LEXINGTON Ky. (FOX 56) – Fresh off the holiday season, the new year is not only a time of self-reflection and self-improvement but also serves as an opportunity to reflect upon the improvements needed across the U.S.

Hunger, poverty, and homelessness plague every nation, and in the United States there are a reported 37 million individuals lacking access to adequate food and 11.6% of the U.S. population was living in poverty in 2021, according to WalletHub.

In a study, WalletHub looked at multiple indicators of economic disadvantage like child poverty, food insecurity, and uninsured rates across more than 180 cities in the U.S.

Lexington and Louisville both found themselves among the 180 neediest cities in the country by the parameters of the study.


Lexington ranked 138th overall including 119th in economic well-being and 137th in health and safety. Meanwhile, Louisville ranked 93rd and 88th in economic well-being and health and safety respectively.

The top five neediest cities in the U.S. are:

  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Brownsville, Texas
  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Gulfport, Mississippi
  • Fresno, California
Source: WalletHub

Detroit ranked second-highest in the country in both adult and child poverty rate and ranked third in food insecurity rate and percentage of homes with inadequate plumbing.