Top 10 America’s Poorest States in 2020

The United States is the world’s third largest country both in terms of land area and population. It is home to roughly 300 million Americans living in 50 states and 1 capital district. Whenever one thinks of the US, iconic places come to mind like New York City and Times Square, Hollywood in Greater Los Angeles, or the various casinos of Las Vegas in the state of Nevada.

However, one fails to grasp that the United States is not all that. It is not a land flowing with milk and honey. In some parts of America, people are also dealing with social problems like unemployment, a high crime rate, and massive poverty.

This list will tell you the ten states in the United States of America with the lowest living standards. Though these states are still a far cry from the third world poverty that is seen in some parts of Africa and Asia, it only goes to show that a lot of Americans are also living hard-up and challenging lives.

10. Georgia


Outside Atlanta, Georgia ranks poorly when it comes to human development and standard of living. This is largely due to so many factors. First, unemployment is a significant problem. Many Georgians are either unemployed or underemployed. Second, Georgians in general have very low educational attainment, few people ever graduate from college and there is a high dropout rate in secondary schools.

9. New Mexico

New Mexico

Despite its huge land area, much of New Mexico lies in arid terrain, making agriculture very difficult. Also, the state suffers from poor infrastructure. Being a transit site for illegal drugs and even illegal immigrants, the state has a high homicide rate and one of the largest poverty rate incidences in the entire US.

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8. Louisiana


Not so long ago, a massive hurricane devastated large portions of New Orleans, the capital and largest city of Louisiana. This only further exposed the many problems of the state. It suffers from considerable poverty, as 20% of the state population fall below the poverty threshold. The state’s overdependence on natural gas has made it vulnerable to price fluctuations and instability when it comes to the prices of basic commodities.

7. South Carolina

South Carolina

The historic and African-American dominated state of South Carolina has a sizeable number of impoverished people because of the sheer difficulty of finding employment in the state. Unemployment in South Carolina easily passed 10% last year, and if a lot of people are unemployed, poverty-related crimes are just around the corner.

6. Oklahoma


Oklahomans are known for the simplicity of their lives – and their sense of apathy. Oklahoma lacks what many states seem to possess – a collective conscience. With many people just minding their own business, Oklahoma has a very low voter turnout. The state simply seems to drift along in history – and the state also has a high rate of emigration.

5. Tennessee


Mirroring the state of Oklahoma, Tennessee has also gained infamy for the indifference of a large portion of its people. Only half of the population has access to the internet and what’s making it worse is that the state has one of the worst education standards in the entire country. Majority of its population barely finished high school.

4. West Virginia

West Virginia

This state, though relatively peaceful and uneventful, is nevertheless in the doldrums. The state has a low voter turnout, a fifth of the labor force are either unemployed or underemployed, and life expectancy in the state is one of the lowest in the entire country.

3. Arkansas


This state in the central portion of the United States has one of the lowest per capita incomes in the country. In the last few years, unemployment passed 20% and homicide rates are steadily rising year after year.

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2. Alabama


The state seems to be in the red in many areas. It has a 20% poverty level incidence, a double digit unemployment rate, poor infrastructure, and people are finding it more and more difficult to have access to decent social services.

1. Mississippi


The state has the lowest per capita income in all of the United States. Crimes are prevalent and a typical Mississippi native has a low educational attainment compared to much of America. Since the 80’s, the state has consistently been the poorest in the USA.

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