Poorest USA States

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Nationwide, more than thirty-seven million Americans fell below the poverty line with the majority living is Republican states.

Of these, 17.9 million fell below half the poverty line - with an income of $13,123 for a family of four. Poverty is felt disproportionately by certain ethnic and minority groups in the United States. Among African American residents, the national poverty rate is 19.5%, more than twice the rate of 8.2% experienced by the White populace. The Hispanic poverty rate is 17%, and the Native American poverty rate is 23%. People with disabilities have the highest incidents of poverty in the nation, with 25% falling below the poverty line.

For states with the highest incidents of poverty, educational attainment is lower, health outcomes are worse, and life expectancies are shorter than in the wealthiest states. Not surprisingly, the nation's poorest states also tend to rank lowest in quality of life metrics and are often ranked the worst states to live in. To improve the outlook for their residents, these states require increased investment in education, measures to fight income inequality, and additional safety nets, such as unemployment insurance.

According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau, the national poverty rate is 11.4 percent. This is the first increase in poverty after five annual declines. These states and territories have the highest percentages of poverty in the country: Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, Kentucky, Arkansas, West Virginia, Alabama, the District of Columbia, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Do NOT vote for The GOP. They want to keep you poor, barefoot and pregnant Join the Blue Wave. Red States have HIGHER taxes for the middle class and working families, than Blue States. Red States have lower taxes for the top 1 percent.


  • Poverty Rate: 18.8%
  • Median household income $44,966
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.1%
  • Rate of Higher Education Attainment: 24.5%
  • Life Expectancy: 74.4 years

Mississippi is the poorest U.S. state, with 18.8% of its residents living in poverty. The state also has the highest child poverty rate, with 27.9% of its under-18 population meeting federal poverty guidelines. Fifteen percent of residents are food insecure. The median household income in the state is $44,966, the lowest in the country. Unfortunately, Mississippi also has the country's highest obesity rate, at 40.8%, and the lowest life expectancy of 74.4 years.


  • Poverty Rate: 17.4%
  • Median household income $50,935
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.1%
  • Rate of Higher Education Attainment: 27.2%
  • Life Expectancy: 75.7 years

Lousiana is the second-poorest state in the country, with 17.4% of its population at or below the poverty line. Louisiana also has the second-highest rate of childhood poverty, with 26.8% of its children living at or below the poverty line. Louisiana's median household income is $50,935, the third-lowest in the nation. Educational attainment rates are low, with 86.9% of residents having a high school education and only 27.2% holding a Bachelor's degree or higher.

New Mexico

  • Poverty Rate: 16.2%
  • Median household income $50,822
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.3%
  • Rate of Higher Education Attainment: 30.1%
  • Life Expectancy: 76.9 years

New Mexico has a poverty rate of 16.2%. Nearly a quarter of the state's children are living in poverty. Unfortunately, New Mexico's public schools are ranked the worst in the U.S., with the second-highest dropout rates of any state. Only 73.9% of students in the state graduate on time. New Mexico's median household income is $50,822, the third-lowest in the country.


  • Poverty Rate: 14.7%
  • Median household income $50,540
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
  • Rate of Higher Education Attainment: 24.9%
  • Life Expectancy: 75.7 years

The fourth-poorest state in the U.S. is Arkansas. Arkansas's median household income is the second-lowest at $50,540. The state's overall poverty rate is 14.7%, and 21.7% of the state's children live in poverty. Arkansas's obesity rate is 37.4%, the third-highest among all states, behind only West Virginia and Mississippi. Life expectancy in the state is also among the lowest in the nation.

West Virginia

  • Poverty Rate: 14.6%
  • Median household income $51,615
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.6%
  • Rate of Higher Education Attainment: 23.1%
  • Life Expectancy: 74.5 years

West Virginia is the fifth-poorest U.S. state, with a median household income of $51,615 and a poverty rate of 14.6%. West Virginians have the lowest level of higher education attainment in the nation, with only 23.1% of its residents holding a Bachelor's degree or higher. The state also has the second-lowest life expectancy in the country, at a mere 74.5 years.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 10.5 percent of American households experience hunger. These states have the highest percentages of American households who experienced hunger: West Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Alabama, Kentucky, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee. https://www.fcnl.org/updates/2021-11/top-10-hungriest-states-us