SAN FRANCISCO: California has the highest poverty rate in the country according to US Census Bureau figures released today.
CA is one of 13 US states where the supplementary poverty rate (SPR) is higher than official, statewide poverty rates.
California's official poverty rate is 16.5 percent while the SPR stands at almost 24 percent (23.8), that's a difference of 7.3 percent.
Using the SPR, the figures indicate that the nation's poverty rate was 16 percent in 2012 rather than the official measure of 15 percent.
Unlike the official poverty rate, the supplemental poverty measure takes into account the impact of different benefits and necessary expenses on the resources available to families, as well as geographic differences in housing costs.
"The important contribution that the supplemental poverty measure provides is allowing us to gauge the effectiveness of tax credits and transfers in alleviating poverty," said Kathleen Short, economist and the report's author.
"We can also examine the effect of necessary expenses that families face, such as paying taxes or work-related and medical-out-of-pocket expenses", she added.
The differences between the official and SPR measures varied considerably by state. SPR rates were higher than the official poverty rates in 13 states of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland,Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Virginia and the District of Columbia.
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