These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In Indiana For 2018


We used science and data to determine which places in Indiana are basically dead broke.

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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 120 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 2018:

  1. Gary (Photos)
  2. East Chicago (Photos)
  3. Muncie (Photos)
  4. Brazil (Photos)
  5. Connersville (Photos)
  6. Peru (Photos)
  7. Plymouth (Photos)
  8. Terre Haute (Photos)
  9. Marion (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 2018.

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.

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Indiana For 2018

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 2012-2016 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 120 places with more than 5,000 people in Indiana, we ranked each place from 1 to 120 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 2018’.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 120 places.

1. Gary

Gary, Indiana

Population: 77,858
Median Income: $28,895
Unemployment Rate: 16.6%
Poverty Rate: 35.9%
More on Gary: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

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

The city of 77,858 people averages the 3rd 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.

User comment that mentions Gary: Just don’t go to Gary or East Chicago… Trust the article on these 2

Your comment could be here. Add a comment on a city or town.

2. East Chicago

East Chicago, Indiana

Population: 28,961
Median Income: $27,264
Unemployment Rate: 16.2%
Poverty Rate: 35.3%
More on East Chicago: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

The second poorest city in Indiana is East Chicago.

The city ranks as having the 4th highest incidence of poverty and 1st lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 2nd highest in the Hoosier State.

3. Muncie

Muncie, Indiana

Source: Public domain

Population: 69,583
Median Income: $31,373
Unemployment Rate: 11.4%
Poverty Rate: 30.9%
More on Muncie: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Placing as the third poorest city, Muncie’s median income ranks as the 7th 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 30.9% 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.

4. Brazil

Brazil, Indiana

Source: Public domain

Population: 8,105
Median Income: $29,531
Unemployment Rate: 10.2%
Poverty Rate: 31.6%
More on Brazil: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Brazil ranks as the fourth poorest place in Indiana.

The town ranks as having the 4th lowest median household income and the 5th 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. Connersville

Connersville, Indiana

Source: Public domain

Population: 13,202
Median Income: $32,157
Unemployment Rate: 11.7%
Poverty Rate: 25.0%
More on Connersville: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

The fifth poorest city in Indiana is Connersville.

The city ranks as having the 9th 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 15th highest in Indiana.

Still not the best news for Connersville.

6. Peru

Peru, Indiana

Source: Public domain

Population: 11,415
Median Income: $32,404
Unemployment Rate: 12.5%
Poverty Rate: 24.7%
More on Peru: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

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

It ranks as having the 17th highest incidence of poverty and the 5th highest unemployment rate.

7. Plymouth

Plymouth, Indiana

Source: Public domain

Population: 10,012
Median Income: $33,481
Unemployment Rate: 12.8%
Poverty Rate: 24.5%
More on Plymouth: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Plymouth places as the seventh poorest city in Indiana.

The city of over 10,012 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. Terre Haute

Terre Haute, Indiana

Population: 61,021
Median Income: $33,378
Unemployment Rate: 10.2%
Poverty Rate: 26.4%
More on Terre Haute: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Terre Haute ranks as the eighth poorest city in Indiana.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 15th highest in the state.

User comment that mentions Terre Haute: Can you give a little more info on terre haute. There wasn’t much listed on its schooling or its unemployment rates.

Your comment could be here. Add a comment on a city or town.

9. Marion

Marion, Indiana

Population: 28,698
Median Income: $31,588
Unemployment Rate: 10.0%
Poverty Rate: 25.9%
More on Marion: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

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

While the median income is the 8th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Marion ranks as having the 12th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Indiana.

User comment that mentions Marion: Did you go to Marion much more stressed than Elwood…

Your comment could be here. Add a comment on a city or town.

10. Michigan City

Michigan City, Indiana

Population: 31,374
Median Income: $37,742
Unemployment Rate: 13.0%
Poverty Rate: 27.2%
More on Michigan City: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

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

The city of 31,374 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Hoosier State.

