The report (pdf), released in September 2019, measured states’ functional poverty rates, which takes into account the cost of living and other factors. California has the highest of any state, with about 18.2 percent of the population in poverty from 2016 to 2018. . .
. . .
On the other hand, some argue that the cumulative effect of California’s policies on taxes, regulations, and welfare programs may have actually contributed to poverty. Kerry Jackson, a fellow at the Pacific Research Institute, pointed out that the state has only 12 percent of the U.S. population but one-third of the nation’s welfare population.
“The generous spending, then, has not only failed to decrease poverty; it actually seems to have made it worse,” he wrote in a 2018 op-ed in the Los Angeles Times. . .