Georgia boasts numerous attractions, including the vibrant city of Atlanta, stunning natural landscapes, and a diverse and vibrant culture. Nevertheless, not all areas in Georgia enjoy the same level of prosperity.
Certain cities and counties face challenges related to poverty, low income, and high unemployment rates. In this article, we will examine the city in Georgia with the lowest median household income, as determined by data from the American Community Survey.
What is Median Household Income?
The median household income is the sum that separates the income distribution of a population into two equal parts: half of the households earn above this amount, and half earn below it.
This is a widely used gauge of economic prosperity and living standards. In Georgia, the median household income is $61,224, which is a bit lower than the national average of $62,843.
Which Georgia City Has the Highest Poverty Rate?
Out of the 45 places in Georgia with available data and populations of at least 25,000, Statesboro stands out as the least affluent. The average household in Statesboro earns $32,790 annually, in contrast to the statewide median household income of $61,224.
Statesboro is a city located in southeast Georgia, boasting a population of around 31,000. It is renowned as the residence of Georgia Southern University, a public research university with an enrollment of over 26,000 students.
What Causes Statesboro’s Poverty?
There are several factors contributing to the poverty in Statesboro. One of them is the relatively low educational attainment of its residents. According to Census data, only 24.4% of adults in Statesboro hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, in contrast to the state average of 31.5% and the national average of 32.6%.
Another factor is the elevated unemployment rate in Statesboro, which stood at 7.4% in November 2022, compared to the state’s 4.1% and the national rate of 4.2%.
A third factor is the lower wage level in Statesboro, with a median hourly wage of $14.77, in comparison to the state median of $18.83 and the national median of $20.17.
Challenges and Opportunities for Statesboro
Statesboro, being the poorest city in Georgia, confronts various challenges like providing sufficient public services, enhancing the overall quality of life, and attracting new businesses and investments.
Nevertheless, Statesboro also possesses opportunities to address its poverty, such as making the most of its university resources, tapping into its tourism potential, and diversifying its economy.
For instance, Statesboro holds the distinction of being a Georgia Exceptional Main Street (GEMS) community, a recognition of its endeavors to rejuvenate its downtown area and safeguard its historical and cultural heritage.
Additionally, Statesboro hosts a number of annual events like the Statesboro Film Festival, the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair, and the Brooklet Peanut Festival, which bring in visitors and contribute to the local economy.
Statesboro, located in Georgia, has the lowest median household income in the state at $32,790, which is less than half of the state average. The city faces challenges like limited educational opportunities, high unemployment rates, and low wages, all of which contribute to its poverty.
Nonetheless, Statesboro possesses notable assets, including its university, vibrant downtown area, and lively festivals, which provide a glimmer of hope for its future.
To break free from the cycle of poverty and realize its full potential, Statesboro requires increased attention and support from both the state and federal government, as well as active involvement from its residents and stakeholders.