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New Census measure gives Minnesota fourth-lowest poverty rate

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A new measure of poverty by the U.S. Census Bureau that factors in the cost of living gives Minnesota one of the lowest poverty rates in the country.

According to the new report, 9.7 percent of Minnesotans – more than half a million people – are living in poverty, which is below the national average under the bureau's Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) of 16 percent.

Three states had lower poverty rates: Wyoming, North Dakota and Iowa, which has the lowest rate at 8.6 percent, the Associated Press noted.

The updated unofficial measurement suggests more Americans are living in poverty than what was previously thought. What's considered to be the "official" poverty rate was 15 percent in 2012.

SPM takes into account federal benefits, the cost of child care, out-of-pocket medical expenses and housing, which depends on geographic location.

The report shows California had the highest poverty rate at 23.8 percent.

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