Poorest Cities In Arizona For 2022


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 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the poorest places in Arizona.

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.

Here are the ten poorest places in Arizona for 2022:

  1. South Tucson
  2. Nogales
  3. Douglas
  4. Eloy
  5. San Luis
  6. Camp Verde
  7. Guadalupe
  8. Tucson
  9. Coolidge
  10. Bullhead City

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 Arizona? According to the facts, South Tucson is the poorest place in Arizona for 2022.

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

The 10 Poorest Cities In Arizona For 2022

1. South Tucson

South Tucson, AZ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,692
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $28,704 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 15.6% (highest)
Poverty Rate: 38.6% (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 5,692 people averages the lowest median household income in Arizona and the 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. Nogales

Nogales, AZ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 20,182
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Income: $29,043 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.6% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 28.2% (5th highest)
More on Nogales:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Arizona is Nogales.

The city ranks as having the 5th highest incidence of poverty and 2nd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate 'only' ranks as the 4th highest in the Grand Canyon State.

3. Douglas

Douglas, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 16,292
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $38,446 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.1% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 28.2% (4th highest)
More on Douglas:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Douglas's median income ranks as the 5th 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 28.177331931073535% 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.

4. Eloy

Eloy, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 18,306
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Median Income: $37,405 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.1% (7th highest)
Poverty Rate: 29.0% (3rd highest)
More on Eloy:  Data | Photos

Eloy ranks as the fourth poorest place in Arizona.

The town ranks as having the 4th lowest median household income and the 3rd 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. San Luis

San Luis, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 33,875
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Income: $41,648 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.2% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 23.1% (8th highest)
More on San Luis:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Arizona is San Luis.

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 8th highest in Arizona.

Still not the best news for San Luis.

6. Camp Verde

Camp Verde, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 11,241
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 9)
Median Income: $42,889 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (12th highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.1% (7th highest)
More on Camp Verde:  Data | Photos

Camp Verde ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Grand Canyon State.

It ranks as having the 7th highest incidence of poverty and the 12th highest unemployment rate.

7. Guadalupe

Guadalupe, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 6,572
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Income: $42,833 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.0% (18th highest)
Poverty Rate: 32.0% (2nd highest)
More on Guadalupe:  Data | Photos

Guadalupe places as the seventh poorest city in Arizona.

The city of over 6,572 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. Tucson

Tucson, AZ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 545,340
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Income: $45,227 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.5% (15th highest)
Poverty Rate: 20.8% (10th highest)
More on Tucson:  Data | Photos

Tucson ranks as the eighth poorest city in Arizona.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 15th highest in the state.

9. Coolidge

Coolidge, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 13,016
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 4)
Median Income: $52,361 (2lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.9% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 18.4% (16th highest)
More on Coolidge:  Data | Photos

Coolidge couldn't stay out of the top ten poorest places in Arizona; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 2lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Coolidge ranks as having the 16th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Arizona.

10. Bullhead City

Bullhead City, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 40,808
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Income: $43,442 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (14th highest)
Poverty Rate: 17.3% (17th highest)
More on Bullhead City:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 40,808 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Grand Canyon State.

Methodology: How We Determined The Poorest Places In Arizona for 2022

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 2016-2020 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 2022". You can download the data here.

Summary: The Poorest Places In Arizona For 2022

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: Gilbert
    3rd Richest: Scottsdale

For more Arizona reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Arizona

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 South Tucson 5,692 38.6%
2 Nogales 20,182 28.2%
3 Douglas 16,292 28.2%
4 Eloy 18,306 29.0%
5 San Luis 33,875 23.1%
6 Camp Verde 11,241 24.1%
7 Guadalupe 6,572 32.0%
8 Tucson 545,340 20.8%
9 Coolidge 13,016 18.4%
10 Bullhead City 40,808 17.3%
11 Somerton 16,301 20.4%
12 Snowflake 5,873 19.4%
13 Yuma 97,428 16.7%
14 Page 7,551 24.8%
15 Apache Junction 41,863 13.1%
16 Youn 6,837 17.1%
17 Holbrook 5,073 20.9%
18 Show Low 11,280 15.4%
19 Winslow 9,505 19.2%
20 Flagstaff 73,319 16.6%
21 Kingman 30,433 13.6%
22 Casa Grande 57,318 14.6%
23 Cottonwood 12,228 16.5%
24 Glendale 250,290 17.2%
25 Bisbee 5,199 16.9%
26 Tempe 191,607 18.5%
27 Safford 9,707 20.6%
28 Florence 26,777 12.4%
29 Lake Havasu City 55,463 11.2%
30 Sierra Vista 43,756 12.3%
31 El Mirage 35,702 15.6%
32 Phoenix 1,658,422 16.2%
33 Tolleson 7,340 16.4%
34 Prescott 43,463 11.4%
35 Prescott Valley 45,592 11.0%
36 Globe 7,351 15.9%
37 Thatcher 5,122 12.6%
38 Sedona 10,341 10.9%
39 Wickenburg 7,708 13.7%
40 Mesa 508,918 13.3%
41 Avondale 86,091 11.5%
42 Chino Valley 11,362 6.0%
43 Sahuarita 30,679 10.2%
44 Payson 15,708 9.3%
45 Goodyear 83,519 6.5%
46 Maricopa 50,358 7.5%
47 Surprise 139,007 7.6%
48 Queen Creek 52,162 5.2%
49 Peoria 172,109 8.6%
50 Oro Valley 45,303 7.2%
51 Chandler 257,076 7.3%
52 Marana 47,164 5.6%
53 Fountain Hills 25,167 4.8%
54 Litchfield Park 6,228 7.4%
55 Scottsdale 254,995 6.8%
56 Gilbert 248,349 5.1%
57 Paradise Valley 14,502 4.1%

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