Poorest Cities In Alabama For 2021


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 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the poorest places in Alabama.

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 104 places in Alabama with more than 5,000 people.

Here are the ten poorest places in Alabama for 2021:

  1. Atmore
  2. Selma
  3. Prichard
  4. Talladega
  5. Tarrant
  6. Tuskegee
  7. Monroeville
  8. Bessemer
  9. Eufaula
  10. Demopolis

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.

What's the poorst city in Alabama? According to the facts, Atmore is the poorest place in Alabama for 2021.

Rich people more your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the best 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:

The 10 Poorest Cities In Alabama For 2021

1. Atmore

Atmore, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 9,495
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $26,118 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 15.7% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 34.6% (3rd highest)
More on Atmore:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 9,495 people averages the 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.

2. Selma

Selma, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 18,276
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Income: $27,030 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.6% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 37.6% (highest)
More on Selma:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Alabama is Selma.

The city ranks as having the 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. Prichard

Prichard, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 21,773
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Income: $29,009 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.2% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 31.5% (5th highest)
More on Prichard:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Prichard'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 31.450991719622568% 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. Talladega

Talladega, AL

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 15,522
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Income: $27,719 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.5% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 27.4% (11th highest)
More on Talladega:  Data | Photos

Talladega ranks as the fourth poorest place in Alabama.

The town ranks as having the 4th lowest median household income and the 11th 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. Tarrant

Tarrant, AL

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 6,174
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Income: $30,485 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.4% (9th highest)
Poverty Rate: 32.0% (4th highest)
More on Tarrant:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Alabama is Tarrant.

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 4th highest in Alabama.

Still not the best news for Tarrant.

6. Tuskegee

Tuskegee, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 8,486
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Income: $28,016 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.5% (8th highest)
Poverty Rate: 27.9% (9th highest)
More on Tuskegee:  Data | Photos

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

It ranks as having the 9th highest incidence of poverty and the 8th highest unemployment rate.

7. Monroeville

Monroeville, AL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,898
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Median Income: $31,491 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 16.1% (highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.3% (22nd highest)
More on Monroeville:  Data | Photos

Monroeville places as the seventh poorest city in Alabama.

The city of over 5,898 ranks as having the 22nd 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. Bessemer

Bessemer, AL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 26,680
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Income: $32,301 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.9% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 25.8% (18th highest)
More on Bessemer:  Data | Photos

Bessemer ranks as the eighth poorest city in Alabama.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 3rd highest in the state.

9. Eufaula

Eufaula, AL

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 12,065
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $33,132 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.6% (16th highest)
Poverty Rate: 30.6% (7th 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 13th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Eufaula ranks as having the 7th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Alabama.

10. Demopolis

Demopolis, AL

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 6,807
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 7)
Median Income: $27,279 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.2% (22nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.7% (19th highest)
More on Demopolis:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 6,807 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Heart of Dixie.

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Alabama for 2021

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 2015-2019 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 104 places with more than 5,000 people in Alabama, we ranked each place from 1 to 104 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, Atmore, crowned the "Poorest Place In Alabama For 2021". You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Poorest Places In Alabama For 2021

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: Pike Road

For more Alabama reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Alabama

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Atmore 9,495 34.6%
2 Selma 18,276 37.6%
3 Prichard 21,773 31.5%
4 Talladega 15,522 27.4%
5 Tarrant 6,174 32.0%
6 Tuskegee 8,486 27.9%
7 Monroeville 5,898 24.3%
8 Bessemer 26,680 25.8%
9 Eufaula 12,065 30.6%
10 Demopolis 6,807 24.7%
11 Anniston 21,688 26.6%
12 Gadsden 35,486 27.1%
13 Jacksonville 12,651 27.4%
14 Birmingham 212,297 25.9%
15 Troy 19,112 28.6%
16 Greenville 7,589 23.8%
17 Sylacauga 12,226 23.8%
18 Opp 6,455 22.8%
19 Lanett 6,271 27.3%
20 Center Point 16,353 26.3%
21 Fairfield 10,720 21.8%
22 Andalusia 8,772 19.8%
23 Midfield 5,085 23.5%
24 Rainsville 5,041 30.9%
25 Chickasaw 5,817 37.0%
26 Sheffield 8,986 24.4%
27 Fort Payne 14,115 24.1%
28 Ozark 14,413 19.6%
29 Brewton 5,240 23.4%
30 Phenix City 36,516 23.7%
31 Alexander City 14,508 20.9%
32 Daleville 5,123 19.1%
33 Tuscaloosa 99,390 24.0%
34 Clanton 8,700 22.4%
35 Bay Minette 9,169 22.2%
36 Mobile 190,432 20.7%
37 Hamilton 6,682 17.5%
38 Montgomery 199,783 20.6%
39 Florence 40,309 21.6%
40 Dothan 67,894 18.8%
41 Auburn 64,054 27.3%
42 Wetumpka 8,243 12.2%
43 Montevallo 6,693 16.9%
44 Guntersville 8,468 20.5%
45 Roanoke 5,926 20.0%
46 Decatur 54,478 17.5%
47 Jasper 13,649 17.1%
48 Athens 25,922 13.5%
49 Foley 18,533 13.4%
50 Oneonta 6,568 11.8%
51 Boaz 9,277 21.5%
52 Arab 8,293 16.3%
53 Scottsboro 14,526 18.5%
54 Robertsdale 6,473 23.4%
55 Opelika 30,232 15.6%
56 Albertville 21,541 24.4%
57 Huntsville 196,219 16.8%
58 Attalla 5,836 12.0%
59 Satsuma 6,159 12.2%
60 Pell City 13,781 14.2%
61 Russellville 9,781 19.4%
62 Tuscumbia 8,444 17.3%
63 Smiths Station 5,364 10.2%
64 Lincoln 6,681 12.3%
65 Enterprise 27,947 14.8%
66 Cullman 15,729 14.1%
67 Hueytown 15,540 10.5%
68 Irondale 12,637 12.7%
69 Semmes 5,284 14.5%
70 Rainbow City 9,589 11.4%
71 Prattville 35,925 15.9%
72 Northport 25,874 16.0%
73 Gulf Shores 12,267 5.9%
74 Saraland 14,391 9.4%
75 Valley 9,286 11.4%
76 Glencoe 5,077 5.3%
77 Oxford 21,323 10.8%
78 Hartselle 14,428 8.5%
79 Daphne 25,901 12.7%
80 Moody 12,840 8.9%
81 Gardendale 14,016 9.2%
82 Alabaster 33,176 9.1%
83 Fairhope 21,083 6.7%
84 Pleasant Grove 9,651 4.2%
85 Muscle Shoals 14,103 6.6%
86 Fultondale 9,179 10.6%
87 Millbrook 15,645 11.8%
88 Leeds 12,600 8.3%
89 Pinson 7,109 10.8%
90 Orange Beach 6,019 5.2%
91 Chelsea 13,098 3.5%
92 Madison 49,327 5.6%
93 Southside 8,811 7.9%
94 Pelham 23,428 5.2%
95 Clay 9,888 8.4%
96 Hoover 85,175 6.2%
97 Calera 13,856 5.3%
98 Homewood 25,534 7.6%
99 Trussville 21,876 5.2%
100 Spanish Fort 8,601 4.9%

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