Louisiana is ranked third among the states with the highest poverty rates in the United States. While the national poverty rate is around 15 percent, in Louisiana 19.9 percent of the population lives in poverty. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there was approximately a 0.5 percent decrease in the poverty rate for Louisiana, but that reduction may not be statistically significant. Between 2000 and 2012, 45 states had an increase in both the number and the percentage of people with income below 50 percent of their respective poverty thresholds, and during this period these numbers did not change for the state.

Of Louisiana residents living in poverty, 8.6 percent live in extreme poverty, and poverty rates are 28 percent for children, 15 percent for seniors, ...

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