Census figures show nearly seven million Californians are living in poverty.
The Census Bureau's annual American Community Survey also shows 26 percent of Fresno residents are below the poverty line to rank the second-highest in the nation.
A family of two adults and two children counts as poor if its household income is less than $22,811.
The San Jose Mercury News says the statewide poverty rate hit 16.6 percent last year, up by 0.8 percent from 2010.
The survey shows the median household income of Californians dropped nearly 4 percent last year to $57,287.