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This Is the Poorest Town in Minnesota

imageForEntry43 2U5The U.S. Census Bureau released in December the latest five-year estimates from the American Community Survey, an ongoing nationwide demographic snapshot that collects social, economic, and housing characteristics from millions of households every year.

According to the latest data, the typical American household earned an average of $69,021 over the five years ending in 2021. While this latest figure represents a modest 6% increase over estimates from the five-year period ending in 2020, for most Americans, any increase in income has been wiped out by surging inflation.

Though the consumer price index has dipped since hitting a multi-decade high of 9.1% in June 2022, inflation remains at historic highs, and Americans across the country are feeling the pinch – particularly those on the lower end of the income spectrum, without the means to absorb rising costs.

According to the latest five-year ACS data, the typical household in Minnesota earns $77,706 a year, though there are many places in the state where incomes are far lower. Of the 313 towns in the state with available data, Aurora ranks as the poorest. The typical Aurora household earns just $32,287 a year, 58.4% less than the statewide median household income.

Given the low incomes, it is not surprising that a larger than average share of residents live in poverty. The local poverty rate in the town stands at 24.7%, compared to the statewide poverty rate of 9.2%.

All data in this story are five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey. For the purposes of this story, towns are defined as incorporated legal entities or census-designated statistical areas with populations between 1,000 to 25,000 people. Towns were excluded if median household income was not available in the 2021 ACS or if the sampling error associated with a town’s data was deemed too high.

State Poorest town Median household income in town ($) Median household income in state ($) Poverty rate in town (%) Poverty rate in state (%) Number of towns considered in state
Alabama Livingston 16,321 54,943 50.2 15.8 298
Alaska Alakanuk 36,429 80,287 42.8 10.4 70
Arizona Cibecue 18,232 65,913 66.7 13.5 168
Arkansas Marianna 17,932 52,123 39.0 16.0 190
California Thermal 14,500 84,097 40.2 12.3 732
Colorado Rocky Ford 29,822 80,184 31.9 9.6 182
Connecticut Storrs 23,964 83,572 45.4 10.0 128
Delaware Laurel 34,615 72,724 40.0 11.4 50
Florida Gifford 22,353 61,777 48.6 13.1 592
Georgia Glenwood 19,625 65,030 13.0 13.9 326
Hawaii Hawaiian Ocean View 25,402 88,005 39.2 9.5 114
Idaho Glenns Ferry 29,219 63,377 41.7 11.4 87
Illinois Alorton 19,605 72,563 58.6 11.8 621
Indiana Austin 27,008 61,944 24.0 12.5 309
Iowa Fayette 35,682 65,429 25.0 11.0 266
Kansas Chetopa 21,843 64,521 28.3 11.5 188
Kentucky Clay City 19,643 55,454 41.7 16.3 218
Louisiana Many 18,148 53,571 46.2 18.8 248
Maine Machias 20,333 63,182 38.3 11.0 101
Maryland Federalsburg 31,532 91,431 28.4 9.2 273
Massachusetts Ware 43,783 89,026 17.4 9.9 154
Michigan Baldwin 22,593 63,202 40.8 13.3 382
Minnesota Aurora 32,287 77,706 24.7 9.2 313
Mississippi Rosedale 15,955 49,111 52.7 19.4 173
Missouri Versailles 22,786 61,043 29.0 12.8 348
Montana Plains 24,844 60,560 20.5 12.5 87
Nebraska Falls City 37,712 66,644 14.5 10.3 115
Nevada Tonopah 33,144 65,686 19.2 12.9 43
New Hampshire Ashland 33,365 83,449 31.7 7.4 57
New Jersey Salem 26,667 89,703 37.8 9.8 498
New Mexico University Park 19,125 54,020 53.2 18.3 141
New York Rochester Institute of Technology 18,229 75,157 49.8 13.5 750
North Carolina Scotland Neck 15,985 60,516 47.4 13.7 405
North Dakota New Rockford 35,595 68,131 11.3 10.7 50
Ohio Lincoln Heights 12,183 61,938 64.4 13.4 623
Oklahoma Wetumka 24,769 56,956 43.0 15.2 225
Oregon Grand Ronde 27,465 70,084 33.2 12.1 200
Pennsylvania Shippensburg University 18,125 67,587 63.8 11.8 942
Rhode Island Central Falls 40,235 74,489 24.9 11.3 19
South Carolina Blackville 19,583 58,234 35.8 14.5 236
South Dakota Fort Thompson 24,125 63,920 47.4 12.5 74
Tennessee Jamestown 18,000 58,516 46.7 14.3 272
Texas Carrizo Hill 9,110 67,321 96.9 14.0 877
Utah East Carbon 39,583 79,133 22.9 8.8 135
Vermont West Brattleboro 36,618 67,674 19.4 10.5 47
Virginia Jonesville 17,344 80,615 46.9 9.9 328
Washington Oroville 32,083 82,400 33.2 10.0 345
West Virginia Williamson 18,640 50,884 32.9 16.9 143
Wisconsin Lac du Flambeau 26,076 67,080 29.9 10.7 357
Wyoming Fort Washakie 41,944 68,002 30.1 10.7 52
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