The most poverty-stricken city in America happens to be right here in Michigan.

A new study by WalletHub aiming to reveal the "Best and Worst-Run Cities in America" for 2024 dug up that little tidbit - not something that's a badge of honor by any means.

SEE ALSO: These Are the 7 Most Dangerous Cities in Michigan

As a matter of fact, 2 of the 3 worst cities for poverty in the United States are in the Mitten State according to this recent study.

What Is Poverty?

According to Habitat for Humanity, there's a couple different ways to measure poverty - definitions they take from the United Nations.

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Absolute poverty measures "poverty in relation to the amount of money necessary to meet basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter."

Local Charity Distributes Milk To Needy NY Residents
Photo via Spencer Platt/Getty Images


Relative poverty "defines poverty in relation to the economic status of other members of the society: people are poor if they fall below prevailing standards of living in a given societal context.”

What's the Poverty Line in the United States?

In the contiguous 48 states, if the household income of a family of 4 is $31,200 a year or less, that family is considered to be living in poverty. That's according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

SEE ALSO: This Is What Michigan Will Look Like in 50 Years

The poverty line is somewhat higher in Hawaii ($35,880 for a family of 4) and Alaska ($39,000 for a family of 4).

What Is the Most Poverty-Stricken City in America?

WalletHub says the U.S. city with the highest share of its population living in poverty is Flint, Michigan.

A condemned home in Flint, Michigan. Photo by Al Garcia
A condemned home in Flint, Michigan. Photo by Al Garcia

A whopping 69.4% of Flint residents under the age of 18 live in poverty, according to That's higher than any other city in America. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Flint leads the nation in unemployment as well.

Gary, Indiana, has the second-highest poverty rate in the United States, followed closely by Detroit. Cleveland, Ohio, and Syracuse, New York, round out the Top 5.

Inside Michigan's Abandoned Flint Central High School

Flint Central High School closed its doors in 2009, and the campus has been abandoned ever since. Here's a look inside the school as it appears today.

Gallery Credit: jrwitl

Vintage Photos of Flint: 1899-1924

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