California: A Hunger and Poverty Snapshot

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In California, between 2019-2021:

  • Food insecurity in California averaged 9.6%.
  • California’s food insecurity rate was 8% lower than the national average of 10.4%.2The poverty rate in California in 2021 (using the Supplemental Poverty Measure) was 13.2%, which was 5.4 percentage points higher than the nation overall (7.8%).
  • California’s poverty rate is high compared to the rest of the nation in large part because of the high cost of housing. Four in 10 low-income people in California are homeless or pay over half their income for rent.
  • SNAP, alone, lifted 833,000 people above the poverty line in California, including 408,000 children, per year between 2013 and 2017, on average.

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