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This Is the Poorest City in Your State

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There are places all across the country where people are struggling. We have pinpointed some of the poorest cities in the United States (and some of the wealthiest).

In this study, GOBankingRates defined the “poorest” cities as those with low median home values and median incomes. To find the poorest city in each state, we used data from Zillow to locate the cities in every state with the lowest home values. Then, we examined the household median income by city using data from Sperling’s Best Places. Whichever city had the lowest household income was deemed the poorest city in that state.

South Dakota and Maine were excluded from this list due to a lack of sufficient data. However, the other 48 states are included — click through to find out which poor city is the poorest in your state.

Screen shot / 2017 Google

Poorest City in Alabama: Brighton

  • Median household income: $22,319
  • Median home value: $43,300

One in three residents of the tiny town of Brighton live below the poverty line, and fewer than 3,000 people call the town home, according to the Census Bureau estimates. Unsurprisingly, the city has a difficult time funding the police and fire departments or paying public employees, reported NBC News in late 2016.

Luckily, Alabama has a lower-than-average cost of living when compared to America’s overall cost of living. In particular, Brighton’s cost of living is about 30 percent lower than the U.S. average, according to Sperling’s.

Sorin Colac / Shutterstock.com

Poorest City in Alaska: Ketchikan

  • Median household income: $52,765
  • Median home value: $206,700

In Ketchikan, nearly 17 percent of individuals live below the poverty level, according to Census Bureau estimates. The former timber town was rocked by the collapse of the logging industry and has recently shifted its economic focus to tourism, reports NPR. In fact, the city is expecting 1 million visiting during the summer months.

Although Ketchikan is considered a poor city in this study, that doesn’t mean it’s an especially cheap place to live. In fact, Ketchikan’s cost of living is 20 percent higher than the U.S. average, according to Sperling’s. Instead of living in Ketchikan, residents might want to consider living in Fairbanks — it’s one of the best cities where your paycheck goes the furthest, a separate GOBankingRates study found.

Denver Gingerich / Flickr.com

Poorest City in Arizona: Douglas

  • Median household income: $26,222
  • Median home value: $89,600

Ranching and agriculture have been important to the Douglas economy since the city was incorporated in 1905, according to the Arizona Commerce Authority. The town is home to three manufacturing plants, and its location on the Mexican border makes it a tourist destination for visitors eager to visit “Old Mexico.”

Also See: What $1M Buys You in the Poorest Cities in the World

Chris Litherland / Wikimedia Commons

Poorest City in Arkansas: Malvern

  • Median household income: $30,983
  • Median home value: $66,000

In Malvern, 32 percent of the population works in the material moving, production and transportation sectors, according to Sperling’s. Although 27.4 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, according to Census Bureau data, its recent job growth is more than double the rate of the U.S. average.

Stefan Schlautmann / Flickr.com

Poorest City in California: Mojave

  • Median household income: $34,500
  • Median home value: $84,100

About one-third of Mojave’s population lives below the poverty level, according to Census Bureau data. The town, which is located in the Bakersfield region, is currently suffering negative recent job growth, according to Sperling’s. And more than 20 percent of the population earns less than $15,000 a year. Residents might want to consider relocating to California’s best cities to score a high-paying job.

Billy Hathorn / Wikimedia Commons

Poorest City in Colorado: Rocky Ford

  • Median household income: $26,209
  • Median home value: $68,700

The sales, office and administrative support industry dominates Rocky Ford, with nearly 20 percent of the population employed in that sector, according to Sperling’s. However, nearly 26 percent of the population lives on less than $15,000 a year, which is more than twice the national average. Additionally, a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line, according to the Census Bureau.

Patricia Reynolds / Getty Images

Poorest City in Connecticut: Hartford

  • Median household income: $29,313
  • Median home value: $101,900

Hartford is considered a poor city for good reason. About 33 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, according to Census data. Its recent job growth rate lags behind the national rate, and its future job growth rate is expected to lag as well, according to Sperling’s data.

Although Hartford’s cost of living is lower than the country’s average, Connecticut’s overall high cost of living makes it one of the worst states for families to live a richer life, found a separate GOBankingRates study.

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Poorest City in Delaware: Wilmington

  • Median household income: $38,979
  • Median home value: $132,500

Nearly a quarter of Wilmington residents live below the poverty line, according to the Census Bureau. And more than 20 percent of the population earns less than $15,000 a year, according to Sperling’s. But on the positive side, both recent and future job growth are outpacing the national average.

