Can you guess which state has the highest poverty rate in the U.S.?
Many people would say Mississippi. That’s how I would have responded if you had asked me this morning, and I would have been right in a sense.
There are two different ways to measure poverty, you see. One accounts for cost-of-living in different states; one does not. The method that accounts for living costs (the Supplemental Poverty Measure) is more accurate, and it was introduced in 2011 by the U.S. Census.
According to this measurement, the poverty capital of America is not Mississippi. It’s California, PolitFact says.
It was a point recently raised by California Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayer at a legislative forum in Sacramento.
“If you look at the official poverty measure in California, we’re about average with the rest of the country,” Mayes said. “But if you use the supplemental poverty measure, we are in the lead. We have the highest poverty rate in the nation — higher than New Mexico, higher than any of the Southern states, Louisiana, Alabama, higher than Idaho.”