Poorest Cities In Georgia For 2021


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

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

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

To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 129 places in Georgia with more than 5,000 people.

Here are the ten poorest places in Georgia for 2021:

  1. Cordele
  2. Fort Valley
  3. Milledgeville
  4. Statesboro
  5. Camilla
  6. Moultrie
  7. Thomaston
  8. Monroe
  9. Swainsboro
  10. Fitzgerald

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 Georgia? According to the facts, Cordele is the poorest place in Georgia for 2021.

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

The 10 Poorest Cities In Georgia For 2021

1. Cordele

Cordele, GA

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 10,752
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $21,350 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.4% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 50.7% (highest)
More on Cordele:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 10,752 people averages the lowest median household income in Georgia 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. Fort Valley

Fort Valley, GA

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 8,742
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Income: $22,613 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 18.4% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 41.5% (3rd highest)
More on Fort Valley:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Georgia is Fort Valley.

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

3. Milledgeville

Milledgeville, GA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 18,738
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $28,632 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.6% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 40.1% (4th highest)
More on Milledgeville:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Milledgeville's median income ranks as the 9th 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 40.088747599178745% 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 Peach State.

4. Statesboro

Statesboro, GA

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 31,495
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $29,203 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.3% (8th highest)
Poverty Rate: 41.8% (2nd highest)
More on Statesboro:  Data | Photos

Statesboro ranks as the fourth poorest place in Georgia.

The town ranks as having the 11th lowest median household income and the 2nd 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. Camilla

Camilla, GA

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 5,126
Rank Last Year: -
Median Income: $34,143 (27th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 19.9% (highest)
Poverty Rate: 39.6% (5th highest)
More on Camilla:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Georgia is Camilla.

The city ranks as having the 27th 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 Georgia.

Still not the best news for Camilla.

6. Moultrie

Moultrie, GA

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 14,069
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Income: $27,129 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.3% (9th highest)
Poverty Rate: 29.6% (26th highest)
More on Moultrie:  Data | Photos

Moultrie ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Peach State.

It ranks as having the 26th highest incidence of poverty and the 9th highest unemployment rate.

7. Thomaston

Thomaston, GA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 8,774
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Income: $28,906 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.8% (13th highest)
Poverty Rate: 31.4% (18th highest)
More on Thomaston:  Data | Photos

Thomaston places as the seventh poorest city in Georgia.

The city of over 8,774 ranks as having the 18th 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. Monroe

Monroe, GA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 13,418
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 5)
Median Income: $31,740 (16th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.5% (11th highest)
Poverty Rate: 30.9% (20th highest)
More on Monroe:  Data | Photos

Monroe ranks as the eighth poorest city in Georgia.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 11th highest in the state.

9. Swainsboro

Swainsboro, GA

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 7,396
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Income: $26,975 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.1% (27th highest)
Poverty Rate: 32.2% (16th highest)
More on Swainsboro:  Data | Photos

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

While the median income is the 4th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Swainsboro ranks as having the 16th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Georgia.

10. Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald, GA

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 8,812
Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 10)
Median Income: $24,885 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.4% (37th highest)
Poverty Rate: 35.7% (8th highest)
More on Fitzgerald:  Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Georgia is Fitzgerald.

The city of 8,812 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Peach State.

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Georgia 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 129 places with more than 5,000 people in Georgia, we ranked each place from 1 to 129 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, Cordele, crowned the "Poorest Place In Georgia For 2021". You can download the data here.

