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September 2006

Based on 2005 Census data, the following analysis displays the issues of poverty, income and employment in San Diego County.

In terms of poverty, over 309,000 county residents live below the poverty level including 55,000 families. The individual poverty rate was at 11% in 2005.

Furthermore, the county’s median income in 2005 was $56,335; however, accounting for race varies the median amount by over $12,000. Income distribution reflects an increasing gap between the working and upper classes. Both categories have expanded, while squeezing out the middle class-a mere 18.9% of San Diego County.

Among the employed, more than 22% of full-time employees make under $25,000 per year, compared to a category median of $42,131.

Some key findings include:

  • The amount of money required to lift all families in San Diego County above the poverty threshold is over $431 million.
  • Although the median income for all county households is $56,335, that amount varies by over $12,000 based on race.
  • The #1 lowest wage occupation is Food Preparation and Service Related Occupations which employs more than 65,000 San Diegans at a median wage of $19,697 per year.