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Poverty grew dramatically in San Diego County in 2010. CPI’s analysis of US Census Bureau poverty and income data shows that more than 1 million people in the county are struggling with economic hardship, including many who have jobs.
Children have been especially hard-hit: Nearly 1 in five children (19.2%) in the county lived below the federal poverty level in 2010, compared to 16.8% the year before.
Fully a third of San Diego County’s population – more than 1 million people – lived in economic hardship, or below 200% of the federal poverty level. Almost half of them were in deepest poverty, with incomes below the FPL, which varies by family size and – at about $22,300 for a family of four – is acknowledged to undercount true poverty.
CPI’s findings include:
The official poverty rates tell only part of the story, because the federal poverty line is set so low. Especially given San Diego’s high cost of living, the more realistic measure of economic hardship is double the poverty level. The data from 2010 paint a shockingly grim picture for San Diego County.
Job creation alone won’t solve the problem, unless the jobs created pay good, middle-class wages and provide health coverage.