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Below is a breakdown of poverty levels by U.S. state. The columns on the right indicate the percentage of that state's population living at or below the "poverty line" as of 2013 and 2015, and also the approximate number of people living in poverty. This data was obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau website.


Poor health, substance abuse, and lack of education are the main causes of poverty in the United States. At least 13 percent of the current U.S. population lives in poverty. That's more than 38 million people.


Poverty thresholds do not vary from state to state, and the exact dollar amount of income they call "the poverty line" is determined through a rather complex equation.


The equation considers things like the total number of people in a household, the number of people in the household who are under 18, annual household income, and inflation.


However, the equation seems to presume that there IS a household, and it's unclear if and how the homeless are included in the data.


Just for the record, Washington DC (if it were a state) would rank poorly on the list, as welfare statistics show that more than 18 percent of the residents of DC live in poverty as of 2013.





welfare statistics by state

Below is a list of states, followed by the percentage of each state's population (and the approximate actual number of people) living in poverty as of 2013 and 2015. 


welfare statistics welfare statistics


money.cnn.com


State             % 2013         % 2015         # in Poverty

Alabama                  16.0 %             18.5 %               13,356

Alaska                       10.0 %                9.1 %               73,500

Arizona                    19.0 %              17.4 %       1,260,000

Arkansas                 20.0 %              19.1 %           584,000

California                16.0 %              15.3 %       6,015,000

Colorado                  12.0 %              11.5 %            600,000

Connecticut           10.0 %              10.5 %           360,000

Delaware                13.0 %              12.4 %            120,000

Florida                      15.0 %              15.7 %        3,200,000

Georgia                    18.0 %             17.0 %          1,752,000

Hawaii                      14.0 %             10.6 %              150,000

Idaho                         14.0 %              15.1 %              255,000

Illinois                       13.0 %             13.6 %          1,608,000

Indiana                     15.0 %             14.5 %              964,000

Iowa                           10.0 %             12.2 %              313,000

Kansas                      14.0 %             13.0 %              397,000

Kentucky                 18.0 %             18.5 %              776,000

Louisiana                 21.0 %             19.6 %              944,000

Maine                        13.0 %            13.4 %              170,000

Maryland                 10.0 %                9.7 %              585,000

Massachusetts     11.0 %             11.5 %              743,000

Michigan                  14.0 %              15.8 %         1,331,000

Minnesota              10.0 %              10.2 %             534,000

Mississippi             22.0 %              22.0 %            636,000

Missouri                  15.0 %              14.8 %            905,000

Montana                 13.0 %              14.6 %            134,000

Nebraska                12.0 %              12.6 %             226,000

Nevada                    16.0 %              14.7 %             440,000

New Hampshire    8.0 %                8.2 %            106,000

New Jersey              9.0 %              10.8 %            980,000

New Mexico         20.0 %              20.4 %             420,000

New York               17.0 %              15.4 %        3,000,000

North Carolina   17.0 %              16.4 %        1,652,000

North Dakota      11.0 %              11.0 %               79,000

Ohio                          15.0 %              14.8 %        1,751,000

Oklahoma              18.0 %              16.1 %            640,000

Oregon                    14.0 %              15.4 %            523,000

Pennsylvania        14.0 %             13.2 %        1,756,000

Rhode Island         14.0 %             13.9 %            141,000

South Carolina    17.0 %             16.6 %             779,000

South Dakota       13.0 %             13.7 %            111,000

Tennessee              19.0 %              16.7 %           966,000

Texas                         17.0 %             15.9 %        4,444,000

Utah                           11.0 %              11.3 %           312,000

Vermont                  11.0 %             10.2 %              69,000

Virginia                   11.0 %              11.2 %           850,000

Washington         12.0 %              12.2 %           796,000

West Virginia     17.0 %               17.9 %           301,000

Wisconsin            11.0 %               12.1 %           640,000

Wyoming              10.0 %               11.1 %              64,000



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