These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In New York For 2019


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 2019. This is our fourth 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 167 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 2019:

  1. New Square (Photos)
  2. Binghamton (Photos)
  3. Rochester (Photos)
  4. Monticello (Photos)
  5. Utica (Photos)
  6. Syracuse (Photos)
  7. New Paltz (Photos)
  8. Potsdam (Photos)
  9. Salamanca (Photos)
  10. Gloversville

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, New Square is the poorest place in New York for 2019.

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.

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:

How We Determined The Poorest Places In New York for 2019

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 2013-2017 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 167 places with more than 5,000 people in New York, we ranked each place from 1 to 167 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 2019”.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 167 places.

New Square, NY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 7,995
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $23,924 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.5% (12th highest)
Poverty Rate: 64.4% (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 7,995 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: 45,964
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Income: $31,103 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.7% (8th highest)
Poverty Rate: 33.3% (6th highest)
More on Binghamton:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in New York is Binghamton.

The city ranks as having the 6th highest incidence of poverty and 5th lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 7th highest in the Empire State.

Rochester, NY

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 209,463
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $32,347 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.0% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 33.1% (8th 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 33.1% 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: 6,562
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 3)
Median Income: $31,169 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 16.4% (1st highest)
Poverty Rate: 27.2% (22nd 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 21st 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.

Utica, NY

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 61,114
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Income: $33,873 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.8% (10th highest)
Poverty Rate: 30.4% (14th highest)
More on Utica:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in New York is Utica.

The city ranks as having the 13th 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 14th highest in New York.

Still not the best news for Utica.

Syracuse, NY

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 144,405
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Income: $34,716 (17th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.5% (12th highest)
Poverty Rate: 32.6% (9th highest)
More on Syracuse:  Data | Photos

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

It ranks as having the 9th highest incidence of poverty and the 12th highest unemployment rate.

New Paltz, NY

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 7,040
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 6)
Median Income: $39,252 (29th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.4% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 33.3% (6th highest)
More on New Paltz:  Data | Photos

New Paltz places as the seventh poorest city in New York.

The city of over 7,040 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.

Potsdam, NY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 9,710
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 11)
Median Income: $31,667 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.4% (14th highest)
Poverty Rate: 27.5% (20th highest)
More on Potsdam:  Data | Photos

Potsdam ranks as the eighth poorest city in New York.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 14th highest in the state.

Salamanca, NY

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,594
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Income: $30,319 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.8% (21st highest)
Poverty Rate: 27.2% (22nd highest)
More on Salamanca:  Data | Photos

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

While the median income is the 3rd lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Salamanca ranks as having the 21st most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in New York.

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 15,052
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Income: $35,397 (21st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.1% (9th highest)
Poverty Rate: 28.4% (16th highest)
More on Gloversville:  Data

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

The city of 15,052 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 2019

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: 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 7,995 64.4%
2 Binghamton 45,964 33.3%
3 Rochester 209,463 33.1%
4 Monticello 6,562 27.2%
5 Utica 61,114 30.4%
6 Syracuse 144,405 32.6%
7 New Paltz 7,040 33.3%
8 Potsdam 9,710 27.5%
9 Salamanca 5,594 27.2%
10 Gloversville 15,052 28.4%
11 Jamestown 30,094 29.7%
12 Newburgh 28,444 31.2%
13 Niagara Falls 48,976 27.5%
14 Buffalo 259,574 30.9%
15 Elmira 28,302 30.9%
16 Fulton 11,509 26.4%
17 Poughkeepsie 30,505 22.4%
18 Oswego 17,723 28.0%
19 Massena 10,839 24.0%
20 Endicott 12,980 19.6%
21 Kaser 5,138 76.1%
22 Troy 49,826 26.1%
23 Lackawanna 18,012 25.4%
24 Amsterdam 17,974 25.6%
25 Dunkirk 12,064 22.7%
26 Newark 9,029 18.3%
27 Spring Valley 32,538 25.9%
28 Brockport 8,415 28.0%
29 Hornell 8,332 20.9%
30 Ilion 7,930 20.9%
31 Oneonta 13,932 25.6%
32 Kiryas Joel 22,794 48.0%
33 Ithaca 30,720 43.4%
34 Schenectady 65,705 21.0%
35 Herkimer 7,361 18.8%
36 Geneseo 8,151 41.4%
37 Ogdensburg 10,851 20.8%
38 Olean 13,911 22.8%
39 Watertown 26,437 24.7%
40 Malone 5,752 32.3%
41 Norwich 6,890 24.2%
42 Hudson Falls 7,174 20.4%
43 Auburn 26,962 17.6%
44 Geneva 13,048 18.9%
45 Albany 98,498 24.5%
46 Fredonia 10,695 20.8%
47 Bath 5,611 18.1%
48 Canton 6,553 19.6%
49 Albion 5,614 25.9%
50 Rensselaer 9,375 15.3%
51 Kingston 23,419 18.0%
52 Johnson City 14,728 18.6%
53 Oneida 11,120 19.0%
54 Medina 5,814 13.9%
55 Port Jervis 8,670 18.0%
56 New York 8,560,072 19.6%
57 North Syracuse 6,719 12.4%
58 Hudson 6,452 19.2%
59 Lockport 20,676 15.4%
60 Mount Vernon 68,671 14.8%
61 Cohoes 16,574 14.9%
62 Plattsburgh 19,734 24.3%
63 Yonkers 200,999 16.4%
64 Mastic Beach 14,850 15.1%
65 Saranac Lake 5,670 18.5%
66 Batavia 14,868 21.8%
67 Solvay 6,438 16.0%
68 Glens Falls 14,428 16.0%
69 Corning 10,870 16.6%
70 Johnstown 8,358 15.8%
71 Cortland 18,914 24.4%
72 Haverstraw 12,181 16.3%
73 Rome 32,589 19.4%
74 Watervliet 10,201 16.2%
75 Peekskill 24,111 13.0%
76 Mechanicville 5,177 18.7%
77 Sleepy Hollow 10,190 19.8%
78 Hempstead 55,698 20.2%
79 East Rochester 6,646 15.0%
80 Beacon 14,279 9.4%
81 North Tonawanda 30,752 8.8%
82 Canandaigua 10,402 14.7%
83 Ballston Spa 5,278 11.1%
84 Port Chester 29,623 12.4%
85 Hilton 5,896 8.7%
86 Patchogue 12,425 15.3%
87 Baldwinsville 7,532 6.8%
88 New Rochelle 79,877 11.2%
89 Webster 5,558 18.6%
90 Walden 6,781 10.9%
91 White Plains 58,404 11.9%
92 Wappingers Falls 5,416 11.9%
93 Tonawanda 14,992 13.4%
94 Middletown 27,729 17.3%
95 Waterloo 5,247 13.7%
96 Lancaster 10,207 9.5%
97 Freeport 43,380 12.6%
98 West Haverstraw 10,353 11.6%
99 Manorhaven 6,627 14.8%
100 Tuckahoe 6,656 5.1%

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