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

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

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 Georgia, according to data:

    Richest: Braselton
    2nd Richest: Tyrone
    3rd Richest: Milton

For more Georgia reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Georgia

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Cordele 10,752 50.7%
2 Fort Valley 8,742 41.5%
3 Milledgeville 18,738 40.1%
4 Statesboro 31,495 41.8%
5 Camilla 5,126 39.6%
6 Moultrie 14,069 29.6%
7 Thomaston 8,774 31.4%
8 Monroe 13,418 30.9%
9 Swainsboro 7,396 32.2%
10 Fitzgerald 8,812 35.7%
11 Brunswick 16,122 34.7%
12 Albany 73,478 30.8%
13 Americus 15,503 30.3%
14 Sylvester 5,865 32.1%
15 Barnesville 6,650 30.3%
16 Clarkston 12,750 30.9%
17 Eastman 5,135 25.2%
18 Dublin 15,828 32.4%
19 Valdosta 56,095 32.2%
20 Thomson 6,593 22.8%
21 Hawkinsville 5,294 32.6%
22 Carrollton 26,570 30.4%
23 Waycross 13,692 36.6%
24 Vidalia 10,409 27.4%
25 Forest Park 19,723 26.2%
26 Sandersville 5,546 28.6%
27 Jackson 5,061 28.0%
28 College Park 14,501 29.5%
29 Bainbridge 12,199 27.4%
30 Lagrange 30,400 28.8%
31 Cedartown 9,999 35.6%
32 Lafayette 7,237 26.6%
33 Thomasville 18,539 25.0%
34 Augusta-Richmond County Consolidated Government (Balance) 197,191 23.1%
35 Waynesboro 5,487 38.7%
36 Cairo 9,446 33.2%
37 Dahlonega 6,773 28.3%
38 Conyers 15,986 27.0%
39 Covington 13,967 29.0%
40 Savannah 145,403 21.9%
41 Toccoa 8,308 18.8%
42 Athens-Clarke County Unified Government (Balance) 124,719 29.9%
43 Jesup 9,753 20.9%
44 Cusseta-Chattahoochee County Unified Government 10,560 19.8%
45 Glennville 5,066 21.6%
46 Columbus 195,739 20.7%
47 Palmetto 5,095 19.2%
48 Douglas 11,556 28.6%
49 Adel 5,289 25.8%
50 East Point 34,957 23.0%
51 Eatonton 6,603 22.1%
52 Griffin 22,748 23.2%
53 Rome 36,332 24.8%
54 Hinesville 32,996 16.8%
55 Perry 16,595 14.1%
56 Riverdale 15,291 17.5%
57 Tifton 16,644 35.0%
58 Calhoun 16,940 27.4%
59 Lovejoy 6,179 25.0%
60 Fairburn 15,295 23.5%
61 Byron 5,149 20.3%
62 Garden City 8,885 19.4%
63 Fort Oglethorpe 9,954 13.0%
64 Cumming 6,309 19.8%
65 Union City 21,396 14.0%
66 Hapeville 6,577 26.0%
67 Lawrenceville 29,719 20.1%
68 St. Marys 18,077 16.1%
69 Dalton 33,571 19.4%
70 Warner Robins 76,115 17.4%
71 Auburn 7,481 12.6%
72 Atlanta 488,800 20.8%
73 Morrow 6,965 8.9%
74 Douglasville 33,052 12.5%
75 Stone Mountain 6,285 12.8%
76 Cartersville 20,870 19.6%
77 Locust Grove 6,954 17.0%
78 Winder 16,413 17.1%
79 Doraville 10,228 22.8%
80 Commerce 6,858 15.3%
81 Canton 28,166 17.9%
82 Mcdonough 24,852 11.0%
83 Dacula 5,919 5.2%
84 Loganville 12,010 14.3%
85 Kingsland 17,093 15.4%
86 Gainesville 39,991 21.0%
87 Richmond Hill 12,720 16.2%
88 Norcross 16,458 17.0%
89 Stockbridge 29,089 12.4%
90 Dallas 13,321 15.7%
91 Villa Rica 15,392 9.8%
92 Marietta 60,544 14.0%
93 Fayetteville 17,586 7.1%
94 Chamblee 29,232 19.9%
95 Centerville 7,751 11.7%
96 Newnan 39,019 15.7%
97 Acworth 22,534 9.3%
98 Powder Springs 15,163 6.9%
99 Lilburn 12,644 11.2%
100 Holly Springs 12,509 3.7%

How Is The Area In ?

 Poorest