KSNF/KODE — The U.S. Census Bureau recently released the latest five-year estimates from the American Community Survey, an ongoing nationwide demographic snapshot that collects social, economic, and housing characteristics from millions of households every year.
According to the latest data, the typical American household earned an average of $69,021 over the five years ending in 2021. While this latest figure represents a modest 6% increase over estimates from the five-year period ending in 2020 — for most Americans, any increase in income has been wiped out by surging inflation.
Though the consumer price index has dipped since hitting a multi-decade high of 9.1% in June 2022, inflation remains at historic highs, and Americans across the country are feeling the pinch, particularly those on the lower end of the income spectrum, without the means to absorb rising costs.
According to the latest five-year ACS data, the typical household in Kansas earns $64,521 a year, though there are many places in the state where incomes are far lower. Of the 188 towns in the state with available data, Chetopa (located in far Southeast Kansas) ranks as the poorest in The Sunflower State. According to the financial news website, 247wallst.com, the typical Chetopa household earns just $21,843 a year; 66.1% less than the statewide median household income.
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Given the low incomes, it is not surprising that a larger-than-average share of residents live in poverty. The local poverty rate in Chetopa stands at 28.3%, compared to the statewide poverty rate of 11.5% — more than double the rate in Kansas.
The data used to determine the poorest city in Kansas, also applies to all 50 states. If you’re curious as to which city is named the poorest in your state you find out with the following chart: