Business & Economy

California's high poverty rate still leads the nation

A woman pushes her walker past tents housing the homeless in Los Angeles, California on February 9, 2016.
A woman pushes her walker past tents housing the homeless in Los Angeles, California on February 9, 2016.
Fredric J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

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By many measures, California's economy is doing great. State unemployment is at a record low. Nearly 3 million jobs have been created since early 2010. If California were its own country, it would have surpassed the UK earlier this year to become the world's fifth largest economy.

But according to annual statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday, nearly one in five Californians — or about 7.5 million residents — still live in poverty. When regional differences in costs like housing are factored in, no other state has a higher poverty rate than California’s, at 19 percent.