Poorest Cities In Delaware For 2020

We analyzed the cities and towns in Delaware to determine which ones are at the bottom of the income ladder.

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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 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the poorest places in Delaware.

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Delaware brings to mind images of Dover, beautiful landscapes, and some of the best people you'll find in the good ole US of A.

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

To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 21 places in Delaware with more than 2,000 people.

Here are the ten poorest places in Delaware for 2020:

  1. Wilmington (Photos)
  2. Laurel (Photos)
  3. Georg
  4. Bridgeville (Photos)
  5. Elsmere (Photos)
  6. Seaford (Photos)
  7. Dover (Photos)
  8. Millsboro (Photos)
  9. Harrington (Photos)
  10. Newark (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.

What's the poorst city in Delaware? According to the facts, Wilmington is the poorest place in Delaware for 2020.

Rich people more your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the richest places in Delaware 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 Delaware reading, check out:

The 10 Poorest Cities In Delaware For 2020

Wilmington, DE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 70,904
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $42,854 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.4% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 25.1% (3rd highest)
More on Wilmington:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 70,904 people averages the 3rd lowest median household income in Delaware 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.

Laurel, DE

Source: Wikipedia
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,211
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Income: $33,362 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (8th highest)
Poverty Rate: 35.2% (1st highest)
More on Laurel:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Delaware is Laurel.

The city ranks as having the 1st highest incidence of poverty and 1st lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate 'only' ranks as the 8th highest in the First State.

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,123
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Income: $48,221 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.5% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 21.5% (7th highest)
More on Georg:  Data

Placing as the third poorest city, Georg's median income ranks as the 6th 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 21.46925660873375% 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 First State.

Bridgeville, DE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,696
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Income: $49,304 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.6% (1st highest)
Poverty Rate: 20.5% (8th highest)
More on Bridgeville:  Data | Photos

Bridgeville ranks as the fourth poorest place in Delaware.

The town ranks as having the 8th lowest median household income and the 8th 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.

Elsmere, DE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,049
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Income: $49,020 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 14.3% (11th highest)
More on Elsmere:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Delaware is Elsmere.

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 11th highest in Delaware.

Still not the best news for Elsmere.

Seaford, DE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,572
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Income: $46,387 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.6% (9th highest)
Poverty Rate: 20.4% (9th highest)
More on Seaford:  Data | Photos

Seaford ranks as the sixth poorest place in the First State.

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

Dover, DE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 37,331
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Income: $49,714 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 22.2% (6th highest)
More on Dover:  Data | Photos

Dover places as the seventh poorest city in Delaware.

The city of over 37,331 ranks as having the 6th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

Millsboro, DE

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,238
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Income: $47,438 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (12th highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.0% (5th highest)
More on Millsboro:  Data | Photos

Millsboro ranks as the eighth poorest city in Delaware.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 12th highest in the state.

Harrington, DE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,667
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 6)
Median Income: $39,675 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 2.5% (18th highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.5% (4th highest)
More on Harrington:  Data | Photos

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

While the median income is the 2nd lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Harrington ranks as having the 4th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Delaware.

Newark, DE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 33,352
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Income: $57,391 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (11th highest)
Poverty Rate: 25.3% (2nd highest)
More on Newark:  Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Delaware is Newark.

The city of 33,352 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the First State.

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Delaware for 2020

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 2014-2018 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 21 places with more than 2,000 people in Delaware, we ranked each place from 1 to 21 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, Wilmington, crowned the "Poorest Place In Delaware For 2020". You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Poorest Places In Delaware For 2020

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

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 Delaware, according to data:

    Richest: Lewes
    2nd Richest: Camden
    3rd Richest: Townsend

For more Delaware reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Delaware

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Wilmington 70,904 25.1%
2 Laurel 4,211 35.2%
3 Georg 7,123 21.5%
4 Bridgeville 2,696 20.5%
5 Elsmere 6,049 14.3%
6 Seaford 7,572 20.4%
7 Dover 37,331 22.2%
8 Millsboro 4,238 24.0%
9 Harrington 3,667 24.5%
10 Newark 33,352 25.3%
11 Milford 10,835 15.6%
12 Smyrna 11,333 8.3%
13 Clayton 3,237 11.9%
14 Milton 2,840 11.9%
15 New Castle 5,359 6.5%
16 Selbyville 2,252 9.1%
17 Middl 21,250 5.6%
18 Ocean View 2,198 7.9%
19 Townsend 2,332 6.1%
20 Camden 3,469 5.8%
21 Lewes 3,118 4.6%

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