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Are you below or above the poverty line in your state?

GOBankingRates Logo By Joel Anderson of GOBankingRates | Slide 1 of 51: Poverty in America remains one of the most intense — and entrenched — social issues. Roughly 1 in 7 people living in this country fall below the federal poverty line, which means that 14.6% of Americans earn less than $12,490 a year. With a salary of that size, you’ll need to survive on approximately $35 a day, all while paying for necessities such as rent, food and transportation. For larger families of up to five people, the federal poverty line rises to $30,170 a year — or just over $80 a day — which is still far from enough to maintain a comfortable standard of living. The cost of living can also vary widely from state to state, meaning you’ll encounter significant differences between the federal and state poverty guidelines. In reality, poverty in certain areas can be more severe than what the nationwide numbers imply. After all, if you’re extremely limited in your daily spending, even marginal differences in expected costs will ultimately eat up larger portions of your budget. That’s why GOBankingRates conducted a study to reveal the actual poverty line for families of various sizes in every state, after factoring in the local cost of living. In some states, low-income families have a little more financial breathing room to keep their heads above water. In other states, it’s understandable how different costs can seem to keep piling on for people who are already among the most vulnerable in society. Whether you’re living alone or supporting a larger family, learning the actual poverty line in your state can be an important wake-up call about economic inequality. Last updated: Sept. 25, 2019

Poverty in America remains one of the most intense — and entrenched — social issues. Roughly 1 in 7 people living in this country fall below the federal poverty line, which means that 14.6% of Americans earn less than $12,490 a year. With a salary of that size, you’ll need to survive on approximately $35 a day, all while paying for necessities such as rent, food and transportation. For larger families of up to five people, the federal poverty line rises to $30,170 a year — or just over $80 a day — which is still far from enough to maintain a comfortable standard of living.

The cost of living can also vary widely from state to state, meaning you’ll encounter significant differences between the federal and state poverty guidelines. In reality, poverty in certain areas can be more severe than what the nationwide numbers imply. After all, if you’re extremely limited in your daily spending, even marginal differences in expected costs will ultimately eat up larger portions of your budget. That’s why GOBankingRates conducted a study to reveal the actual poverty line for families of various sizes in every state, after factoring in the local cost of living.

In some states, low-income families have a little more financial breathing room to keep their heads above water. In other states, it’s understandable how different costs can seem to keep piling on for people who are already among the most vulnerable in society. Whether you’re living alone or supporting a larger family, learning the actual poverty line in your state can be an important wake-up call about economic inequality.

Last updated: June 30, 2020

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