These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In Delaware For 2019

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 2019. This is our fourth 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.

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

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

And according to the facts, Laurel is the poorest place in Delaware for 2019.

Rich people not 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:

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Delaware 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 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, Laurel, crowned the “Poorest Place In Delaware For 2019”.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 21 places.

Laurel, DE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,147
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $34,291 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.1% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 35.1% (1st highest)
More on Laurel:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 4,147 people averages the 1st lowest median household income in Delaware 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.

Wilmington, DE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 71,276
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $40,221 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.4% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 27.0% (2nd highest)
More on Wilmington:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Delaware is Wilmington.

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 4th highest in the First State.

Harrington, DE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,664
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $39,805 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 21.5% (7th highest)
More on Harrington:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Harrington’s median income ranks as the 2nd 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 21.5% 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.

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,002
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Income: $47,376 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.7% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 21.7% (6th highest)
More on Georg:  Data

Georg ranks as the fourth poorest place in Delaware.

The town ranks as having the 7th lowest median household income and the 6th 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.

Bridgeville, DE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,480
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Income: $51,713 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.8% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 23.7% (5th highest)
More on Bridgeville:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Delaware is Bridgeville.

The city ranks as having the 10th 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 5th highest in Delaware.

Still not the best news for Bridgeville.

Elsmere, DE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,097
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Income: $45,660 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.2% (1st highest)
Poverty Rate: 15.6% (11th highest)
More on Elsmere:  Data | Photos

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

It ranks as having the 11th highest incidence of poverty and the 1st highest unemployment rate.

Seaford, DE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,447
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Income: $44,886 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (7th highest)
Poverty Rate: 21.2% (8th highest)
More on Seaford:  Data | Photos

Seaford places as the seventh poorest city in Delaware.

The city of over 7,447 ranks as having the 8th 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: 4,181
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Median Income: $43,750 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (16th highest)
Poverty Rate: 25.4% (4th 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 16th highest in the state.

Dover, DE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 37,109
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Income: $49,738 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (8th highest)
Poverty Rate: 19.4% (9th highest)
More on Dover:  Data | Photos

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

While the median income is the 9th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Dover ranks as having the 9th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Delaware.

Newark, DE

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 33,243
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Income: $54,590 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (13th highest)
Poverty Rate: 26.2% (3rd highest)
More on Newark:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 33,243 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the First State.

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

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: Middl
    3rd Richest: Camden

For more Delaware reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Delaware

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Laurel 4,147 35.1%
2 Wilmington 71,276 27.0%
3 Harrington 3,664 21.5%
4 Georg 7,002 21.7%
5 Bridgeville 2,480 23.7%
6 Elsmere 6,097 15.6%
7 Seaford 7,447 21.2%
8 Millsboro 4,181 25.4%
9 Dover 37,109 19.4%
10 Newark 33,243 26.2%
11 Milford 10,645 16.9%
12 Smyrna 11,276 8.9%
13 Clayton 3,134 11.4%
14 Milton 2,792 10.6%
15 Selbyville 2,245 7.7%
16 New Castle 5,364 8.7%
17 Townsend 2,195 12.0%
18 Ocean View 2,150 7.5%
19 Camden 3,486 5.2%
20 Middl 20,754 6.3%
21 Lewes 2,961 5.8%

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