The National Review recently published an article by Kerry Jackson claiming that California had the highest poverty rate of any state in America.
Jackson cites the U.S. Census Bureau’s supplemental poverty measure to support its claim, but does not say exactly what the rate is.
The article gives plenty of other statistics, using the primary argument that “California, with 12 percent of the American population, is home today to roughly one in three of the nation’s welfare recipients.”
According to the recently released Small Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) from the Census Bureau for 2016, California ranks 20th in overall poverty for all ages with a rate of 14.4 percent — slightly above the national rate of 14 percent.
SAIPE statistics are based on the American Community Survey and various economic measures. States with the top rates are, contrary to the National Review article, Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, Washington, D.C., and Kentucky.
Poverty rates for all 50 states plus D.C. can be seen in the table below.
|State / County Name||Poverty State Rank||All Ages in Poverty Percent|
|District of Columbia||4||18.5|
California’s high rate of welfare recipients can be explained by the state’s less stringent eligibility criteria compared to other states.
National Review and Jackson should know easily debunkable claims should not be publicized as fact.
[Photo courtesy Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG]