New York, New Jersey Poverty Rates Are Higher Than You Think: Census

An alternative way of measuring income and expenses shows that many more people in New York and New Jersey are living in poverty than reflected in the traditional count.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Census Bureau released data that shows the supplemental poverty rate is 18.1 percent in New York State, about two percentage points higher than the official rate. In New Jersey, the supplemental rate is 15.5 percent, five points higher than the conventional statistic.

Supplemental poverty rates were first issued two years ago. They are considered by social scientists to be a more reliable measure of poverty because they take into account living expenses, as well as government benefits such as food stamps and tax credits.

The nation's overall supplemental poverty rate was 16 percent in 2012, the same as it was last year. It shows about three million more people are living in poverty than the official count shows.

With The Associated Press