WASHINGTON (AP) — The ranks of America's poor edged up last yearto a high of 49.7 million, based on a new census measure that takesinto account medical costs and work-related expenses.

The numbers released Wednesday by the Census Bureau are part ofa newly developed supplemental poverty measure. Devised a year ago,this measure provides a fuller picture of poverty that thegovernment believes can be used to assess safety-net programs byfactoring in living expenses and taxpayer-provided benefits thatthe official formula leaves out.

Based on the revised formula, the number of poor people exceededthe 49 million, or 16 percent of the population, who were livingbelow the poverty line in 2010. That came as more people in theslowly improving economy picked up low-wage jobs last year butstill struggled to pay living expenses. The revised poverty rate of16.1 percent also is higher than the record 46.2 million, or 15percent, that the government's official estimate reported inSeptember.

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