September 20, 2012
Analysis of regional data from the US Census Bureau 2011 
American Community Survey
For More Informatio...
Living in Poverty and Economic Hardship
For More Information Call (619) 584‐5744 or Visit OnlineCPI.org 2
The hard facts o...
Income Inequality: The Middle Is Being Squeezed
For More Information Call (619) 584‐5744 or Visit OnlineCPI.org 3
The hard...
Poverty and Health in San Diego County in 2011
For More Information Call (619) 584‐5744 or Visit OnlineCPI.org 4
Methodolo...
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Poverty, Earnings and Income, San Diego County in 2011

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Earnings down as wages lag behind costs in San Diego region

Census data shows more than a third of County living in economic hardship
Sept. 20, 2012 – Across most industries in San Diego County, the spending power of the average paycheck is dropping, new census data confirm. Inflation-adjusted earnings decreased in 10 of the region’s 15 largest industries, compared to 2007, and more people fell into poverty in 2011.

More than a third of San Diego County residents lived in economic hardship in 2011, with half of those families in outright poverty, according to an analysis by the Center on Policy Initiatives of countywide data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Too many working people are living in poverty, and middle-class families are falling behind as their buying power shrinks,” said Corinne Wilson, lead researcher on the CPI analysis. “It’s time our local industries take responsibility for providing good wages that give their employees a decent quality of life.”

Among other key findings:

Of the 462,269 people living below the federal poverty line, 117,408 were employed and 137,084 were children.
Black and Latino families and women continue to bear the brunt of poverty and low incomes in the County.
On average, all households lost $2,337 in purchasing power from 2010 to 2011, when the midpoint of household income throughout the County dropped to $59,477.
136,249 people who worked full-time, year-round did not have health insurance in 2011, adding substantially to their living costs.
The statistics describe in cold terms the daily struggle lived by many San Diegans:

Leonor tried to retire at age 65, but couldn’t support herself and her 32-year-old, severely asthmatic son on $1,012 a month from Social Security. She’s back at work on the night shift at a hospital laundry, taking the bus because she can’t afford a car.
Lekakoko, a refugee from Congo and a new US citizen, was making just $10 an hour as a truck driver for a food company until he was laid off two weeks ago. He’s attending nursing school, and he and his wife are both searching for work to support their three young children.
An IT specialist, Carol is earning a third of her former pay working for a clinic, and can’t afford health insurance or car registration and insurance.
Hilda is a single mother making $9.30 an hour as a janitor. She worries about her two sons because she has no health coverage for them and her work schedule means she’s never home evenings.


The data for counties and metropolitan areas is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. National data from the survey were released last week.

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Poverty, Earnings and Income, San Diego County in 2011

