It has the highest poverty rate in the US and the second lowest median income. The median household income in Kiryas Joel is $15,848; in Carbondale, Ill., it's $15,799.
Kiryas Joel: 68 percent
Athens City, Ohio: 52 percent
State College, Pa.: 50 percent
Newburgh: 28 percent
More than two-thirds of Kiryas Joel residents live below the federal poverty line and more than 40 percent receive food stamps, according to the American Community Survey, a U.S. Census Bureau study of every place in the country with 20,000 residents or more.
That makes the village poorer than crumbling big cities like Detroit and noted slums like East St. Louis, and by far the poorest place in the mid-Hudson.
The big question is how much longer can this last? How much longer can the combination of very large families and no secular education manage in tough economic times?
Source: KJ highest US poverty rate, census says
Here are some other very interesting numbers:
The 2000 census reports that only 6.2% of village residents spoke English at home, one of the lowest such percentages in the United States. Over 89% of residents spoke Yiddish at home, while 2.3% spoke Hebrew. Of the Yiddish-speaking population in 2000, 46% spoke English "not well" or "not at all." Overall, including those who primarily spoke Hebrew and European languages as well as primary Yiddish speakers, 46% of Kiryas Joel residents speak English "not well" or "not at all."
Almost 50% of the population doesn't speak English well.