A recent article from 24/7 Wall Street shares a list of the poorest towns in every state, and the results are not only surprising but also a little upsetting. The results come from looking at five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey. The list only considered any city, town, or unincorporated community with populations between 1,000 and 25,000 people, and ranked them by median household income.

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Keeping those population parameters in mind, do you have any guesses as to which town is the poorest in Indiana? I thought of a couple right off the bat, but I was wrong. In fact, the poorest city in Indiana is a town I had never even heard of - and I've been a Hoosier for nearly 50 years.

And the Poorest Town in Indiana is...

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This unfortunate title goes to the small town of AUSTIN in Southeastern Indiana. The article included the following statistics for Austin and how they compare to the rest of Indiana.

  • Austin's median household income is $27,008. The average for Indiana is $61,944.
  • 10.8% of adults in Austin have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 27.8% of adults in the rest of Indiana.
  • 27.4% of Austin households receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits - that number is 9% for the rest of Indiana.
  • The median home value in Austin is $74,200. The average for Indiana is $158,500
  • Austin's population is 3,921
  • There were a total of 306 Indiana towns considered for this ranking.

See the rest of the list here.

Despite this regrettable designation, the town of Austin still has a lot to be proud of. This from CityofAustin.in.gov sums it up nicely...

Austin, Indiana has a rich and storied history. Since its establishment on May 3rd, 1853, and even before, the events that colored the development of our city can inspire and intrigue. This is where Morris Sarver envisioned a town built around the railroad, where the Morgans built their legacy, where 106 men picked up arms and joined the fight during the Civil War, where Axis POWs spent their time in captivity while WWII raged on, and more.

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