Poorest Cities In Utah For 2020

We used science and data to determine which places in Utah 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 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the poorest places in Utah.

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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.

Here are the ten poorest places in Utah for 2020:

  1. Ephraim (Photos)
  2. Vernal (Photos)
  3. Price (Photos)
  4. Cedar City (Photos)
  5. Ogden (Photos)
  6. Provo (Photos)
  7. Richfield (Photos)
  8. Tremonton (Photos)
  9. South Salt Lake (Photos)
  10. Moab (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.

What's the poorst city in Utah? According to the facts, Ephraim is the poorest place in Utah for 2020.

Rich people more 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.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the poorest states in America or the poorest cities in America.

For more Utah reading, check out:

The 10 Poorest Cities In Utah For 2020

Ephraim, UT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,987
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $39,915 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.5% (1st highest)
Poverty Rate: 28.0% (1st highest)
More on Ephraim:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 6,987 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.

Vernal, UT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,653
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $51,301 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.8% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 20.8% (6th highest)
More on Vernal:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Utah is Vernal.

The city ranks as having the 6th highest incidence of poverty and 11th lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate 'only' ranks as the 3rd highest in the Beehive State.

Price, UT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,281
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 4)
Median Income: $47,896 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 20.0% (7th highest)
More on Price:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Price's median income ranks as the 8th 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 19.962073324905184% 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.

Cedar City, UT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 31,009
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Income: $44,102 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (15th highest)
Poverty Rate: 23.6% (4th highest)
More on Cedar City:  Data | Photos

Cedar City ranks as the fourth poorest place in Utah.

The town ranks as having the 5th lowest median household income and the 4th 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.

Ogden, UT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 86,126
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Income: $46,807 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (11th highest)
Poverty Rate: 19.6% (8th highest)
More on Ogden:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Utah is Ogden.

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 8th highest in Utah.

Still not the best news for Ogden.

Provo, UT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 116,146
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Income: $46,532 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (21st highest)
Poverty Rate: 25.9% (3rd highest)
More on Provo:  Data | Photos

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

It ranks as having the 3rd highest incidence of poverty and the 21st highest unemployment rate.

Richfield, UT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,678
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 4)
Median Income: $43,566 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (16th highest)
Poverty Rate: 16.5% (10th highest)
More on Richfield:  Data | Photos

Richfield places as the seventh poorest city in Utah.

The city of over 7,678 ranks as having the 10th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

Tremonton, UT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,434
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Income: $51,143 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (13th highest)
Poverty Rate: 16.5% (11th highest)
More on Tremonton:  Data | Photos

Tremonton ranks as the eighth poorest city in Utah.

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

South Salt Lake, UT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 24,860
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 4)
Median Income: $42,749 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (26th highest)
Poverty Rate: 21.8% (5th highest)
More on South Salt Lake:  Data | Photos

South Salt Lake couldn't stay out of the top ten poorest places in Utah; 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, South Salt Lake ranks as having the 5th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Utah.

Moab, UT

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,259
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 7)
Median Income: $48,879 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 10.5% (28th highest)
More on Moab:  Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Utah is Moab.

The city of 5,259 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Beehive State.

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Utah for 2020

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 2014-2018 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 2020". You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Poorest Places In Utah For 2020

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

For more Utah reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Utah

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Ephraim 6,987 28.0%
2 Vernal 10,653 20.8%
3 Price 8,281 20.0%
4 Cedar City 31,009 23.6%
5 Ogden 86,126 19.6%
6 Provo 116,146 25.9%
7 Richfield 7,678 16.5%
8 Tremonton 8,434 16.5%
9 South Salt Lake 24,860 21.8%
10 Moab 5,259 10.5%
11 Hurricane 16,403 11.1%
12 Roosevelt 6,955 14.3%
13 Brigham City 18,924 10.7%
14 St. George 82,194 14.6%
15 Salt Lake City 195,701 17.9%
16 Washington Terrace 9,138 9.1%
17 Riverdale 8,727 11.4%
18 Midvale 32,893 15.5%
19 Sunset 5,229 11.0%
20 Logan 50,478 26.3%
21 Orem 95,428 13.1%
22 West Valley City 135,985 12.5%
23 Tooele 33,805 7.9%
24 Enoch 6,534 12.6%
25 Payson 19,699 9.6%
26 Hyrum 8,065 11.3%
27 Taylorsville 60,294 10.5%
28 Roy 38,238 11.3%
29 Clearfield 31,016 9.7%
30 Ivins 8,211 9.2%
31 Pleasant Grove 38,066 10.4%
32 Murray 49,118 9.1%
33 Grantsville 10,566 5.7%
34 Nephi 5,761 11.5%
35 North Logan 10,457 12.9%
36 Smithfield 11,102 8.2%
37 American Fork 29,384 7.6%
38 Washington 25,395 10.0%
39 Pleasant View 9,806 8.5%
40 West Jordan 113,089 7.1%
41 Springville 32,603 7.3%
42 Layton 75,106 7.2%
43 Santaquin 11,154 7.3%
44 Woods Cross 11,287 7.0%
45 Lindon 10,826 7.4%
46 Cedar Hills 10,252 8.7%
47 Bountiful 43,792 5.9%
48 Heber 15,056 9.2%
49 Spanish Fork 38,673 6.9%
50 Eagle Mountain 29,919 7.4%
51 Fruit Heights 6,100 5.4%
52 South Ogden 17,010 6.6%
53 North Salt Lake 20,020 4.7%
54 Clinton 21,618 3.1%
55 West Haven 12,916 6.1%
56 West Bountiful 5,578 6.0%
57 Plain City 6,560 5.7%
58 Sandy 95,420 5.2%
59 Cottonwood Heights 34,170 5.3%
60 North Ogden 18,943 5.2%
61 South Weber 7,159 1.8%
62 Saratoga Springs 27,347 2.0%
63 Park City 8,296 11.1%
64 Providence 7,300 6.3%
65 Kaysville 30,961 3.6%
66 Lehi 61,508 6.4%
67 Salem 7,808 2.9%
68 Draper 47,402 5.0%
69 Centerville 17,221 3.3%
70 Highland 18,362 2.6%
71 Alpine 10,430 4.4%
72 Holladay 30,746 4.5%
73 Harrisville 6,356 1.5%
74 Syracuse 28,342 4.2%
75 Santa Clara 7,118 2.9%
76 Bluffdale 12,114 3.2%
77 Mapleton 9,509 1.6%
78 Nibley 6,655 3.1%
79 Herriman 35,640 1.7%
80 West Point 10,434 3.5%
81 Farr West 6,836 2.1%
82 Riverton 42,680 2.8%
83 Farmington 23,208 2.1%
84 South Jordan 68,491 2.7%
85 Hooper 8,458 1.6%

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