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Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

Est. 2014

Our Team

Sean Baker Editor

William Forsman Photographer

Bryan Lund Reporter

Report: Rochester has the lowest poverty rate in the nation

Report: Rochester has the lowest poverty rate in the nation

Let’s first acknowledge our little city is not perfect.

Then once we agree on that, let’s admit we live in a — and I will quote my favorite comedian Larry David here — a pretty, pretty good place.

Case in point: a recent report from the financial news site 24/7 Wall St. They reviewed U.S. Census data from 382 U.S. cities and determined that Rochester has the lowest poverty rate of any metro in America.

Here is the breakdown provided by the Delaware-based site using metrics compiled from the Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey:

  • Poverty rate: 6.6% (Minnesota: 9.6%)

  • 2018 unemployment: 2.5% (Minnesota: 2.9%)

  • Households receiving SNAP benefits: 6.4% (Minnesota: 7.3%)

  • Median household income: $72,129 (Minnesota: $70,315)

That poverty rate is well below the national average of 13.1 percent. So, yes, there is still a lot of work to be done to address poverty, even in America’s City for Health, but let’s acknowledge that statistic for a minute.

Rochester was the only Minnesota city to crack the top 10. Meantime, across the border to the east, Wisconsin had three cities in the top 10. Sheboygan ranked No. 2, while Appleton and Wausau finished No. 4 and 5, respectively.

Sean Baker is a Rochester journalist and the founder of Med City Beat.

Cover photo: Licensed / Getty

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