The city of Rocky Mount is making national news, and it’s not welcoming. Forbes magazine has ranked the city among America’s 10 most-impoverished cities.
Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey, the magazine looked at the per capita income for the region, the percentage of people under age 65 receiving public health care and the unemployment rate.
Rocky Mount had a per capita annual income of $22,662, and income of the bottom one-fifth of residents was $7,840. About 7.8 percent of people earned below 50 percent of the poverty line, and 17 percent received food stamps.
More than 28,000 people received public health care, and the unemployment was 8.7 percent. Since the survey was taken, the unemployment rate has risen to 13.8 percent.
Other cities on the list include McAllen, Texas; Brownsville, Texas; Pine Bluff, Ark.; Albany, Ga.;
Yuma, Ariz;.Saginaw, Mich.; Macon, Ga.; Flint, Mich.; and El Centro, Calif.
McAllen, Texas, was the most impoverished, with the lowest incomes and most food stamp recipients of any in the United States. With a population of 721,169, its per capita annual income is $13,742, with the bottom one-fifth of the population earning about $5,975 a year.