Poverty rate in county hits 30-year high

San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/21/11 | Read the original article |

More county residents faced financial hardship last year than at any other time in the past three decades, a record reflected in the poverty rate’s sharp rise and stagnating median household incomes, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The local poverty rate grew to 14.8 percent in 2010, up from 12.6 in 2009 and 11 percent mid-decade, according to the bureau’s yearly American Community Survey.

Median household income fell below $60,000 for the first time in five years, sinking to $59,923 in 2010. That’s down from a high of nearly $65,000 in 2007.

Today’s release of local census numbers offers further proof of the financial toll fueled by the prolonged economic slump and high rate of joblessness. The figures mirror national and statewide trends of amplified poverty and shrinking household budgets.

Today’s release of local census numbers offers fresh evidence of the financial toll the prolonged economic slump and high rate of joblessness has had on the county’s households. The grim figures mirror national and statewide trends of amplified poverty and shrinking household budgets.

In San Diego County, where unemployment has remained stubbornly high, the number of people living in poverty surged nearly 20 percent to 446,060. Similarly, the ranks of children under 18 who lived below the official poverty line rose steeply.

Many more San Diegans, though, faced similarly hard times last year, the data revealed.

“It’s clear that things aren’t getting better,” said Corinne Wilson, who oversees research and policy for the Center on Policy Initiatives in San Diego. “People need to get back to work in middle-class jobs that allow them to not just stay out of poverty but to pay their mortgages, pay their bills and have health care.”

 

People need to get back to work in middle-class jobs that allow them to not just stay out of poverty but to pay their mortgages, pay their bills and have health care.