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2013 September: USA: Ten poorest states

According to the US Census Bureau their latest numbers show that the ten poorest states are:

Mississippi 22.6 %
New Mexico 21.5 %
Louisiana 20.4 %
Arkansas 19.5 %
Georgia 19.1 %
Kentucky 19.1 %
Alabama 19.0 %
Arizona 19.0 %
South Carolina 18.9 %
District of Columbia 18.7 %

Foreign exchange students are sent to all ten of these states.


Our journey begins with the poorest of the states: Mississippi. According to 24/7 Wall Street:

“Mississippi is among the states with the worst education systems, highest obesity levels, highest unemployment, and lowest rates of health insurance coverage. The state is an economic black hole, and it shows in the way people suffer there. And, as is true with black holes, it is nearly impossible for the residents of Mississippi to escape their difficult financial situations.”

According to Wikipedia that poorest counties in Mississippi are:

Claiborne County
Greene County
Holmes County
Humphreys County
Issaquena County
Jefferson County
Kemper County
Quitman County
Sharkey County
Sunflower County
Tallahatchie County
Tunica County
Washington County
Wilkinson County

Jackson City in Hinds County is considered the 8th most dangerous city in the US. According to Neighborhood Scout the neighborhoods to avoid in Jackson City are:

llinois Ave / Pleasant Ave
N Mill St / Leonard Ct
Boling St / Michael Clay Dr
E Browning Dr / U.S. Route 80

Based on SATP2 Algebra I & SATP2 English II Schooldigger have found that out of 240 high schools the five worst high schools in Mississippi are:

East Oktibbeha County High, Crawford (Lowndes County)
Dexter High School, Tylertown (Walthall County)
J J Mc Clain High School, Lexington (Holmes County)
Greenville Weston High School, Greenville (Washington County)
Williams Sullivan High School, Durant (Holmes County)

Schooldigger places these five schools at the top:

Wheeler High School, Wheeler (Prentiss County)
Jumpertown High School, Booneville (Prentiss County)
Pisgah High School, Sandhill (Rankin County)
East Webster High School, Maben (Webster County)
Enterprise High School, Enterprise (Clarke County)


According to Wikipedia that poorest counties in New Mexico are:

Cibola County
Guadalupa County
Luna County
McKinley County

Due to drug trafficking/organized crime, Columbus in Luna County is considered an increasingly dangerous place to live. Columbus is considered one neighborhood. Farmington in San Juan County is another city that struggles with gang crimes. One should stay away from

W Main St / La Plata Hwy

Schooldigger has based its list of worst and best high schools in New Mexico on SBA Reading & SBA Math. The worst high schools (regular) are:

Silver City Opportunity School, Silver City (Grant County)
San Andres High School, Mesilla (Dona Ana County)
El Camino Real Academy, Albaquerque (Bernalillo County)
University High, Roswell (Chaves County)
Charlie Y Brown Alt, Bloomfield (San Juan County)

The five best high schools are:

Albuquerque Institute Of Math & Science, Albuquerque (Bernalillo County)
Cottonwood Classical Prep, Albuquerque (Bernalillo County)
Southwest Secondary Learning Center, Albuquerque (Bernalillo County)
Early College Academy, Albuquerque (Bernalillo County)
Los Alamos High, Los Alamos (Los Alamos County)


According to Wikipedia the poorest counties in Louisiana are:

Concordia Parish
East Carroll Parish
Evangeline Parish
Madison Parish
Winn Parish

The FBI considers Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Monroe and Alexandria among the most dangerous cities in the US. Baton Rouge is in East Baton Rouge County while New Orleans is in Orleans County. Monroe lies in Quachita County while Alexandria lies in Rapids County.
High crime areas in Baton Rouge are:

Highland Rd / Terrace Ave
N Lobdell Ave / Harry Dr
Choctaw Dr / Scenic Hwy
Bawell St / Yazoo St

High crime areas in New Orleans are:

Hayne Blvd / Crowder Blvd
Warrington Dr / Robert E Lee Blvd
Saint Bernard Ave / Robert E Lee Blvd
Saint Bernard Ave / Buchanan St
General Degaulle Dr / Bender Blvd
Berkley Dr / Somerset Dr
Tchoupitoulas St / Jackson Ave
Earhart Blvd / S Broad St

Monroe high crime areas are:

City Center
Winnsboro Rd / Burg Jones Ln

The high crime area in Alexandria is in City Center.
Schooldigger has checked out 323 high schools in Louisiana.  Based on Louisiana’s GEE English Language Arts & GEE Mathematics they have found that the five worst schools in Louisiana are:

