More than a fifth of residents in four states were living below the poverty level as of last year, according to new Census data out this week.
At 22 percent, Mississippi had the largest share of citizens living in poverty. Louisiana followed with 21.1 percent. New Mexico was third with 20.4 percent and Arkansas had 20.1 percent in that category. The national average was 15 percent. New Hampshire and New Jersey had the lowest levels, at 8.1 percent and 9.3 percent respectively.
A total of 19 states had at least one in five citizens living below 125 percent of the poverty level—a slightly higher threshold that encompasses more people and is used by many assistance programs.