Poverty in California: Moving Beyond the Federal Measure
The current federal measure of poverty for California (13.1% in 2004) does
not take into account the state’s higher cost of living. Adjusting for rental
costs, California’s poverty rate rises substantially, to 16.1 percent. This
edition of California Counts uses a cost-adjusted measure to analyze
the state’s poverty both demographically and regionally, making comparisons to
federal findings. Without prescribing the “right” measure, the author points to
several problems with the current federal poverty measure.