The Poorest Counties in the U.S.

The Poorest Counties in the U.S.

Sadly, the U.S. isn’t getting any richer. According to the latest data set from the U.S. Census Bureau, 14.3% of the country, or 42.9 million Americans, lived below the poverty line in 2009, an increase of 3.5 million from the year before. During the last two years, the federal poverty level has remained constant. In 2008, the poverty line for a family of four was $21,200 and in 2009, it was $22,050. Poverty rates across the nation vary, with the lowest percentage being exhibited by Los Alamos County in New Mexico, where only 3.1% of the population lives below the povery line. So, in what counties are residents most impoverished? MainStreet broke down the top 10 poorest counties in the U.S. by the poverty rate, as established in the 2009 census. Read on to find out if your county made the list. Photo Credit: valeblos

#10 poorest County: Buffalo County, S.D.

Poverty Rate: 43.6% Median Household Income: $18,860 This tiny central South Dakota locale (population 2,032) is the 10th poorest county when ranked by its poverty rate, and has the lowest median household income in the nation. The county with the second lowest average was Owsley County, Ky., where household incomes averaged $21,177. That is $2,317 behind Buffalo County. Owsley’s 41.4% poverty rate kept it out of the top 10 by five spots. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Loudoun County, Va., had a median household income of $114,200 in 2009. You can find out what other U.S. counties had the highest household income here. Photo Credit: puroticorico

9th Poorest County: East Carroll Parrish, La.

Poverty Rate: 44.3% Median Household Income: $23,186 Lousiana, in general, is one of the poorest states in the nation, with 17.6% of its residents living below the poverty line, and an average median household income of $42,460. Photo Credit: Natalie Maynor

8th Poorest County:  Humphreys County, Miss.

Poverty Rate: 44.3% Median Household Income: $21,926 One of the larger counties in Mississippi to make the list, 4,268 of the location’s 9,634 residents live below the poverty line. Photo Credit: Natalie Maynor

7th Poorest County: Martin County, Ky.

Poverty Rate: 45% Median Household Income: $25,825 The average household income in the state of Kentucky is $40,061, $14,236 more than in Martin, the poorest county in the state. Photo Credit: w.marsh

6th Poorest County: Todd County, S.D.

Poverty Rate: 45.3% Median Household Income: $24,742 The average median household income in the state of South Dakota is $45,048. Photo Credit: ionntag

5th Poorest County: Issaquena County, Miss.

Poverty Rate: 45.5% Median Household Income: $24,850 The first of three Mississippi counties to make the list is also the smallest in the state. Issaquena County is home to 1,338 residents, 609 of whom are living below the poverty line. Photo Credit:  Natalie Maynor

4th Poorest County: Holmes County, Miss.

Poverty Rate: 48.4% Median Household Income: $21,617 Holmes County is the third in a state whose overall poverty rate was the highest in the U.S. In total, 624,360 of Mississippi’s residents, or 21.9% of its population, lived below the poverty line in 2009, an increase of 18,157 residents during the previous year. Photo Credit:  Natalie Maynor

3rd Poorest County: Shannon County, S.D.

Poverty rate: 51.6% Median Household Income: $25,048 One of the larger counties to make the list (population 13,521), 57% of children under 18 live under the poverty line in Shannon County. South Dakota actually claims eight of the top 10 spots on a list of Midwest counties with the highest child poverty rate, which includes the aforementioned Todd County and Buffalo County, but also Jackson County, Melette County, Corson County, Buffalo County and Sioux County, which all have child poverty rates above 50%. Photo Credit:  afiler

2nd Poorest County: Crowley County, Co.

Poverty Rate: 53%Median Household Income: $29,104 Crowley County managed to rank second on the list of poorest states by poverty level, but you could blame its small size for appearance. The county has 3,089 residents, and 1,635 live below the poverty line. However, in total, the state of Colorado accounts for 618,676 of the 42,868,163 poor people in the U.S. Photo Credit: joiseyshowaa

The Poorest County in the U.S.: Ziebach County, S.D.

Poverty rate: 62% Median Household Income: $25,084 South Dakota managed to escape our list of the top 10 poorest states in the U.S., despite the fact that according to the poverty rate, its home to four of the poorest counties. This is perhaps because for every county like Ziebach, there is one like Lincoln, which actually boasts the seventh lowest poverty rate, and whose average median household income is $72,894. In all, South Dakota’s poverty rate was at 14.2%, just one tenth below the nation’s average. Check out MainStreet’s roundup of  the poorest states. Photo Credit:   Keith011764

The Richest Counties in the U.S.

Exactly how much do people who live in affluent communities make per year? MainStreet counts down the richest counties in the U.S. Photo Credit: Florin Draghici

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