More than 330,000 Californians fell below the poverty line in 2011, bringing the ranks of California's poor to more than 6.1 million, according to statistics being released Thursday from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The statewide poverty rate hit 16.6 percent in 2011, up by .8 percent from the year before. A family of two adults and two children counts as poor if its combined income is less than $22,811.
Among big metropolitan areas, the nation's second-worst poverty rate was in the Fresno area, where 25.8 percent of the population live below the poverty line. The sixth-lowest poverty rate nationwide and California's lowest for a big urban area was in the South Bay, where 10.6 percent of residents were poor.
The median household income of Californians also dropped to $57,287 in 2011, down nearly 4 percent from the year before, when it was $59,540, according to the newly released estimates from the Census Bureau's annual American Community Survey.
California was one of 18 states that experienced a drop in income from 2010, while only one state, Vermont, saw household incomes rise. In the worst-hit state, Nevada, household income dropped by 6 percent. The numbers are adjusted for inflation.
The survey also found growing income inequality in California and many other states, but found a 3.3 percent rise over a 3-year period in the number of young adult Californians who have health insurance.