|New Census Figures Show That Too Many Californians Are Struggling to Get By|
The US Census Bureau this morning released new national and state-level figures based on the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). The SPM improves on the official poverty measure by better accounting for costs of living as well as for the various resources (including noncash benefits like food assistance) that families use to cover expenses.
A new Budget Center analysis discusses these latest SPM data, which show that 20.6 percent of Californians struggled to make ends meet on average between 2013 and 2015 — the highest rate of any state in the nation. The Budget Center's analysis discusses how high housing costs contribute to California's poverty rate under the SPM, looks at the role that Social Security, tax credits for working families, and other public supports play in lifting families out of poverty, and identifies ways that policymakers can address financial hardship and help families climb the economic ladder.