Despite Income Gains, California Poverty Rate Still High

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Homeless men and women wait in line to receive food at The Midnight Mission as the center center served more than 600 meals on September 23, 2015, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Nearly 8 million Californians, about 20 percent of the state, cannot adequately support themselves and their families, according to new figures from the Census Bureau. Those figures, which factor in cost of living, put California's poverty rate about 5 percent higher than the national average. That bad news for Californians comes amid good news for the country as a whole, which saw incomes increase and poverty levels dip between 2014 and 2015. We look at the new numbers and discuss what the state is doing to mitigate the growth and effects of poverty.

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Dan Walters, political columnist, Sacramento Bee

Alissa Anderson, senior policy analyst, California Budget and Policy Center