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Hawai’i

In contrast with its image as an island vacation destination, Hawai‘i is a state deeply affected by long-term poverty. The U.S. Census Bureau’s supplemental poverty measure, which uses recommendations made in 1995 to measure poverty more accurately than the official federal poverty line (which uses the same framework it has since the 1960s, simply adjusting dollar amounts for inflation), found in 2014 that California and Hawai‘i were the states where the supplemental measure increased the poverty count the most—in part due to the high cost of home rentals, which leaves working-class families with substantially less money than they would have in another state where rents command a smaller portion of their paychecks. (Hawai‘i has the most expensive rents in the country, 60 percent greater ...

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