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10 Poorest Cities in America of 2015

The United States is the land of hope and opportunities. Here you will find cities like Washington, D. C. and San Francisco, with many million dollar homes. However, not all towns and cities in this great nation are prosperous. Some are poor. Poverty is not uniform in the US. It varies from place to place. There are few poor towns in each state, no matter how rich the state is. In every state, there is at least one town with median annual household income thousands of dollars less than the state’s median income.

Here are the 10 poorest cities in America as of 2015, based on the U.S. Census Bureau data.


The poverty rate in Boston is less than the national average. The income of 29 percent of the population of Boston is less than $25,000. The city has been dealing with rising poverty since the start of the recession. Only around 13 percent make more than $150,000. More than 40 percent of Boston area workers earn $30,600 annually, which is defined as a “low wage”. Around 44 percent have bachelor’s degree.

Boston, Massachusetts


Recession has had a huge negative impact on Indianapolis. The income of around 29 percent of the population of 828,841 is less than $25,000; only around 5.2 percent get more than $150,000. The city witnessed one of the country’s largest increases in the percentage of children living in poverty between 2005 and 2013.

Downtown of Indianapolis city, Indiana, USA


Around 22.7 percent of the population of El Paso (660,795) has a bachelor’s degree. Only 74 percent of the city’s residents aged 25 and older has a high school degree or is equivalent; the national average is 85 percent. Education and low wages are two of the major challenges faced by this west Texan city. Income of around 30.7 percent of the population is less than $25,000; only around 5.2 percent make more than $150,000.

El Paso, Texas


7. Fresno

Fresno is the fifth-largest city in California. Many people in this city depend on agriculture sector jobs and low-paying farm work. The opportunity to earn better wages is really skewed. Farm owners earn much more than farm workers. Around 31.4 percent of the population (500,819) earns less than $25,000; only around 6.1 percent earn more than $150,000.

Fresno, California


The 621,445 people residing in Baltimore are negatively impacted by low job growth rate and high cost of living. Income of only around 6.4 percent of the population is more than $150,000; around 33.2 percent earn less than $25,000. The city lost around 5 percent of its population in the first decade of the twenty-first century, as people moved to other cities seeking better prospects.


Baltimore, Maryland

5. Tucson

The population of Tucson is 523,278. Income of nearly 35 percent of the population of this city is less than $25,000; only around 3.3 percent make more than $150,000. Slow economic growth and high unemployment are major challenges faced by the city. Around 24.7 percent of the population has a bachelor’s degree.

Tucson, Arizona


Memphis is the largest city in the state of Tennessee; and has one of the worst unemployment rates for a major city. The population of Memphis is 650,932. Income of nearly 35 percent of the population of Memphis is less than $25,000; around 4.8 percent earn more than $150,000. Memphis is plagued by problems like urban blight, shrinking tax base and high violent crime rate.

Memphis, Tennessee

 3. Philadelphia

Around 1.54 million people live in Philadelphia, which one magazine called “the poorest big city in America.” Around 36 percent of the population earns less than $25,000; the income of only around 5.3 percent is above $150,000. Poverty has been a major issue in this city for decades.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Milwaukee has witnessed a poverty rate of 30 percent during the depths of recession. The collapse of heavy industry and manufacturing has taken its toll on the city. Only around 3 percent of the population of 596,459 earns more than $150,000; more than 36 percent earn less than $25,000.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin


1. Detroit

Detroit is the largest city in Michigan. On July 18 2013, Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy case in the history of the United States of America. However, it successfully exited Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy in December 2014. Currently nearly half of the population of Detroit earns less than $25,000; only 1.9 percent earns more than $150,000.

Detroit's downtown and waterfront panoramic view

The ranking was compiled by, a California-based online research group, based on the U.S. Census Bureau data.


Written by PH

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