The Golden State is getting a little tarnished these days, despite being one of the world’s leading economies. California has a well deserved reputation for its booming economy, great weather and breathtaking scenery. But according to census figures, it also has the highest poverty rate in the country. More than 20% of Californians, nearly 8 million people, struggle to make ends meet. In an article by Matt Levin published in The San Francisco Chronicle, the reporter gives the sky high cost of housing as the main reason. He cites by example a family of four living in San Francisco, Los Angeles or San Diego, facing exactly the same poverty threshold of a bit above $2,400 a year as a family in rural Mississippi. But you can rent a three bedroom, two bath, 1,200 square foot house in Horn Lake Mississippi for the same price of $850 a month as just half a living room in San Francisco. Living the California dream can be a nightmare for 20% of its population.