manufacturing industry in the state, all the excitement, glitz & glam, talent, and jobs vanished away in just a go.

    Currently, about 121 hundred thousand people live in Hartford with twice the national average poverty rate and an 11.34% of unemployment rate. 

    5. Rochester  

    About 210 hundred thousand people currently reside in the city of Rochester, New York.

    Rochester was a thriving city in the past, as it was the home to various flourishing cities back in the 70s and 80s.

    But due to the hefty tax burden in the area, not only the economy of the place got affected but also various industries left the area and departed. 

    The city used to be one of the great places to find a respectable job and earn a wholesome salary.

    But today, things have taken a 360-degree turn, people are not any more attracted to the job offered there, and also about 35.5% of the population is spending their life in poverty. 

    6. Newark

    The city of Newark in New Jersey is home to about 282 hundred thousand people. It is very dismaying to tell, but the poverty and unemployment rates in this city are low.

    The city also faces various struggles regarding violence and race.

    If the underprivileged people of the city work hard, they can land themselves in popular job sectors such as; insurance, healthcare, and IT. 

    7. Jackson

    As we all are aware that Mississippi is the poorest state in the US, and we believe the major reason for the same is the impoverished condition of Jackson City.


    About 150 hundred thousand people live in this city in bad conditions.

    If you look at the poverty map of the country, the western part of the Mississippi will point out to have the highest poverty statistics. 

    8. Syracuse

    The city of Syracuse is a part of the New York State. This city of 142 hundred thousand people is one of the big cities in the nation that has become poor.

    The majority of cities in America have seen a sudden increase in poverty rates but overall in Syracuse, it has decreased by 10%.

    Hence, the current poverty rate here is 30.3% along with 9.6% as the unemployment rate.

    Due to the major snowfall in this city, about 25% of the total household expenses of people here are being spent on arranging for heating supplies.

    Overall to the the average prices of household items in this city are higher.  

    9. Birmingham

    Birmingham, a city in Alabama is one of the poorest cities to live in the US.

    This vast city is home to about 198 hundred thousand people who have declining job opportunities and are facing a vast economic crisis.

    The city has also seen a drop in its population, employment, and poverty rates. About 29% of the population of this city lives in poverty.

    The typical household income in Alabama is about $32,000 per annum is extremely less than the national average. 

    10. Springfield  

    Among the 28 cities in the state of Missouri, Springfield is one of the poorest cities in the state.

    According to certain reports ad resources, this is one of the most impoverished cities in the US with a population of about just 25,000 people.

    A majority of people here live in poverty and are constantly looking for jobs to make ends meet.

    The average household income of people residing in this city is about $37,000 per annum. Houses here are of reasonable value which can be afforded by the people. 

    11. Toledo

    Toledo comes in the list of a handful of cities that have majorly affected the economic development of the state of Ohio.

    Thus, the financial difficulties of Toledo have made it count in the list of poorest cities in the US

    Being home to about 275 hundred thousand residents, this town has an unemployment rate of 8.7% with an average of about $39,000 as the median household income.

    About 25.63% of the people living in Toledo, struggle to find well-paying jobs to make their ends meet.

    12. Allentown

    Allentown is the poorest city in PA. Located in Lehigh County, this city is the abode of about 125 hundred thousand residents.


    Being spread over an area of 18 miles, this town is the 3rd largest city in the state.

    The poverty rate prevailing in the city is about 31.43% and the average household income is somewhat around $56,000. 

    13. Gainesville

    According to an article from 247 Wallst.com, the city of Gainesville has the highest poverty rate of 30% in the state of Florida.

    With about 138 hundred thousand people living in this city, the quality of life of people living here is overall poor.

    Gainesville is the most poverty struck city in the entire state of Florida, i.e., nearly 30.19%.

    The average median household income of people living here is about $25,000 less than the national average.  

    14. Buffalo

    The city of Buffalo in the state of New York is one of the most impoverished cities in the US. Every 3 out of 10 residents in this city live in poverty.

    The unemployment number of this city in New York is alarming.

    The administration is constantly trying extremely hard to come out with some viable ways for decreasing these numbers, but unfortunately, the story is just the same for the past fifteen years.  

    15. Athens

    The city of Athens in Ohio is one of the poorest cities in the state. The average household income of people living in Athens is about $22,000. and a poverty rate of about 54.7 %.

    In this poverty data, about 31% of them are students who have come from different places for gaining education in the top institutes of the state.  

    Poorest Cities in The US FAQs

    What 4 states have the highest poverty rates?  

    Some of the poorest states in the US with high poverty rates are; Mississippi- 18.1%, Louisiana- 17.2%, New Mexico- 16.1%, and Arkansas-15.1%. This data has been retrieved from the U.S. Census Bureau. 

    Where is poverty the worst in America?

    There are various poor communities in America, where the rate of poverty is higher as compared to the wealthy and big states in the nation.

    The states where the poverty is at its worst are; Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Hampshire, Utah, Minnesota, and Hawaii. 

    What state of America is number 1 in poverty?  

    The state of Mississippi ranks at the number 1 position in the entire nation when talking about poverty. This US state ranks at the top of the list as it has an alarming poverty rate of 18.70%. 

    What are the 10 poorest states in the United States?  

    Listed below are the 10  poorest states in the US where you should try not to settle down anytime in your life if you want to live a happy and contended life.

    • New Mexico.
    • West Virginia
    • Kentucky
    • Arkansas
    • Alabama
    • Oklahoma
    • South Carolina
    • Tennessee
    • Louisiana
    • Mississippi


    That was all we had to share with you about the poorest cities in the US.

    We hope that the above-listed article would be of great help to you and help you drop the plan of moving to any of the above-listed 15 cities.

    If you are a beach person, who just adores staying near the ocean, then finding the cheapest place to live in Hawaii, would be the best for you. 

    Thus, wait no further and choose the best city to move to in the US, by keeping in mind the factors such as job opportunities, poverty rate, income equality, healthcare, education, housing, cost of living, and more.