These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In Arizona For 2019


We used science and data to determine which places in Arizona 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 Arizona.

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

However, like all states, Arizona 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 Arizona that could use a helping hand.

To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 57 places in Arizona with more than 5,000 people.

We were left with this set of the ten poorest places in the Grand Canyon State for 2019:

  1. South Tucson (Photos)
  2. Guadalupe (Photos)
  3. Douglas (Photos)
  4. Nogales (Photos)
  5. Eloy (Photos)
  6. San Luis (Photos)
  7. Winslow (Photos)
  8. Somerton (Photos)
  9. Tucson (Photos)
  10. Coolidge (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, South Tucson is the poorest place in Arizona for 2019.

Rich people not your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the richest places in Arizona 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 Arizona reading, check out:

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Arizona 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 57 places with more than 5,000 people in Arizona, we ranked each place from 1 to 57 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, South Tucson, crowned the “Poorest Place In Arizona For 2019”.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 57 places.

South Tucson, AZ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,624
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $21,160 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 16.4% (1st highest)
Poverty Rate: 46.2% (1st highest)
More on South Tucson:  Data | Photos

South Tucson, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in Arizona thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.

The city of 5,624 people averages the 1st lowest median household income in Arizona 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.

Guadalupe, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 6,270
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 7)
Median Income: $28,491 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 15.3% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 32.7% (2nd highest)
More on Guadalupe:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Arizona is Guadalupe.

The city ranks as having the 2nd highest incidence of poverty and 3rd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 3rd highest in the Grand Canyon State.

Douglas, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 16,576
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Income: $30,986 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.8% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 31.9% (4th highest)
More on Douglas:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Douglas’s median income ranks as the 4th 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 31.9% 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 Grand Canyon State.

Nogales, AZ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 20,233
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 3)
Median Income: $28,264 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.4% (8th highest)
Poverty Rate: 29.4% (5th highest)
More on Nogales:  Data | Photos

Nogales ranks as the fourth poorest place in Arizona.

The town ranks as having the 2nd lowest median household income and the 5th 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.

Eloy, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 17,537
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Income: $34,040 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.1% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 32.5% (3rd highest)
More on Eloy:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Arizona is Eloy.

The city ranks as having the 7th 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 3rd highest in Arizona.

Still not the best news for Eloy.

San Luis, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 31,509
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 3)
Median Income: $33,767 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 15.9% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 27.5% (7th highest)
More on San Luis:  Data | Photos

San Luis ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Grand Canyon State.

It ranks as having the 7th highest incidence of poverty and the 2nd highest unemployment rate.

Winslow, AZ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 9,517
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Income: $36,647 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.6% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.7% (9th highest)
More on Winslow:  Data | Photos

Winslow places as the seventh poorest city in Arizona.

The city of over 9,517 ranks as having the 9th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

Somerton, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 15,508
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Income: $37,252 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.5% (7th highest)
Poverty Rate: 29.2% (6th highest)
More on Somerton:  Data | Photos

Somerton ranks as the eighth poorest city in Arizona.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 7th highest in the state.

Tucson, AZ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 530,905
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Income: $39,617 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.4% (12th highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.1% (11th highest)
More on Tucson:  Data | Photos

Tucson couldn’t stay out of the top ten poorest places in Arizona; 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, Tucson ranks as having the 11th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Arizona.

Coolidge, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 12,221
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Income: $40,718 (16th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (14th highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.2% (10th highest)
More on Coolidge:  Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Arizona is Coolidge.

The city of 12,221 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Grand Canyon State.

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

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

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 Arizona, according to data:

    Richest: Paradise Valley
    2nd Richest: Queen Creek
    3rd Richest: Gilbert

For more Arizona reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Arizona

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 South Tucson 5,624 46.2%
2 Guadalupe 6,270 32.7%
3 Douglas 16,576 31.9%
4 Nogales 20,233 29.4%
5 Eloy 17,537 32.5%
6 San Luis 31,509 27.5%
7 Winslow 9,517 24.7%
8 Somerton 15,508 29.2%
9 Tucson 530,905 24.1%
10 Coolidge 12,221 24.2%
11 Youn 6,625 22.7%
12 Camp Verde 11,091 22.8%
13 Cottonwood 11,634 20.4%
14 Bullhead City 39,824 19.3%
15 Apache Junction 38,452 20.4%
16 Globe 7,341 20.2%
17 Yuma 93,851 16.9%
18 Safford 9,662 17.2%
19 Kingman 28,855 19.4%
20 Holbrook 5,005 22.0%
21 Casa Grande 52,501 17.9%
22 Bisbee 5,261 26.3%
23 Show Low 10,860 20.4%
24 Flagstaff 69,903 21.7%
25 Prescott Valley 41,995 15.0%
26 Tolleson 7,052 23.3%
27 Florence 26,066 14.6%
28 Page 7,515 17.4%
29 Snowflake 5,668 13.3%
30 Phoenix 1,574,421 20.9%
31 Glendale 241,543 20.3%
32 Prescott 41,468 13.9%
33 El Mirage 34,400 17.0%
34 Tempe 178,339 21.3%
35 Lake Havasu City 53,463 11.4%
36 Payson 15,338 11.7%
37 Sierra Vista 43,585 14.2%
38 Mesa 479,317 15.8%
39 Avondale 81,590 16.3%
40 Sedona 10,246 10.9%
41 Wickenburg 6,906 14.2%
42 Surprise 129,534 9.1%
43 Chino Valley 11,155 13.1%
44 Peoria 161,383 8.2%
45 Cave Creek 5,423 7.5%
46 Litchfield Park 5,686 9.7%
47 Maricopa 46,248 8.1%
48 Chandler 245,160 9.1%
49 Fountain Hills 24,047 4.9%
50 Marana 41,720 8.2%
51 Scottsdale 239,283 8.9%
52 Oro Valley 42,889 5.8%
53 Goodyear 74,953 8.7%
54 Sahuarita 28,257 6.5%
55 Gilbert 232,176 5.9%
56 Queen Creek 33,298 7.9%
57 Paradise Valley 13,961 5.8%

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