Since COVID-19 reached the United States in early 2020, the financial situation of millions of Americans has deteriorated, even as a number of the nation’s wealthiest saw their fortunes increase by billions of dollars.
When census data covering the period affected by the pandemic is released, the U.S. poverty rate, which was 12.3% in 2019, would likely be higher. In some historically impoverished metropolitan areas that were reportedly affected disproportionately by the virus, the poverty rate is likely to rise even more. This may also mean that wealthier cities may have weathered the crisis better than the nation as a whole and would not see as significant an increase, if at all, in their poverty rates.
To determine the metros with the lowest poverty rates in the nation, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed one-year estimates of the percentage of people who live below the poverty line in each metropolitan area from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey.
For reference, the Department of Health and Human services sets the official poverty threshold at an annual income of no more than approximately $26,000 for a family of four.
In comparison to the 12.3% national poverty rate in 2019, the 50 metros on this list have poverty rates of less than 10% and as low as 5.2%.
The metro areas with the lowest poverty can be found all across the country. The 50 metros on this list with the lowest poverty rate are in 23 different states. Wisconsin and California are tied in having the most metro areas on this list, with six each.
While poverty rates do not correspond perfectly with median incomes, counties with higher poverty rates tend to have lower incomes. They also tend to have higher shares of residents receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, formerly known as food stamps.
Click here to see the metros where the fewest people live below the poverty line.
Click here to see our detailed methodology.
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