For Immediate Release

September 22, 2011


Susan Duerksen, (619) 584-5744 x64,

Poverty grew dramatically in San Diego County in 2010

Census data shows 1 million people struggling, even with jobs

A growing number of individuals and families throughout the San Diego region are falling into poverty, with children especially hard-hit, according to CPI’s analysis of poverty and income data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

In 2010, 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.

“These data paint a stark picture,” said Corinne Wilson, CPI research and policy lead. “The recession is far from over. For many families it is getting much worse, whether they’re working or trying to find work.”

CPI’s findings include:

In 2010, there were 446,060 people in San Diego County living below the official poverty line. That’s 72,401 more than the previous year, and a poverty rate of 14.8%.

Almost 25,000 adults were working full-time and earning below-poverty incomes. Another 97,000 worked part-time and lived in poverty.

El Cajon had the county’s highest poverty rate: 29.7%.

The biggest growth in poverty was in Escondido, with a rate of 20.5% surpassing the City of San Diego’s 17.4%.

Poverty rates for African Americans and Latinos remain almost double that of whites. The white households had the largest decrease in median income in 2010, a drop of 11%.

Income inequality grew, with the top 20% of households taking 49.2% of all income in the region.