California's poverty rate highest in over a decade

Sacramento BeeSeptember 14, 2011 

California's poor now outnumber the populations of 33 states and 90 nations – and counting.

The state's poverty rate last year rose to its highest level in more than a decade – 16.3 percent – as household incomes plunged by 5 percent, according to census figures released Tuesday.

The state lost ground much faster than the rest of the nation, which saw a roughly 2 percent decline in household income.

Nationally, about 15.1 percent of the population, or 46 million people, were poor last year, a higher poverty rate than in any year since 1993.

That incomes continue to decline and poverty increases didn't surprise economists. But the magnitude of the changes did. California hasn't seen a bigger year-to-year fall in household income in at least 25 years.

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