16 Poorest Small Cities in America: 2015 List

Smaller US cities might not often be perceived as the backbone of the American economy, and following 16 poorest small cities in America certainly aren’t. However, this isn’t a universal occurrence, and one only has to remember the small Texas cities of Odessa and Midland in order to figure out that they too can be important economic and industry growth hubs. Small towns like these, however, are very few and far in between. More often than not, small towns don’t offer ample of opportunities that large metro hubs do, and sometimes it’s even worse than that as you’re about to see after consulting our list.

16 Poorest Small Cities in America: 2015 List



All of the aforementioned doesn’t have to mean that every large city in America is doing better than smaller areas. To the contrary. Some larger metro areas are truly struggling with poverty, unemployment and below average salaries for a number of reasons. Some of them have never recuperated after loss or downfall of their main industry like Detroit, Cleveland or Youngstown for instance. Others have fallen upon rough times after the recent recession of 2008 and downfall of the housing market. You can check our 16 poorest metropolitan cities in America: 2015 list in order to get a grasp on the situation with larger metros yourself.

For purposes of this list, we have used three main criteria. Real per capita GDP income for metro statistical area has been obtained from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In order to give you a better insight into how things are going long-term, we have calculated the average income between the last couple of available years, which are 2013 and 2014 in this instance. The second criterion has been obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it’s unemployment rate for respective smaller metro areas. Finally, poverty rates have been pulled from Congressional Research Service’s report, published on January 29, 2015. Be advised that numbers for country’s metro areas start in the appendix or more precisely – from the page 52. All metros on this 16 poorest small cities in America: 2015 list will be assigned points from 1 to 10 for all three given categories. Needless to say, those with most points in the end will find their way to this list. Of course, the smaller the GDP per capita, the more points the city will get. We are looking for the poorest ones after all. However, things work differently with unemployment and poverty rates. The bigger they are, the more points city gets. Finally, unlike the large metro areas which have more than 500,000 inhabitants, small cities and metros are those with less than 500,000 people living within their borders.

16. Homosassa Springs, FL

Like most cities and towns in Florida, Homosassa Springs too lives mostly off of tourism industry. Homosassa Springs metro area encompasses most of Florida’s Citrus county, but it still features less than 140,000 inhabitants. While average per capita GDP in Homosassa Springs comes to $20,552, almost one sixth of the population lives on less than that according to Sperling’s estimates. Unemployment and poverty rates aren’t that promising either as they amount to 6.6% and 16.8% respectively.