News U.S.

California has the highest poverty rate in the US: Census Bureau

California highest poverty rate
Source: Pixabay

According to a September 2021 report from the US Census Bureau, California continues to have the highest poverty rate in the country.

According to a new report from the US Census Bureau, California has the highest poverty rate in the country.

According to the report, titled The Supplemental Poverty Measure: 2020, 15.4 percent of California residents lived in poverty from 2018 to 2020, surpassing states such as Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana.

According to the report, no other state had a higher rate than California, with the District of Columbia coming in at 16.5 percent.

The Census Bureau measures poverty in a variety of ways, one of which is the Supplemental Poverty Measure.

Mollie Orshansky, a Social Security economist, developed this calculation method in the 1960s, taking into account regional cost of living, work and medical expenses, tax credits, and the effects of government aid.

Its purpose was to help low-income families and individuals.

Meanwhile, in comparison to California, the most populous states in the country have significantly reduced their three-year poverty level average from 17.2 percent in 2019 to 18.1 percent in 2018.

According to experts, California’s high poverty rate is primarily due to unaffordable housing costs, as revealed in Tuesday’s report.

“California is a state that has relatively high wages. It has relatively well-supported safety net programs,” Caroline Danielson, senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, told local news website.

“But we are not keeping up in terms of making housing affordable for all families.”

A minimum wage worker would need to earn $23.96 per hour to comfortably afford a two-bedroom rental in California, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

The state’s minimum wage increased to $14 per hour on January 1, 2021, which is 41.6 percent less than the rate required to afford a two-bedroom unit.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development established guidelines stating that renters should spend no more than 30% of their annual income on rent in order to cover other non-discretionary expenses such as food, utilities, insurance, automotive repairs, clothing, and medical.

About the author

Brendan Byrne

While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala.

Daily Newsletter