[Vision2020] Moscow -- the poorest town in Idaho

Kenneth Marcy kmmos1 at frontier.com
Fri Jun 12 22:31:46 PDT 2015

  The Poorest Town in Each State

By Sam Stebbins <http://247wallst.com/author/247samstebbins/>, Thomas C. 
Frohlich <http://247wallst.com/author/thomas-c-frohlich/> and Michael B. 
Sauter <http://247wallst.com/author/michael-sauter/> June 5, 2015 12:07 
pm EDT

Poverty in the United States is not uniform and varies from place to 
place. Still, each state — no matter how rich — has some poor towns. In 
every state, there was at least one town with a median annual household 
income thousands of dollars lower than the state’s median income. In 
Cumberland, Maryland and Cairo, Illinois the difference was far greater 
— each had median household incomes at least $40,000 lower than the 
states’ income figures.

Socioeconomic indicators, such as low educational attainment rates, 
largely explain the low incomes in many of these towns. The poorest 
towns in only three states had a college attainment rate that exceeded 
the national rate of 28.8%. In contrast, the richest towns in all but 
six states had a college attainment rate greater than the national rate. 
And in 30 states, more than 50% of residents in the richest towns had at 
least a bachelor’s degree.

*Click here to see the poorest town in each state. 

Since every state must have a poorest town, and some states have far 
higher incomes than others, a state’s poorest town was not always 
especially poor compared to other states or the nation. Alaska, for 
example, had a median household income of $70,760 — the third highest 
nationwide. It’s poorest town, however, Ketchikan, had a median 
household income of $52,266, roughly in line with the national income 
figure, and higher than the typical household income in many states.

In other instances, the poorest town in a given state served to 
illustrate the high income inequality in the state. In New York, which 
had one of the higher median household incomes compared to other states, 
the poorest town, Kaser village, was among the poorest towns in the 
nation. The difference between the towns with the highest and lowest 
annual income exceeded $100,000 in just 10 states.

To identify the poorest town in each state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed 
median household incomes for every town with populations of 25,000 or 
less in each state from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community 
Survey (ACS). Due to relatively small sample sizes for town-level data, 
all social and economic figures are based on five-year estimates for the 
period 2009-2013. Still, data can be subject to sampling issues. We did 
not consider towns where the margin of error at 90% confidence was 
greater than 10% of the point estimate of both median household income 
and population. Additionally, we did not include areas classified as 
census-designated places (CDP). For these reasons, Rhode Island and 
Hawaii were excluded from our list. Towns were compared to both the 
state and national figures. We considered the percentage of residents 
who had at least a bachelor’s degree, the towns’ poverty rates, and 
workforce composition — all from the ACS. The percentage of housing 
units that were owned by their occupants — referred to as the 
homeownership rate — also came from the ACS.

These are the poorest towns in each state.

*11. Moscow, Idaho
 > Town median household income:* $33,164
*> State median household income:* $46,767 (13th lowest)
*> Town poverty rate:* 11.4%
*> Town population:* 24,141

Higher education does not always translate to a higher salary, as is 
evident in the case of Moscow. As many as 54.4% of town adults had at 
least a bachelor’s degree — more than double the corresponding statewide 
rate of 25.1% and nearly double the national rate of 28.8%. Despite the 
town’s high educational attainment rate, Moscow still had the lowest 
median household income of any town in Idaho.



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