“Geography is not the only deciding factor in determining income levels,” the website noted. “This also depends on natural resources, local laws and regulations, and the population’s educational attainment. Workers with high school diplomas tend to earn higher wages than those without, and those with a bachelor’s degree or higher tend to earn also typically have higher wages earnings than those who have not finished college.”
Two Georgia cities in the southern portion of the state are on the list.
At No. 24 is Albany. The southwest Georgia city had a median annual wage of $31,320 in 2019, which is among the lowest of any metro area in the U.S. The most highly concentrated occupation is career/technical education teachers and postsecondary education, which are 6.3 times more common than the national distribution. Also, there is an exceptionally large share of workers in the trade, transportation and utility sectors. These are areas that do not skew toward high-paying wages.
“Albany area residents are much more likely to live in poverty than the typical American,” the website reported. “The area had the nation’s 10th highest poverty rate in 2019, at 22.6%, and the second highest share of households living on less than $10,000 that year, at 12.1%.”
Despite all this, AreaVibes, which helps residents find the best places to live in the U.S. and Canada, gave the city an A- livability score. That outranks Atlanta, which got a D.
The second Georgia town on the list is Valdosta, which came in at No. 13. A typical worker in and around Azalea City earned $30,230 in 2019. That’s significantly less than that year’s U.S. average annual income of $39,810.
“In 2019, 22.6% of Valdosta area workers were employed in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector — a service-providing industry that includes retailing and warehousing, among other career fields,” 24/7 Wall St. reported. “Nationwide, just 18.4% of workers were in this industry.”
People working in these industries don’t typically earn high wages.
Still, AreaVibes gave Valdosta a B+ for the cost of living.