These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In Indiana For 2019


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

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Indiana brings to mind images of Indianapolis, beautiful landscapes, and some of the best people you’ll find in the good ole US of A.

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

To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 121 places in Indiana with more than 5,000 people.

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

  1. Gary (Photos)
  2. East Chicago (Photos)
  3. Muncie (Photos)
  4. Marion (Photos)
  5. Terre Haute (Photos)
  6. Anderson (Photos)
  7. Connersville (Photos)
  8. Bloomington (Photos)
  9. Peru (Photos)
  10. Michigan City (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, Gary is the poorest place in Indiana for 2019.

Rich people not your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the richest places in Indiana 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 Indiana reading, check out:

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Indiana 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 121 places with more than 5,000 people in Indiana, we ranked each place from 1 to 121 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, Gary, crowned the “Poorest Place In Indiana For 2019”.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 121 places.

Gary, IN

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 77,416
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $29,293 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 15.7% (1st highest)
Poverty Rate: 35.8% (3rd highest)
More on Gary:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 77,416 people averages the 1st lowest median household income in Indiana 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.

East Chicago, IN

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 28,728
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Income: $30,205 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.7% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 34.6% (4th highest)
More on East Chicago:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Indiana is East Chicago.

The city ranks as having the 4th highest incidence of poverty and 2nd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 2nd highest in the Hoosier State.

Muncie, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 69,237
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $32,372 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.5% (8th highest)
Poverty Rate: 29.9% (5th highest)
More on Muncie:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Muncie’s median income ranks as the 4th 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 29.9% 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 Hoosier State.

Marion, IN

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 28,490
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 5)
Median Income: $32,879 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.4% (10th highest)
Poverty Rate: 26.4% (6th highest)
More on Marion:  Data | Photos

Marion ranks as the fourth poorest place in Indiana.

The town ranks as having the 5th 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.

Terre Haute, IN

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 60,691
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Median Income: $34,746 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (12th highest)
Poverty Rate: 26.0% (7th highest)
More on Terre Haute:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Indiana is Terre Haute.

The city ranks as having the 11th 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 7th highest in Indiana.

Still not the best news for Terre Haute.

Anderson, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 54,986
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 6)
Median Income: $34,693 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.2% (14th highest)
Poverty Rate: 25.8% (8th highest)
More on Anderson:  Data | Photos

Anderson ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Hoosier State.

It ranks as having the 8th highest incidence of poverty and the 14th highest unemployment rate.

Connersville, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 13,022
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Income: $33,902 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (12th highest)
Poverty Rate: 24.2% (14th highest)
More on Connersville:  Data | Photos

Connersville places as the seventh poorest city in Indiana.

The city of over 13,022 ranks as having the 14th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

Bloomington, IN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 83,636
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 6)
Median Income: $33,172 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (28th highest)
Poverty Rate: 37.5% (2nd highest)
More on Bloomington:  Data | Photos

Bloomington ranks as the eighth poorest city in Indiana.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 28th highest in the state.

Peru, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 11,510
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Income: $34,991 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.0% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 22.7% (22nd highest)
More on Peru:  Data | Photos

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

While the median income is the 12th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Peru ranks as having the 22nd most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Indiana.

Michigan City, IN

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 31,352
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Income: $38,631 (28th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.3% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 25.5% (10th highest)
More on Michigan City:  Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Indiana is Michigan City.

The city of 31,352 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Hoosier State.

