Which county in Georgia has the most poverty?

Among developed nations with similarly advanced economies, the United States stands out for having especially high levels of income inequality. Though the U.S. ranks among the wealthiest countries in the world, more than one in every 10 American citizens live below the poverty line – and the problem is getting worse.

Between 2020 and 2021, the most recent years of available data, the number of Americans living below the poverty line climbed from 38.4 million to 41.4 million. The 7.9% year-over-year increase was a break from the nearly decade-long trend of poverty reduction.

The poverty line in the United States now stands at an annual income of $14,580 for an individual and $30,000 for a family of four – with slightly higher thresholds in Alaska and Hawaii. The consequences of living on such low incomes are far reaching and potentially devastating. Individuals living in poverty often struggle to afford basic needs, such as food, shelter, and health care. Additionally, the stress caused by persistent poverty can negatively impact mental health, leading to higher rates of depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse.

According to five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey, Lanier County has the highest poverty rate of any county or county equivalent in Georgia. An estimated 34.1% of the local population live below the poverty line, compared to the 13.9% statewide poverty rate.

Additionally, the typical household in the county earns $33,956 a year, about $31,100 less than the typical Georgia household.

Counties or county equivalents were not considered in this analysis if poverty rates were not available in the 2021 ACS, if the population for which the poverty status had been determined was less than 1,000, or if the sampling error associated with a county’s data was deemed too high.

GeographyPoverty rate in county or county equivalent (%)Poverty rate in state (%)Median household income in county or county equivalent ($)Median household income in state ($)
Alabama: Greene39.815.828,82654,943
Alaska: Kusilvak36.610.437,97580,287
Arizona: Apache33.913.534,78865,913
Arkansas: Phillips33.316.032,23552,123
California: Trinity22.512.342,20684,097
Colorado: Bent25.49.640,97280,184
Connecticut: New Haven11.510.075,04383,572
Delaware: Kent13.311.463,71572,724
Florida: Hamilton26.413.139,34661,777
Georgia: Lanier34.113.933,95665,030
Hawaii: Hawaii13.89.568,39988,005
Idaho: Madison24.311.453,49863,377
Illinois: Alexander24.511.839,87172,563
Indiana: Monroe21.812.554,09661,944
Iowa: Story19.411.062,57865,429
Kansas: Riley22.011.553,29664,521
Kentucky: Wolfe34.616.324,34955,454
Louisiana: East Carroll47.318.825,04953,571
Maine: Washington18.711.046,68963,182
Maryland: Somerset20.49.248,66191,431
Massachusetts: Suffolk17.39.980,26089,026
Michigan: Isabella23.813.348,84063,202
Minnesota: Mahnomen21.19.248,02177,706
Mississippi: Holmes39.219.424,95849,111
Missouri: Pemiscot27.512.835,86561,043
Montana: Roosevelt32.312.547,18260,560
Nebraska: Thurston20.510.356,22366,644
Nevada: Mineral19.612.943,00965,686
New Hampshire: Sullivan12.57.464,58783,449
New Jersey: Cumberland15.79.858,39789,703
New Mexico: McKinley34.018.340,26254,020
New York: Bronx26.513.543,72675,157
North Carolina: Robeson27.313.736,73660,516
North Dakota: Sioux38.510.739,75568,131
Ohio: Athens25.513.447,06161,938
Oklahoma: Okfuskee27.615.243,00056,956
Oregon: Malheur19.412.147,90670,084
Pennsylvania: Philadelphia22.811.852,64967,587
Rhode Island: Providence13.611.365,79774,489
South Carolina: Dillon31.214.539,78058,234
South Dakota: Todd59.012.526,25063,920
Tennessee: Hancock29.114.329,65058,516
Texas: Dimmit46.514.025,00067,321
Utah: San Juan21.28.852,40079,133
Vermont: Essex14.710.548,19467,674
Virginia: Radford35.49.944,36080,615
Washington: Whitman24.710.043,61382,400
West Virginia: McDowell28.916.930,12750,884
Wisconsin: Menominee26.210.754,94067,080
Wyoming: Albany23.610.750,73368,002

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