Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Poorest Community in America ( Answered,   3 Comments )
Subject: Poorest Community in America
Category: Reference, Education and News > Teaching and Research
Asked by: jlk-ga
List Price: $4.00
Posted: 06 Jun 2002 08:19 PDT
Expires: 13 Jun 2002 08:19 PDT
Question ID: 23265
What is the poorest community in America?  What is the poorest
community with 1000 households or more in America? reported
on 6/5 that the wealthiest community in America (using per capita
income) was Rancho Santa Fe, CA.  Using the same criteria I would like
my question answered.  I tried to find the answer myself using the website, but spent hours searching to no avail.
Subject: Re: Poorest Community in America
Answered By: xemion-ga on 06 Jun 2002 09:16 PDT
According to my research, Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota in
the poorest community/county in the United States.

"Shannon County, South Dakota, has been the poorest county in America
for the past 30 years. Unemployment on the reservation now stands at
73 percent." (quote is
halfway down the page)

"There is no such thing as a leisurely retirement on the Pine Ridge
Reservation in South Dakota. Many elders are raising their
grandchildren because their own children have succumbed to domestic
violence, alcoholism and general apathy. The reservation is in the
poorest county in America, and the seniors are largely dependent on
federal assistance. Making life even grimmer, more than half of the
elders suffer from diabetes, and the life expectancy for men is 48
years." has a list of
poorest counties in America ranked by the percentage of people living
in poverty.  Shannon County is not at the top of the list, but
according to the title at the top, it seems that any of these counties
could be considered "poorest county".  Shannon County is the county
that I've found most referred to as the poorest county.  This report
was based on 1998 data, but it was published in December 2001 so it is
fairly up-to-date.

I know you asked for a "community", not a "county", and the answer to
that is Pine Ridge Reservation is the poorest community.  Many of the
articles I found referred to Pine Ridge Reservation, not Shannon

I found many other articles on Shannon County and the reservation, but
none of them said anything really different.  If there's a specific
piece of information you're looking for, I can find it for you. 
Otherwise, just look at these searches for more information:

poorest "shannon county"

poorest "pine ridge reservation"

Thanks for the question and if you require more information, don't 
hesitate to ask for clarification.  And if you find this answer 
satisfactory, please feel free to rate it. Thank you! 
Subject: Re: Poorest Community in America
From: thx1138-ga on 06 Jun 2002 08:54 PDT
Hi jlk
I couldnīt find EXACTLY what you want, but I think this site will help
your research. Itīs the "Bureau of Economic Analysis Regional Accounts
Data Local Area Personal Income" website and you can view their
searchable database here:

Good Luck with your research !

Subject: Re: Poorest Community in America
From: mwalcoff-ga on 06 Jun 2002 09:44 PDT
The reason CNN was able to say that about Rancho Santa Fe is because
the Census Bureau recently released Summary File 3 from Census 2000 to
the media. File 3 includes data for median income. Eventually, File 3
data will be available on ( Unfortunately, the
bureau generally does not do rankings of small communities for the
whole country. If you don't have the kind of resources CNN has to
analyze all the municipalities in the country, you could still easily
find the poorest "place" or "minor civil division" of the poorest
county in the poorest state in the nation once File 3 is released to
the public. You can use either median income or poverty rate. Finally,
you could just ask the Census Bureau to provide the answer to your

The census did release figures for counties and places of 250,000
people or more from its separate 2000 Supplementary Survey. The large
city with the smallest median income was Miami at an estimated
$20,146. Miami also had the highest poverty rate at 31.9%. Among
counties with at least 250,000 people, Hidalgo County, Texas had the
highest poverty rate (34.6%) and lowest median income ($23,726)
Subject: Re: Poorest Community in America
From: puffin-ga on 06 Jun 2002 12:46 PDT
Timely question!  I just read on the Cleveland Plain Dealers site
(actually off the AP Wire) the following:

which says that Cameron Park, TX is "one of the nation's poorest".
It does say that in per captia income it is last at $4,103 per year.
I would have thought one of the reservation communities would have
been lower, too.  Interesting

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy