In June of 2015 24/7 Wall Street released a series of special reports highlighting the richest and poorest cities in each state, based on each city’s median household income. For reference, Maryland’s statewide median household income of $73,538 is the best in the nation. The national median income for 2014 was $51,900 according to the United States Census Bureau. The 24/7 reports found that Poolesville (Montgomery County) was the richest city in Maryland while Cumberland (Allegany County) was the poorest.
From 24/7’s report on the richest city in each state:
Town median household income: $135,430
State median household income: $73,538
Town population: 4,977
With Maryland households the wealthiest in the nation, Poolesville was not just the richest in the state but also among the richest nationwide. A typical household in the town earned $135,430 annually. Maryland was also one of just 10 states where the difference between the poorest and richest towns’ household median income exceeded $100,000.
From 24/7’s report on the poorest city in each state:
Town median household income: $30,962
State median household income: $73,538 (the highest)
Town poverty rate: 15.9%
Town population: 20,711
Maryland residents are some of the wealthiest in the country, with a median household income of $73,538. Not every town in the state shares that good fortune. Cumberland, the state’s poorest town, had a median household income of just $30,962, $105,000 less than the income of a typical household in Poolesville, the highest-earning Maryland town. Maryland was one of only 10 states where the gap between incomes in the poorest and richest towns exceeded $100,000.
A June 16 Cumberland Times-News article reported on the finding that Cumberland is the poorest city in Maryland:
With a population of 20,711, Cumberland has a poverty rate of 15.9 percent, which ranks higher than the state poverty rate of 10.1 percent and the national rate of 14.5 percent.
“I don’t put a lot of stock in those statistical studies. You have to look at what they are basing things on,” said Mayor Brian Grim.
Grim said some reports will include the prison population in the statistics.
“That will skew the numbers,” said Grim. …
“Cumberland has not recovered the manufacturing jobs that we lost years ago. We have more tourism but many of those jobs are minimum wage,” said Bill Chesno, an associate with real estate firm Carter and Roque and a member of Cumberland’s Economic Development Commission. …
The bright side, according to Chesno, is that Cumberland is “the poorest in the the richest state.” …
“I think there are other cities in other states that are doing worse than Cumberland. It’s not to say we don’t have poverty or homeless issues. But I don’t think a report like that is a reflection of our community,” said Grim.