California Ranks As The Nation’s Poorest State
The Hollywood allure wasn’t enough to save California from ranking #50 in America’s poverty polling. This marks the second year in a row the Golden State came up last in the cash flow department.
To determine this year’s survey, the United States Census Bureau switched up their approach compared to previous years. By factoring in taxes and other expenses, they were able to determine that California just wasn’t able to dig themselves out of the whole just yet.
Of course the population had a tremendous impact on the findings as well.
The official rate released by the U.S. Census Bureau in September determined that California had some 6.2 million poor people when using a three-year average that ended in 2012. However, the bureau’s alternate or supplemental poverty measure, which takes into account more factors like cost of living and public benefits, found the Golden State had nearly 9 million people living in poverty in the same period.
While more than a dozen states had a larger share of poor people than California did under the official rate, the alternate rate put California at the top of the list, followed by the District of Columbia. Under the official rate, California was tied for 14th place, with Louisiana topping the list, followed by Mississippi.
“It increases California’s poverty rate by a fairly substantial amount, from 16.5 percent to 23.8 percent,” said Jonathan Buttle, a research program specialist with the California Department of Finance. “It simply presents an alternative snapshot to the official number.”
Not only do Californians pay one of the highest median rents in the country, the state also has a high proportion of people who are renting or own homes with mortgages, which is accounted for in the alternate measure but not in the official measure, said Kathleen Short, a U.S. Census Bureau economist.
A high cost of living and low-income rate just don’t add up. It’s estimated that 25 percent of the state’s population is considered “poor.” Next time you decide to listen to 2Pac’s “California Love,” pour out a little liquor for those not doing so well.