California has the highest poverty rate in the U.S., according to the new Supplemental Poverty Measure released Wednesday, AP/KPCC's "KPCC News" reports.
Background on New Supplemental Poverty Measure
The Census Bureau is testing the Supplemental Poverty Measure as a replacement for the current poverty measuring system ("KPCC News," AP/KPCC, 11/14).
The new system includes more data than traditional poverty measures, including information on:
- Child care costs;
- Health care costs; and
- Housing costs (Quinton, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 11/14).
It also examines taxpayer-provided benefits and adjusts for income earned from federal assistance.
Federal officials believe the new system can be used to assess safety-net programs.
Details of California's Poverty Rate
Under the new system, California's poverty rate is 23.5% of the population, an increase from 16.3% under traditional poverty measures. The gap is the largest among all U.S. states.
The new system found that California's poverty rate is driven in part by the state's high cost of living.
Details of U.S. Poverty Rate
Under the new system, the U.S. poverty rate has increased from 15% to 15.8%.
The number of U.S. residents living in poverty has reached a high of 49.7 million, according to the new system ("KPCC News," AP/KPCC, 11/14).