City Of Detroit Teeters On Bankruptcy As State Audits Its Finances
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This is the Poorest Big City in the U.S.

Sep 17, 2015

Almost 4 in 10 people in Detroit live in poverty, according to numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau Wednesday, making it the most impoverished big city in the U.S.

According to the Census, 39.3% of people in Detroit live below the poverty line (defined as $24,250 for a family of four). The city, which has struggled for decades following the loss of manufacturing and auto jobs, is the poorest in America with more than 300,000 people, followed by Cleveland (39.2%), Fresno, Calif., (30.5%), Memphis (29.8%), and Milwaukee (29%). But the city's rate has actually decreased from 2012, when it was 42.3%.

The poverty rate at a national level, however, declined slightly in 2014. Nationally, 15.5% of Americans live in poverty, down from 15.8% in 2013. Mississippi is the most impoverished state with 21.5% of residents living below the poverty line, followed by New Mexico (21.3%), Louisiana (19.8%), Alabama (19.3%) and Kentucky (19.1%).

And while Detroit is struggling, it's not the worst-off city in the U.S. If you compare cities with 65,000 or more people, the big loser is Youngstown, Ohio which, with its 40.7% rate of poverty, has never recovered from the loss of the steel industry decades ago.

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