Considered to be one of our country’s more expensive states to live in, New York residents are constantly vocalizing their thoughts on our taxes and earned income. According to the United States Census Bureau, the cities below have the lowest per capita or median household income. Each featuring their own attractions and characteristics, you may very well be surprised to see which cities in the Empire State are technically the poorest.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Kiryas Joel
Not only did Kiryas Joel have one of the lowest-incomes in our state, it also came in as having the lowest per capita income out of any other location in America with a population of over 10,000 residents. The community is mostly made up of Hassidic Jews out in Orange County, with the average resident making only $4, 355 per year.
A city you may be surprised to see make this list, Buffalo is New York's largest city with the highest percent of low-income residents. According to reports that considered a large city to be a location that has over 250,00 residents, Buffalo came in at number six on the list of America's top ten large cities. Buffalo is said to have 30.4% of its residents living below the poverty line, with the average resident making only $14,993 per year.
Out in Otsego County in Central New York, Oneonta's residents are only making an average income of $12,640 per year. The small city that often feels like one of our charming little towns, many find themselves living out here because of all the nearby colleges. Nicknamed "The City of Hills", the area has plenty to offer and a surprising amount of delicious restaurants to be discovered.
Sadly, this city seems to always make our not-so-cheery lists. With residents making an average annual income of just $13,360. Found along the Hudson River in Orange County, many traveling across New York will make this their halfway point between the Big Apple and Albany.
New York's "City of Waterfalls" has landed itself on the list of our state's poorest cities. With residents making just $13,408 per year, the Tompkins County location can be found on the southern end of Cayuga Lake. With a population of over 30,000 residents and so much to see and do in the area, it's interesting to see this city have such a low-income level.
If you haven't yet caught on to the trending pattern then let me point out that almost all of New York's low-income cities can be found upstate. Residents out near the Finger Lakes who call the city of Cortland make an average annual income of just $14, 267. Holding a population of just under 20,000 residents, the city is one of the smaller ones you'll find within the Empire State.
The sweet city of Elmira out along our Southern Tier has a population of just under 30,000 residents. Making an average of income of $14,495 per year, Elmira is considered to be one of the poorest cities in our state. Located in Chemung County not far from the state border, those living in the city have plenty of beautiful attractions and parks to visit in the surrounding areas of the Finger Lakes and Western New York.
8. Little Falls
With a population of just under 5,000 residents, it's easy to see how many people in our state haven't even heard of this small city! Those who live in Little Falls have an average annual income of $15,139. Built on both sides of New York's Mohawk River, this teensy little city can be found out in Herkimer County.
One of New York's largest cities, over 145,000 residents call Syracuse their home. Forever bleeding orange, this Central New York location is full of life. From its well-know university and amazing places to eat, Syracuse is a wonderful place to visit to say the absolute least. Those who live here are reported to make an average annual income of $15,168.
One of those city's that's not too big or too small but just right, Utica has a population of over 62,000 residents. Right off of the New York State Thruway and on the Mohawk River, those who live here have the perk of being not too far from both our state Capitol and the city of Syracuse. With an average annual income $15,248, it earns the title of being one of the poorest cities in our state.
Sitting on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, a population of over 210,000 residents makes Rochester New York's third largest city. One of our country's very first boom towns, residents living in the city are reported to have an average annual income of $15,588. Featuring beautiful urban waterfalls along the Genesee River and plenty of history throughout the city, Rochester is a place that you shouldn't write off just for these unfortunate statistics.
12. Niagara Falls
A beautiful city to see lit up at night, Niagara Falls is rhetorically a location within New York that holds a ton of natural beauty. From the American Falls to Niagara Gorge and Whirlpool, there's a lifetimes worth of natural attractions waiting to be discovered here. The city has a total population of just over 50,000 residents who are reported to have an average annual income of $15,721.