  1. 1. September 20, 2012 Analysis of regional data from the US Census Bureau 2011  American Community Survey For More Information Call (619) 584‐5744 or Visit OnlineCPI.org 1 Earnings for full‐time, year‐round work in San Diego County, in order of median earnings Key findings: • Full‐time, year‐round employees in most of the region's biggest industries were earning  less or about the same as five years earlier, adjusting for inflation.  • On average, all households lost $2,337 in purchasing power from 2010 to 2011, when the  midpoint of household income throughout the County dropped to $59,477.  • The poverty rate rose to 15.1% of San Diego County's population, from 14.8% in 2010.  Of the 462,269 people living below the federal poverty level in 2011, 137,084 were  children. • Among adults living in outright poverty, 34% – 117,408 people – were employed.  Poverty, Earnings and Income in San Diego County 2011 Earnings drop as wages lag behind costs in San Diego region Working families in San Diego County lost ground in 2011, as the quality of jobs created  by major industries in the region failed to keep pace with the cost of living. Middle‐ income earnings shrank and more people fell into poverty. Black and Latino families and  women continued to bear the brunt of income inequality. Earnings by Industry The tourism industry had the lowest median earnings in 2011, $24,422 for a year of full‐ time work. Health care and social assistance grew to the largest local industry, with  stagnant wages. Real earnings in 10 of the 15 largest industries were lower than in 2007. Data includes all occupations within the industries. 15 Largest Industries in San Diego County Median Earnings 2011 Change in earnings 2007-2011 2011 employees Change in employees 2007-2011 Accommodation & food services $24,422 1.3% 53,867 0.2% Administrative, support & waste management services $31,414 -4.9% 38,560 -3.6% Other services (except public administration) $32,136 -3.2% 40,736 6.2% Retail Trade $34,470 -7.9% 88,789 2.0% Real estate & rental and leasing $39,671 -24.8% 25,312 -0.8% Health care & social assistance $45,607 0.5% 115,719 28.4% Wholesale Trade $45,661 -11.1% 26,017 -18.0% Transportation & warehousing $46,528 -3.3% 26,907 -5.3% Construction $46,635 -4.7% 44,265 -39.1% Finance & Insurance $52,068 -9.3% 44,618 3.7% Educational Services $52,143 4.4% 68,830 40.3% Manufacturing $57,119 3.4% 106,457 6.4% Public administration $61,345 5.7% 79,022 20.5% Information $64,957 -7.2% 22,393 -25.0% Professional, scientific, and technical services $67,267 -9.4% 98,520 2.7%
  2. 2. Living in Poverty and Economic Hardship For More Information Call (619) 584‐5744 or Visit OnlineCPI.org 2 The hard facts on poverty: • The San Diego County population living below the federal poverty level has increased by  nearly 142,000 people since 2007.   • Nearly 1 in 5 children in the County lived in poverty in 2011.  • In 2011, the federal poverty level (FPL) was $11,484 for a single person and $22,811 for a  family of four with two children. The level differs for all family sizes. A yearly income of $23,000 does not go far for a family of four. A more realistic measure of  the income needed for basic sustenance is double that amount (200% of FPL). More than a  third of San Diego County's population lived below that level of economic hardship in 2011. Poverty and economic  hardship in San Diego  County have been  increasing the last five  years.  Poverty and Economic Hardship in San Diego County Key Indicators Number % of total Number % of total Number % of total County residents living below the  federal poverty level (100% FPL) 462,269 15.1% 446,060 14.8% 320,378 11.1% Children living below the federal  poverty level (100% FPL) 137,084 19.1% 137,287 19.2% 110,124 15.1% County residents in economic  hardship  (200% FPL) 1,039,957 34.0% 1,006,047 34.0% 787,991 27.4% 2011 2010 2007
  3. 3. Income Inequality: The Middle Is Being Squeezed For More Information Call (619) 584‐5744 or Visit OnlineCPI.org 3 The hard facts on income inequality: • The middle class continues to shrink in San Diego County as median incomes decrease.  • The top‐earning fifth of households received 49.2% of all income in the region, while the  bottom fifth of households received only 3.1%.  • Of individuals working full‐time year‐round, 20.4 % or 202,412 earned less than $25,000. • The gender wage gap persisted in 2011. For full‐time, year‐round work, median earnings  were $49,788 for men and $41,551 for women.   In 2011, a fifth of  households (224,108)  earned less than $25,000. Median household  income – the combined  earnings of all people in a  household – fell to  $59,477 in 2011 from  $61,814 in 2010, adjusted  for inflation.   The Gini index* of income  inequality in San Diego County  increased to 46.1% from 45.8%  last year.  *The Gini index is an economic measure of  income inequality. An index of 0 indicates  perfect equality and 1 indicates perfect  inequality (i.e. one person has all the  income and the rest have none). The US   Gini for 2011 was 47.5.  Household income  decreased for all races  and ethnicities, when  adjusted for inflation.  Blacks and Latinos had  the lowest median  household incomes.  2011 2010           (Infl. Adjst.) 59,477$   61,814$          45,489$   48,159$          42,533$   46,207$          72,387$   78,260$          60,416$   62,347$          31,547$   32,344$         Median Individual Earnings Income & Earnings Median Household Income Median Household Income‐Black Median Household Income‐Latino Median Household Income‐Asian Median Houshold Income‐White
  4. 4. Poverty and Health in San Diego County in 2011 For More Information Call (619) 584‐5744 or Visit OnlineCPI.org 4 Methodology: Each year the US Census Bureau releases data from the American Community Survey (ACS). This data is available for geographic areas with populations of 65,000 or more and provides demographic, economic and social data for individuals and households. This report analyzes the 2011 data, released on September 20, 2012. Total Poverty and Child Poverty by City 19.6% of children are in poverty 16% of women are in poverty 14.2% of men are in poverty 9% of seniors (65+) are in poverty 11% of families are in poverty 22.6% of single parent  families are in  poverty The hard facts on poverty and health: • Blacks and Latinos are more likely to live in poverty than Whites or Asians.  • Children continue to be disproportionately impoverished, and over 77,000 families were  living below the federal poverty line in 2011.   Health Insurance Breakdown • 528,808 people (17.4% of the population) lived without health insurance. • 463,626 working‐age adults lived without health insurance. • 136,249 people who worked full‐time, year round did not have health insurance in 2011 *This data does not reflect the diversity of Asian populations surveyed. Printed in‐house

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