Redefining Poverty for California

Oct 22, 2013

 National formulas for setting the poverty line don’t allow for higher regional costs, such as Bay Area housing expenses. Factor those costs in, and the number of people who are actually living in poverty here takes a substantial jump. 

Carolyn Danielson
Credit PPIC

The Public Policy Institute of California has published an interactive, online map comparing the poverty figures for all California counties. To derive their California-specific poverty rates, the Institute  incorporated several additional factors on top of the basic federal numbers.  Research Fellow Carolyn Danielson, explains what went into their calculations.


These new numbers were needed, Danielson explains, because the federal poverty thresholds have become more widely used as an element in formulas to determine eligibility for various social assistance programs than a realistic measure of what a household actually needs to survive.

Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County will host their 9th annual Dialog on Poverty in Santa Rosa tomorrow, with a focus on education. You can find out more about the event here.