Your very first job probably paid you more than $10,000 per year. Picture yourself, 16 years old, living off of mom and dad, blowing your measly paychecks on cigarettes and clearance t-shirts from Hollister. You were broke, but it didn't matter. Your mom was still feeding you Hamburger Helper and putting gas in your car when you inevitably spent your entire check on BS. You were just a kid, learning how to become a productive member of society. $10k a year was likely all you needed to have a little fun with your pals.

Can you imagine what it would be like to raise a family with even less money than that? Rent. Car payments. Groceries. Medicine. Random necessities. It all adds up. Even if you pinched every single penny, the odds are against you.

Do you think you could make it work?

You may be shocked to learn that a yearly income of less than $10,000 is the sad reality for the typical resident in one small Texas city.

The average annual salary in Carrizo Springs, Texas, the largest city in Dimmit County, is only $9,110. Let that sink in. Only $9,110 to live off of for an entire year. 

The 2020 census shows that roughly 34% of their population is living way below the poverty line. Over 42% of those affected are under the age of 18. Around 30%, are senior citizens.

So, what exactly keeps someone in a town this poor?

In 1909, Carrizo Springs was a major stop on the once-bustling San Antonio, Uvalde, and Gulf Railroad, one of the first railroads in the United States. It ran through the town until 1956 before merging with the Missouri Pacific Railroad.

The majority of ghost towns and poor communities in Texas were once thriving. When major employers in small towns like Carrizo Springs shut down and head elsewhere, workers tend to do the same. No money. No reason to be there. That could be one of the reasons the community falls so far below the poverty line.

But, I looked at job listings in Carrizo Springs on Google, thinking I probably wouldn't find much of anything. That wasn't the case. There are some major US employers there. I saw listings for Walmart, Dollar General, HEB, Dollar Tree, McDonald's, Subway, 7/11, and TX Dot, as well as several employment opportunities for nurses, mechanical engineers, sales associates, and more.

So...what's the deal? Why is Carrizo Springs so poor?

Let me know what you think in a comment below this article, or email me directly at Chrissy.Covington@townsquaremedia.com, and let's keep the conversation going.

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