Tangipahoa Parish Pm High School, Hammond (Tangipahoa County)
John McDonogh Senior High School, New Orleans (Orleans County)
Walter L. Cohen High School, New Orleans (Orleans County)
Joseph S. Clark Senior High School, New Orleans (Orleans County)
Priestley School Of Architecture/Construction (ADEP High), New Orleans (Orleans County)

Louisiana’s best five high schools are:

Calvin High School, Calvin (Winn County)
Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, Jefferson (Jefferson County)
Haynes Academy School For Advanced Studies, Metairie (Jefferson Country)
Baton Rouge Magnet High School, Baton Rouge (East Baton Rouge Country)
Benjamin Franklin High School, New Orleans (Orleans County)


Arkansas is considered the 4th poorest state in the US. According toWikipedia the poorest counties in Arkansas are:

Chicot County
Lee County
Phillips County
Searcy County
Stone County
Woodruff County

According to the FBI Little Rock in Pulaski County, Pine Bluff in Jefferson County and West Memphis in Crittenden County are among the most dangerous cities in the US. The neighborhoods to avoid in Little Rock are:

E 9th St / College St
Hot Springs Junction
Philander Smith College / W 16th St

In Pine Bluff you ought to avoid:

W 2nd Ave / S Juniper St
W 24th Ave / S Cherry St

The high risk neighborhood in West Memphis lies in E Jackson Ave / S 8th St.
Based on Arkansas’ ACTAAP Literacy & ACTAAP Geometry testsSchooldigger has looked at 239 schools and found that the five worst high schools in Arkansas are:

Dollarway High School, Pine Bluff (Jefferson County)
Blytheville High School, Blytheville (Mississippi County)
McClellan Magnet High School, Little Rock (Pulaski County)
Covenant Keepers High, Little Rock (Pulaski County)
Central High School, West Helena (Phillips County)

The five best high schools in Arkansas are:

Viola High School, Viola (Fulton County)
Bentonville High School, Bentonville (Benton County)
Benton City School Of Arts High, Rogers (Benton County)
Dardanelle High School, Dardanelle (Yell County)
Valley View High School, Jonesburo (Craighead County)


According to Wikipedia the poorest counties in Georgia are:

Calhoun County
Clay County
Hancock County
Macon County
Randolph County
Stewart County

In Georgia Atlanta in Fulton County is on the high crime list.
In Atlanta you should avoid:

Center Hill / Carey Park
Clark Atlanta U / Sunset Ave NW
Boulevard NE / Auburn Ave NE
Hopkins St SE / Adair Ave SE)
Campbellton Rd SW / Walker Ave SW
Fairburn Rd NW / Martin Luther King Jr Dr SW
Mcdaniel St SW / Whitehall St SW
Cascade Ave SW / Donnelly Ave SW

In Georgia Schooldigger reviews 356 high schools. Out of these the five with the poorest performance on Georgia’s EOCT American Literature and Composition & EOCT Mathematics II were:

Berrien Academy Performance Learning Center, Nashville (Berrien County)
Crossroads Alternative School, Summerville (Chattooga County)
Lanier Career Academy, Gainesville (Hall County)
Dekalb Alternative School, Stone Mountain (Dekalb County)
Mountain Creek Academy School, Eton (Murray County)

The five best schools are:

Davidson Magnet School, Augusta (Richmond County)
Walton High School, Marietta (Cobb County)
Savannah Arts Academy, Savannah (Chatham County)
Buford High School, Buford (Gwinnett and Hall Counties)
Harrison High School, Kennesaw (Cobb County)


None of the cities in Kentucky are on the list of the most dangerous cities in the US. Kentucky is, however, on the list of the ten poorest states.

“The “golden triangle” between Louisville, Lexington and and Cincinnati “does better than the rest of the state,” (Courier-Journal)

According to Wikipedia the poorest counties in Kentucky are:

Bell County
Breathitt County
Clay County
Harlan County
Jackson County
Knott County
Knox County
Leslie County
Magoffin County
Martin County
McCreary County
Menifee County
Owsley County
Wolfe County

According to Schooldigger, who have used K-PREP EOC Algebra II & K-PREP EOC English II as their guide, the five worst high schools in Kentucky are:

Phelps High School, Phelps (Pike County)
The Academy @ Shawnee, Louisville (Jefferson County)
Holmes High School, Covington (Kenton County)
Valley Traditional High, Louisville (Jefferson County)
Deming School, Mount Olivet (Robertson County)

The five best high schools are:

Dupont Manual High, Louisville (Jefferson County)
Highlands High School, Fort Thomas (Campbell County)
Beechwood High School, Fort Mitchell (Kenton County)
Brown School, Louisville (Jefferson County)
North Oldham High School, Goshen (Oldham County)


According to Wikipedia the poorest counties in Alabama are:

Bullock County
Conecuh County
Greene County
Macon County
Perry County
Sumpter County
Wilcox County