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

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

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 Indiana, according to data:

    Richest: St. John
    2nd Richest: Zionsville
    3rd Richest: Carmel

For more Indiana reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Indiana

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Gary 77,416 35.8%
2 East Chicago 28,728 34.6%
3 Muncie 69,237 29.9%
4 Marion 28,490 26.4%
5 Terre Haute 60,691 26.0%
6 Anderson 54,986 25.8%
7 Connersville 13,022 24.2%
8 Bloomington 83,636 37.5%
9 Peru 11,510 22.7%
10 Michigan City 31,352 25.5%
11 Plymouth 10,011 23.9%
12 New Castle 17,476 23.3%
13 Elkhart 52,662 24.8%
14 South Bend 101,928 25.4%
15 Richmond 35,819 23.4%
16 Lake Station 12,157 25.4%
17 Portland 6,068 19.9%
18 Elwood 8,458 22.5%
19 Washington 11,999 18.4%
20 La Porte 21,825 22.4%
21 Beech Grove 14,943 21.1%
22 Salem 6,191 20.4%
23 Vincennes 17,944 22.9%
24 Brazil 8,384 23.7%
25 Evansville 119,806 23.3%
26 Hammond 77,827 22.2%
27 Logansport 18,169 18.3%
28 Hartford City 6,002 16.6%
29 Kendallville 9,592 19.0%
30 West Lafayette 45,110 41.1%
31 Kokomo 57,941 20.4%
32 Linton 5,288 18.6%
33 Speedway 12,229 21.0%
34 Martinsville 11,647 21.6%
35 Indianapolis 853,431 20.1%
36 Garrett 6,762 20.1%
37 Mishawaka 48,582 18.8%
38 Madison 11,920 19.2%
39 Westville 6,659 25.8%
40 Decatur 9,502 20.2%
41 Lafayette 72,174 18.9%
42 Angola 8,636 16.9%
43 North Vernon 6,695 19.8%
44 Fort Wayne 262,450 17.8%
45 Frankfort 16,226 16.3%
46 Seymour 19,225 19.7%
47 North Manchester 6,152 14.1%
48 New Albany 36,548 18.3%
49 Alexandria 5,045 23.6%
50 Tell City 7,295 20.0%
51 Wabash 10,272 17.4%
52 Bedford 13,292 17.9%
53 Lawrence 48,081 15.8%
54 Gas City 5,920 16.5%
55 Crawfordsville 16,075 15.5%
56 New Haven 15,895 12.3%
57 Princeton 8,573 15.0%
58 Winchester 5,061 19.9%
59 Portage 36,849 17.2%
60 Mooresville 9,571 14.1%
61 Huntington 17,214 16.9%
62 Rushville 6,160 18.5%
63 Bluffton 9,823 17.6%
64 Goshen 33,583 17.3%
65 Boonville 6,379 17.6%
66 Hobart 28,573 11.1%
67 Columbia City 9,057 14.7%
68 Warsaw 14,797 13.2%
69 Merrillville 35,183 10.9%
70 Shelbyville 19,034 16.2%
71 Cedar Lake 12,024 9.9%
72 Rensselaer 5,631 16.5%
73 Greencastle 10,426 13.8%
74 Valparaiso 32,501 13.6%
75 Monticello 5,298 9.3%
76 Griffith 16,468 8.9%
77 Rochester 6,059 14.7%
78 Jeffersonville 46,840 10.2%
79 Mount Vernon 6,548 15.0%
80 Huntingburg 6,633 18.0%
81 Clarksville 21,228 11.5%
82 Scottsburg 6,687 15.4%
83 Ellettsville 6,542 15.3%
84 Greenfield 21,565 12.9%
85 Charlestown 8,079 14.6%
86 Sellersburg 8,806 8.5%
87 Tipton 5,151 13.3%
88 Franklin 24,489 10.4%
89 Greenwood 55,459 12.2%
90 Winona Lake 5,140 12.6%
91 Auburn 13,004 11.7%
92 Plainfield 31,012 8.6%
93 Lowell 9,502 9.1%
94 Columbus 46,926 12.2%
95 Nappanee 6,927 10.1%
96 Greensburg 12,056 12.5%
97 Danville 9,598 7.2%
98 Chesterton 14,052 8.1%
99 Dyer 16,077 3.6%
100 Yor 11,200 8.2%

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