Screen shot / 2017 Google

Poorest City in Florida: Hill ‘n Dale

  • Median household income: $20,481
  • Median home value: $57,300

Hill ‘n Dale has a population fewer than 2,000, and a staggering 63.8 percent of its residents are below the poverty level, according to Census data. That’s the highest percentage out all of the cities on this list.

However, Hill ‘n Dale’s job growth rate is on par with the national average, and the cost of living is lower than the U.S. average, according to Sperling’s data. Its relatively low cost of living might be attractive to retirees looking to downsize, but it might be wise to explore other cities in Florida — which is one of the best states to retire rich, found a separate GOBankingRates study.

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Poorest City in Georgia: Midville

  • Median household income: $22,250
  • Median home value: $51,700

Nearly one in four people in Midville earn less than $15,000 a year, according to Sperling’s. And roughly 17 percent of individuals live below the poverty line, according to the Census. Like many of the poorest cities in the U.S., the cost of living in Midville is cheaper than the U.S. average.

Sperling’s list the median household income in Midville at $22,250, while the Census has it pegged at $37,500.

Screen shot / 2017 Google

Poorest City in Hawaii: Mountain View

  • Median household income: $36,724
  • Median home value: $204,900

Hawaii is notoriously known as one of the most expensive states to live in the U.S. — and the city of Mountain View is no exception. According to Sperling’s data, the cost of living is about 30 percent higher than the U.S. average.

Still, Mountain View made our list and is considered a poor city. More than one-third of the Mountain View population lives below the poverty line, according to the Census Bureau. The Census also lists the median household income higher than Sperling’s data at $48,317.

Screen shot / 2017 Google

Poorest City in Idaho: Hansen

  • Median household income: $34,803
  • Median home value: $128,000

The percentage of people living on less than $15,000 in Hansen is about equal to that of the rest of the state and the United States in general, according to Sperling’s. And, about 20 percent of individuals are living below the poverty line, according to Census data.

Paul Sableman / Flickr.com

Poorest City in Illinois: Cahokia

  • Median household income: $30,394
  • Median home value: $38,600

Nearly 40 percent of people live below the poverty line in Cahokia, according to Census data.

There was a time when Cahokia’s median home value was hovering around $65,000. But that was back in 2007, and since then home values have been on a downward spiral, according to Zillow data. The good news: Home values are expected to increase within the next year — but only by 0.9 percent.

Also See: The Best City in Every State to Buy a Home

benkrut / Getty Images

Poorest City in Indiana: Gary

  • Median household income: $27,458
  • Median home value: $51,300

Gary was once a thriving steel town. But after the collapse of industry, it became a national symbol of urban decay. Low home values and incomes now make it a poor city.

More than 30 percent of the population earns less than $15,000 a year, according to Sperling’s. And, roughly 37 percent of individuals live below poverty levels, according to Census data.

Andrew Dols / Panoramio

Poorest City in Iowa: Hazleton

  • Median household income: $39,632
  • Median home value: $95,200

In Hazleton, nearly 20 percent of individuals live below the poverty level, according to Census data. Although home values haven’t reached six figures in recent years, Hazelton has seen a large increase in values over the past year. In fact, home values have increased by nearly 22 percent, according to Zillow. If values continue to rise, perhaps Hazelton will eventually join the list of cities experiencing skyrocketing home prices.

Screen shot / 2017 Google

Poorest City in Kansas: Oaklawn-Sunview

  • Median household income: $26,319
  • Median home value: $69,400

The cost of living in Oaklawn-Sunview is more than 24 percent lower than the national average, according to Sperling’s data. Since incomes are so low, this is good news for residents. However, about 32 percent of individuals live below the poverty line, according to Census data.

Shellphoto / Getty Images

Poorest City in Kentucky: Pineville

  • Median household income: $21,333
  • Median home value: $79,400

Roughly 1,700 people call Pineville home. But, nearly 47 percent of individuals live below poverty level, according to Census data, and Sperling’s data shows that more than 43 percent live on less than $15,000 a year. With a lower-than-average cost of living, Pineville is relatively affordable — especially when it comes to housing.

