Top 10 Poorest States in the U.S. (2024)

According to global standards, the United States is a moderately rich country. Once you take into account all forms of economic resources, the U.S. is unquestionably the richest nation on earth. Nevertheless, poverty has persisted across some states of the entire country. Poverty affects society and politics in the United States. There will be over 39.2 million individuals living in poverty as at 2024.

poorest states in the us

Among the many causes are unequal wealth distribution, inflation, unemployment, debt traps, and inadequate education. The vast majority of those who live in poverty have less education and become unemployed. The US government has taken steps to slow down and regulate the rate of poverty notwithstanding all of these contributing factors. In this post, we will examine the states in America that are most impacted by poverty.


The following are the ten poorest states in the United States for the year 2022. This report comes after a study of every state. See how we gave the rankings and how your state fared by reading the paragraphs below.


Mississippi, where 18.8% of the population lives in poverty, is the poorest state in the United States. The state additionally has the greatest percentage of child poverty, with 27.9% of its population under 18 living below the federal poverty threshold. Food insecurity affects 15% of locals. The state has the lowest median household income in the nation at $44,966. Sadly, Mississippi also has the shortest life expectancy in the us (74.4 years).

Like other states, Mississippi offers an endless amount of chances. Being poor is not a permanent condition. The state still has options for lowering its high rate of poverty incidence.


In actuality, Louisiana has the worst rate of poverty in the country. About 5% of the state’s population are considered to be poor. 17.4% of Louisiana’s residents live in poverty, making it the second poorest state in the United States. The second-highest rate of childhood poverty is also seen in this state. Children there make up 26.8% of those living in poverty. Louisiana has the third-lowest median household income in the US ($50,935). Louisiana has a reduced percentage of educational attainment, with only 27.2% of adults having a Bachelor’s degree or higher.


Although the mountains and deserts of New Mexico are breathtaking, this state does seem to have a high prevalence of poverty. The poverty rate in New Mexico is 16.2%. Children in the state who live in poverty make up almost a quarter of the population. The public schools in New Mexico are regrettably the worst in the nation. The second-highest dropout rates of any state are in this one. The state’s on-time graduation rate is only 73.9%. The median household income in New Mexico is $50,822, ranking third lowest nationally.


West Virginia has an 18% poverty rate, ranking it as the fourth poorest state in America. In this region, the average family income is $44,000 a year, which is quite low. West Virginians are prevented from being even poorer by a few shining examples, though. The standard of living is quite low, and joblessness isn’t that high.

West Virginians are the least likely in the US to have completed a higher degree. A Bachelor’s degree or above is only held by 23.1% of its people. Additionally, the state has the second-lowest average lifespan in the nation, at just 74.5 years.


Arkansas is the country’s fifth-poorest state. The state used to be essentially the poorest in the nation, but things have improved.

The median household income of Arkansas is $50,540, which ranks as the second-lowest. 14.7percent of the total of residents in the state live in poverty. Additionally, 21.7% of the youngsters in the state are poor. Arkansas has the third-highest obesity rate of any state, at 37.4%. The state has one of the lowest life expectancies in the country.

A large number of bank accounts are dormant here in Arkansas. The average yearly income for households in the Natural State is $49,475.


It’s not illegal to be poor. However in Alabama, those without access to riches rarely receive the same treatment as others. One of the poorest states in the US for a long time is Alabama. More than 800,000 people in Alabama are currently considered to be poor.

Alabama’s poverty has several root reasons, including historical ones like a state constitution that limits just and equitable taxes.


Kentucky people have the fifth-lowest incomes in the country with an annual salary of $46k. Additionally, 1 in 5 residents of Kentucky are poor. If there is any silver lining in this, it is that the jobless rate is roughly average. Therefore, there are chances to progress here.

The prevalence of poverty and food insecurity is higher in Kentucky than it is in other states as a result of systemic constraints. This involves unequal income distribution and a low median household income.


South Carolina is behind on our ranking of the nation’s poorest states. Why is the state even impoverished? Similar to previous states we’ve discussed thus far, it is mostly caused by unchecked capitalism and a lack of command over one’s financial destiny.

People in South Carolina are really having a hard time. Their poverty rate is 16.9%, with less than $50,000 in annual household income. Additionally, 90% of the adult population in this country is employed. 75% of full-time workers in America depend on one paycheck to the next. That is a significant difference.


Since Michigan stands as the ninth poorest state in America, one maybe did not anticipate seeing it on this list. Even though Michigan is home to some of the friendliest, most giving people in the nation, the state is actually quite underdeveloped.

Although Michigan residents have respectable employment, they have the 18th-lowest salaries in the US ($59,234). Additionally, because the cost of living is so low here, even good earnings don’t go very far.


Tennessee is a fascinating state. Although it is the tenth poorest state in the country, there are different wealth levels around the state. There is a lot of wealth and prosperity in Germantown and Nashville, but there is also a lot of wealth disparity. The rest of the state’s population is significantly underemployed and relatively poor compared to the rest of the country.


What’s the poorest state in America for 2022? As it did turn out, Mississippi is the country’s poorest state. The states in the US with the highest rates of poverty and weakest economies were identified using the most current statistical information. The objectives of this writing is to identify which state in the United States is the worst possible. Even though it is objective, this study does consider all elements that contribute to these poverty rates.

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Oluchi Chukwu

Oluchi is a seasoned Information blogger, content developer and the editor of Nigerian Queries. She is a tech enthusiast who loves reading, writing and research

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