15. Pine Bluff, AR
Neatly located beside one of many bends in the Arkansas River, Pine Bluff seems like a perfect place to live. At least, it would have been if its economy wasn’t as weak as it currently is. Almost 100,000 people in Pine Bluff’s metro area earn $29,521 on average when it comes to GDP per capita which is below the national average. The unemployment rate of 6.7% is worse than in most American cities as well, and the poverty rate of 24.4% fits that profile too. All this could change soon enough, though. Pine Bluff is currently considered as the premiere location for a large gas-to-liquids processing facility which might just employ around 5,000 people and bring $333 million in annual labor income. If this ends up to be true, expect Pine Bluff to avoid all future lists like these for foreseeable future.
14. Chico, CA
Town of Chico is located on the California State Route 99 which connects Redding and Sacramento. It’s only one of cities and unincorporated areas in Butte County which compose this 220,000 people metro area with others being Paradise, Oroville, Durham, etc. With all the positives which include California State University, Chico among others – Chico still lacks the means to avoid being ranked on this list. Real per capita GDP average amounts to $27,463 while unemployment and poverty rates come to 7% and 21.5% respectively. Small California town will have to do a lot better than that if it’s about to rise in prominence – economically speaking.