Also See: How Much Home You Can Buy for $300K in Every State

Billy Hathorn / Creative Commons

Poorest City in Louisiana: Vivian

  • Median household income: $24,052
  • Median home value: $75,500

Vivian’s cost of living is 23.5 percent lower than the national average, according to Sperling’s, and more than one-third of the population lives on less than $15,000 a year. Meanwhile, about 28 percent live below the poverty level, according to the Census Bureau.

Although the median home value in Vivian is less than $76,000, Zillow predicts it will increase by nearly 8 percent within the next year.

Famartin / iStock.com

Poorest City Maryland: Barton

  • Median household income: $44,464
  • Median home value: $61,900

To say that Barton is a small town could be an understatement. It has a population of just 457 people, according to the Census Bureau. And it’s not exactly super-safe. Both property and violent crime rates are significantly higher in Barton than in the rest of Maryland, according to Sperling’s.

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Poorest City in Massachusetts: Springfield

  • Median household income: $34,731
  • Median home value: $140,900

More than one-quarter of Springfield’s population lives on less than $15,000 a year, according to Sperling’s. And, 30 percent live below the poverty line, according to the Census Bureau.

Home values in Springfield have been an on an upward climb, however. Zillow notes that right now it’s a hot market for home sellers. Future residents, however, might not appreciate the fact that the cost of living is slightly higher than the U.S. average.

peeterv / iStock.com

Poorest City in Michigan: Detroit

  • Median household income: $26,095
  • Median home value: $39,100

Detroit might be America’s biggest poor city with a population of roughly 714,000. The city suffered a five-fold increase in the number of neighborhoods classified as “extremely poor” between 2000 and 2014, reports the Detroit Free Press. Forty percent of individuals live below the poverty level, according to Census data.

When it comes to cost of living, Detroit is more affordable than the U.S. as a whole. However, you still need to earn more than the median income in Detroit — the city requires an income of at least $42,161 to live comfortably, found a GOBankingRates study.

Find Out: How Much You’ll Need to Live Comfortably in the Biggest U.S. Cities

Bjoertvedt / Wikimedia Commons

Poorest City in Minnesota: Virginia

  • Median household income: $33,143
  • Median home value: $81,300

The poorest city in Minnesota is Virginia. Nearly 25 percent of the city’s population lives on less than $15,000 a year, according to Sperling’s. Like many of the poorest cities in the U.S., crime is higher in Virginia than in the rest of the country — most noticeably property crimes.

Screen shot / 2017 Google

Poorest City in Mississippi: Leland

  • Median household income: $26,461
  • Median home value: $52,800

More than a fifth of Leland’s population live on less than $15,000 a year, which is actually lower than the surrounding metro region, according to Sperling’s. Meanwhile, one-third of the population lives below the poverty level, according to Census data. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, Mississippi is one of the states where the poor are getting poorer.

Paul Sableman / Creative Commons

Poorest City in Missouri: Kinloch

  • Median household income: $15,000
  • Median home value: $46,400

Once a thriving community of more than 10,000, Kinloch is in danger of becoming a ghost town, reports Vice. Today, fewer than 300 people remain — and nearly 60 percent live below the poverty level, according to the Census Bureau. Additionally, half of the population lives on less than $15,000 a year, according to Sperling’s.

Screen shot / 2017 Google

Poorest City in Montana: Thompson Falls

  • Median household income: $30,609
  • Median home value: $126,700

With a median age of 53.3, older residents live in Thompson Falls. But, it might not be one of the cheapest places to retire since the cost of living is only slightly less than the U.S. average, according to Sperling’s.

About 20 percent of the city’s total population lives below the poverty line, according to the Census. Although home values have been lackluster in the past, they jumped nearly 30 percent over the past year, according to Zillow.

Andrew Sorensen / Flickr.com

Poorest City in Nebraska: Falls City

  • Median household income: $38,465
  • Median home value: $66,100

Falls City, which is home to 4,325 people, has seen recent positive job growth, according to Sperling’s. And the cost of living is 18.1 percent lower than the national average. However, more than a quarter of individuals live below poverty levels, according to the Census.

Kelapstick / Wikimedia Commons

Poorest City in Nevada: Silver Springs

  • Median household income: $33,341
  • Median home value: $181,900

Recently, Silver Springs suffered a 5 percent decline in its job growth rate. Homeowners had to endure even more bad news. Property values have depreciated nearly 28 percent in the last 10 years. And, nearly 12 percent of the population earns less than $15,000 a year, according to Sperling’s.

