Lowest-earning counties in Tennessee

Written by:
October 18, 2021
Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

Lowest-earning counties in Tennessee

Americans on the whole were doing well financially heading into 2020, with major markers like unemployment reaching 50-year lows. The pandemic changed all that: During the second quarter of the 2020 fiscal year, our nation’s real GDP fell by a whopping 31.4%, a number that hasn’t been seen since the Great Depression. As the economy makes its comeback, things are still a far cry from the way they were in 2019.

One marker that has sped far past its 2019 position is that of income inequality in the United States. Low-wage industries were decimated by the pandemic, leaving millions without work or in positions they were overqualified for. Meanwhile, nearly one in five households across the United States earn less than $25,000 a year, while more than 6% have an annual income that falls below $10,000.

Where you live can make a big impact on your financial situation. Stacker compiled a list of the lowest-earning counties in Tennessee using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the Census’ 2019 5-year estimate median household income. Keep reading to see where people in your state are making the least.

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Putnam County

- Median household income: $44,259
--- 17.0% below state median, 29.6% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 16.5%
--- #2,045 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 15.2%
--- #756 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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GamblinMonkey // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Dyer County

- Median household income: $44,185
--- 17.1% below state median, 29.7% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 16.3%
--- #2,084 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 15.4%
--- #732 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Bledsoe County

- Median household income: $44,122
--- 17.3% below state median, 29.8% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 14.1%
--- #2,472 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 18.1%
--- #409 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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AppalachianCentrist // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Grainger County

- Median household income: $44,064
--- 17.4% below state median, 29.9% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 12.6%
--- #2,697 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 14.5%
--- #878 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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AppalachianCentrist // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Hamblen County

- Median household income: $43,619
--- 18.2% below state median, 30.6% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 12.9%
--- #2,656 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 13.9%
--- #1,005 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Lawrence County

- Median household income: $43,614
--- 18.2% below state median, 30.6% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 13.6%
--- #2,551 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 14.9%
--- #818 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#44. Hickman County

- Median household income: $43,596
--- 18.2% below state median, 30.6% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 15.2%
--- #2,297 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 13.4%
--- #1,112 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Polk County

- Median household income: $43,306
--- 18.8% below state median, 31.1% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 14.6%
--- #2,403 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 11.1%
--- #1,713 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Henderson County

- Median household income: $43,305
--- 18.8% below state median, 31.1% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 13.8%
--- #2,535 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 15.4%
--- #725 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#41. McMinn County

- Median household income: $43,285
--- 18.8% below state median, 31.1% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 15.9%
--- #2,152 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 15.6%
--- #704 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Gibson County

- Median household income: $43,171
--- 19.0% below state median, 31.3% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 15.3%
--- #2,266 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 16.1%
--- #646 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Van Buren County

- Median household income: $42,724
--- 19.9% below state median, 32.0% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 10.8%
--- #2,927 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 11.9%
--- #1,487 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Houston County

- Median household income: $42,711
--- 19.9% below state median, 32.0% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 12.3%
--- #2,741 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 18.6%
--- #372 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Carroll County

- Median household income: $42,637
--- 20.0% below state median, 32.2% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 13.5%
--- #2,570 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 16.3%
--- #609 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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AppalachianCentrist // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Greene County

- Median household income: $42,595
--- 20.1% below state median, 32.2% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 14.0%
--- #2,487 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 15.1%
--- #776 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Monroe County

- Median household income: $42,429
--- 20.4% below state median, 32.5% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 13.1%
--- #2,626 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 14.2%
--- #937 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Rhea County

- Median household income: $42,206
--- 20.8% below state median, 32.8% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 15.6%
--- #2,213 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 16.0%
--- #658 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Decatur County

- Median household income: $42,031
--- 21.2% below state median, 33.1% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 11.9%
--- #2,793 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 18.1%
--- #409 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#32. White County

- Median household income: $41,998
--- 21.2% below state median, 33.2% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 10.3%
--- #2,972 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 14.3%
--- #914 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Walker Kinsler // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Hawkins County

- Median household income: $41,924
--- 21.4% below state median, 33.3% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 13.1%
--- #2,620 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 14.9%
--- #805 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Unicoi County

- Median household income: $41,890
--- 21.4% below state median, 33.3% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 11.6%
--- #2,829 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 15.4%
--- #732 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Wayne County

- Median household income: $41,427
--- 22.3% below state median, 34.1% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 12.3%
--- #2,741 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 17.6%
--- #453 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Morgan County

- Median household income: $41,333
--- 22.5% below state median, 34.2% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 13.8%
--- #2,524 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 15.9%
--- #674 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Warren County

