These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In Utah For 2018


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

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Utah brings to mind images of Salt Lake City, beautiful landscapes, and some of the best people you’ll find in the good ole US of A.

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

To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 85 places in Utah with more than 5,000 people.

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

  1. Ephraim (Photos)
  2. Cedar City (Photos)
  3. Ogden (Photos)
  4. Price (Photos)
  5. Tremonton (Photos)
  6. Richfield (Photos)
  7. Sunset (Photos)
  8. Moab (Photos)
  9. Provo (Photos)
  10. South Salt Lake (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, Ephraim is the poorest place in Utah for 2018.

Rich people not your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the richest places in Utah or the most dangerous.

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 Utah 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 85 places with more than 5,000 people in Utah, we ranked each place from 1 to 85 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, Ephraim, crowned the ‘Poorest Place In Utah For 2018’.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 85 places.

1. Ephraim

Ephraim, Utah

Population: 6,751
Median Income: $38,621
Unemployment Rate: 10.8%
Poverty Rate: 29.4%
More on Ephraim: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Ephraim, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in Utah thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.

The city of 6,751 people averages the 2nd lowest median household income in Utah and the 1st 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. Cedar City

Cedar City, Utah

Population: 29,786
Median Income: $40,582
Unemployment Rate: 7.6%
Poverty Rate: 25.0%
More on Cedar City: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

The second poorest city in Utah is Cedar City.

The city ranks as having the 4th highest incidence of poverty and 4th lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 9th highest in the Beehive State.

3. Ogden

Ogden, Utah

Source: Public domain

Population: 84,900
Median Income: $42,482
Unemployment Rate: 7.1%
Poverty Rate: 21.4%
More on Ogden: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Placing as the third poorest city, Ogden’s median income ranks as the 6th 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 21.4% 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 Beehive State.

4. Price

Price, Utah

Source: Public domain

Population: 8,437
Median Income: $47,140
Unemployment Rate: 9.4%
Poverty Rate: 19.1%
More on Price: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Price ranks as the fourth poorest place in Utah.

The town ranks as having the 9th lowest median household income and the 9th 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. Tremonton

Tremonton, Utah

Population: 8,097
Median Income: $49,173
Unemployment Rate: 8.6%
Poverty Rate: 19.6%
More on Tremonton: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

The fifth poorest city in Utah is Tremonton.

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 7th highest in Utah.

Still not the best news for Tremonton.

6. Richfield

Richfield, Utah

Population: 7,566
Median Income: $42,373
Unemployment Rate: 6.7%
Poverty Rate: 19.5%
More on Richfield: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Richfield ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Beehive State.

It ranks as having the 8th highest incidence of poverty and the 16th highest unemployment rate.

7. Sunset

Sunset, Utah

Population: 5,176
Median Income: $50,266
Unemployment Rate: 8.9%
Poverty Rate: 17.9%
More on Sunset: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Sunset places as the seventh poorest city in Utah.

The city of over 5,176 ranks as having the 11th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

User comment that mentions Sunset: Davis county is a sh*thole, especially Sunset and Roy. If you work on base, you will never get a promotion as the Mormons only promote their own. Better to find a different base to be stationed at if you want to excel in your career.

Your comment could be here. Add a comment on a city or town.

8. Moab

Moab, Utah

Population: 5,196
Median Income: $43,844
Unemployment Rate: 11.0%
Poverty Rate: 13.8%
More on Moab: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Moab ranks as the eighth poorest city in Utah.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 1st highest in the state.

9. Provo

Provo, Utah

Population: 115,718
Median Income: $42,600
Unemployment Rate: 5.8%
Poverty Rate: 27.2%
More on Provo: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Provo couldn’t stay out of the top ten poorest places in Utah; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 7th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Provo ranks as having the 2nd most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Utah.

User comment that mentions Provo: The picture you have for Price Utah is not in Price or the cities close to it. Also we live an hour and twenty minutes from Provo not hours. Besides that unless you grew up here or like the out doors and small towns I agree its not a good fit.||No arguing just wanted to let you know.

Your comment could be here. Add a comment on a city or town.

10. South Salt Lake

South Salt Lake, Utah

Population: 24,575
Median Income: $39,198
Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
Poverty Rate: 24.5%
More on South Salt Lake: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Utah is South Salt Lake.

The city of 24,575 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Beehive State.

There You Have It – The Poorest Places In Utah For 2018

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

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 Utah, according to data:

Richest: South Jordan
2nd Richest: Farmington
3rd Richest: Hooper

For more Utah reading , check out:

  • 10 Safest Places In Utah
  • 10 Best Places To Live In Utah
  • 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Utah
  • Detailed List Of The Poorest Cities In Utah

    Rank City Poverty Rate
    1 Ephraim 29.4%
    2 Cedar City 25.0%
    3 Ogden 21.4%
    4 Price 19.1%
    5 Tremonton 19.6%
    6 Richfield 19.5%
    7 Sunset 17.9%
    8 Moab 13.8%
    9 Provo 27.2%
    10 South Salt Lake 24.5%
    11 Washington Terrace 15.5%
    12 Logan 25.4%
    13 Hurricane 15.2%
    14 Enoch 15.0%
    15 Salt Lake City 19.1%
    16 West Valley City 16.3%
    17 Vernal 16.0%
    18 Midvale 17.5%
    19 St. George 15.6%
    20 Orem 16.0%
    21 Brigham City 9.7%
    22 Washington 14.2%
    23 Roosevelt 13.9%
    24 Tooele 8.1%
    25 Clearfield 12.5%
    26 Taylorsville 11.5%
    27 Nephi 12.4%
    28 Murray 10.7%
    29 Riverdale 9.0%
    30 American Fork 10.1%
    31 Grantsville 7.0%
    32 Pleasant Grove 12.1%
    33 Heber 13.3%
    34 North Logan 12.2%
    35 Roy 11.7%
    36 Payson 9.8%
    37 Hyrum 12.2%
    38 West Jordan 7.9%
    39 Santa Clara 4.0%
    40 Ivins 11.4%
    41 Smithfield 5.3%
    42 South Ogden 9.5%
    43 Springville 7.5%
    44 North Salt Lake 9.2%
    45 Harrisville 3.7%
    46 Santaquin 8.9%
    47 Layton 9.6%
    48 Spanish Fork 7.5%
    49 Bluffdale 5.4%
    50 Herriman 4.8%
    51 Salem 7.0%
    52 Cedar Hills 6.8%
    53 West Haven 6.0%
    54 Fruit Heights 8.9%
    55 South Weber 2.4%
    56 Nibley 6.5%
    57 Bountiful 5.8%
    58 Mapleton 4.6%
    59 Lindon 7.7%
    60 Saratoga Springs 1.8%
    61 Woods Cross 8.2%
    62 Providence 6.9%
    63 Park City 16.2%
    64 Eagle Mountain 6.6%
    65 Sandy 6.1%
    66 Cottonwood Heights 4.7%
    67 Alpine 6.1%
    68 West Bountiful 5.9%
    69 Clinton 4.6%
    70 Pleasant View 5.3%
    71 Lehi 5.9%
    72 Holladay 4.5%
    73 West Point 5.9%
    74 Highland 3.7%
    75 North Ogden 3.0%
    76 Draper 5.3%
    77 Kaysville 4.8%
    78 Centerville 4.1%
    79 Riverton 4.1%
    80 Farr West 4.6%
    81 Syracuse 4.2%
    82 Plain City 1.1%
    83 Hooper 3.6%
    84 Farmington 2.7%
    85 South Jordan 3.5%

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