Poorest Cities In New York For 2020


We used science and data to determine which places in New York 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 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the poorest places in New York.

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

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

To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 168 places in New York 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 New York? According to the facts, New Square is the poorest place in New York for 2020.

Rich people more your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the richest places in New York 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 New York reading, check out:

The 10 Poorest Cities In New York For 2020

New Square, NY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,133
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $23,578 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.8% (11th highest)
Poverty Rate: 63.3% (2nd highest)
More on New Square:  Data | Photos

New Square, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in New York thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.

The city of 8,133 people averages the 2nd lowest median household income in New York 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.

Binghamton, NY

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 45,503
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $31,905 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.9% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 33.2% (8th highest)
More on Binghamton:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in New York is Binghamton.

The city ranks as having the 8th highest incidence of poverty and 7th lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate 'only' ranks as the 4th highest in the Empire State.

Rochester, NY

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 207,778
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $33,399 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.3% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 32.6% (9th highest)
More on Rochester:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Rochester's median income ranks as the 11th 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 32.60111261464441% 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 Empire State.

Monticello, NY

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 6,476
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $31,754 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.3% (1st highest)
Poverty Rate: 25.0% (26th highest)
More on Monticello:  Data | Photos

Monticello ranks as the fourth poorest place in New York.

The town ranks as having the 6th lowest median household income and the 26th 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.

Salamanca, NY

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,553
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 4)
Median Income: $30,758 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.4% (12th highest)
Poverty Rate: 26.9% (19th highest)
More on Salamanca:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in New York is Salamanca.

The city ranks as having the 4th 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 19th highest in New York.

Still not the best news for Salamanca.

Syracuse, NY

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 143,293
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $36,308 (19th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.2% (7th highest)
Poverty Rate: 31.8% (10th highest)
More on Syracuse:  Data | Photos

Syracuse ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Empire State.

It ranks as having the 10th highest incidence of poverty and the 7th highest unemployment rate.

Utica, NY

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 60,675
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Income: $35,394 (17th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.4% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 30.0% (13th highest)
More on Utica:  Data | Photos

Utica places as the seventh poorest city in New York.

The city of over 60,675 ranks as having the 13th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

Amsterdam, NY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 17,927
Rank Last Year: 24 (Up 16)
Median Income: $36,326 (20th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.0% (9th highest)
Poverty Rate: 27.5% (17th highest)
More on Amsterdam:  Data | Photos

Amsterdam ranks as the eighth poorest city in New York.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 9th highest in the state.

Oswego, NY

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 17,588
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 9)
Median Income: $39,585 (29th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.4% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 28.0% (16th highest)
More on Oswego:  Data | Photos

Oswego couldn't stay out of the top ten poorest places in New York; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 29th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Oswego ranks as having the 16th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in New York.

Jamestown, NY

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 29,799
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Income: $31,595 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (36th highest)
Poverty Rate: 31.4% (11th highest)
More on Jamestown:  Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in New York is Jamestown.

The city of 29,799 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Empire State.

How We Determined The Poorest Places In New York 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 168 places with more than 5,000 people in New York, we ranked each place from 1 to 168 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, New Square, crowned the "Poorest Place In New York For 2020". You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Poorest Places In New York For 2020

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

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 New York, according to data:

    Richest: Scarsdale
    2nd Richest: North Hills
    3rd Richest: East Hills

For more New York reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In New York

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 New Square 8,133 63.3%
2 Binghamton 45,503 33.2%
3 Rochester 207,778 32.6%
4 Monticello 6,476 25.0%
5 Salamanca 5,553 26.9%
6 Syracuse 143,293 31.8%
7 Utica 60,675 30.0%
8 Amsterdam 17,927 27.5%
9 Oswego 17,588 28.0%
10 Jamestown 29,799 31.4%
11 Newburgh 28,282 29.5%
12 Potsdam 9,281 24.2%
13 Elmira 27,695 28.7%
14 New Paltz 7,175 34.8%
15 Gloversville 14,938 26.4%
16 Kaser 5,179 75.7%
17 Buffalo 257,518 30.3%
18 Niagara Falls 48,661 27.4%
19 Dunkirk 11,950 22.7%
20 Endicott 12,872 19.7%
21 Brockport 8,350 26.3%
22 Ithaca 30,568 42.2%
23 Poughkeepsie 30,356 20.2%
24 Fulton 11,419 24.8%
25 Troy 49,610 25.4%
26 Kiryas Joel 23,536 46.3%
27 Hornell 8,308 21.5%
28 Massena 10,090 19.2%
29 Malone 5,694 33.7%
30 Geneva 12,888 20.5%
31 Oneonta 13,834 24.9%
32 Spring Valley 32,281 26.6%
33 Hudson 6,339 21.3%
34 Bath 5,572 19.0%
35 Lackawanna 17,859 24.4%
36 Medina 5,839 17.6%
37 Schenectady 65,482 18.4%
38 Hudson Falls 7,133 19.9%
39 Geneseo 8,096 44.7%
40 Fredonia 10,637 24.1%
41 Auburn 26,779 18.2%
42 Newark 8,937 16.2%
43 Watertown 26,057 25.6%
44 Ogdensburg 10,748 20.3%
45 Albany 97,889 23.8%
46 Ilion 7,852 16.5%
47 Olean 13,805 20.1%
48 Kingston 23,210 18.0%
49 Herkimer 6,899 17.3%
50 Port Jervis 8,614 18.8%
51 Johnson City 14,575 19.2%
52 Norwich 6,813 23.6%
53 Lockport 20,580 16.1%
54 Canton 6,501 19.0%
55 Glens Falls 14,359 15.8%
56 Hilton 5,858 13.1%
57 Mechanicville 5,144 19.0%
58 Plattsburgh 19,515 25.5%
59 Mount Vernon 68,035 14.7%
60 Oneida 10,980 14.7%
61 New York 8,443,713 18.9%
62 Albion 5,439 17.8%
63 Cohoes 16,599 13.6%
64 Sleepy Hollow 10,138 16.4%
65 Watervliet 10,120 17.7%
66 Rensselaer 9,290 14.2%
67 Yonkers 199,745 16.0%
68 Haverstraw 12,081 13.8%
69 Solvay 6,364 15.8%
70 Peekskill 24,008 12.1%
71 West Haverstraw 10,253 11.9%
72 Cortland 18,828 24.0%
73 Corning 10,789 16.1%
74 North Syracuse 6,740 12.1%
75 Wappingers Falls 5,663 13.0%
76 Rome 32,338 19.3%
77 Batavia 14,719 18.6%
78 Saranac Lake 5,552 17.6%
79 Johnstown 8,307 14.8%
80 Port Chester 29,418 11.7%
81 Mastic Beach 11,953 13.3%
82 Chestnut Ridge 8,057 12.2%
83 Hempstead 55,399 19.3%
84 Baldwinsville 7,550 8.1%
85 Canandaigua 10,348 12.8%
86 Webster 5,565 16.2%
87 Manorhaven 6,620 16.3%
88 North Tonawanda 30,596 8.2%
89 New Rochelle 79,205 10.7%
90 East Rochester 6,603 12.4%
91 Scotia 7,715 12.4%
92 White Plains 58,040 11.6%
93 Beacon 14,279 8.6%
94 Tonawanda 14,873 12.3%
95 Freeport 43,128 12.5%
96 Middletown 27,644 16.6%
97 Horseheads 6,510 9.2%
98 Walden 6,726 8.9%
99 Tuckahoe 6,587 6.3%
100 Depew 15,164 7.9%

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