L.A. Poverty Rate More Severe than California, U.S.

L.A. Poverty Rate More Severe than California, U.S.

Los Angeles County residents living below the poverty level, at 18%, make up a greater percentage of the area’s population than either California or the United States’ rates, according to new results released through the U.S. Census Bureau.

One forth of Los Angeles County children live in poverty, according to the Census data, outpacing rates for those throughout California and the U.S, at 22% and 21% respectively.

The Census Bureau numbers included individuals and families falling below the poverty line in the previous twelve months. Data was collected over five years and released in the 2009-2013 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.

Foreign-born population poverty estimates, according to the Census Bureau, were 20% for L.A. County. In California, foreign-born residents that entered in 2010 or later fell below the poverty line at a rate of 32%. A quarter of those entering from 2000-2009 fell below the poverty line.

“It’s not like this is new,” Christopher Thornberg with Beacon Economics told 89.3 KPCC radio. “This is an ongoing situation. As to why, well it’s because of the fact that we are home to many low-skill immigrants, many who are undocumented, people who are, if you will, living on the economic margins of society.”

Of the foreign born population in L.A., 53% were estimated to be non-citizens. Of the same population, an estimated 34% were not participating in the labor force. California foreign-born residents entering in 2010 or later and not participating in the labor force were estimated to be 51.9%.

Families with a female householder, related children under the age of five only and no husband present fell below the poverty line in the prior twelve months at the rate of 39%. Of all families in L.A. 14.2% fell below the poverty line.


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