As of 2015, Telfair County holds the distinction of being the poorest county in Georgia, based on a review conducted by 24/7 Wall St., which derived its data from the United States Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The financial analysis determined the poorest counties in each of the 50 states.
The results of the study showed that only nine other counties in the U.S. were found to be poorer than Telfair County. In 2013, the county experienced a high unemployment rate of 15.6 percent, more than twice the national unemployment rate of only 7.4 percent for the same year. This below-average figure is possibly due to the limited number of available work for those seeking employment in the area. Between 2009 and 2013, the percentage of Telfair County adults who earned a bachelor's degree was only 10.9 percent, which is way below the state and national figures of 28.0 and 28.8 percent, respectively. This could also be an indicator for the poor economic status of Telfair County.
Within the same 5-year period, Telfair County residents who were living below the poverty line accounted for 30.5 percent of the population. The median household income was only $26,634, which is almost 50 percent less than the federal median household income for the same interval. These low earnings are said to be caused by the county's unhealthy job market.