Capitol Alert: California also has a high 'near-poverty' rate

05/01/2014 10:48 AM

05/01/2014 10:58 AM

California has the nation's highest rate of poverty -- nearly a quarter of its 38 million residents -- under an alternative calculation devised by the Census Bureau that takes the cost of living into account.

The state's official poverty rate, based on a half-century-old formula that doesn't include cost of living, is about half as high, but still higher than the national rate. And that's true, as well, in a new statistical category called "near-poverty."

The Census Bureau defines persons in near-poverty as those with incomes between 100 percent and 125 percent of the official poverty threshold. For a family of four, an income under $29,205 would qualify as near-poverty, and under that definition, California is one of 12 states with rates higher than the national average.

In a report issued Thursday, the Census Bureau tabs the national near-poverty rate at 4.7 percent, or 14.6 million persons, during the 2010-12 period. Just under two million Californians, the report said, fell into that category for a rate of 5.3 percent.

Editor's Choice Videos

Join the Discussion

Merced Sun-Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service