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1. Brownsville-Harlingen, TX

Median household income: $31,736
Percentage below poverty line: 36.3 percent (the highest)
Unemployment rate: 12.5 percent
Population: 408,054

With a median household income more than $18,000 less than the national average, this metropolitan area suffers from the worst poverty rate in the country. Located in the southern tip of Texas, along the Mexican border, it's one of America's fastest growing cities, due primarily to its high rate of immigration. The high school graduation rate is exceptionally low -- only 53 percent.

(AP Photo/Brad Doherty)

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