Coal Kentucky News

What is the poorest white city?

Exploring America’s Poorest White City: A Glimpse into Economic Hardship

In the United States, discussions of poverty often intersect with race, leading to a focus on urban areas with significant minority populations. However, economic hardship does not discriminate, and predominantly white cities are not immune to its grip. The title of the poorest white city in America is a dubious distinction that falls upon Beattyville, Kentucky.

Beattyville’s Struggle with Poverty

Beattyville, with a population that is over 95% white, grapples with a median household income significantly below the national average. The city’s economic woes are compounded by a lack of job opportunities, a situation exacerbated by the decline of coal mining, once a primary source of employment. With a poverty rate hovering around 54%, Beattyville’s residents face challenges that include limited access to healthcare, education, and other essential services.

Efforts to Combat Poverty

Local and state initiatives have been launched to revitalize Beattyville and similar communities. These efforts aim to diversify the economy, improve infrastructure, and provide job training programs. However, progress is slow, and the city continues to struggle with the long-term effects of economic stagnation.


Q: What is the poverty rate in Beattyville?
A: Beattyville’s poverty rate is around 54%.

Q: Why is Beattyville’s economy struggling?
A: The decline of coal mining, which was a significant source of employment, has left the city with few job opportunities.


Poverty Rate: The percentage of the population living below the poverty line, which is defined by the federal government based on income and family size.

Median Household Income: The middle value of household incomes when arranged from lowest to highest, providing a measure of the economic status of the typical household.