These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In Alabama For 2018

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

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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 105 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 2018:

  1. Selma (Photos)
  2. Prichard
  3. Monroeville (Photos)
  4. Demopolis (Photos)
  5. Tuskegee (Photos)
  6. Anniston (Photos)
  7. Chickasaw (Photos)
  8. Talladega (Photos)
  9. Tarrant
  10. Alexander City (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, Selma is the poorest place in Alabama for 2018.

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.

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How We Determined The Poorest Places In Alabama For 2018

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 2012-2016 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 105 places with more than 5,000 people in Alabama, we ranked each place from 1 to 105 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, Selma, crowned the ‘Poorest Place In Alabama For 2018’.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 105 places.

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1. Selma

Selma, Alabama

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 19,650
Median Income: $23,283
Unemployment Rate: 18.2%
Poverty Rate: 41.4%
Selma, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in Alabama thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.

The city of 19,650 people averages the 1st lowest median household income in Alabama and the 1st 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.

2. Prichard

Prichard, Alabama

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 22,340
Median Income: $25,275
Unemployment Rate: 18.7%
Poverty Rate: 36.4%
The second poorest city in Alabama is Prichard.

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

3. Monroeville

Monroeville, Alabama

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,203
Median Income: $27,433
Unemployment Rate: 26.1%
Poverty Rate: 37.7%
Placing as the third poorest city, Monroeville’s median income ranks as the 7th 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 37.7% 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.

4. Demopolis

Demopolis, Alabama

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,167
Median Income: $25,942
Unemployment Rate: 14.5%
Poverty Rate: 32.6%
Demopolis ranks as the fourth poorest place in Alabama.

The town ranks as having the 4th lowest median household income and the 7th 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.

5. Tuskegee

Tuskegee, Alabama

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,050
Median Income: $27,500
Unemployment Rate: 19.0%
Poverty Rate: 27.6%
The fifth poorest city in Alabama is Tuskegee.

The city ranks as having the 8th 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 21st highest in Alabama.

Still not the best news for Tuskegee.

6. Anniston

Anniston, Alabama

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 22,441
Median Income: $30,539
Unemployment Rate: 15.7%
Poverty Rate: 32.1%
Anniston ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Heart of Dixie.

It ranks as having the 9th highest incidence of poverty and the 9th highest unemployment rate.

7. Chickasaw

Chickasaw, Alabama

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,955
Median Income: $28,893
Unemployment Rate: 12.0%
Poverty Rate: 38.9%
Chickasaw places as the seventh poorest city in Alabama.

The city of over 5,955 ranks as having the 2nd highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

8. Talladega

Talladega, Alabama

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,793
Median Income: $29,074
Unemployment Rate: 19.5%
Poverty Rate: 26.4%
Talladega ranks as the eighth poorest city in Alabama.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 2nd highest in the state.

9. Tarrant

Population: 6,271
Median Income: $26,800
Unemployment Rate: 10.8%
Poverty Rate: 32.6%
Tarrant couldn’t stay out of the top ten poorest places in Alabama; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 5th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Tarrant ranks as having the 7th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Alabama.

10. Alexander City

Alexander City, Alabama

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 14,859
Median Income: $30,442
Unemployment Rate: 11.9%
Poverty Rate: 33.3%
And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Alabama is Alexander City.

The city of 14,859 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 2018

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: Pike Road
3rd Richest: Helena

For more Alabama reading , check out:

  • These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Alabama
  • These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Alabama
  • These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In Alabama
  • Detailed List Of The Poorest Cities In Alabama

    City Rank Poverty Rate
    Selma 1 41.4%
    Prichard 2 36.4%
    Monroeville 3 37.7%
    Demopolis 4 32.6%
    Tuskegee 5 27.6%
    Anniston 6 32.1%
    Chickasaw 7 38.9%
    Talladega 8 26.4%
    Tarrant 9 32.6%
    Alexander City 10 33.3%
    Lanett 11 29.0%
    Bessemer 12 30.7%
    Atmore 13 23.7%
    Jackson 14 28.2%
    Fairfield 15 28.3%
    Russellville 16 32.6%
    Birmingham 17 29.4%
    Childersburg 18 30.9%
    Troy 19 31.9%
    Eufaula 20 26.1%
    Opp 21 26.2%
    Gadsden 22 26.1%
    Daleville 23 28.3%
    Brewton 24 29.3%
    Center Point 25 26.7%
    Sylacauga 26 25.7%
    Greenville 27 27.1%
    Jacksonville 28 26.3%
    Andalusia 29 20.1%
    Montevallo 30 21.5%
    Ozark 31 24.9%
    Fort Payne 32 21.9%
    Bay Minette 33 26.5%
    Albertville 34 28.3%
    Midfield 35 22.0%
    Mobile 36 23.1%
    Sheffield 37 25.8%
    Attalla 38 12.9%
    Auburn 39 30.8%
    Jasper 40 21.3%
    Florence 41 24.4%
    Clanton 42 18.8%
    Hamilton 43 18.0%
    Tuscaloosa 44 23.9%
    Roanoke 45 18.4%
    Phenix City 46 21.0%
    Tallassee 47 15.8%
    Montgomery 48 22.6%
    Foley 49 15.9%
    Wetumpka 50 10.8%
    Boaz 51 20.0%
    Dothan 52 19.9%
    Scottsboro 53 17.5%
    Decatur 54 20.8%
    Gulf Shores 55 16.3%
    Rainbow City 56 19.8%
    Opelika 57 21.7%
    Irondale 58 18.7%
    Arab 59 17.2%
    Hueytown 60 15.7%
    Cullman 61 19.1%
    Guntersville 62 16.8%
    Athens 63 14.5%
    Huntsville 64 17.5%
    Glencoe 65 8.7%
    Valley 66 15.7%
    Lincoln 67 11.6%
    Oxford 68 11.4%
    Robertsdale 69 16.5%
    Pell City 70 15.7%
    Oneonta 71 11.7%
    Hartselle 72 9.1%
    Enterprise 73 15.3%
    Tuscumbia 74 13.5%
    Northport 75 14.4%
    Saraland 76 10.7%
    Satsuma 77 12.0%
    Leeds 78 14.1%
    Pinson 79 6.1%
    Daphne 80 11.8%
    Smiths Station 81 9.6%
    Prattville 82 10.6%
    Muscle Shoals 83 10.2%
    Pleasant Grove 84 7.7%
    Fultondale 85 10.8%
    Orange Beach 86 7.4%
    Fairhope 87 10.1%
    Millbrook 88 12.0%
    Gardendale 89 8.4%
    Moody 90 8.4%
    Homewood 91 11.1%
    Alabaster 92 10.2%
    Pelham 93 5.7%
    Madison 94 5.7%
    Hoover 95 6.1%
    Calera 96 4.6%
    Clay 97 4.2%
    Spanish Fort 98 6.5%
    Chelsea 99 5.6%
    Southside 100 4.1%

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