MICHIGAN (WJMN) – The city you live in can drastically impact your quality of life, from the roads, schools and transit, to the crime rate and types of industry. While some cities have low unemployment and relatively wealthy residents, others are struggling with rising poverty and fewer economic opportunities.
A recent ranking from WalletHub, a personal finance website, sought to rank “neediest cities in the U.S.” WalletHub compared 182 U.S. cities based on 28 economic, health and safety indicators to determine which places are at an “economic disadvantage.” The metrics included child poverty rate, food insecurity, homelessness rate, and more.
WalletHub included two Michigan cities in its analysis: Detroit and Grand Rapids.
Detroit ranked higher than any other city as the “neediest” city in America. The city scored especially poorly for child poverty, overall poverty, food insecurity, and percentage of homes with inadequate plumbing.
Grand Rapids ranked closer to the middle of the list at 93.
Below is the list of the top 10 “neediest” cities, according to WalletHub:
- Detroit, MI
- Brownsville, TX
- Cleveland, OH
- Gulfport, MS
- Fresno, CA
- Laredo, TX
- Philadelphia, PA
- New Orleans, LA
- Los Angeles, CA
- Shreveport, LA
Detroit often ranks among the poorest cities in the country. The median household income is $34,762, U.S. Census data shows, and about 32% of the population lives below the federal poverty line. That’s more than double the poverty rate of Michigan as a whole.
Meanwhile, the data for Grand Rapids paints a different picture. Grand Rapids had a median household income of $55,385, which is significantly closer to the average U.S. median household income of around $70,000.
Furthermore, Grand Rapids has a lower poverty rate than Detroit, with about 19% of its population living below the federal poverty line.
The cities that scored highest on the economic indicators evaluated by WalletHub were Columbia, Maryland; Bismarck, North Dakota; and Overland Park, Kansas.