Alabama also has cities listed among the most dangerous cities in the US. These are Birmingham and Bessemer in Jefferson County.
High crime areas in Birmingham:

Douglasville / Village Creek
Kingston / Avon Park
City Center
Marks Village / Oak Ridge Park
3rd Ave W / 13Th St W
Martin Luther King Jr Dr / 3rd Pl SW

In Bessemer it might be a good idea to stay away from 9th Ave N / 22nd St N.  Using the AHSGE Math & AHSGE Reading scores, Schooldigger has found that out of 359 high schools the five worst high schools in Alabama are:

Drop Back In Academy, Mobile (Mobile County)
Woodlawn High School-Magnet, Birmingham (Jefferson County)
Central High School, Tuscaloosa (Tuscaloosa County)
Keith Middle-High School, Orrville (Dallas County)
Jess Lanier High School, Bessemer (Jefferson County)

Alabamas five best high schools are:

Loveless Academic Magnet Prog High School, Montgomery (Montgomery County)
Brewbaker Tech Magnet High School, Montgomery (Montgomery County)
Ramsay High School, Birmingham (Jefferson County)
Booker T Washington Magnet High School, Montgomery (Montgomery County)
Mt Brook High School, Mountain Brook (Jefferson County)


According to Wikipedia the poorest counties in Arizona are:

Apache County
Navajo County.

Nogales in Santa Cruz County is considered by the Criminal Justice Degrees Guide to be rife with violence and gang activity. Farmington in San Juan County is also considered unsafe. Columbus is found within zip codes 88030, 88029 and is small enough to be considered a neighborhood by itself.
In Farmington high risk areas are W Main St / La Plata Hwy.
Schooldigger has looked at 165 schools and used the SBA Reading & SBA Math tests as their guides. Some of the schools are alternative schools and are not listed here. The five worst schools are:

Bowie High School, Bowie (Cochise County)
Howenstine High School, Tucson (Pima County)
Jefferson Academy Of Advanced Learning, Show Low (Navajo County)
Southwest Alternative High School, Tucson (Pima County)
Esperanza Community Collegial Academy, Phoenix (Maricopa County)

The best high schools in Arizona are:

Basis Scottsdale, Scottsdale (Maricopa County)
Hamilton Prep, Chandler (Maricopa County)
University High School, Tucson (Pima County)
University High School, Tolleson (Maricopa County)
Gilbert Classical Academy High School, Gilbert (Maricopa County)


MSN Money lists Allendale County as one of the poorest in the US.
According to Neighborhood Scout high crime cities in South Carolina are:
Myrtle Beach in Horry County. High crime areas are:

N Ocean Blvd / 21st Ave N
Lakewood / Long Bay Estates

Spartanburg in Spartanburg County. High crime areas are:

Duncan St / Caulder Ave
Washington Heights
W Main St / N Forest St

According to HSAP English Language Arts & HSAP Math scoresSchooldigger has found that out of 205 schools the five with the poorest performance are:

Turbeville High, Turbeville (Clarendon County)
Allendale Fairfax High, Fairfax (Allendale County)
C. A. Johnson High, Columbia (Richland County)
Lee Central High, Bishopville (Lee County)
Blackville-Hilda High, Blackville (Barnwell County)

The five best high schools in South Carolina are:

Mayo High For Math Science And Technology, Darlington (Darlington County)
Hcs Early College High, Conway (Horry County)
Charleston School Of The Arts, North Charleston (Charleston County)
Brashier Middle College Charter, Simpsonville (Greenville County)
Greenville Technical Charter High, Greenville (Greenville County)


According to Neighborhood Scouth the high crime areas of Washington DC are:

Irving St NW / Park Pl NW
13Th St NW / Columbia Rd NW
Fort Lincoln New Town
Marshall Heights
H St SE / Southern Ave SE
E Capitol St SE / Ridge Rd SE
Pennsylvania Ave SE / 13Th St SE
Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE / Howard Rd SE
S Capitol St SE / Portland St SE
Congress Park
Washington Highlands
(S Capitol St SE / Livingston Rd SE

Schooldigger has used the DC CAS Reading & DC CAS Math scores to evaluate the schools in District of Columbia. Out of 39 high schools they have found that the five schools that have the poorest performance on the tests are:

Eastern Senior High School, Washington
Transition Academy At Shadd, Washington
Anacostia Senior High School, Washington
The Washington Metropolitan High School, Washington
Options Pcs, Washington

The five high schools with the best performance are:

School Without Walls Senior High School, Washington
Benjamin Banneker Academy High School, Washington
McKinley Technology High School, Washington
Ellington School Of The Arts, Washington
Thurgood Marshall Academy Pcs, Washington