- Bronx County
- Chautauqua County
- Cattaraugus County
- Montgomery County
- Broome County
- Delaware County
- St. Lawrence County
- Allegany County
- Franklin County
- Jefferson County
- Oswego County
- Niagara County
- Tompkins County
Bronx County is the poorest county in New York. It has a large population of around 1.47 million people. The average household income is about $47,036, which is not much. A lot of people, around 27.6%, live in poverty there. The people in the Bronx are pretty young, with a median age of 34.8 years. Despite being part of the big New York City, the Bronx faces economic challenges, making it the county with the lowest income in the state.
Chautauqua County, like many other poor counties in New York, faces a plethora of economic challenges. With a median household income of $54,625 and a poverty rate of 17.6%, the struggles of its 126,807 residents are evident. Established in 1808 and organized in 1811, Chautauqua County's history is long, but its current economic hardships highlight the need for attention and support to uplift its community.
Cattaraugus County, another poor county in New York, is locally known as Catt County. With a population of 76,426, the median household income stands at $56,889, while the poverty rate is 16.2%. Notably, the western part of the county is home to a large Amish community, contributing to the area's cultural richness.
Montgomery County, like some other poor counties in New York, has a history tied to the Mohawk people. With a median household income of $58,033, the county faces economic challenges, having a poverty rate of 13.7%. Home to a population of 49,558, Montgomery County strives to address its economic disparities and improve the well-being of its residents.
Broome County, with a population of 197,240 and a median household income of $58,317, is the next county on our list. This county is home to Binghamton University, which is one of four university centers in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Despite its educational institutions, Broome County faces economic challenges, with a poverty rate of 19.5%.
Delaware County, number six on our list, is home to the State University of New York at Delhi. With a median household income of $58,338 and a population of 44,378, the county is named after the Delaware River.
Unfortunately, it faces a poverty rate of 14.6%. Despite its scenic beauty, economic challenges persist in Delaware County, partly due to a declining population and limited diversified industries.
St. Lawrence County, a poor county in New York, is the state's largest by area, covering the Ogdensburg-Massena, NY Micropolitan Statistical Area. With a median household income of $58,339 and a population of 108,051, the county faces economic challenges, evident in its 17.5% poverty rate.
Allegany County is in the Southern Tier of New York, cut through by the Genesee River that heads north to Lake Ontario. Home to about 46,106 people, the county's median household income stands at $58,725. However, 18.5% of the population grapples with poverty. The county faces economic challenges, especially tied to the decline of its manufacturing sector and limited job opportunities.
Franklin County, ranked at number nine on our list of poorest counties in New York, has a median household income of $60,270 and a population of 47,456. The poverty rate in the county is 15.7%. Located to the north, across the Canada–United States border, Franklin County neighbors the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario.
Jefferson County, our next stop among New York's poorest, is home to a median household income of $62,782 and a population of 116,295. Named after Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, this poor New York county grapples with a 14% poverty rate. Situated southeast of the Canada–US border of Ontario and adjacent to Lake Ontario, Jefferson County showcases a unique geographic position that plays a role in its economic landscape.
Oswego County, another poor county in New York, is part of the Syracuse, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area. With a population of 117,387 and a median household income of $65,054, the county faces economic challenges. The name "Oswego" comes from a Mohawk-language word meaning "the pouring out place." The poverty rate in the county is 17.4%, highlighting the struggles that some residents endure.
Niagara County, the penultimate county on our list, is home to 212,666 people. With a median household income of $65,882 and a poverty rate of 14.4%, the county faces economic challenges.
Despite this, Niagara County is known for its famous attractions like Niagara Falls and Fort Niagara. The area boasts numerous parks and lake shore recreation communities, providing residents and visitors with opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty and outdoor activities the region has to offer.
Tompkins County, home to Cornell University, Ithaca College, and Tompkins Cortland Community College, wraps up our list of poorest counties in New York. With a median household income of $69,995 and a poverty rate of 16%, the county has a population of 105,162. Despite its educational institutions, economic disparities persist, highlighting the need for targeted efforts to address poverty in this diverse and dynamic community.