Poorest Cities In Indiana For 2020


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

Join RoadSnacks
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 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the poorest places in Indiana.

Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.

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 119 places in Indiana with more than 5,000 people.

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 Indiana? According to the facts, Gary is the poorest place in Indiana for 2020.

Rich people more 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:

The 10 Poorest Cities In Indiana For 2020

Gary, IN

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 76,677
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $30,310 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.8% (1st highest)
Poverty Rate: 33.5% (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 76,677 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: 28,448
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $31,907 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.3% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 32.5% (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.

Marion, IN

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 28,118
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Income: $33,006 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (12th highest)
Poverty Rate: 27.1% (6th highest)
More on Marion:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Marion's median income ranks as the 3rd 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 27.087358684480986% 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.

Terre Haute, IN

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 60,691
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Income: $35,722 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.5% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 25.6% (9th highest)
More on Terre Haute:  Data | Photos

Terre Haute ranks as the fourth poorest place in Indiana.

The town ranks as having the 11th lowest median household income and the 9th 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.

Peru, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 11,460
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 4)
Median Income: $34,992 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.2% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 25.2% (12th highest)
More on Peru:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Indiana is Peru.

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 12th highest in Indiana.

Still not the best news for Peru.

Muncie, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 69,164
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Median Income: $33,616 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.2% (17th highest)
Poverty Rate: 30.5% (5th highest)
More on Muncie:  Data | Photos

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

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

Bloomington, IN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 84,058
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Median Income: $34,435 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (19th highest)
Poverty Rate: 36.6% (2nd highest)
More on Bloomington:  Data | Photos

Bloomington places as the seventh poorest city in Indiana.

The city of over 84,058 ranks as having the 2nd highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

Anderson, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 54,788
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Income: $35,985 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.8% (11th highest)
Poverty Rate: 25.4% (11th highest)
More on Anderson:  Data | Photos

Anderson ranks as the eighth poorest city in Indiana.

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

Michigan City, IN

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 31,251
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Income: $39,713 (24th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.8% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 25.9% (8th highest)
More on Michigan City:  Data | Photos

Michigan City couldn't stay out of the top ten poorest places in Indiana; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 24th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Michigan City ranks as having the 8th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Indiana.

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 12,059
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 6)
Median Income: $40,194 (26th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.7% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 26.7% (7th highest)
More on Lake Station:  Data

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Indiana is Lake Station.

The city of 12,059 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Hoosier State.

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Indiana for 2020

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 2014-2018 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 119 places with more than 5,000 people in Indiana, we ranked each place from 1 to 119 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 2020". You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Poorest Places In Indiana For 2020

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: Mccordsville
    2nd Richest: Carmel
    3rd Richest: Zionsville

For more Indiana reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Indiana

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Gary 76,677 33.5%
2 East Chicago 28,448 32.5%
3 Marion 28,118 27.1%
4 Terre Haute 60,691 25.6%
5 Peru 11,460 25.2%
6 Muncie 69,164 30.5%
7 Bloomington 84,058 36.6%
8 Anderson 54,788 25.4%
9 Michigan City 31,251 25.9%
10 Lake Station 12,059 26.7%
11 La Porte 21,874 21.0%
12 New Castle 17,402 21.7%
13 Plymouth 9,996 23.2%
14 Linton 5,262 21.2%
15 South Bend 102,233 23.8%
16 Elkhart 52,308 23.5%
17 Logansport 18,141 19.8%
18 Vincennes 17,607 25.5%
19 Brazil 8,288 22.5%
20 Madison 11,890 22.4%
21 Connersville 13,069 24.9%
22 Salem 6,181 20.6%
23 Beech Grove 14,912 19.2%
24 Richmond 35,653 20.8%
25 Evansville 118,952 22.6%
26 Hammond 77,071 24.5%
27 West Lafayette 47,224 41.2%
28 Elwood 8,449 21.9%
29 Hartford City 5,929 16.4%
30 Portland 5,996 15.6%
31 Washington 12,069 18.3%
32 Speedway 12,188 19.2%
33 Kokomo 57,947 19.7%
34 Frankfort 16,186 16.5%
35 Martinsville 11,646 19.0%
36 Indianapolis 857,637 19.1%
37 Rushville 6,149 17.5%
38 Gas City 5,844 16.8%
39 Seymour 19,357 20.6%
40 Westville 6,343 24.9%
41 Wabash 10,184 16.7%
42 Lafayette 72,444 18.0%
43 North Vernon 6,662 21.5%
44 Lawrence 48,405 17.0%
45 Alexandria 5,025 22.9%
46 Bedford 13,285 17.3%
47 Mishawaka 48,926 16.2%
48 Mount Vernon 6,513 18.9%
49 Fort Wayne 264,052 17.3%
50 Crawfordsville 16,053 14.8%
51 Scottsburg 6,696 16.4%
52 New Haven 16,047 10.3%
53 New Albany 36,512 17.4%
54 Hobart 28,309 13.0%
55 North Manchester 5,917 13.2%
56 Garrett 6,661 16.1%
57 Goshen 33,915 18.4%
58 Portage 36,859 16.9%
59 Clarksville 21,336 13.4%
60 Huntington 17,147 14.4%
61 Kendallville 9,522 12.1%
62 Boonville 6,337 18.5%
63 Mooresville 9,604 13.6%
64 Tell City 7,270 17.6%
65 Merrillville 35,032 10.8%
66 Cedar Lake 12,242 10.1%
67 Huntingburg 6,634 19.0%
68 Decatur 10,331 16.3%
69 Auburn 13,162 10.6%
70 Shelbyville 18,898 16.7%
71 Angola 8,645 16.0%
72 Bluffton 9,855 14.4%
73 Ellettsville 6,602 14.0%
74 Warsaw 15,062 13.7%
75 Lowell 9,546 7.9%
76 Monticello 5,282 5.5%
77 Princeton 8,627 14.0%
78 Rensselaer 5,757 15.9%
79 Franklin 24,813 10.3%
80 Greencastle 10,461 13.9%
81 Jeffersonville 47,175 10.0%
82 Columbia City 9,084 13.1%
83 Charlestown 8,134 16.0%
84 Griffith 16,377 7.7%
85 Plainfield 32,045 9.0%
86 Greenfield 21,871 13.5%
87 Rochester 6,043 16.0%
88 Valparaiso 32,916 12.9%
89 Columbus 47,227 12.7%
90 Batesville 6,555 12.4%
91 Greensburg 11,712 12.8%
92 Chesterton 13,899 7.8%
93 Yor 11,178 8.7%
94 Highland 22,743 8.2%
95 Dyer 16,006 3.1%
96 Greenwood 56,791 9.8%
97 Nappanee 6,872 5.3%
98 Sellersburg 9,013 6.6%
99 Lebanon 15,816 8.7%
100 Jasper 15,765 12.5%

How Is The Area In ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *