Published On: Sun, Sep 16th, 2018

Poverty levels drop again: California, Florida the worst, Texas drops to decade low

On Wednesday, the Census Bureau released its 2017 annual report on the poor, providing details on 40 million to 45 million Americans estimated to be living below the federal poverty level.

The official poverty rate in 2017 was 12.3 percent, down 0.4 percentage points from 12.7 percent in 2016. This is the third consecutive annual decline in poverty. Since 2014, the pov­erty rate has fallen 2.5 percent­age points, from 14.8 percent to 12.3 percent.

From 2016 to 2017 the number of people in poverty decreased for people in families; people living in the West; people living outside metropolitan statistical areas; all workers; workers who worked less than full-time, year-round; people with a disabil­ity; people with a high school diploma but no college degree; and people with some college but no degree.

In 2017, there were 39.7 million people in poverty, not statisti­cally different from the number in poverty in 2016.

Between 2016 and 2017, the poverty rate for adults aged 18 to 64 declined 0.4 percentage points, from 11.6 percent to 11.2 percent, while poverty rates for individuals under age 18 and for people aged 65 and older were not statistically different from 2016.

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California was given a first-place title, seeing a 1.4 percent decrease from the previous year, the rate remains the highest among states. California accounts for about 7.5 million.

The next states were: Florida with 18.1 percent. Louisiana follows at 17.7 percent.

After that, these states follow: Mississippi (15.9 percent), Arizona (15.6 percent), Georgia (15.6 percent), New York (15.5 percent), New Mexico (15.2 percent), New Jersey (15.1 percent) and Hawaii (15.0 percent).

“We do have a housing crisis in many parts of the state and our poverty rate is highest in Los Angeles County,” Caroline Danielson, policy director at the Public Policy Institute of California, told The Sacramento Bee. “When you factor that in we struggle.”

Sara Kimberlin, senior policy analyst at the nonprofit California Budget and Policy Center, agrees.

“A really key reason why California’s poverty rate is so high is that we have very high housing costs in many parts of the state,” she told Capital Public Radio. “And even in areas of the state where housing costs are not as high, many people struggle with high housing cost burden.”

photo Alina Ku-Ku via Shutterstock

Texas dropped to 14.7 percent, down from a high of 18.5 percent in 2011. Roughly one in five Texas children — 20.9 percent — lived in poverty last year — a significant decrease from a recent high water mark set in 2011, when almost 27 percent of children were poor.

South Texas’ metro areas, home to predominantly Hispanic communities, have for years ranked as the poorest areas of the state. They are also home to the highest rates of child poverty in the state.

Full census data HERE

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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