FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – When searching “why is Fresno” online, search engines provide a number of suggested questions. The majority of the answers suggest negative things about the area.
One of the suggested questions is “why is Fresno so bad,” but bad is a subjective term and difficult to investigate without more context. Another suggested question is “why is Fresno so poor” — something that can be quantified.
On Stacker-compiled California cities with the most people living in poverty, Fresno does not appear on the list of the 20 cities with the most individuals living below the poverty line. The information was sourced from U.S. Census Bureau data for 2019. Central Valley cities on the list include Merced ranked 19th, Parlier ranked eighth, Lindsay ranked fifth, Mendota ranked third, and Orange Cove ranked second. Coming in as the city with the most individuals living below the poverty line was the Santa Barbara County city of Isla Vista.
Delving deeper into the data for median household income between 2016 and 2020 available from the U.S. Census Bureau, Fresno ranks fifth in the state in population but tenth in median household income at $53,368.
Another set of data shows different numbers, but similar results.
SmartAsset’s ranking of the 20 largest California cities by average household income (using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 5-year American Community Survey) shows Fresno’s average household income to be $73,396. The only city coming in lower than that number is San Bernardino at $64,929.
So when comparing Fresno to California’s other major cities, while it ranks as one of the lowest in average income, it is not one of the cities with the most poverty.