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Most impoverished counties in America

  • Most impoverished counties in America

    The average American household in 2017 had a combined income of $61,372. That number is actually on the rise, which may come as a surprise to the many Americans who still remember the most recent recession. Median household income saw a 1.8% increase from the previous year, the third straight annual increase since 2014. The poverty rate has decreased for the past three years as well, down to 12.3% (a 0.4% decrease from 2016).

    Still, a substantial number of Americans are living well below the poverty line, which is currently $16,910 for a two-person household. Fifteen million children (that’s 21% of young people in the U.S.) are in a family living below the official federal poverty threshold. The poorest county in the United States has over 56% of its residents living at or below poverty levels.

    Residents of wealthy states aren’t immune to poverty. In Hawaii, for example, average household income is almost $72,000 a year, the fourth highest in the country. Hawaii County on the Big Island, however, has a household income well under the national median, lower than any other county in the entire state by a whopping $14,000.

    Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) project, Stacker has compiled a list of the 50 most impoverished counties in America. While this list by and large falls in line with prevailing American poverty trends, there are a few entries here which may come as a surprise.

    Read on to find out which counties are the most impoverished in America.

    RELATED: How many children live in poverty in your state?

  • #50. Bullock County, AL

    County residents in poverty: 2,956 (34.4% of residents, 159% greater than the national average)
    Children ages 0–17 in poverty: 1,015 (48.3% of children, 165% greater than the national average)
    Median household income: $29,113 (57% less than the national average)
    Unemployment rate: 12.1% (83% greater than the national average)
    Education rates: 28.6% of residents have not graduated high school (125% greater than the national average); 13.4% of residents have at least a bachelor's degree (57% less than the national average)

  • #49. McCreary County, KY

    County residents in poverty: 5,404 (34.4% of residents, 159% greater than the national average)
    Children ages 0–17 in poverty: 1,679 (45.6% of children, 151% greater than the national average)
    Median household income: $28,024 (58% less than the national average)
    Unemployment rate: 15.8% (139% greater than the national average)
    Education rates: 26.6% of residents have not graduated high school (109% greater than the national average); 7.6% of residents have at least a bachelor's degree (75% less than the national average)

  • #48. Noxubee County, MS

    County residents in poverty: 3,645 (34.5% of residents, 159% greater than the national average)
    Children ages 0–17 in poverty: 1,201 (45.8% of children, 152% greater than the national average)
    Median household income: $30,130 (56% less than the national average)
    Unemployment rate: 14.8% (124% greater than the national average)
    Education rates: 31.8% of residents have not graduated high school (150% greater than the national average); 12.9% of residents have at least a bachelor's degree (58% less than the national average)

  • #47. Knott County, KY

    County residents in poverty: 5,033 (34.6% of residents, 160% greater than the national average)
    Children ages 0–17 in poverty: 1,283 (42% of children, 131% greater than the national average)
    Median household income: $31,788 (52% less than the national average)
    Unemployment rate: 13.6% (106% greater than the national average)
    Education rates: 26.6% of residents have not graduated high school (109% greater than the national average); 12.9% of residents have at least a bachelor's degree (58% less than the national average)

  • #46. Telfair County, GA

    County residents in poverty: 4,366 (34.6% of residents, 160% greater than the national average)
    Children ages 0–17 in poverty: 1,108 (42.8% of children, 135% greater than the national average)
    Median household income: $31,354 (54% less than the national average)
    Unemployment rate: 4.1% (38% less than the national average)
    Education rates: 29.6% of residents have not graduated high school (133% greater than the national average); 8.1% of residents have at least a bachelor's degree (74% less than the national average)

  • #45. Coahoma County, MS

    County residents in poverty: 7,860 (34.8% of residents, 162% greater than the national average)
    Children ages 0–17 in poverty: 3,127 (50.4% of children, 177% greater than the national average)
    Median household income: $28,921 (57% less than the national average)
    Unemployment rate: 19% (188% greater than the national average)
    Education rates: 21.6% of residents have not graduated high school (70% greater than the national average); 16.9% of residents have at least a bachelor's degree (45% less than the national average)

  • #44. Dewey County, SD

    County residents in poverty: 2,018 (34.9% of residents, 162% greater than the national average)
    Children ages 0–17 in poverty: 882 (41.9% of children, 130% greater than the national average)
    Median household income: $37,621 (44% less than the national average)
    Unemployment rate: 2.3% (65% less than the national average)
    Education rates: 8.9% of residents have not graduated high school (30% less than the national average); 21.8% of residents have at least a bachelor's degree (29% less than the national average)

  • #43. Bennett County, SD

    County residents in poverty: 1,190 (34.9% of residents, 162% greater than the national average)
    Children ages 0–17 in poverty: 590 (51.6% of children, 184% greater than the national average)
    Median household income: $35,529 (47% less than the national average)
    Unemployment rate: 13.5% (105% greater than the national average)
    Education rates: 20.5% of residents have not graduated high school (61% greater than the national average); 17.3% of residents have at least a bachelor's degree (44% less than the national average)

  • #42. Tensas Parish, LA

    County residents in poverty: 1,603 (34.9% of residents, 162% greater than the national average)
    Children ages 0–17 in poverty: 606 (55.1% of children, 203% greater than the national average)
    Median household income: $27,959 (59% less than the national average)
    Unemployment rate: 15.3% (132% greater than the national average)
    Education rates: 23.8% of residents have not graduated high school (87% greater than the national average); 9.7% of residents have at least a bachelor's degree (69% less than the national average)

  • #41. Willacy County, TX

    County residents in poverty: 6,371 (35% of residents, 163% greater than the national average)
    Children ages 0–17 in poverty: 2,259 (44.4% of children, 144% greater than the national average)
    Median household income: $30,392 (55% less than the national average)
    Unemployment rate: 14.5% (120% greater than the national average)
    Education rates: 34.6% of residents have not graduated high school (172% greater than the national average); 9% of residents have at least a bachelor's degree (71% less than the national average)

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