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:
- Monticello (Photos)
- New Square (Photos)
- Rochester (Photos)
- Binghamton (Photos)
- Newburgh (Photos)
- Utica (Photos)
- Syracuse (Photos)
- Salamanca (Photos)
- Buffalo (Photos)
- 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.
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 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.
Population: 6,577Median 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
Population: 7,804Median 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.
Population: 210,291Median 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.
Population: 46,277Median 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.
Population: 28,406Median 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.
Population: 61,337Median 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.
Population: 144,350Median 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.
Population: 5,638Median 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.
Population: 258,989Median 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.
Population: 11,000Median 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
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