The U.S. Census Bureau released in December 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 New Hampshire earns $83,449 a year, though there are many places in the state where incomes are far lower. Of the 57 towns in the state with available data, Ashland ranks as the poorest. The typical Ashland household earns just $33,365 a year, 60.0% less than the statewide median household income.

Given the low incomes, it is not surprising that a larger than average share of residents live in poverty. The local poverty rate in the town stands at 31.7%, compared to the statewide poverty rate of 7.4%.

All data in this story are five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2021 American Community Survey. For the purposes of this story, towns are defined as incorporated legal entities or census-designated statistical areas with populations between 1,000 to 25,000 people. Towns were excluded if median household income was not available in the 2021 ACS or if the sampling error associated with a town's data was deemed too high.

 

StatePoorest townMedian household income in town ($)Median household income in state ($)Poverty rate in town (%)Poverty rate in state (%)Number of towns considered in state
AlabamaLivingston16,32154,94350.215.8298
AlaskaAlakanuk36,42980,28742.810.470
ArizonaCibecue18,23265,91366.713.5168
ArkansasMarianna17,93252,12339.016.0190
CaliforniaThermal14,50084,09740.212.3732
ColoradoRocky Ford29,82280,18431.99.6182
ConnecticutStorrs23,96483,57245.410.0128
DelawareLaurel34,61572,72440.011.450
FloridaGifford22,35361,77748.613.1592
GeorgiaGlenwood19,62565,03013.013.9326
HawaiiHawaiian Ocean View25,40288,00539.29.5114
IdahoGlenns Ferry29,21963,37741.711.487
IllinoisAlorton19,60572,56358.611.8621
IndianaAustin27,00861,94424.012.5309
IowaFayette35,68265,42925.011.0266
KansasChetopa21,84364,52128.311.5188
KentuckyClay City19,64355,45441.716.3218
LouisianaMany18,14853,57146.218.8248
MaineMachias20,33363,18238.311.0101
MarylandFederalsburg31,53291,43128.49.2273
MassachusettsWare43,78389,02617.49.9154
MichiganBaldwin22,59363,20240.813.3382
MinnesotaAurora32,28777,70624.79.2313
MississippiRosedale15,95549,11152.719.4173
MissouriVersailles22,78661,04329.012.8348
MontanaPlains24,84460,56020.512.587
NebraskaFalls City37,71266,64414.510.3115
NevadaTonopah33,14465,68619.212.943
New HampshireAshland33,36583,44931.77.457
New JerseySalem26,66789,70337.89.8498
New MexicoUniversity Park19,12554,02053.218.3141
New YorkRochester Institute of Technology18,22975,15749.813.5750
North CarolinaScotland Neck15,98560,51647.413.7405
North DakotaNew Rockford35,59568,13111.310.750
OhioLincoln Heights12,18361,93864.413.4623
OklahomaWetumka24,76956,95643.015.2225
OregonGrand Ronde27,46570,08433.212.1200
PennsylvaniaShippensburg University18,12567,58763.811.8942
Rhode IslandCentral Falls40,23574,48924.911.319
South CarolinaBlackville19,58358,23435.814.5236
South DakotaFort Thompson24,12563,92047.412.574
TennesseeJamestown18,00058,51646.714.3272
TexasCarrizo Hill9,11067,32196.914.0877
UtahEast Carbon39,58379,13322.98.8135
VermontWest Brattleboro36,61867,67419.410.547
VirginiaJonesville17,34480,61546.99.9328
WashingtonOroville32,08382,40033.210.0345
West VirginiaWilliamson18,64050,88432.916.9143
WisconsinLac du Flambeau26,07667,08029.910.7357
WyomingFort Washakie41,94468,00230.110.752