Bakersfield named 4th poorest large metro area in US

Bakersfield named 4th poorest large metro area in US
The "Bakersfield" sign next to Buck Owens' Crystal Palace off Buck Owens Boulevard and Highway 99 is seen in an undated photo submitted to Eyewitness News via Facebook by Ed Jones.

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Three metropolitan areas in California's Central Valley rank among the poorest in the state and country.

Census figures released Thursday found that the Fresno, Modesto and Bakersfield-Delano areas are among the top five U.S. regions with the highest percentage of residents living below the poverty line.

The data show the Fresno area is the nation's second-poorest large metropolitan area, trailing only McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, at the U.S.-Mexico border. Bakersfield-Delano and Modesto rank as the fourth and fifth poorest.

The valley's poverty rate is high even though its agricultural productivity is soaring. Fresno County itself produces more than $5.6 billion in agricultural products.

In Fresno County, 1 in 4 people live under the poverty line. Statewide, 1 in 6 California residents live in poverty.

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Information from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News