Sep 20, 2012 3:54 PM by The Associated Press
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. The region produces more than $5.6 billion in agricultural products, more than any other region in the U.S.
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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