Idaho has become quite popular in the past few years with more and more people moving here for job opportunities and to raise families. After living here for my entire life, I have to agree that Idaho is a wonderful place to be. However, even prospering states have low income areas. According to a recent study of US Census Bureau data by 24/7 Wall Street, Idaho's poorest county may not be the one you expected.

Madison County, Idaho is home to Brigham Young University - a private university operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Even though the cost of annual tuition at BYU totals to around $23,500 for non-LDS students, the average Madison County household brings home only $33,856 a year. This is $15,318 less than the median household income for Idaho.

While annual income is minimal, over 36% of adults in the county have still have a bachelor's degree. This is likely due to the large number of students in the area and is very unusual for poor counties which tend to have low educational attainment.

It's also not typical for areas with such low annual incomes to have low unemployment rates. This is where Madison County differs again with only 1.9% of the population being unemployed. This is less than half of the national unemployment rate of 4.1% and can also be attributed to students who may be in low wage, part time jobs or studying full time.

Overall, Madison County has a poverty rate of 32.6%. But with the cost of school and the average student income it is easy to see why this is the case.

To see the poorest counties in other states here.

To learn more about BYU Idaho:


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