User comment that mentions Michigan City: Michigan city,is one of the way worse places to live,people all into your business and then they tell lies about what you said,and there is to much drama!!

Your comment could be here. Add a comment on a city or town.

There You Have It – The Poorest Places In Indiana For 2018

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

For more Indiana reading , check out:

  • 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Indiana
  • 10 Best Places To Live In Indiana
  • 10 Worst Places To Live In Indiana
  • Detailed List Of The Poorest Cities In Indiana

    Rank City Poverty Rate
    1 Gary 35.9%
    2 East Chicago 35.3%
    3 Muncie 30.9%
    4 Brazil 31.6%
    5 Connersville 25.0%
    6 Peru 24.7%
    7 Plymouth 24.5%
    8 Terre Haute 26.4%
    9 Marion 25.9%
    10 Michigan City 27.2%
    11 South Bend 26.7%
    12 Anderson 24.8%
    13 Salem 25.4%
    14 Bloomington 38.0%
    15 Elkhart 27.1%
    16 Richmond 26.0%
    17 New Castle 23.2%
    18 Elwood 24.2%
    19 Washington 20.9%
    20 Lake Station 24.2%
    21 Kendallville 22.9%
    22 Linton 21.2%
    23 Hammond 23.4%
    24 Logansport 19.4%
    25 La Porte 21.8%
    26 West Lafayette 41.0%
    27 Beech Grove 20.5%
    28 Portland 15.7%
    29 Martinsville 24.0%
    30 Kokomo 20.3%
    31 Evansville 21.7%
    32 Crawfordsville 20.6%
    33 Hartford City 15.2%
    34 Indianapolis 20.9%
    35 Speedway 19.7%
    36 New Albany 20.5%
    37 Alexandria 24.5%
    38 Shelbyville 18.1%
    39 Lafayette 19.9%
    40 Vincennes 19.8%
    41 Westville 25.8%
    42 Mishawaka 17.4%
    43 Garrett 17.6%
    44 Decatur 17.1%
    45 Fort Wayne 18.3%
    46 Goshen 18.7%
    47 Angola 17.3%
    48 Huntington 17.1%
    49 Madison 18.1%
    50 Bedford 17.8%
    51 Frankfort 15.5%
    52 North Manchester 12.6%
    53 Lawrence 17.0%
    54 Wabash 16.2%
    55 Princeton 15.9%
    56 Gas City 18.9%
    57 Bluffton 20.1%
    58 Rushville 20.1%
    59 North Vernon 22.0%
    60 Monticello 12.7%
    61 Merrillville 15.3%
    62 Rochester 18.2%
    63 Boonville 19.7%
    64 Tell City 19.5%
    65 Cedar Lake 11.0%
    66 Mooresville 16.1%
    67 Portage 14.9%
    68 New Haven 13.5%
    69 Columbia City 15.1%
    70 Mount Vernon 17.4%
    71 Griffith 10.8%
    72 Scottsburg 17.2%
    73 Seymour 17.4%
    74 Charlestown 14.6%
    75 Valparaiso 14.9%
    76 Hobart 10.5%
    77 Ellettsville 12.9%
    78 Greensburg 16.0%
    79 Greencastle 12.8%
    80 Rensselaer 14.4%
    81 Jeffersonville 11.1%
    82 Greenfield 12.7%
    83 Clarksville 10.0%
    84 Warsaw 12.3%
    85 Greenwood 12.1%
    86 Huntingburg 17.6%
    87 Lowell 8.3%
    88 Tipton 12.9%
    89 Auburn 12.3%
    90 Munster 8.3%
    91 Cumberland 8.5%
    92 Yor 7.8%
    93 Nappanee 10.0%
    94 Chesterton 7.3%
    95 Danville 7.7%
    96 New Whiteland 5.6%
    97 Franklin 10.3%
    98 Plainfield 7.7%
    99 Columbus 11.9%
    100 Crown Point 7.2%

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