15 Poorest States In The United States 2022 [PR & Median Income]

You will be enlightened on the poorest states in the United States from our discussion today. Poverty is indeed evident across many states in the U.S., but more pronounced in some states than others.

The essence of putting together this list is to help you perhaps you want to move from one state to another, to consider financial factors such as poverty rates, unemployment rates, and median.

The United States remains one of the countries around the world with a healthy and stable economy which makes it difficult to spot States within the country that are poor. However, we were able to compile the 15 Poorest States in the US going by the latest data published by the Census reports.

Ensure you read through our listing and discussion about the Poorest States in America.

Do You Know that The average poverty rate in the U.S, across all the states is 10.5%? now you know.

List Of The Poorest States In The United States

#1. Mississippi

  • Poverty Rate: 19.6%

The United State of Mississippi appears atop our list as the poorest state in the U.S. The state has a median household income ($45,792) that is nearly $20,000 below the national average. Likewise, the state’s poverty rate is way above the national average rate of 10.5%.

Read Also: The Most Dangerous Countries In The World

#2. Louisiana

  • Poverty Rate: 19%

The United State of Louisiana poverty rate almost pegged that of neighboring state Mississippi, with only just a little difference making it the second state among the Poorest States in the US. However, there has been a report that the poverty rate in the state has declined significantly, yet the drop is inconsistent.

#3. New Mexico

  • Poverty Rate: 18.2%

A poverty rate of 18.2% that is way higher than the national average makes New Mexico the third poorest state in America. Interestingly, there is a glimpse of hope as the poverty rate has dropped significantly from that of 2013 when it reached 21.9%, and it has continued to drop further.

Very soon, with more effort from both government and investors, the state may drop further below the list and eventually off of the list.

#4. Kentucky

  • Poverty Rate: 16.3%

Kentucky occupies the fourth spot on our list of Poorest States in America with a poverty rate above the national average at 16.3%. Despite appearing so early on our list, the state’s poverty rate has dropped drastically compared to what it used to be.

#5. Arkansas

  • Poverty Rate: 16.2%

Arkansas is a Midwestern state in the United States and home to a population of a little over 3 million residents. The state is known prevalently for its abundant park and wilderness areas, as well as topography encompassing mountains, caves, rivers, and hot springs.

Compared to 2012 when its poverty rate was 19.8%, it has experienced a drastic drop presently 16.2% but still very high than the national average.

#6. West Virginia

  • Poverty Rate: 16%

West Virginia is known for its attractive natural beauty and is home to a population of just a little over 1 million residents. Despite its relatively small population, the state still has one of the highest poverty rates of 16% in the country.

Interestingly, this is reported to be the lowest rate of poverty West Virginia has seen in almost 20 years despite it is higher than that of the national average

#7. Alabama

  • Poverty Rate: 15.5%

The United State of Alabama did not appear here for its music, hot weather, and Civil Rights history as it is famously known for, but for its poverty rate which is 15.5% making the state one of the Poorest States in US. It is the lowest poverty rate recorded since 2000. However, the poverty rate remains above the national average.

#8. Oklahoma

  • Poverty Rate: 15.2%

Oklahoma is not left out among the Poorest States in America with a poverty rate that’s above national at 15.2%. The state is home to almost 4 million residents. The population has grown significantly by 5.5% in the last decade.

#9. Tennessee

  • Poverty Rate: 13.9%

Three key factors that define the state of Tennessee, are country music, whiskey and mountainous landscapes. However, the poverty rate in the state has become an identifying factor of the state despite reports stating that the poverty rate in the area has dropped drastically to the current 13.9%.

#10. South Carolina

  • Poverty Rate: 13.8%

South Carolina is a southeastern state in the U.S., overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The state has an ever-growing population of 5,148,714 that has continually increased since 2010. Interestingly, the poverty rate in the state has dropped to 13.8% from 18.9% in 2011.

#11. North Carolina

  • Poverty Rate: 13.6%

North Carolina is the eleventh state on our list of Poorest States in America going by its poverty rate of 13.6% which is fairly better than South Carolina, its neighbor to the south. Also, the current poverty rate is a drastic drop from what it used to be especially in 2012 when the rate was 18%.

#12. Texas

  • Poverty Rate: 13.6%

The United States of Texas is the second-largest state in the country by area. Also, it is among the biggest states in the country by population, with about 29 million people living there. The state appears as the 12th-poorest state in America going by its poverty rate of 13.6%.

#13. Arizona

  • Poverty Rate: 13.5%

Arizona is the sixth-largest state by area in the U.S., also characterized by its hot weather, deserts and significant natural spots such as the Grand Canyon. However, the state appears among the Poorest States in America having a poverty rate that is above that of the national average with a rate of 13.5%.

#14. Georgia

  • Poverty Rate: 13.3%

The United State of Georgia comes to mind when you think of the Civil Rights Movement as well as Martin Luther King Jr. Aside from those, the state is the fourteenth poorest state in the country because of its poverty rate of 13.3% which is a drastic drop from what it used to be in 2011 when the rate was 19.1%.

#15. Ohio

  • Ohio’s Poverty Rate: 13.1%

Ohio is the 34th-largest state by area, and it has a population of just over 11.8 million, making it the seventh-most populous and tenth-most densely populated State in America. It is the last state to appear on our list of Poorest States in the United States with a poverty rate of 13.1%.

Read Also: The 10 Poorest Countries In The Western Hemisphere


As you have read, all of the states enlisted above have poverty rates that are higher than the national average. However, they have all shown an improvement in recent years with each state having a reduction in its poverty rate since the peak of the Great Recession in 2012.

So far so good, those are the poorest States in the United States today.

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