Also See: Best Places to Live on Fixed Income

Marlene Ford / Getty Images

Poorest City in New Hampshire: Berlin

  • Median household income: $36,358
  • Median home value: $69,200

Only about 10,000 people live in Berlin, and a fifth are below the poverty line, according to the Census Bureau. More than 20 percent of residents live on less than $15,000 a year, according to Sperling’s. Crime — especially violent crime — is actually quite low compared to both the statewide and national averages.

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Poorest City in New Jersey: Camden

  • Median household income: $26,201
  • Median home value: $72,100

Not only is Camden considered a poor city, it’s also one of the dangerous cities in the nation, reports the Courier-Post. In 2013, Rolling Stone even called it “America’s Most Desperate Town.”

The city is home to about 77,000 residents, and 40 percent live below the poverty level, according to the Census. Nearly one in three residents earn less than $15,000 a year, according to Sperling’s. Residents looking to boost their bank accounts might benefit from these smart strategies to double your income.

Screen shot / 2017 Google

Poorest City in New Mexico: Mesquite

  • Median household income: $21,507
  • Median home value: $101,400

There are just 1,112 people living in the desert town of Mesquite, according to Census Bureau data. And, exactly one-quarter of individuals live below the poverty line. According to Sperling’s, more than 40 percent of those people live on less than $15,000 a year.

Jim Duell / Flickr.com

Poorest City in New York: Hornell

  • Median household income: $38,093
  • Median home value: $56,400

Nearly 26 percent of the population lives below the poverty line in Hornell, a small town in western New York, according to the Census Bureau. Job growth has declined in recent months, according to Sperling’s. But, future job growth is expect to grow nearly 35 percent over the next 10 years.

Don’t Miss: 45 Ways to Make More Money in 2017

Screen shot / 2017 Google

Poorest City in North Carolina: Whitakers

  • Median household income: $27,386
  • Median home value: $68,700

Just 744 people call Whitakers home, and roughly 27 percent of individuals live below the poverty level, according to Census data. One in five residents earn less than $15,000 a year, according to Sperling’s, and another 15 percent earn between $15,000 and $25,000.

Andrew Filer / Flickr.com

Poorest City in North Dakota: Linton

  • Median household income: $29,028
  • Median home value: $137,500

With a population just shy of 1,100, the city doesn’t have an alarming percentage of people below the poverty level — only 10 percent, according to Census data. However, recent job growth is slow, at just 0.20 percent versus the U.S. average of 1.59 percent.

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Poorest City in Ohio: Drexel

  • Median household income: $25,868
  • Median home value: $46,000

Nearly 30 percent of people living in Drexel earn less than $15,000 a year. Unfortunately for homeowners, home values have depreciated more than 18 percent in the last decade alone, according to Sperling’s. Residents looking to move out of the area should look for ways to boost their home values when it comes time to sell.

Screen shot / 2017 Google

Poorest City in Oklahoma: Waurika

  • Median household income: $30,294
  • Median home value: $51,400

About 2,000 people live in Waurika, according to the Census. More than 26 percent of residents live below the poverty line, and more than one in four residents live on less than $15,000 a year, according to Sperling’s.

davidkrug / Shutterstock.com

Poorest City in Oregon: Burns

  • Median household income: $34,952
  • Median home value: $90,600

In Burns, about a fifth of the population lives below the poverty level, according to Census data. But, less than 10 percent earn under $15,000 a year, according to Sperling’s. And there’s good news for homeowners: Home values have increased nearly 18 percent over the last year, according to Zillow.

Shuvaev / Wikimedia Commons

Poorest City in Pennsylvania: Shenandoah

  • Median household income: $27,188
  • Median home value: $33,200

Approximately 5,000 people live in this borough, according to the Census. In Shenandoah, about 24 percent live on less than $15,000 a year, according to Sperling’s. But, nearly 33 percent live below the poverty line.

cmh2315fl / Flickr.com

Poorest City in Rhode Island: Central Falls

  • Median household income: $28,842
  • Median home value: $150,300

More than 21 percent of Central Falls residents earn less than $15,000 a year, according to Sperling’s. And, one-third live below the poverty level, according to the Census. Although Central Falls is considered a poor city, its cost of living is actually higher than the U.S. average, according to Sperling’s.

