Poorest Cities In New York For 2021


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 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the poorest places in New York.

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 169 places in New York with more than 5,000 people.

Here are the ten poorest places in New York for 2021:

  1. Binghamton
  2. Monticello
  3. Rochester
  4. Syracuse
  5. Potsdam
  6. Amsterdam
  7. Jamestown
  8. Elmira
  9. Malone
  10. Utica

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, Binghamton is the poorest place in New York for 2021.

Rich people more your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the best 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 2021

1. Binghamton

Binghamton, NY

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 45,140
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $34,487 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.4% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 32.6% (7th highest)
More on Binghamton:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 45,140 people averages the 11th lowest median household income in New York and the 7th 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.

2. Monticello

Monticello, NY

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 6,433
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Income: $31,723 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.8% (highest)
Poverty Rate: 27.8% (15th highest)
More on Monticello:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in New York is Monticello.

The city ranks as having the 15th highest incidence of poverty and 5th lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate 'only' ranks as the highest in the Empire State.

3. Rochester

Rochester, NY

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 206,848
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $35,590 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.2% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 31.3% (9th highest)
More on Rochester:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Rochester's median income ranks as the 13th 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 31.31427650043586% 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.

4. Syracuse

Syracuse, NY

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 142,874
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Median Income: $38,276 (19th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (7th highest)
Poverty Rate: 31.0% (10th highest)
More on Syracuse:  Data | Photos

Syracuse ranks as the fourth poorest place in New York.

The town ranks as having the 19th lowest median household income and the 10th 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. Potsdam

Potsdam, NY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 9,154
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 7)
Median Income: $32,282 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.2% (9th highest)
Poverty Rate: 26.5% (20th highest)
More on Potsdam:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in New York is Potsdam.

The city ranks as having the 7th 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 20th highest in New York.

Still not the best news for Potsdam.

6. Amsterdam

Amsterdam, NY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 17,836
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Income: $37,457 (17th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (12th highest)
Poverty Rate: 27.5% (17th highest)
More on Amsterdam:  Data | Photos

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

It ranks as having the 17th highest incidence of poverty and the 12th highest unemployment rate.

7. Jamestown

Jamestown, NY

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 29,504
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Median Income: $33,420 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.5% (27th highest)
Poverty Rate: 29.5% (12th highest)
More on Jamestown:  Data | Photos

Jamestown places as the seventh poorest city in New York.

The city of over 29,504 ranks as having the 12th 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. Elmira

Elmira, NY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 27,402
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 5)
Median Income: $36,909 (15th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (13th highest)
Poverty Rate: 26.2% (22nd highest)
More on Elmira:  Data | Photos

Elmira ranks as the eighth poorest city in New York.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 13th highest in the state.

9. Malone

Malone, NY

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,659
Rank Last Year: 29 (Up 20)
Median Income: $39,722 (25th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.6% (18th highest)
Poverty Rate: 32.0% (8th highest)
More on Malone:  Data | Photos

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

While the median income is the 25th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Malone ranks as having the 8th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in New York.

10. Utica

Utica, NY

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 60,320
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Median Income: $37,760 (18th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.2% (22nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 29.4% (13th highest)
More on Utica:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 60,320 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 2021

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 2015-2019 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 169 places with more than 5,000 people in New York, we ranked each place from 1 to 169 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, Binghamton, crowned the "Poorest Place In New York For 2021". You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Poorest Places In New York For 2021

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

For more New York reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In New York

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Binghamton 45,140 32.6%
2 Monticello 6,433 27.8%
3 Rochester 206,848 31.3%
4 Syracuse 142,874 31.0%
5 Potsdam 9,154 26.5%
6 Amsterdam 17,836 27.5%
7 Jamestown 29,504 29.5%
8 Elmira 27,402 26.2%
9 Malone 5,659 32.0%
10 Utica 60,320 29.4%
11 Oswego 17,470 26.7%
12 Kaser 5,262 70.8%
13 Buffalo 256,480 30.1%
14 New Paltz 7,165 32.7%
15 New Square 8,373 65.9%
16 Brockport 8,292 25.7%
17 Dunkirk 11,865 25.1%
18 Niagara Falls 48,252 28.2%
19 Gloversville 14,878 26.5%
20 Salamanca 5,497 27.6%
21 Hornell 8,281 23.0%
22 Hudson 6,235 23.0%
23 Watertown 25,622 22.9%
24 Poughkeepsie 30,381 19.4%
25 Endicott 12,771 19.7%
26 Massena 10,091 19.6%
27 Spring Valley 32,295 26.2%
28 Fredonia 10,464 24.0%
29 Norwich 6,718 22.9%
30 Schenectady 65,334 19.4%
31 Newburgh 28,255 25.4%
32 Ogdensburg 10,635 22.7%
33 Ithaca 30,569 39.2%
34 Kiryas Joel 24,571 45.1%
35 Troy 49,458 24.4%
36 Albany 97,478 22.9%
37 Hudson Falls 7,114 20.0%
38 Oneonta 13,893 22.2%
39 Albion 5,479 15.7%
40 Lackawanna 17,831 22.6%
41 Fulton 11,300 23.6%
42 Johnson City 14,448 20.3%
43 Medina 5,847 16.7%
44 Auburn 26,601 19.0%
45 Cortland 18,739 27.0%
46 Geneseo 8,095 45.4%
47 Geneva 12,787 18.3%
48 Olean 13,670 19.9%
49 Kingston 23,070 19.2%
50 Wappingers Falls 5,648 17.6%
51 Bath 5,543 16.0%
52 Lockport 20,490 16.0%
53 Ilion 7,812 17.6%
54 Newark 8,914 14.7%
55 Haverstraw 12,065 14.4%
56 Mechanicville 5,107 18.6%
57 Glens Falls 14,340 15.8%
58 Herkimer 6,615 15.6%
59 Cohoes 16,684 15.7%
60 Saranac Lake 5,700 22.1%
61 Port Jervis 8,595 22.9%
62 Corning 10,696 16.4%
63 West Haverstraw 10,250 13.4%
64 Watervliet 10,050 18.7%
65 Plattsburgh 19,465 21.1%
66 New York 8,419,316 17.9%
67 Rensselaer 9,259 13.8%
68 North Syracuse 6,767 14.7%
69 Yonkers 199,968 14.9%
70 Sleepy Hollow 10,122 13.4%
71 Mount Vernon 67,896 13.9%
72 Batavia 14,578 19.0%
73 Port Chester 29,342 11.0%
74 Canton 6,505 16.2%
75 Rome 32,253 19.5%
76 Oneida 10,948 14.5%
77 Chestnut Ridge 8,057 12.5%
78 Hempstead 55,300 18.9%
79 Solvay 6,323 17.6%
80 Peekskill 24,075 11.6%
81 Manorhaven 6,628 15.4%
82 Elmsford 5,085 10.7%
83 Hilton 5,832 13.0%
84 Middletown 27,963 15.0%
85 Mastic Beach 12,610 14.1%
86 New Rochelle 79,067 10.7%
87 Johnstown 8,277 12.9%
88 Baldwinsville 7,645 7.7%
89 Beacon 13,634 9.7%
90 North Tonawanda 30,487 8.8%
91 White Plains 58,137 12.3%
92 Nyack 7,173 11.1%
93 East Rochester 6,563 11.9%
94 Tonawanda 14,830 11.7%
95 Patchogue 12,384 10.4%
96 Suffern 10,943 8.1%
97 Webster 5,606 12.1%
98 Canandaigua 10,287 10.7%
99 Depew 15,102 6.4%
100 Ossining 25,086 11.1%

How Is The Area In ?

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