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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Report Finds 8 Million California Residents Lived in Poverty in 2011

Today's post was shared by votersinjuredatwork and comes from

There were about 8 million California residents living in poverty in 2011, according to a new report that factored in health care and other costs, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The figure is significantly higher than federal estimates of nearly 6 million state residents living in poverty that year.

Federal poverty estimates for California and other states use a formula from 1964 that defines poverty as income less than three times the cost of a "minimum diet," which would have been $22,811 for a family of four in 2011.
However, some observers have called this method outdated because food is a smaller part of most families' budgets than it was 50 years ago.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Public Policy Institute of California and the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality.
Unlike federal figures, the study's poverty estimates include:
  • Government benefits;
  • Housing prices;
  • Health care costs; and
  • Other expenditures (Olson, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 9/30).
According to the report, the poverty rate in California was about 22% in 2011, the highest in the U.S. and significantly higher than the official rate of 16% (Holland, Los Angeles Times, 9/30).
When the study factored in cost of living:
  • Poverty rates increased in places with high housing costs and other expenses, such as Orange County and the San Francisco Bay Area; and
  • Poverty rates decreased in areas where housing is less expensive, such as some Northern California and...
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