Lowest-earning counties in Tennessee

Written by:
July 14, 2022
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. Since then the GDP has recovered, the first quarter of 2022 was 11% above the fourth quarter of 2019.

While GDP has recovered since the height of the pandemic, wage growth has not kept pace with inflation. In 2021 average hourly wages increased 4.7% while there was 7% inflation, meaning the worker’s purchasing power dropped by 2.4%.

Where you live can make a big impact on your financial situation. The highest earning county in the U.S. earns $147,111, while the lowest earns $22,292. 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’ 2020 5-year estimate median household income.

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Sullivan County

- Median household income: $47,438
--- 13.5% below state average, 27.0% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 18.0%
--- #1,961 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 12.2%
--- #951 highest among all counties nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#49. McMinn County

- Median household income: $46,872
--- 14.5% below state average, 27.9% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 17.4%
--- #2,068 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 13.4%
--- #898 highest among all counties nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Rhea County

- Median household income: $46,096
--- 15.9% below state average, 29.1% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 17.2%
--- #2,106 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 14.2%
--- #824 highest among all counties nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Monroe County

- Median household income: $45,576
--- 16.9% below state average, 29.9% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 13.8%
--- #2,670 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 14.7%
--- #781 highest among all counties nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Gibson County

- Median household income: $45,557
--- 16.9% below state average, 29.9% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 16.4%
--- #2,242 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 16.1%
--- #779 highest among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Polk County

- Median household income: $45,326
--- 17.3% below state average, 30.3% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 16.4%
--- #2,247 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 11.0%
--- #765 highest among all counties nationwide
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Walker Kinsler // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Hawkins County

- Median household income: $45,318
--- 17.4% below state average, 30.3% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 14.7%
--- #2,553 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 13.8%
--- #762 highest among all counties nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Putnam County

- Median household income: $45,160
--- 17.6% below state average, 30.5% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 17.7%
--- #2,002 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 13.9%
--- #749 highest among all counties nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Union County

- Median household income: $45,143
--- 17.7% below state average, 30.5% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 13.6%
--- #2,704 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 13.4%
--- #747 highest among all counties nationwide
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GamblinMonkey // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Dyer County

- Median household income: $45,042
--- 17.9% below state average, 30.7% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 17.9%
--- #1,979 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 16.0%
--- #738 highest among all counties nationwide

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AppalachianCentrist // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Grainger County

- Median household income: $44,703
--- 18.5% below state average, 31.2% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 12.6%
--- #2,802 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 14.6%
--- #706 highest among all counties nationwide
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Henderson County

- Median household income: $44,534
--- 18.8% below state average, 31.5% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 14.8%
--- #2,545 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 16.1%
--- #697 highest among all counties nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Unicoi County

- Median household income: $44,526
--- 18.8% below state average, 31.5% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 11.3%
--- #2,937 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 18.4%
--- #696 highest among all counties nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#37. DeKalb County

- Median household income: $44,389
--- 19.0% below state average, 31.7% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 18.3%
--- #1,902 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 14.1%
--- #684 highest among all counties nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#36. White County

- Median household income: $44,282
--- 19.2% below state average, 31.9% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 11.4%
--- #2,928 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 13.9%
--- #676 highest among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Sequatchie County

- Median household income: $44,217
--- 19.4% below state average, 32.0% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 15.3%
--- #2,463 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 13.1%
--- #666 highest among all counties nationwide
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Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Lawrence County

- Median household income: $43,734
--- 20.2% below state average, 32.7% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 13.8%
--- #2,670 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 15.9%
--- #627 highest among all counties nationwide
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Houston County

- Median household income: $43,521
--- 20.6% below state average, 33.0% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 14.3%
--- #2,612 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 16.6%
--- #609 highest among all counties nationwide
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AppalachianCentrist // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Hamblen County

- Median household income: $43,151
--- 21.3% below state average, 33.6% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 14.2%
--- #2,615 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 13.9%
--- #586 highest among all counties nationwide
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AppalachianCentrist // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Greene County

- Median household income: $43,150
--- 21.3% below state average, 33.6% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 14.9%
--- #2,521 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 15.2%
--- #585 highest among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Pickett County

- Median household income: $43,125
--- 21.4% below state average, 33.6% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 18.7%
--- #1,836 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 23.9%
--- #582 highest among all counties nationwide
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#29. Grundy County

- Median household income: $43,116
--- 21.4% below state average, 33.7% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 12.0%
--- #2,865 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 16.6%
--- #581 highest among all counties nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Carroll County

- Median household income: $42,877
--- 21.8% below state average, 34.0% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 14.8%
--- #2,532 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 16.6%
--- #565 highest among all counties nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Warren County

- Median household income: $42,668
--- 22.2% below state average, 34.4% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 14.1%
--- #2,641 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 15.9%
--- #546 highest among all counties nationwide
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Ballinindasierra // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Hardin County