Screen shot / 2017 Google

Poorest City in South Carolina: Norway

  • Median household income: $22,083
  • Median home value: $66,400

Although Sperling’s lists the median household income in Norway at $22,083, the Census Bureau lists it at $32,500. The town is home to just 337 people, with more than 25 percent living below the poverty level. According to Sperling’s, about 31 percent earn less than $15,000 a year.

Also Read: Best Places to Live on Only a Social Security Check

Brent Moore / Creative Commons

Poorest City in Tennessee: Hollow Rock

  • Median household income: $29,375
  • Median home value: $51,100

About 700 people live in Hollow Rock. More than 21 percent of the town’s residents live on less than $15,000 a year, according to Sperling’s. And, Census Bureau data shows that nearly 28 percent are below the poverty line. Furthermore, recent job growth statistics are discouraging — Sperling’s data shows job availability fell about 1 percent.

Screen shot / 2017 Google

Poorest City in Texas: Encantada-Ranchito-El Calaboz

  • Median household income: $22,344
  • Median home value: $60,200

Encantada-Ranchito El Calaboz has witnessed a population boom of nearly 80 percent since 1990, with more than 2,000 residents now calling the city home, according to Sperling’s. However, 38 percent of people live on less than $15,000 a year, and Census data shows that nearly 50 percent live below the poverty level.

Ready to Make More Money? 7 Signs It’s Time to Change Jobs

Paul W Thompson / Shutterstock.com

Poorest City in Utah: Ogden

  • Median household income: $40,937
  • Median home value: $140,200

In Ogden, 15.4 percent of the city’s residents live on less than $15,000 a year, according to Sperling’s. However, recent job growth has outpaced the national average, and Sperling’s projects a future job growth rate of nearly 41 percent over the next 10 years.

Doug Kerr / Flickr.com

Poorest City in Vermont: Richford

  • Median household income: $41,417
  • Median home value: $130,000

About 2,300 live in this Vermont town, according to Census data, and about 17 percent live below the poverty line. The Town of Richford’s cost of living is cheaper than the U.S. average, according to Sperling’s.

Emw / Creative Commons

Poorest City in Virginia: Clover

  • Median household income: $21,921
  • Median home value: $80,700

Unlike many of the poorest cities in the U.S., Clover has recently witnessed an increase in population. Since 1990, the town has grown by nearly 144 percent, according to Sperling’s. However, the population is still low. According to the most recent figures from the Census Bureau, the town is home to 438 people and more than 16 percent are below the poverty level.

Jasperdo / Flickr.com

Poorest City in Washington: Hoquiam

  • Median household income: $33,194
  • Median home value: $92,900

More than 28 percent of individuals in Hoquiam live in poverty, according to the Census Bureau. Although home values and prices are low (the median list price is only $99,900), Zillow data shows that values have gone up nearly 17 percent over the past year.

Magnolia677 / Wikimedia Commons

Poorest City in West Virginia: Chesapeake

  • Median household income: $35,341
  • Median home value: $71,500

Although Sperling’s most recent data lists the median household income at around $35,000, Census Bureau data shows the median household income at more than $40,000. With a population of around 1,500, approximately 16 percent of individuals live below the property line.

JamesBrey / Getty Images

Poorest City in Wisconsin: Two Rivers

  • Median household income: $39,529
  • Median home value: $94,300

In Two Rivers, less than 11 percent of the population lives in poverty, according to the Census Bureau. In the past year, home values have increased more than 15 percent, according to Zillow. And, the cost of living is lower than the U.S. average.

Chevsapher / Creative Commons

Poorest City in Wyoming: Riverton

  • Median household income: $42,208
  • Median home value: $160,500

The cost of living is more than 15 percent less than in the national average, according to Sperling’s. And, more than 11 percent of the city lives on less than $15,000 a year.

Next Up: Why America’s Middle Class Faces a Bleak Financial Future

Methodology: To find the poorest city in the U.S., GOBankingRates used March 2017 ZHVI data from Zillow to first identify the cities with the lowest home values. We then found the median household incomes for each city using Sperling’s Best Places, which states on its site it last updated this data in December 2016. (Please note: Sperling’s median household incomes might differ from the Census Bureau’s estimates, which are typically sourced from its 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates data.) The cities with the lowest median household incomes were deemed the poorest city in their respective states. States excluded from the study include Maine and South Dakota due to insufficient and/or unavailable data.