Hunger, poverty and homelessness can be found in every country. In fact, even the richest and most developed countries such as Germany, United Kingdom, Japan and the United States are homes to millions of people who live below the poverty line. In the case of the United States however, is particularly surprising given that it is the richest country in the world and yet possess some of the most alarming statistics when it comes to economically disadvantaged people. Recent studies have found that most Americans will spend at least one year below the poverty line at some point between ages 25 and 75. As for homelessness statistics, the numbers are just as sad. It is estimated that up to 3.5 million Americans experience homelessness for at least a few nights during the course of a year. What makes this figure even more heartbreaking is the fact that according to Amnesty International, vacant houses actually outnumber homeless people five to one. In other words, there are five empty houses per one homeless person. In the US, however, the populations in need vary greatly with individual states, regions and cities. WalletHub, a personal finance website based in Washington D.C., carried out an extensive research to find out where the highest concentrations of economically disadvantaged people are found. The analysts based the research on 16 key metrics such as the percentage of households receiving public assistance, food-insecurity rate and percentage of maltreated people. Get your tissue box ready because these are 25 US Cities With The Highest Population Of Economically Disadvantaged People.
San Bernardino, California (score: 54.21)
The county seat of San Bernardino County and home to about 210,000 people, San Bernardino is the 17th-largest city in California. According to the 2010 United States Census, it had a median household income of just $39,097, with 30.6% of the population living below the federal poverty line, which makes San Bernardino the poorest city for its population in California.
Little Rock, Arkansas (score: 54.12)
With a population of almost 200,000 Little Rock is the capital and the most populous city of Arkansas. Infamous for a high poverty rate (14.3% of the population lives below the poverty line), the city also struggles with enormous child homelessness. In fact, Arkansas ranked third worst in the nation for child homelessness.
Mobile, Alabama (score: 53.89)
The county seat of Mobile County, Mobile is the third most populous city in Alabama. It is one of few large US cities with a majority of Afro-American residents (50.6%) many of whom are homeless and live below the poverty line. The median income for a household in the city was just $37,056 for 2006 to 2010.
Tallahassee, Florida (score: 53.70)
The capital of Florida, Tallahassee has a population of more than 375,000. The latest census estimated over 30% of the locals live below the poverty level. Food insecurity and homelessness are also issues in the city – as many as 800 people have no place to sleep in Tallahassee on any given day.
Buffalo, New York (score: 53.40)
The second most populous city in New York (after New York City), Buffalo suffers from pervasive poverty. The loss of traditional jobs in manufacturing, rapid suburbanization and high labor costs have led to economic decline and made Buffalo one of the poorest U.S. cities with populations of more than 250,000 people.