Special Report

States Where Poverty Is Worse Than You Think

10. Connecticut
> Supplemental poverty rate 2011-2013: 12.5% (17th lowest)
> Official poverty rate: 10.7% (7th lowest)
> State price level: 6th highest
> Pct. without health insurance: 9.4% (8th lowest)

Based on pre-tax income alone, 10.7% of Connecticut residents lived in poverty between 2011 and 2013, one of the lower rates nationwide. Based on the supplemental poverty measure, however, 12.5% of state residents lived in poverty, still among the lower rates, but the 10th largest deviation from a state’s official poverty rate in the country. The supplemental poverty rate tends to be higher among older Americans. With the help of the nation’s third highest average social security payment, however, retirement-aged Connecticut residents had incomes of $26,581 on average, more than in all but a handful of states. The average earned income tax credit was $2,140 in Connecticut last year, one of the lower rates.

9. New Hampshire
> Supplemental poverty rate 2011-2013: 10.5% (7th lowest)
> Official poverty rate: 8.3% (the lowest)
> State price level: 9th highest
> Pct. without health insurance: 10.7% (12th lowest)

New Hampshire had the nation’s lowest average official poverty rate from 2011 to 2013, at just 8.3%. Although using the supplemental poverty rate, 10.5% of state residents lived in poverty in that time, this was still among the lowest rates in the nation. Among the factors that may contribute to the state’s higher supplemental poverty rate is the low average earned income tax credit.The average refunded amount was just $1,926 in the latest tax year, lower than in any state except for Vermont.

ALSO READ: States With the Widest Gap Between Rich and Poor

8. Massachusetts
> Supplemental poverty rate 2011-2013: 13.8% (22nd highest)
> Official poverty rate: 11.5% (14th lowest)
> State price level: 7th highest
> Pct. without health insurance: 3.7% (the lowest)

Massachusetts residents are some of the nation’s wealthiest, and the state does not lack generous social programs. Less than 4% of state residents didn’t have health insurance last year, for example, the lowest rate of any state. Despite the state’s support structures and high incomes, there is a large gap between the official poverty rate and the poverty rate that also considers social programs and the cost of living. Massachusetts had one of the nation’s highest costs of living as of 2012, and was one of the most expensive state in which to rent a home.

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