Census survey shows 100,000 more San Diegans have fallen into economic hardship

by on September 28, 2010 · 9 comments

in Civil Rights, Economy, Labor, San Diego

San Diego w Coron bridgeBy Center on Policy Initiatives / September 28, 2010

More than 100,000 San Diego County residents fell from the middle class into poverty or severe economic hardship over the past two years, while the wealthiest fifth of earners continued to receive almost half of all income generated in the County.

US Census data released today reinforce the desperate need for good jobs that pay living wages, a CPI analysis shows. Almost half the adults living in extreme poverty in 2009 were working full- or part-time, and families with children were particularly hard hit.

The county’s poverty rate rose to 12.6% in 2009 — from 11.1% in 2007, before the recession. The rate was 14.3% for the city of San Diego.

Of the 374,000 county residents living below the federal poverty line, more than 121,000 were children — a staggering 17% childhood poverty rate.

“The increase in poverty means hard-working people have watched their dreams slip away,” said Murtaza Baxamusa, CPI Deputy Director. “It is crucial that governments at all levels do whatever they can to create good, middle-class jobs.”

The top fifth of households with the highest incomes claimed 49% of all income in the region, while the bottom fifth of households got only 4% of the pie.

Median individual income in the county dropped to $31,271 in 2009, and median household income fell to $60,231.

The median monthly housing costs for mortgaged owners was $2,424, nonmortgaged owners $454, and renters $1,226. More than half of county residents (54% with mortgages and 59% of renters) spend more than 30% of their household income on housing, which is the national definition for unaffordable housing.

The US Census Bureau released the county-specific data this morning from its annual survey of households and individuals. Data from the same survey reported two weeks ago showed that the national poverty rate rose to 14.3% in 2009, adding 3.7 million people to the ranks of the poor since 2008.

The federal poverty threshold is determined by household size and a national estimate of the cost of living. In 2009 it was $10,956 for an individual, $21,954 for a family of four, and so on up to $44,366 for nine or more people. The Census Bureau also reports how many people live in households with incomes double the poverty line, a level considered economic hardship, especially in high-cost cities like San Diego.

In 2009, almost 890,000 San Diego County residents — 30% of the population — lived below the 200% FPL level. For a family of four, that’s a total household income of less than $43,908.

More than 209,000 working-age people in San Diego County had no health coverage of any kind.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar tj September 29, 2010 at 10:03 am

Funny how many of the “affluent” won’t pay a fair or even competitive salary for anothers labor – but think their own “effort” is so very valuable ….


avatar Diane5150 October 3, 2010 at 9:43 am

So what else is new? Human history is packed with rich elite who look down their noses at the poor. Meanwhile those rich noses still run and rich asses must be wiped, and rich people die too.


avatar Anna Daniels October 3, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Watch this brilliant remix now of Donald Duck loses his job, then his home falls into foreclosure and Glenn Beck comes to the rescue with “watch out for the commies, think like a Jew and get a job.” Priceless, and despite the fair use statement, I expect this little jewel will disappear.



avatar kenloc October 3, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Spending 30% of income on housing is the national definition for unaffordable housing? When applying for a mortgage the percentage of your income mortgage companies will approve you for is about 30%.Pretty standard benchmark in the industry,even in these times of strict lending practices. What’s with the hatred of everyone with money? What if a poor person worked his way up the ladder and became wealthy? At what income level are they no longer cool?When does he turn into a rich elite monster in your eyes?


avatar Diane5150 October 3, 2010 at 6:06 pm

When do the rich become elite monsters? Good question. Upon reflection, I believe a rich elite monster can be defined as a man or woman who feels entitled, by virtue of their wealth, to abuse those who cannot defend themselves.

It is not about a number, it is a state of mind. Look around and you will find plenty of examples. The current race for govenor comes to mind.


avatar annagrace October 3, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Amen Diane! The poor (figuratively speaking, certainly not literally) deserving victimized hard working rich just can’t seem to get a break… They want our Love too and they want us to bail them out and excuse them from paying equitable taxes.


avatar RB October 5, 2010 at 8:27 am

Tax policy is not about equity. Tax policy is about elected representative trading loopholes and deductions for campaign contributions. Note; Someone making 500K pays 20x more taxes than someone making 50K.


avatar lifeslittlefolly October 7, 2010 at 12:38 pm

If you are making 500K and paying that much in taxes you are not very bright! Get a better accountant and creat a few LLC s . How do you think some of Point Loma aristocracy has been created?
Money makes money
Money protects money


avatar Dave February 10, 2011 at 10:04 am

Seems the middle class has become a clear target on the radar, hard working Americans losing everything because of greed and corruption,,,,not suprising…Im not suprised why my father comitted suicide….hard work doesnt pay off it seesm in America and baby boomers are getting wiped out…what a sad situation…yet being a bum seems a feasable option to trying to hold on to what little we have left….politics as usual…….


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