These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In New York For 2018


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

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

We were left with this set of the ten poorest places in the Empire State for 2018:

  1. Monticello (Photos)
  2. New Square (Photos)
  3. Rochester (Photos)
  4. Binghamton (Photos)
  5. Newburgh (Photos)
  6. Utica (Photos)
  7. Syracuse (Photos)
  8. Salamanca (Photos)
  9. Buffalo (Photos)
  10. Massena (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, Monticello is the poorest place in New York for 2018.

Rich people not 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.

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How We Determined The Poorest Places In New York 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 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, Monticello, crowned the ‘Poorest Place In New York For 2018’.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 169 places.

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1. Monticello

Monticello, New York

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,577
Median Income: $26,786
Unemployment Rate: 15.9%
Poverty Rate: 32.2%
Monticello, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in New York thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.

The city of 6,577 people averages the 4th lowest median household income in New York and the 10th 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. New Square

New Square, New York

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,804
Median Income: $21,773
Unemployment Rate: 11.7%
Poverty Rate: 70.0%
The second poorest city in New York is New Square.

The city ranks as having the 2nd highest incidence of poverty and 2nd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 15th highest in the Empire State.

3. Rochester

Rochester, New York

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 210,291
Median Income: $31,684
Unemployment Rate: 13.0%
Poverty Rate: 32.8%
Placing as the third poorest city, Rochester’s median income ranks as the 12th 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 32.8% 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. Binghamton

Binghamton, New York

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 46,277
Median Income: $30,183
Unemployment Rate: 10.8%
Poverty Rate: 33.6%
Binghamton ranks as the fourth poorest place in New York.

The town ranks as having the 7th 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.

5. Newburgh

Newburgh, New York

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 28,406
Median Income: $33,469
Unemployment Rate: 11.9%
Poverty Rate: 33.0%
The fifth poorest city in New York is Newburgh.

The city ranks as having the 17th 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 8th highest in New York.

Still not the best news for Newburgh.

6. Utica

Utica, New York

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 61,337
Median Income: $32,201
Unemployment Rate: 11.9%
Poverty Rate: 31.2%
Utica ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Empire State.

It ranks as having the 13th highest incidence of poverty and the 12th highest unemployment rate.

7. Syracuse

Syracuse, New York

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 144,350
Median Income: $32,704
Unemployment Rate: 10.7%
Poverty Rate: 33.6%
Syracuse places as the seventh poorest city in New York.

The city of over 144,350 ranks as having the 6th 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. Salamanca

Salamanca, New York

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,638
Median Income: $30,921
Unemployment Rate: 12.0%
Poverty Rate: 27.0%
Salamanca ranks as the eighth poorest city in New York.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 10th highest in the state.

9. Buffalo

Buffalo, New York

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 258,989
Median Income: $33,119
Unemployment Rate: 9.9%
Poverty Rate: 31.2%
Buffalo couldn’t stay out of the top ten poorest places in New York; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 16th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Buffalo ranks as having the 13th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in New York.

10. Massena

Massena, New York

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,000
Median Income: $34,330
Unemployment Rate: 15.2%
Poverty Rate: 24.4%
And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in New York is Massena.

The city of 11,000 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Empire State.

There You Have It – The Poorest Places In New York For 2018

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: Scarsdale
3rd Richest: Lawrence

For more New York reading , check out:

  • These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Places In New York
  • These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In New York
  • These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In New York State
  • Detailed List Of The Poorest Cities In New York

    City Rank Poverty Rate
    Monticello 1 32.2%
    New Square 2 70.0%
    Rochester 3 32.8%
    Binghamton 4 33.6%
    Newburgh 5 33.0%
    Utica 6 31.2%
    Syracuse 7 33.6%
    Salamanca 8 27.0%
    Buffalo 9 31.2%
    Massena 10 24.4%
    Gloversville 11 27.7%
    Jamestown 12 30.1%
    New Paltz 13 31.9%
    Niagara Falls 14 27.2%
    Fulton 15 26.6%
    Elmira 16 31.7%
    Dunkirk 17 28.2%
    Amsterdam 18 27.8%
    Potsdam 19 29.0%
    Poughkeepsie 20 22.6%
    Newark 21 20.9%
    Oswego 22 28.9%
    Albion 23 27.4%
    Ithaca 24 44.8%
    Lackawanna 25 24.3%
    Troy 26 25.5%
    Hornell 27 23.7%
    Hudson Falls 28 23.1%
    Spring Valley 29 26.4%
    Endicott 30 19.6%
    Ogdensburg 31 22.3%
    Oneonta 32 29.0%
    Ilion 33 20.1%
    Schenectady 34 21.1%
    Brockport 35 29.5%
    Watertown 36 24.2%
    Kaser 37 77.7%
    Hudson 38 25.2%
    Malone 39 28.1%
    Kiryas Joel 40 55.7%
    Rensselaer 41 18.2%
    Auburn 42 16.2%
    Albany 43 25.6%
    Norwich 44 24.9%
    Canton 45 20.4%
    Bath 46 18.2%
    North Syracuse 47 12.6%
    Herkimer 48 16.7%
    Geneseo 49 43.0%
    Kingston 50 18.1%
    Fredonia 51 23.8%
    Plattsburgh 52 25.8%
    Olean 53 22.5%
    Geneva 54 21.7%
    Mount Vernon 55 16.0%
    Port Jervis 56 18.1%
    New York 57 20.3%
    Saranac Lake 58 20.0%
    Sleepy Hollow 59 21.3%
    Cohoes 60 15.0%
    Glens Falls 61 16.0%
    Johnstown 62 15.6%
    Mastic Beach 63 15.2%
    Oneida 64 17.7%
    Johnson City 65 17.8%
    Haverstraw 66 15.3%
    Yonkers 67 17.0%
    Medina 68 11.1%
    East Rochester 69 16.4%
    Lockport 70 15.8%
    Hempstead 71 20.3%
    Canandaigua 72 16.3%
    Mechanicville 73 16.0%
    Watervliet 74 15.7%
    Peekskill 75 12.4%
    Batavia 76 20.8%
    Cortland 77 22.4%
    North Tonawanda 78 9.4%
    Middletown 79 16.8%
    Rome 80 18.8%
    Port Chester 81 12.9%
    Beacon 82 9.9%
    Webster 83 26.7%
    Lancaster 84 8.3%
    Solvay 85 14.8%
    Walden 86 10.1%
    Ballston Spa 87 8.1%
    Corning 88 16.5%
    Ossining 89 11.8%
    New Rochelle 90 11.4%
    West Haverstraw 91 12.4%
    Baldwinsville 92 7.7%
    Patchogue 93 16.1%
    Valley Stream 94 7.0%
    Freeport 95 13.5%
    Nyack 96 19.0%
    Rye Brook 97 8.1%
    Mount Kisco 98 12.1%
    Hilton 99 9.1%
    Depew 100 8.9%

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