Poorest Cities In Utah For 2021


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 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the poorest places in Utah.

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 87 places in Utah with more than 5,000 people.

Here are the ten poorest places in Utah for 2021:

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

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 2021.

Rich people more your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the best 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 2021

1. Ephraim

Ephraim, UT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,102
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $43,476 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.1% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 22.7% (3rd 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 7,102 people averages the 2nd lowest median household income in Utah and the 3rd 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. Vernal

Vernal, UT

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,574
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $48,325 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.5% (highest)
Poverty Rate: 20.3% (5th highest)
More on Vernal:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Utah is Vernal.

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

3. Price

Price, UT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,265
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $45,730 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.7% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 21.9% (4th highest)
More on Price:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Price's median income ranks as the 3rd 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 21.946300264717006% 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. Richfield

Richfield, UT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,731
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Income: $46,625 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (7th highest)
Poverty Rate: 18.6% (8th highest)
More on Richfield:  Data | Photos

Richfield ranks as the fourth poorest place in Utah.

The town ranks as having the 4th lowest median household income and the 8th 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. South Salt Lake

South Salt Lake, UT

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 25,017
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 4)
Median Income: $47,813 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (11th highest)
Poverty Rate: 18.7% (7th highest)
More on South Salt Lake:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Utah is South Salt Lake.

The city ranks as having the 5th 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 South Salt Lake.

6. Moab

Moab, UT

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,268
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Median Income: $51,168 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 13.8% (13th highest)
More on Moab:  Data | Photos

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

It ranks as having the 13th highest incidence of poverty and the 2nd highest unemployment rate.

7. Provo

Provo, UT

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 116,403
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Income: $48,888 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (17th highest)
Poverty Rate: 26.3% (2nd highest)
More on Provo:  Data | Photos

Provo places as the seventh poorest city in Utah.

The city of over 116,403 ranks as having the 2nd 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. Cedar City

Cedar City, UT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 32,067
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Median Income: $48,346 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (16th highest)
Poverty Rate: 20.3% (6th highest)
More on Cedar City:  Data | Photos

Cedar City ranks as the eighth poorest city in Utah.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 16th highest in the state.

9. Ogden

Ogden, UT

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 86,833
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 4)
Median Income: $50,061 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (15th highest)
Poverty Rate: 17.2% (9th highest)
More on Ogden:  Data | Photos

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

While the median income is the 9th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Ogden ranks as having the 9th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Utah.

10. Roosevelt

Roosevelt, UT

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,041
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Median Income: $63,479 (23rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 14.3% (11th highest)
More on Roosevelt:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 7,041 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 2021

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 2015-2019 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 87 places with more than 5,000 people in Utah, we ranked each place from 1 to 87 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 2021". You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Poorest Places In Utah For 2021

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: Mapleton
    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 7,102 22.7%
2 Vernal 10,574 20.3%
3 Price 8,265 21.9%
4 Richfield 7,731 18.6%
5 South Salt Lake 25,017 18.7%
6 Moab 5,268 13.8%
7 Provo 116,403 26.3%
8 Cedar City 32,067 20.3%
9 Ogden 86,833 17.2%
10 Roosevelt 7,041 14.3%
11 Hurricane 17,212 12.4%
12 Brigham City 19,150 9.4%
13 Midvale 33,318 14.0%
14 Riverdale 8,752 10.8%
15 Logan 50,863 26.8%
16 Sunset 5,278 11.9%
17 St. George 84,500 13.0%
18 Salt Lake City 197,756 16.6%
19 West Valley City 136,009 12.4%
20 Washington Terrace 9,162 8.2%
21 Tooele 34,535 7.7%
22 Tremonton 8,638 11.6%
23 Payson 19,842 9.2%
24 Orem 96,725 11.6%
25 Taylorsville 60,138 9.7%
26 Ivins 8,530 8.9%
27 Roy 39,040 9.5%
28 Hyrum 8,224 8.4%
29 Clearfield 31,364 9.7%
30 Enoch 6,738 9.5%
31 Pleasant Grove 38,380 10.0%
32 Nephi 5,969 12.0%
33 North Logan 10,711 13.1%
34 Grantsville 11,021 5.3%
35 Murray 49,105 7.5%
36 Woods Cross 11,340 7.5%
37 Smithfield 11,373 8.0%
38 West Jordan 114,138 6.6%
39 Santaquin 11,684 6.1%
40 Layton 76,197 7.3%
41 Lindon 10,912 6.2%
42 American Fork 30,399 4.3%
43 West Bountiful 5,627 11.8%
44 Springville 32,952 7.7%
45 Heber 15,699 7.7%
46 Eagle Mountain 32,412 7.4%
47 Washington 26,583 9.3%
48 Pleasant View 10,162 6.5%
49 Vineyard 7,103 9.5%
50 West Haven 13,782 6.1%
51 Providence 7,407 6.8%
52 Spanish Fork 39,371 6.9%
53 Fruit Heights 6,172 4.8%
54 Harrisville 6,510 3.0%
55 South Ogden 17,063 5.9%
56 Lehi 64,006 6.4%
57 Plain City 6,867 5.9%
58 Cottonwood Heights 34,036 4.7%
59 South Weber 7,381 1.7%
60 Sandy 96,127 5.2%
61 Bountiful 43,901 5.4%
62 North Ogden 19,392 5.8%
63 Cedar Hills 10,209 5.2%
64 Herriman 40,149 2.7%
65 North Salt Lake 20,402 3.2%
66 Holladay 30,636 5.5%
67 Nibley 6,819 6.4%
68 Kaysville 31,494 3.5%
69 Draper 48,000 4.2%
70 Santa Clara 7,495 3.8%
71 Clinton 21,890 2.8%
72 Saratoga Springs 29,161 2.3%
73 Park City 8,375 8.8%
74 Alpine 10,477 2.7%
75 Farr West 7,023 2.6%
76 Bluffdale 13,403 3.8%
77 Highland 18,726 2.7%
78 Syracuse 29,331 3.6%
79 Centerville 17,404 3.0%
80 Riverton 43,250 3.3%
81 West Point 10,615 2.9%
82 Salem 8,099 2.6%
83 Hooper 8,646 3.0%
84 Midway 5,035 2.6%
85 Farmington 23,847 2.1%
86 Mapleton 9,872 2.2%
87 South Jordan 71,198 2.7%

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