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One in Three Californians Struggle to Get By

June 5, 2018

A new report from United Ways of California presents a sobering look at the financial health of Californians. Despite a booming economy and historically low unemployment, one in three Californians lacks the adequate income to meet their basic needs. The report analyzes how much families spend on housing, transportation, healthcare, and food and determines that the federal poverty measure woefully underestimates the real number of people struggling to get by. United Ways of California calls their new poverty measure the “Real Cost Measure.”

Among the key findings:

  • Nearly 3.3 million Californians lack the adequate income to meet their household needs
  • Low incomes impact families of all ethnic backgrounds
  • A higher level of education lowers a person’s chance of living in poverty but women, especially minority women, are still held back
  • 57% of California families with children fall below the Real Cost Measure

Housing makes up a disproportionate share of family budgets
 

The entire report is available below:

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