California’s Median Income Falls, Poverty Rates Increase

OK, no more charts for a while…at least after this one, from Sharon Okada of the Sacramento Bee.  You may have heard about median incomes falling and poverty rates rising in California, so here are the numbers:

California Median Income Falls and Poverty Rate Increases


  • The nationwide median household income is at $49,445, and down from $50,599 in 2009.
  • Last year,  6.1 million Californians lived in poverty — an increase of almost 500,000 from the previous year.  This rate is the highest since 1997.
  • A family of 4 earning $22,350 or less, or a single person earning $10,890 falls below the federal poverty line.

——Data below from United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—-           Figures for poverty in 2011

Persons in
Family Unit
48 Contiguous States
and D.C.
Alaska Hawaii
1 $10,890 $13,600 $12,540
2 $14,710 $18,380 $16,930
3 $18,530 $23,160 $21,320
4 $22,350 $27,940 $25,710
5 $26,170 $32,720 $30,100
6 $29,990 $37,500 $34,490
7 $33,810 $42,280 $38,880
8 $37,630 $47,060 $43,270
Each additional
person adds
$3,820 $4,780 $4,390

If you want to read more on California’s poverty rate increase, here is a link to the article in the Sacramento Bee “California’s poverty rate highest in more than a decade”.

Obviously, poverty in a country like the U.S. is a lot different from poverty in Burundi — the poorest nation in the world as measured by per capita income.

No matter the country or the poverty line thresholds and definitions, we don’t ever want to see poverty rates increasing.

Now that you are here, I would love to know what you think...comments are always appreciated.