These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In Georgia For 2019


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 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the poorest places in Georgia.

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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 125 places in Georgia with more than 5,000 people.

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

  1. Cordele (Photos)
  2. Fort Valley (Photos)
  3. Milledgeville (Photos)
  4. Barnesville (Photos)
  5. Americus (Photos)
  6. Statesboro (Photos)
  7. Swainsboro (Photos)
  8. Thomaston (Photos)
  9. Thomson (Photos)
  10. Camilla (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, Cordele is the poorest place in Georgia for 2019.

Rich people not your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the richest 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:

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Georgia 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 125 places with more than 5,000 people in Georgia, we ranked each place from 1 to 125 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 2019”.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 125 places.

Cordele, GA

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 10,901
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $24,059 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 19.2% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 46.5% (2nd 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 10,901 people averages the 4th lowest median household income in Georgia and the 2nd 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.

Fort Valley, GA

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 8,790
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Income: $23,425 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 19.5% (1st highest)
Poverty Rate: 38.3% (10th highest)
More on Fort Valley:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Georgia is Fort Valley.

The city ranks as having the 10th highest incidence of poverty and 3rd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 1st highest in the Peach State.

Milledgeville, GA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 18,892
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Income: $20,846 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 15.2% (12th highest)
Poverty Rate: 43.9% (3rd highest)
More on Milledgeville:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Milledgeville’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 43.9% 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 Peach State.

Barnesville, GA

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 6,553
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 5)
Median Income: $26,158 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 17.8% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 36.3% (13th highest)
More on Barnesville:  Data | Photos

Barnesville ranks as the fourth poorest place in Georgia.

The town ranks as having the 10th lowest median household income and the 13th 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.

Americus, GA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 15,839
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Income: $27,914 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 15.8% (10th highest)
Poverty Rate: 42.1% (5th highest)
More on Americus:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Georgia is Americus.

The city ranks as having the 12th 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 Americus.

Statesboro, GA

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 30,649
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Median Income: $24,869 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.6% (20th highest)
Poverty Rate: 48.4% (1st highest)
More on Statesboro:  Data | Photos

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

It ranks as having the 1st highest incidence of poverty and the 20th highest unemployment rate.

Swainsboro, GA

Overall SnackAbility

1
/10

Population: 7,370
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Income: $28,268 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.6% (14th highest)
Poverty Rate: 40.8% (6th highest)
More on Swainsboro:  Data | Photos

Swainsboro places as the seventh poorest city in Georgia.

The city of over 7,370 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.

Thomaston, GA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,844
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Median Income: $27,643 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 15.4% (11th highest)
Poverty Rate: 32.2% (24th highest)
More on Thomaston:  Data | Photos

Thomaston 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.

Thomson, GA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 6,599
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Income: $20,380 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.9% (45th highest)
Poverty Rate: 42.3% (4th highest)
More on Thomson:  Data | Photos

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

While the median income is the 1st lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Thomson ranks as having the 4th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Georgia.

Camilla, GA

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 5,014
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Income: $31,760 (27th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 17.0% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 32.6% (22nd highest)
More on Camilla:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 5,014 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Peach State.

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

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: Suwanee
    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 10,901 46.5%
2 Fort Valley 8,790 38.3%
3 Milledgeville 18,892 43.9%
4 Barnesville 6,553 36.3%
5 Americus 15,839 42.1%
6 Statesboro 30,649 48.4%
7 Swainsboro 7,370 40.8%
8 Thomaston 8,844 32.2%
9 Thomson 6,599 42.3%
10 Camilla 5,014 32.6%
11 Sylvester 5,983 31.9%
12 Albany 74,892 33.2%
13 College Park 14,360 35.1%
14 Moultrie 14,221 36.0%
15 Brunswick 15,919 39.0%
16 Cairo 9,569 35.0%
17 Jesup 9,899 34.8%
18 Forest Park 19,271 32.7%
19 Monroe 13,298 28.7%
20 Valdosta 56,036 32.2%
21 Sandersville 5,671 36.5%
22 Folkston 5,067 32.4%
23 Clarkston 12,702 33.0%
24 Eastman 5,267 24.3%
25 Cedartown 9,780 30.1%
26 Bainbridge 12,280 27.7%
27 Fitzgerald 8,884 38.8%
28 Toccoa 8,307 21.8%
29 Vidalia 10,603 27.0%
30 Lagrange 30,442 29.7%
31 Riverdale 15,931 25.3%
32 Conyers 15,803 31.0%
33 Dublin 15,889 34.2%
34 Carrollton 26,054 27.7%
35 Griffin 22,710 31.4%
36 Dahlonega 6,399 30.6%
37 Union City 20,793 20.7%
38 Thomasville 18,503 23.7%
39 Waycross 14,009 30.9%
40 Palmetto 5,257 22.4%
41 Perry 15,633 20.5%
42 East Point 35,380 24.8%
43 Savannah 145,094 24.0%
44 Hawkinsville 5,296 29.3%
45 Adel 5,291 30.8%
46 Eatonton 6,512 27.0%
47 Waynesboro 5,603 40.8%
48 Covington 13,728 29.9%
49 Rome 36,029 24.5%
50 Tifton 16,568 37.7%
51 Glennville 5,098 25.0%
52 Dalton 33,540 24.0%
53 Lafayette 7,136 21.2%
54 Columbus 198,647 21.7%
55 Commerce 6,677 20.3%
56 Hinesville 33,540 15.8%
57 Calhoun 16,133 27.9%
58 Lovejoy 6,594 18.4%
59 Lawrenceville 29,287 21.6%
60 Stone Mountain 6,209 17.4%
61 Garden City 8,961 28.8%
62 Douglas 11,566 28.0%
63 Atlanta 465,230 22.4%
64 Warner Robins 74,123 21.9%
65 Austell 7,227 9.6%
66 Locust Grove 6,340 20.1%
67 Douglasville 32,768 15.2%
68 Villa Rica 14,900 17.2%
69 Grovetown 13,353 11.9%
70 Stockbridge 28,117 16.2%
71 Gainesville 37,291 27.2%
72 Canton 25,806 21.0%
73 Norcross 16,474 21.4%
74 Winder 15,403 18.3%
75 Cumming 5,856 14.1%
76 Marietta 60,203 19.0%
77 Fairburn 14,257 15.7%
78 Dacula 5,366 8.2%
79 St. Marys 17,787 12.4%
80 Chamblee 28,433 25.8%
81 Mcdonough 23,504 12.4%
82 Cartersville 20,235 20.7%
83 Newnan 36,792 20.5%
84 Auburn 7,316 16.0%
85 Powder Springs 14,765 13.9%
86 Richmond Hill 11,766 18.7%
87 Acworth 22,163 9.4%
88 Doraville 10,442 17.9%
89 Fort Oglethorpe 9,690 15.2%
90 Kingsland 16,562 12.9%
91 Hapeville 6,622 16.4%
92 Buford 14,662 17.1%
93 Morrow 7,076 11.1%
94 Hampton 7,463 16.8%
95 Loganville 11,355 12.4%
96 Bremen 6,228 14.1%
97 Lilburn 12,559 13.1%
98 Duluth 28,988 12.8%
99 Snellville 19,521 11.8%
100 Dallas 12,760 15.1%

 Poorest 

One thought on “These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In Georgia For 2019

  1. I’m just curious as to why Louisville and Wadley GA are not listed on this. This data is incorrect or there are places not being reported

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