- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2015

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The latest U.S. Census data shows that one in five Louisiana residents lived in poverty last year, unchanged from the previous year.

Louisiana had the third-highest rate of poverty in the country for 2014, at 19.8 percent, falling behind only New Mexico and Mississippi.

Released Thursday, the report estimated nearly 897,000 of Louisiana’s 4.5 million residents lived below the federal poverty line, about $24,000 for a family of four.

The rate of Louisiana’s children living in poverty was even higher, estimated at 27.9 percent, or more than 306,000 children.

According to the Census data, the national poverty rate for 2014 was 14.8 percent.

With such a high state rate, the left-leaning Louisiana Budget Project released an analysis saying poverty should be a central point of discussion in this fall’s elections.

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