These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In Alabama For 2019


We used science and data to determine which places in Alabama are basically dead broke.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the poorest places in Alabama.

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Alabama brings to mind images of Montgomery, beautiful landscapes, and some of the best people you’ll find in the good ole US of A.

However, like all states, Alabama has certain places that are going on hard times. These places have an above average percent of people that are living in poverty, out of work, or not making as much as they should be.

With all the talk about income inequality going on around the country, we thought it prudent to take a look at the places in each state that are struggling to make it even as the economy continues to improve. So we set our sites on bringing attention to the places in Alabama that could use a helping hand.

To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 103 places in Alabama with more than 5,000 people.

We were left with this set of the ten poorest places in the Heart Of Dixie for 2019:

  1. Monroeville (Photos)
  2. Selma (Photos)
  3. Prichard (Photos)
  4. Tuskegee (Photos)
  5. Bessemer (Photos)
  6. Anniston (Photos)
  7. Demopolis (Photos)
  8. Talladega (Photos)
  9. Eufaula (Photos)
  10. Chickasaw (Photos)

Again, this isn’t a commentary on the people that live there or the vibrant culture and traditions of these places. Instead, it’s just a look at the facts.

And according to the facts, Monroeville is the poorest place in Alabama for 2019.

Rich people not your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the richest places in Alabama or the most dangerous.

For more on how we calculated the top ten, and for more information about these places, read on.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the poorest states in America or the poorest cities in America.

For more Alabama reading, check out:

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Alabama for 2019

The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about determining the poorest places is to simply the poverty rate. That is, the number of people living below a federally established level of income for a household of a certain size.

However, we don’t think that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the “poorest places”. So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2013-2017 American Community Survey:

  • Poverty Level
  • Median Household Income adjusted for the cost of living
  • Unemployment Rate

The “median household income adjusted for the cost of living” attempts to gauge how expensive it is to live in a place and how that impacts the quality of life. For example, a town might have fewer people living below the official poverty line, but the cost of living is so high they’d still feel poor.

The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for improvement in the city or town. If more people are employed, the brighter the future looks and vice versa.

After we collected the data for all 103 places with more than 5,000 people in Alabama, we ranked each place from 1 to 103 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the poorest.

We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a “Poor Score” with the place having the lowest overall Poor Score, Monroeville, crowned the “Poorest Place In Alabama For 2019”.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 103 places.

Monroeville, AL

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 6,072
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Median Income: $25,955 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 23.9% (1st highest)
Poverty Rate: 35.3% (3rd highest)
More on Monroeville:  Data | Photos

Monroeville, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in Alabama thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.

The city of 6,072 people averages the 3rd lowest median household income in Alabama and the 3rd highest poverty rate. At the very least, the cost of living ranks in the bottom 15% of place in the state, so things like housing are relatively affordable.

Selma, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 19,176
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $24,223 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 18.1% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 38.3% (2nd highest)
More on Selma:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Alabama is Selma.

The city ranks as having the 2nd highest incidence of poverty and 1st lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 4th highest in the Heart of Dixie.

Prichard, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 22,063
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $25,818 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 16.0% (7th highest)
Poverty Rate: 35.1% (4th highest)
More on Prichard:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Prichard’s median income ranks as the 2nd lowest.

And that’s a sign that there’s a relatively substantial jump in the quality of the economy from second to third place on our list. The poverty rate is 35.1% and ranks near the bottom of places in the state.

But what makes up for the relatively low incomes of the city is its low cost of living. The income you do make here goes further than in most parts of the Heart of Dixie.

Tuskegee, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 8,852
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Income: $27,314 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 18.6% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 28.2% (14th highest)
More on Tuskegee:  Data | Photos

Tuskegee ranks as the fourth poorest place in Alabama.

The town ranks as having the 5th lowest median household income and the 13th highest incidence of poverty in the state.

That being said, there’s still a ton of cultural diversity in the city as it hosts many events throughout the year.

Bessemer, AL

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 26,697
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 7)
Median Income: $31,308 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.9% (11th highest)
Poverty Rate: 29.7% (7th highest)
More on Bessemer:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Alabama is Bessemer.

The city ranks as having the 12th lowest median income in the state. However, an extremely low cost of living prevents a good number of folks from living in poverty as the poverty rate only ranks as the 7th highest in Alabama.

Still not the best news for Bessemer.

Anniston, AL

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 22,097
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $32,070 (15th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.7% (12th highest)
Poverty Rate: 29.5% (8th highest)
More on Anniston:  Data | Photos

Anniston ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Heart of Dixie.

It ranks as having the 8th highest incidence of poverty and the 12th highest unemployment rate.

Demopolis, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 6,999
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Income: $26,908 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.0% (18th highest)
Poverty Rate: 28.2% (14th highest)
More on Demopolis:  Data | Photos

Demopolis places as the seventh poorest city in Alabama.

The city of over 6,999 ranks as having the 13th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

Talladega, AL

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 15,747
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $29,755 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 17.9% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 25.7% (24th highest)
More on Talladega:  Data | Photos

Talladega ranks as the eighth poorest city in Alabama.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 5th highest in the state.

