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Using new measuring stick, poverty rate rises among Hispanics but drops for blacks

Published November 8, 2011 3:12 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The poverty rate for Hispanics using a new U.S. Census measuring standard is 1.5 percent higher than when using the official federal poverty standard, according to a report released Tuesday by the Pew Hispanic Center.

That report, authored by Associate Director Mark Hugo Lopez and Senior Writer D'Vera Cohn, showed poverty levels higher among all ethnic groups except blacks. That group saw a decline by 2 percent using the new measure.

The new measure, according to the report, has been adopted by the Census Bureau for the past decade and takes into account a series of expenses, including medical costs, non-cash government benefits such as food stamps and cost of living adjustments for different geographic areas.

For example, in 2012, the fair market rent in Salt Lake County for a two-bedroom apartment was $774 while in Los Angeles County it was $1,447, according to data provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In that data, fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Alabama's DeKalb County was $499 while in Denver County it was $893.

Hispanics made up 28.6 percent of the nation's poor using the Supplemental Poverty Measure while for whites it was 11.1 percent - a 1.1 percent increase when stacked up against the official poverty measuring stick.

The full report can be read here.

-David Montero

Twitter: @davemontero