The emergency shelter for single adults in Barrio Logan. Courtesy San Diego Housing Commission

The poverty rate in San Diego last year was 15.6 percent, roughly the same as the year before and above the national rate of 14.7 percent, according to federal census data released Thursday.

According to the San Diego-based Center on Policy Initiatives, the median family income of $67,871 in 2015 was also about the same as 2014.

The federal poverty line is $12,082 a year for a single person, or $24,036 in combined income for two adults with two children, regardless of variances in cost-of-living in different geographical areas.

“The nearly 16 percent of San Diego households living below the federal poverty line would be struggling even if they lived in the poorest areas of the U.S., like Mississippi or Alabama,” said CPI Deputy Director Kyra Greene.

“Incomes this low make surviving in a high cost city like San Diego extremely challenging,” Greene said. “Families have to make impossible choices and sacrifices just to survive.”

The CPI, which advocates for working families, said the federal data showed 19.7 percent of the city’s children live in poverty, while 32.2 percent of families with children that are headed by a single adult have incomes below the official poverty line.

By race, the poverty rate last year was 23.4 percent for Latinos, 21.8 percent for blacks and 10.8 percent for whites.

The Census Bureau also released data that doubled the official poverty line to reflect economic hardship in high-cost cities such as San Diego. The CPI said the figures show 31.7 percent of area households — comprising over 432,000 people — have incomes less than the 200 percent standard.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.