New Measure Provides Fuller Picture Of U.S. Poverty

WASHINGTON (November 14, 2012)--A different way of calculating America's poor by taking medical costs and work-related expenses into account finds a higher total of poor than the government's official count.

This measure, aimed at providing a fuller picture of poverty, found there are 49.7 million poor people in the country, which is 16.1 percent of the population.

That compares with the 46.2 million, or 15 percent, as reported in September in the Census Bureau's official count.

According to the newly developed measure, those more likely to live in poverty are people 65 or older, urbanites and Hispanics, the result of medical expenses and higher living costs in cities.

California had the highest share of poor people, followed by Arizona and Florida.

In the official tally, Mississippi had the highest share followed by New Mexico and Arizona.


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