- Median household income: $42,285
--- 22.9% below state average, 34.9% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 14.0%
--- #2,643 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 15.6%
--- #518 highest among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Wayne County

- Median household income: $42,206
--- 23.0% below state average, 35.1% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 14.0%
--- #2,643 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 16.5%
--- #506 highest among all counties nationwide
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Thomas R Machnitzki (thomasmachnitzki.com) // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Lauderdale County

- Median household income: $41,905
--- 23.6% below state average, 35.5% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 13.1%
--- #2,750 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 16.9%
--- #484 highest among all counties nationwide
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#23. Campbell County

- Median household income: $41,769
--- 23.8% below state average, 35.7% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 13.4%
--- #2,720 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 17.5%
--- #467 highest among all counties nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Morgan County

- Median household income: $41,701
--- 23.9% below state average, 35.8% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 15.1%
--- #2,490 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 15.7%
--- #460 highest among all counties nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Weakley County

- Median household income: $41,488
--- 24.3% below state average, 36.2% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 11.3%
--- #2,937 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 16.2%
--- #449 highest among all counties nationwide

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Cj4258 // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Henry County

- Median household income: $41,037
--- 25.2% below state average, 36.9% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 14.9%
--- #2,521 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 15.9%
--- #420 highest among all counties nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Carter County

- Median household income: $40,820
--- 25.6% below state average, 37.2% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 13.0%
--- #2,756 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 16.7%
--- #404 highest among all counties nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Decatur County

- Median household income: $40,389
--- 26.3% below state average, 37.9% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 12.4%
--- #2,825 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 16.8%
--- #378 highest among all counties nationwide
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Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#17. McNairy County

- Median household income: $40,327
--- 26.5% below state average, 38.0% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 12.0%
--- #2,865 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 15.0%
--- #371 highest among all counties nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Fentress County

- Median household income: $40,203
--- 26.7% below state average, 38.1% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 7.7%
--- #3,099 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 17.3%
--- #365 highest among all counties nationwide

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

#15. Obion County

- Median household income: $39,985
--- 27.1% below state average, 38.5% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 10.7%
--- #2,983 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 16.1%
--- #352 highest among all counties nationwide
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RealElectrical // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Hardeman County

- Median household income: $39,636
--- 27.7% below state average, 39.0% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 11.0%
--- #2,969 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 16.0%
--- #333 highest among all counties nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Benton County

- Median household income: $39,019
--- 28.8% below state average, 40.0% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 12.8%
--- #2,783 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 19.6%
--- #302 highest among all counties nationwide
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#12. Haywood County

- Median household income: $38,994
--- 28.9% below state average, 40.0% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 10.0%
--- #3,019 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 15.4%
--- #300 highest among all counties nationwide
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Dwight Burdette // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Cocke County

- Median household income: $38,530
--- 29.7% below state average, 40.7% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 9.7%
--- #3,036 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 16.5%
--- #284 highest among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Johnson County

- Median household income: $38,090
--- 30.5% below state average, 41.4% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 10.7%
--- #2,981 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 19.1%
--- #263 highest among all counties nationwide
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Ichabod // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Macon County

- Median household income: $38,080
--- 30.6% below state average, 41.4% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 15.5%
--- #2,430 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 13.5%
--- #261 highest among all counties nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Claiborne County

- Median household income: $37,954
--- 30.8% below state average, 41.6% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 11.6%
--- #2,904 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 19.6%
--- #254 highest among all counties nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Scott County

- Median household income: $37,135
--- 32.3% below state average, 42.9% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 8.7%
--- #3,076 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 18.7%
--- #219 highest among all counties nationwide
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Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Lewis County

- Median household income: $36,977
--- 32.6% below state average, 43.1% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 12.0%
--- #2,865 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 18.8%
--- #212 highest among all counties nationwide

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Overton County

- Median household income: $36,478
--- 33.5% below state average, 43.9% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 13.1%
--- #2,744 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 19.9%
--- #190 highest among all counties nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Jackson County

- Median household income: $35,880
--- 34.6% below state average, 44.8% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 9.7%
--- #3,038 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 16.7%
--- #172 highest among all counties nationwide
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Flickr user chiacomo // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Lake County

- Median household income: $34,230
--- 37.6% below state average, 47.3% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 10.9%
--- #2,972 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 30.2%
--- #121 highest among all counties nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Clay County

- Median household income: $32,064
--- 41.5% below state average, 50.7% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 9.0%
--- #3,063 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 21.8%
--- #72 highest among all counties nationwide
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Hancock County

- Median household income: $28,234
--- 48.5% below state average, 56.6% below national average
- Households earning over $100k: 12.1%
--- #2,846 highest among all counties nationwide
- Households earning less than $15k: 24.1%
--- #22 highest among all counties nationwide

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