New Mexico almost surpassed Mississippi last year as the state with the highest percentage of its population living in poverty, although both states were among 34 along with the District of Columbia that experienced a drop in poverty rates.
In Mississippi, 21.5 percent of the state's nearly 3 million people lived in poverty, according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau's annual American Community Survey, out Thursday. New Mexico, with a population of nearly 2.1 million, followed at 21.3 percent.
Nationally, the poverty rate was 14.8 percent last year, meaning 46.7 million people lived in poverty -- as many people as there have been the past four years.
The poverty rates for men, 13.4 percent, and women, 16.1 percent, also remained about the same nationally compared to 2013. About 15.5 million, or 21.1 percent, of the nation's children under 18 lived in poverty last year.