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Thursday, September 13, 2018

California Still Has the Highest Poverty Rate

The Bureau of the Census reports on the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM):
  • In 2017, the overall SPM rate was 13.9 percent. This is not statistically different from the 2016 SPM rate of 14.0 (Figure 1).
  • SPM rates were not statistically different for any of the major age categories in 2017 compared with 2016. SPM rates for children under age 18 were 15.6 percent, which is not significantly different than 15.2 percent in 2016 (Figure 1 and Figure 2).
  • The SPM rate for 2017 was 1.6 percentage points higher than the official poverty rate of 12.3 percent (Figure 3).
  • The percentage of individuals aged 65 and older with SPM resources below half their SPM threshold was 4.9 percent in 2017 (Figure 6).
  • There were 16 states plus the District of Columbia for which SPM rates were higher than official poverty rates, 18 states with lower rates, and 16 states for which the differences were not statistically significant (Figure 7).
  • Social Security continued to be the most important anti-poverty program, moving 27.0 million individuals out of poverty. Refundable tax credits moved 8.3 million people out of poverty (Figure 8).
Once again, the state (not counting DC) with the highest SPM was California, at 19.0 percent.  One major reason is the high cost of housing.