Standards, and poor

Despite the state’s slow recovery from the recession, about 8.1 million Californians—­22 percent of the population­—lived in poverty in 2011, according to a joint project released Monday, Sept. 30 by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California and the Stanford University Center on Poverty and Inequality.

These figures, as part of the national push to measure poverty at a more accurate standard, reveal some 2 million more impoverished Californians than were originally counted by the nation’s official count.

The study focused heavily on the impact of safety net programs for low income Californians, showing that, had such programs not been in place in 2011, 39 percent of the children in the state would have been living in poverty­a significant drop from the actual rate of 25 percent.

The findings come just weeks behind a brief released by the California Budget Project showing that, amid California’s sluggish recovery, the trend of increasing wage inequality persists. Low income earners today make about six percent less than they did in 2006, while high-wage workers have almost completely recovered.

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