Discover the Poorest Town in Kansas

Written by Justin Sexton
Published: October 25, 2023
Share on:

Advertisement


Kansas welcomes you sign

Kansas welcomes you sign at the state border

©AndreyKrav/iStock via Getty Images

The state of Kansas is a midwestern state that borders Nebraska, Missouri, Colorado, and Oklahoma. Its terrain is mostly flat land with some rolling hills. The eastern part of Kansas contains several forests and rocky cliffs. Kansas’s economy relies greatly on aircraft, engine and parts manufacturing, agriculture, and telecommunications. Some of the top companies in the state were the State of Kansas, Walmart, University of Kansas, Spirit Aerosystems, and Kroger.

The poverty rate in Kansas is twelve percent below the poverty line. That’s slightly higher than the United States poverty rate average of eleven percent. The average 2022 individual income in Kansas was $64,521. All of the poorest cities in the United States are determined by how far the cities are below the poverty line.

The United State Census use the American Community Service (ACS) as an annual measurement tool to measure poverty in different areas. That tool utilizes different metrics such as economic impact, societial factors, money income thresholds, household family sizes, and more to determine several averages of each city and region. Those estimates are collected to present a five year window of data. An advantage to doing so is that it helps with statistical reliability for smaller populated areas and states, like Kansas for example.

It’s noted that poverty levels can be drastically different in several areas. Thrity one thousand dollars can take people further in Kansas compared to cities in Maryland or Georgia. So that begs the question of: what’s the poorest town in Kansas?

Some of the Top Kansas Cities Below The Poverty Line

What makes a city below the poverty line? Well, the poverty line is the amount of annualized household income that’s below the point where they would be eligible for welfare benefits. The annualized income is measured as the minimum amount of income needed for food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and other necessities.

RankCityPoverty Line Percentage
1Chetopa28.3%
2Pittsburg27.3%
3Manhattan26.3%
4Lawrence20.7%
5Emporia20.5%
6Kansas City19.8%
7Great Bend19.4%
8Hays17.5%
9Arkansas City17.4%
A table of the cities with the highest poverty rates in Kansas

The average poverty line for the state of Kansas is at twelve percent. That is higher than the United States average of eleven percent. Kansas’s top three cities doubles and almost triples the average poverty rate. Emporia’s poverty rate is at 20.5% and their annual income is over forty thousand dollars. Lawrence’s poverty rate is at 20.7% but their annual income is at fifty three thousand dollars. Manhattan’s poverty rate percerntage is 26.3% and their annual income is just over fifty thousand dollars. Pittsburg poverty rate is at a staggering 27.3%. Pittsburg’s annual income is at a drastically low amount of thrity four thousand dollars.

What Is The Poorest Town In Kansas?

The poorest town in Kansas is at Chetopa. Their poverty rate percerntage is at a drastic 28.3% and their annual income is at a low $21,843. That’s three times as less as the state’s median income of sixty five thousand dollars. Chetopa is a town located in southeast Kansas and their income is 66.1% lower than the state average. The city has a low population count of 916 total people in 2022. Their median age demographic of fifty one years old. It’s the 212th most populated city in Kansas. Ninety four percent of the demographic is white.

Chetopa was founded in 1857. The name of the city comes form Chief Chetopah. Chief Chetopah was a head tribesman of the Osage Nation Village. The city of Chetopa was later called the “Golden Spike” of the South as the MK&T railraod won exclusive rights to cross into special Native American territories. Those Native American territories later on became Oklahoma. The quaint town has the Neosho River which is a peaceful site for people to go camping and fishing.

What’s The Crime Rate Like In Kansas?

Usually, there’s a positive correlation with a high poverty rate alongside a high crime rate. In some states, that isn’t always the case. There is also a positive association between a high crime rate and city with a high population. The chart below of the top ten most dangerous Kansas cities is based on statistcs from 2021. The crime rate is based on per 1000 people.

RankCityViolent Crime Rate per 1000
1Coffeyville37.94
2Newton35.34
3Independence33.99
4Great Bend33.86
5Wellington32.44
6Salina29.73
7Parsons28.93
8Iola27.58
9Leavenworth27.34
10Pittsburg27.21
A summary of the most dangerous cities in Kansas

In the case of Chetopa, Kansas, it’s not the most dangerous city in Kansas. It has a population of over nine hundred people, which can attribute to having an extremely low crime rate comapred to the top ten cities. In the prior chart of the top ten cities below the poverty line, some cities that are also on the most dangerous cities list include Great Bend and Pittsburg.

Pittsburg and Great Bend, Kansas

Pittsburg, Kansas is at second on the poverty list at 27.3% and tenth on the violent crime rate list at 24.22 per 1000 crimes. The city’s crime rate of 24.22 is higher than the United States average of 22 per 1000 people. Pittsburg property crime rate is much higher than the United States average. The property crime rate for the city is at 71.8 per 1000 people compared the United States average of 35.1 per 1000 people.

Great Bend is seventh on the poverty list at a percentage of 19.4%. That’s much hugher than thte average of the United States poverty rate at twelve percent. Great Bend’s violent crime rate is at 33.86 per 1000 which is much higher than the average of the United State’s violent crime rate of 22 per 1000 people. Their property crime rate is twenty nine percent higher than the United States’s average of property crime rate. Great Bend’s cost of living is great but in regard to empolyment, it’s not that great. Many people live in Great Bend but work out of the city and into more populated and urban areas.

Summary

So what is the poorest town in Kansas? The answer is the city of Chetopa, Kansas. Chetopa’s poverty rate percerntage is at a drastic 28.3% and their annual income is at a low $21,843. That’s three times as less as the state’s median income of sixty five thousand dollars. Chetopa is a town located in southeast Kansas and their income is 66.1% lower than the state average. One major factor that contributes also to its poverty rate is its low population and employment opportunities.

Chetopa’s low population of 916 people along with its median age of fifty one years old makes it an area where older folk go to live rather than a place to seek major employment opportunities.

The average poverty line for the state of Kansas is at twelve percent. That is higher than the United States average of eleven percent. Kansas’s top three cities doubles and almost triples the average poverty rate. Emporia’s poverty rate is at 20.5% and their annual income is over forty thousand dollars. Lawrence’s poverty rate is at 20.7% but their annual income is at fifty three thousand dollars. Manhattan’s poverty rate percerntage is 26.3% and their annual income is just over fifty thousand dollars. Pittsburg poverty rate is at a staggering 27.3%. Pittsburg’s annual income is at a drastically low amount of thrity four thousand dollars. Meanwhile, Chetopa’s poverty rate is at 28.3% and their violent crime rate is drastically low. However, their average annual income is at $21,843.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Oleksii Liskonih/iStock via Getty Images


Share on:
About the Author

Justin is an A-Z Animals Writer that loves to cover places, unique natural disasters, and travel. He has eight years of experience as a writer in the medical and media fields. He wrote for the likes of VCU Health, theMSQshop, PayDay LA, and Comic Book Resources under the penname Jay Guevara. Although he's a full time writer, Justin graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2019 with a Bachelors in Health, Physical Education, and Exercise Science with a background in Community Engagement. After spending over two decades in Richmond, Virginia, Justin now resides in the suburbs of Rancho Cucamonga, California. He's a dedicated gymrat. He's also a two-time poetry author who's influenced by rappers Joe Budden and IDK along with Dante Alighieri.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.