There are multiple ways to measure poverty.
The official poverty measure, while updated for inflation using the CPI, does not take geographical variation into consideration. Therefore, it does not account for LA County’s high housing and transportation costs, along with other critical living expense differentials between regions. In other words, the official poverty measure underestimates the severity of poverty in our region.
For this reason, we used the California Poverty Measure (CPM). Jointly produced by the Public Policy Institute of California and the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, the CPM is a comprehensive index that improves upon conventional poverty measures and accounts for geographic variation in the costs of living. Accordingly, the CPM is a more accurate reflection of poverty in LA County than the official poverty measure.