20 Of America's Poorest Cities You May Be Surprised To Learn

The US is undoubtedly one of the world's richest countries, with 4% of the world's population holding 25% of the world's wealth. But there are poor areas in the country too. This is a list of America's poorest cities based on the median household income and the poverty rate. Click to check and get ready to be surprised.

1. Whitewater, Wisconsin

Median Household Income: $31,827

Poverty Rate: 40.2%

20 Of America's Poorest Cities You May Be Surprised To Learn_1

Whitewater is the poorest city in Wisconsin, with a poverty rate of 40.2% that is far higher than the state's average. People chalk up their low income to the high number of college students. Around 13,000 of its 14,700 population are enrolled at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater.

2. Vicksburg, Mississippi

Median Household Income: $29,799

Poverty Rate: 36.1%

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The average Vicksburg household earns less than half of the national average of $63,179. One in three of the city's 22,960 residents live below the poverty line, which is far higher than the state's average of 21.5% and also higher than the national average of 14.6%. So it's no surprise that Vicksburg is on this list.

3. Clearlake, California

Median Household Income: $27,034

Poverty Rate: 35.9%

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Speaking of California, you probably think of luxury houses of the rich and famous. It's true that most areas of the state are wealthy, but not Clearlake. The city of 15,061 people has a poverty rate that is over double the state's average of 15.1%. Within the entire state of California, Clearlake is the only place with a median home value of less than $100,000.

4. Central, South Carolina

Median Household Income: $26,623

Poverty Rate: 40.8%

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Much like Wisconsin's Whitewater, the Central city in South Carolina also has a large percentage of its population as students - approximately 1,500 of its 5,161 residents are studying at the Southern Wesleyan University. As a result, the city's average household earns just $26,623, and 40,8% of its residents live below the poverty line.

5. San Benito, Texas

Median Household Income: $26,583

Poverty Rate: 37.4%

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Texas has huge income inequality. While its richest city, University Park, enjoys a median household income of $211,741, its poorest town, San Benito, has a median household income of less than $26,000, which is the only in the entire state. Added to that roughly 37% of its 24,400 residents live below the poverty line.

6. Belle Glade, Florida

Median Household Income: $25,873

Poverty Rate: 39.1%

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Much like California, Florida is also home to some very wealthy areas, but there are poor cities too. Belle Glade, situated south of Lake Okeechobee, is the poorest city in the state. Nearly 40% of its population of roughly 19,200 lives below the poverty line, and approximately 25% of its households earn less than $10,000 a year.

7. Wewoka, Oklahoma

Median Household Income: $25,567

Poverty Rate: 41.7%

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One in three of the small town's 3,400 population rely on SNAP benefits to put food on the table, and over 40% live below the poverty line. Wewoka is one of the two cities in Oklahoma that have a median home value of less than $50,000.

8. Deming, New Mexico

Median Household Income: $25,428

Poverty Rate: 34.3%

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Financial hardship is no stranger to the city of 14,339 people. Nearly one in five residents of Deming live on less than $10,000 a year. This is shocking since only 6.7% of households in the country earn so little. More than one in three residents live below the poverty line.

9. Fredericktown, Missouri

Median Household Income: $24,640

Poverty Rate: 28.9%

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This small town of around 4,000 people is the poorest in Missouri. Its households earn less than half of the state's median household income of $51,542. Fredericktown is another city where education plays a factor in its poverty - almost 83.3% of the town's adults don't have a college degree.

10. Brunswick, Georgia

Median Household Income: $24,471

Poverty Rate: 39%

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Brunswick is another city that takes home the title as the only town with a median household income of less than $25,000 in the entire state. Approximately 40% of its 15,900 population live below the poverty line, which is the highest in Georgia.

11. Forest City, North Carolina

Median Household Income: $24,383

Poverty Rate: 37.4%

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With a poverty rate of over double of the state's average of 16.1%, Forest City is the poorest city in entire North Carolina. The city of 7,250 people also has the highest SNAP benefit rate in the state, which stands at 37.7%.

12. Hamtramck, Michigan

Median Household Income: $24,369

Poverty Rate: 50.9%

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What a name for a town! Hamtramck in Michigan is the poorest town in the state and one of the poorest in the country. An astounding 45% of the town's 21,960 population rely on SNAP benefits to put groceries on the table.

13. Selma, Alabama

Median Household Income: $24,223

Poverty Rate: 38.3%

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Selma, a town of 19,200 people, wins the award for the only town in the entire state where more than half of its population has a household income of less than $25,000 a year. To put that in perspective, Alabama's second-poorest city, Jackson, has a median household income of more than $30,000.

14. New Square, New York

Median Household Income: $23,924

Poverty Rate: 64.4%

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New York is another state known for glitz, glamour, and wealth, but New Square, New York, is an exception, with a poverty rate as high as 64.4%. While the small town of 8,000 people has a median household income of less than $25,000, East Hills, just 60 miles away from New Square, enjoys a household income of approximately $200,000 a year.

15. Johnstown, Pennsylvania

Median Household Income: $23,636

Poverty Rate: 37.9%

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While Pennsylvania's average household income is nearly on par with the national average, Johnstown can claim an average income of less than half of that. Situated about 70 miles outside of Pittsburgh, the town of 20,000 people has a poverty rate of nearly 40%, which is triple the state's average of 13.1% and is the highest in Pennsylvania.

16. Helena-West Helena, Arkansas

Median Household Income: $21,667

Poverty Rate: 42.5%

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Arkansas is one of the country's poorest states, so it's no surprise that this Arkansas town of 11,200 people has such a low median household income. While the state's average poverty rate is as high as 18.1%, Helena-West Helena's average is over double that, which is staggering.

17. Bastrop, Louisiana

Median Household Income: $21,364

Poverty Rate: 43.5%

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Bastrop in Louisiana is not only the poorest town in the state but also one of the poorest in the country. With a population of just over 10,000, the small town's poverty rate is over double the state's average and almost triple the national average.

18. East Cleveland, Ohio

Median Household Income: $21,184

Poverty Rate: 40.5%

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While the state's poverty rate is just 14.9%, East Cleveland's is almost triple that, making the city the poorest in Ohio. With a population of around 17,400, the city's median household is less than half of the state's average of $52,407.

19. South Tucson, Arizona

Median Household Income: $21,160

Poverty Rate: 46.2%

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The poorest town in Arizona, South Tucson is also one of the poorest in all of America. With a population of just over 5,600, a shocking 15% of the town's households bring in less than $10,000 a year, and their median household income is less than half the national average.

20. Centreville, Illinois

Median Household Income: $17,440

Poverty Rate: 48.1%

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You may be surprised to learn that Illinois' median household income is $63,575, which is a few hundred over the national average. It is more surprising when you compare that to this Illinois town's median income. In fact, Centreville holds the distinction as the poorest town in the US. Almost half of its just over 5,000 residents live below the poverty line.

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