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The California Poverty Measure: A New Look at the Social Safety Net
Sarah Bohn, Caroline Danielson, Matt Levin, Marybeth Mattingly, and Christopher Wimer

October 2013

A new way of measuring poverty in California shows that 22 percent of residents lived in poor families in 2011. It also underscores the importance of the social safety net for many families in the state. The safety net’s impact on children is especially dramatic—without the need-based programs included in the new measure, 39 percent (or 3.6 million California children) would be considered poor. A companion report released by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality examines regional and demographic differences in poverty.

This research was supported with funding from The Walter S. Johnson Foundation.