- Median household income: $41,125
--- 22.9% below state median, 34.6% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 12.9%
--- #2,656 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 17.2%
--- #505 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#26. Perry County

- Median household income: $41,034
--- 23.0% below state median, 34.7% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 11.6%
--- #2,829 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 20.2%
--- #257 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Ballinindasierra // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Hardin County

- Median household income: $40,682
--- 23.7% below state median, 35.3% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 14.1%
--- #2,467 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 15.5%
--- #709 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#24. Grundy County

- Median household income: $40,516
--- 24.0% below state median, 35.5% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 13.1%
--- #2,626 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 21.2%
--- #203 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Cj4258 // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Henry County

- Median household income: $40,502
--- 24.0% below state median, 35.6% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 14.1%
--- #2,472 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 15.2%
--- #756 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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RealElectrical // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Hardeman County

- Median household income: $40,304
--- 24.4% below state median, 35.9% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 10.5%
--- #2,955 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 17.4%
--- #478 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Weakley County

- Median household income: $39,937
--- 25.1% below state median, 36.4% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 11.7%
--- #2,812 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 16.3%
--- #609 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Thomas R Machnitzki (thomasmachnitzki.com) // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Lauderdale County

- Median household income: $39,896
--- 25.2% below state median, 36.5% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 10.3%
--- #2,972 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 18.0%
--- #420 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#19. Campbell County

- Median household income: $39,803
--- 25.4% below state median, 36.7% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 12.4%
--- #2,736 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 17.2%
--- #505 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Thomas R Machnitzki (thomasmachnitzki.com) // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Obion County

- Median household income: $39,615
--- 25.7% below state median, 37.0% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 11.4%
--- #2,858 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 16.8%
--- #558 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Pickett County

- Median household income: $39,554
--- 25.8% below state median, 37.1% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 14.6%
--- #2,395 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 19.4%
--- #300 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#16. McNairy County

- Median household income: $39,161
--- 26.6% below state median, 37.7% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 11.2%
--- #2,891 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 14.6%
--- #864 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Scott County

- Median household income: $38,864
--- 27.1% below state median, 38.2% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 10.1%
--- #2,992 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 18.1%
--- #409 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Carter County

- Median household income: $38,092
--- 28.6% below state median, 39.4% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 12.5%
--- #2,712 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 18.6%
--- #372 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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#13. Haywood County

- Median household income: $37,905
--- 28.9% below state median, 39.7% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 8.8%
--- #3,069 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 18.2%
--- #402 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Benton County

- Median household income: $37,512
--- 29.6% below state median, 40.3% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 9.7%
--- #3,013 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 19.0%
--- #334 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Ichabod // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Macon County

- Median household income: $37,430
--- 29.8% below state median, 40.4% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 13.8%
--- #2,524 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 14.9%
--- #805 highest rate among all counties nationwide

You may also like: Most popular girl names in the 60s in Tennessee

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Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Lewis County

- Median household income: $37,277
--- 30.1% below state median, 40.7% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 11.0%
--- #2,907 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 15.2%
--- #756 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Overton County

- Median household income: $37,197
--- 30.2% below state median, 40.8% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 12.6%
--- #2,711 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 17.9%
--- #430 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Claiborne County

- Median household income: $36,835
--- 30.9% below state median, 41.4% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 10.6%
--- #2,948 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 20.4%
--- #250 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Dwight Burdette // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Cocke County

- Median household income: $36,716
--- 31.1% below state median, 41.6% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 9.7%
--- #3,013 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 20.7%
--- #234 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Fentress County

- Median household income: $36,520
--- 31.5% below state median, 41.9% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 6.2%
--- #3,126 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 17.0%
--- #533 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Johnson County

- Median household income: $36,004
--- 32.5% below state median, 42.7% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 10.4%
--- #2,966 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 22.1%
--- #165 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Jackson County

- Median household income: $35,207
--- 34.0% below state median, 44.0% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 8.6%
--- #3,075 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 19.4%
--- #300 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Flickr user chiacomo // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Lake County

- Median household income: $35,191
--- 34.0% below state median, 44.0% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 9.2%
--- #3,051 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 25.5%
--- #67 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Clay County

- Median household income: $32,167
--- 39.7% below state median, 48.8% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 8.1%
--- #3,092 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 22.2%
--- #163 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Hancock County

- Median household income: $30,136
--- 43.5% below state median, 52.0% below national median
- Households earning over $100k: 11.0%
--- #2,907 highest rate among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 22.5%
--- #150 highest rate among all counties nationwide

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