A. Money Can’t Buy Happiness, But It Might Help.
Money may not make you happy, but poverty makes you VERY sad. Using data from federal health agencies, Health.com has identified the 10 states with the highest rates of depression, psychological distress, and other indicators of poor mental health. Here they are, in alphabetical order.
Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Tennessee, West Virginia
B. So Where Is Poverty in America Most Severe?
Greata Van Susteren looked at 2010 Census data, identified the 10 poorest states, and published her list on Sept 16, 2011, at 24/7 Wall Street.
With a poverty rate of 21.3%, Mississippi residents had the lowest median income of all states. In ascending order of poverty, the 10 states with the lowest median income were:
1. Mississippi [also on poor mental health list]
2. Arkansas [also on poor mental health list]
3. Tennessee [also on poor mental health list]
4. West Virginia [also on poor mental health list]
7. South Carolina
8. Kentucky [also on poor mental health list]
10. North Carolina
C. Where Else Are Americans Poor?
According to the American Community Survey results, the following states had the highest levels of poverty in 2010.
Mississippi, 22.4% [Also on A and B lists, above]
New Mexico, 20.4%
Kentucky, 19.0% [Also on A and B lists, above]
Alabama, 19.0% [Also on B list, above]
Arkansas, 18.8% [Also on B list, above]
Louisiana 18.7% [Also on B list, above]
South Carolina, 18.2% [Also on B list, above]
West Virginia, 18.1% [Also on A and B lists, above]
D. What Cities are Poorest?
Creditloan.com features an infographic about wealthy and poor cities in the U.S. According to this chart, the cities with the lowest per capita income and percentage below the poverty line are:
Rocky Mount, NORTH CAROLINA [Also on B list above]
Flint, MICHIGAN [Also on A list, above]
Macon, GEORGIA [Also on C list, above]
Saginaw, MICHIGAN [also on A list, above]
Albany, GEORGIA [Also on C list, above]
Pine Bluff, ARKANSAS [Also on A, B, and C lists, above]
Brownsville, TEXAS [Also on C list, above]
El Centro, CALIFORNIA
McAllen, TEXAS [Also on C list, above]
E. Does Poverty Affect Crime? You Decide.
The following state crime rankings for 2010 were published at Daily Finance. No federal, state, or local crime statistics are available for “home invasion” per se, but assault, burglary, and robbery are often among the charges filed in home invasion crimes.
1. NEVADA, 8 in assault, 12 in burglary, 1 in robbery [Also on A list, above]
2. NEW MEXICO, 5 in assault, 3 in burglary, 23 in robbery [Also on C list, above]
3. LOUISIANA, 4 in assault, 9 in burglary, 18 in robbery [Also on B and C lists, above]
4. SOUTH CAROLINA, 1 in assault, 8 in burglary, 16 in robbery [Also on C and B lists, above]
5. TENNESSEE, 2 in assault, 5 in burglary, 8 in robbery [Also on A and B lists, above]
6. FLORIDA, 6 in assault, 7 in burglary, 4 in robbery
7. DELAWARE, 7 in assault, 18 in burglary, 3 in robbery
8. MARYLAND, 10 in assault, 23 in burglary, 2 in robbery
9. ARIZONA, 21 in assault, 15 in burglary, 15 in robbery
10. ARKANSAS, 11 in assault, 2 in burglary, 28 in robbery [Also on A, B, and C lists, above]
Most Dangerous Cities in America
Forbes came up with its “most dangerous cities” list in October 2011 (ranked from most dangerous to least dangerous).
1. Detroit Metropolitan area, MICHIGAN [Also found on A and D lists]
2. Memphis, TENNESSEE [Also found on the A and E lists]
3. Springfield, ILLINOIS
4. Flint, MICHIGAN [Also found on A and D lists]
5. Anchorage, ALASKA
6. Lubbock, TEXAS [Also found on the D list]
7. Stockton, CALIFORNIA
8. Tallahassee, FLORIDA
9. Las Vegas, NEVADA [Also found on the A and E lists]
10. Rockford, ILLINOIS
Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net