How sky-high housing costs make California the poorest state, 20% live in poverty

Los Angeles

I was actually singing California’s praises last night. It is beautiful. Generally I find the people to be friendly. In most places the weather’s good. It has world class surfing and skiing within a few hours drive. Interesting businesses are based there.

But Cali is seriously screwed up in all sorts of ways too. One of the chief problems being its poverty problem. Adjusted for cost of living California is the POOREST STATE IN THE NATION.

Mississippi, Arkansas, California has got you beat.

(From The Orange County Register)

Unfortunately for Californians, this year’s poverty numbers are not an aberration. The Census began releasing state-by-state results for its “supplemental poverty measure” in 2011, in an attempt to improve upon the outdated and heavily criticized official poverty statistics.

In the less sophisticated “official” measure, a family of four in San Francisco or Los Angeles or San Diego faces exactly the same poverty threshold—$24,339 annually—as a family in rural Mississippi. That’s despite the fact that you can rent a three-bedroom, two-bathroom 1,200-square-foot house in Horn Lake, Mississippi, for the same price ($850 a month) as half a living room in the Bay Area.

California has been the poorest state in the nation under the vastly more sophisticated “supplemental” poverty measure since the alternative statistic was created (Mississippi is poorest under the old measure). It’s not even really that close: Florida has the second highest rate, at 18.7 percent.

Click here for the article.