• Yakima - Largest City On The Washington Top Ten Poorest City List

  • Ellensburg Makes The Top Five Spot

  • College Towns Rich In Future Potential, Poor In Current Reality

While researching a story about the Poorest Cities In Washington With Over 5,000 Residents I found my hometown on the list!  Based on data compiled from The American Community Survey (ACS) and presented by Road Snacks, I learned that Yakima and our neighbor to the north, Ellensburg, both made the Top Ten List.  Bummer.

Ellensburg: Root Beer Float

Two College Towns Anchor Washington's Top Five Poorest List

Topping the list is Pullman, a college town. (WSU)  Number five on the list is Ellensburg, also a college town, (CWU)  What's up with that?  With all those big brains teaching and attending college, you would think they might have some solutions! But no.

Here are the Top Ten based on the various tools and tables used by the ACS to create the designation of "Poor Cities."

  • 1. Pullman   2. Cheney  3. Centralia   4, Aberdeen  5. Ellensburg 
  • 6. Shelton  7. Clarkston   8. Airway Heights  9. Hoquiam   10. Yakima
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Palm Springs of WA Sign in Yakima WA via TSM Yakima
Palm Springs of WA Sign in Yakima WA via TSM Yakima

Yakima's On The list At #10, One Place Worse This Year Than Last

Yakima, pop. 96,764 has a poverty rate of a third less and a cost of living 12 points less than Pullman.  In Yakima,  We may be on the list but we aren't Pullman!

  • The median home value in Yakima is $334,812.
  • The median income in Yakima is $55,734.
  • The poverty rate in Yakima is 19.1%.
  • The unemployment rate in Yakima is 8.1%.
  • The cost of living in Yakima is 98 which is 2 pts lower than the national average.
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So Is All Of Yakima County Considered To Be Poor?

Read 'em and weep as they say Here Is how other cities in Yakima County rank. Posting 5 in the top twenty list is not an encouraging start!  It looks like Selah, listed at 58th on the top 100 list with more than 5,000 residents, is the "richest" place to be in Yakima County.

  • 12  Union Gap
  • 15  Sunnyside
  • 19  Toppenish
  • 20  Grandview
  • 58  Selah

Look at the list. The stereotype of the county is that the lower valley is poorer than Yakima but the numbers show the farther south you go the more the numbers improve. Interesting.

The larger the number the less "poor" the community is so for the record Spokane was #24, Seattle was #78, and Issaquah was #100.

Yakima has natural beauty, bountiful agriculture, outdoor opportunities, and great people. Too bad that almost 2 in 10 of them live in poverty.


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