Eufaula, AL

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 12,467
Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 12)
Median Income: $33,444 (18th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.2% (9th highest)
Poverty Rate: 29.3% (10th highest)
More on Eufaula:  Data | Photos

Eufaula couldn’t stay out of the top ten poorest places in Alabama; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 18th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Eufaula ranks as having the 10th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Alabama.

Chickasaw, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 5,889
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Median Income: $30,929 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.5% (26th highest)
Poverty Rate: 38.6% (1st highest)
More on Chickasaw:  Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Alabama is Chickasaw.

The city of 5,889 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Heart of Dixie.

There You Have It – The Poorest Places In Alabama For 2019

Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the poorest places in Alabama, we weren’t sure what we’d encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in Alabama.

When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very bottom of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.

If you’re curious enough, here are the richest cities in Alabama, according to data:

    Richest: Mountain Brook
    2nd Richest: Vestavia Hills
    3rd Richest: Helena

For more Alabama reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Alabama

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Monroeville 6,072 35.3%
2 Selma 19,176 38.3%
3 Prichard 22,063 35.1%
4 Tuskegee 8,852 28.2%
5 Bessemer 26,697 29.7%
6 Anniston 22,097 29.5%
7 Demopolis 6,999 28.2%
8 Talladega 15,747 25.7%
9 Eufaula 12,467 29.3%
10 Chickasaw 5,889 38.6%
11 Atmore 9,969 23.5%
12 Troy 19,010 31.5%
13 Opp 6,580 26.4%
14 Alexander City 14,705 27.6%
15 Tarrant 6,238 28.5%
16 Gadsden 35,832 27.2%
17 Sylacauga 12,492 26.9%
18 Birmingham 212,265 28.1%
19 Center Point 16,564 27.0%
20 Lanett 6,341 24.3%
21 Fairfield 10,850 25.5%
22 Jacksonville 12,731 25.8%
23 Daleville 5,138 21.5%
24 Ozark 14,546 24.0%
25 Montevallo 6,626 22.3%
26 Brewton 5,279 26.1%
27 Midfield 5,174 25.3%
28 Sheffield 9,007 24.8%
29 Andalusia 8,918 17.3%
30 Rainsville 5,012 25.8%
31 Russellville 9,715 31.2%
32 Greenville 7,766 24.2%
33 Phenix City 36,870 20.9%
34 Mobile 192,085 22.4%
35 Bay Minette 8,990 25.6%
36 Tuscaloosa 97,373 23.7%
37 Florence 39,824 22.2%
38 Attalla 5,884 11.5%
39 Jasper 13,854 20.2%
40 Albertville 21,342 28.7%
41 Auburn 61,462 29.4%
42 Wetumpka 7,799 11.7%
43 Montgomery 200,761 22.1%
44 Clanton 8,701 19.8%
45 Fort Payne 14,017 21.7%
46 Scottsboro 14,584 20.0%
47 Dothan 67,784 19.7%
48 Foley 17,315 13.3%
49 Guntersville 8,333 18.2%
50 Athens 24,735 16.8%
51 Valley 9,331 17.1%
52 Pell City 13,465 18.4%
53 Decatur 54,844 21.8%
54 Arab 8,200 17.6%
55 Boaz 9,580 18.7%
56 Opelika 29,372 19.7%
57 Roanoke 5,925 17.8%
58 Huntsville 190,501 18.3%
59 Glencoe 5,116 9.8%
60 Hueytown 15,698 14.5%
61 Hamilton 6,718 16.0%
62 Gulf Shores 11,358 12.9%
63 Oxford 21,231 11.9%
64 Cullman 15,111 16.7%
65 Irondale 12,453 18.2%
66 Tuscumbia 8,452 18.3%
67 Rainbow City 9,560 15.4%
68 Enterprise 27,776 15.6%
69 Robertsdale 5,853 17.5%
70 Pinson 7,563 6.7%
71 Prattville 35,286 13.2%
72 Saraland 14,026 8.9%
73 Smiths Station 5,311 9.1%
74 Northport 24,708 12.9%
75 Satsuma 6,145 9.5%
76 Leeds 11,847 12.6%
77 Fultondale 9,012 13.0%
78 Muscle Shoals 13,701 10.2%
79 Lincoln 6,544 10.8%
80 Oneonta 6,585 11.1%
81 Pleasant Grove 10,224 6.1%
82 Gardendale 13,799 9.6%
83 Hartselle 14,395 8.1%
84 Millbrook 14,994 11.8%
85 Daphne 24,685 11.7%
86 Orange Beach 5,826 7.6%
87 Alabaster 32,567 11.1%
88 Moody 12,585 8.4%
89 Fairhope 19,561 8.9%
90 Madison 47,079 6.4%
91 Homewood 25,678 9.6%
92 Pelham 22,941 4.6%
93 Hoover 84,150 6.5%
94 Clay 9,685 3.8%
95 Calera 13,216 4.7%
96 Spanish Fort 8,017 5.4%
97 Chelsea 12,199 4.6%
98 Trussville 21,145 5.2%
99 Pike Road 8,417 3.1%
100 Southside 8,679 3.4%

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