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More than 22 percent of Mississippians lived in poverty last year, making the state the poorest in the nation. New Mexico trailed closely behind with a 20 percent poverty rate, according to updated U.S. Census figures.
New Hampshire, Maryland and Alaska had fewer than 10 percent of their populations living in poverty.
Overall, 15 percent of Americans were poor last year, the highest rate since 1993.
The poverty line is $22,314 pre-tax income for a family of four, not including non-cash benefits such as food stamps. The Census measure also doesn't take into account big differences in cost of living among states, or expenses such as child care.