Income Inequality Widens Among Californians, New Census Figures Show

SACRAMENTO, CA – The gap between Californians with low incomes and high incomes has grown wider, according to a new analysis by the California Budget & Policy Center that is based on data from the American Community Survey released Thursday by the US Census Bureau. This news comes even as the state’s official poverty rate slightly dropped to 12.8%.

The Budget Center’s analysis points to key ways policymakers have the opportunity to break down barriers that keep Californians from being able to support themselves and their families.

It’s also important to note that Thursday’s census figures come from the official poverty measure, which does not account for the cost of living and understates the severity of hardship that many Californians face each day to pay for basic needs such as housing, food, and child care.

Still, reports (including Californians are increasingly locked of the state’s prosperity) by the Budget Center released in recent weeks make it clear: Californians with low and middle incomes struggle to get ahead and thrive in their communities, and public policies can change that reality to help more people share in the state’s prosperity.

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The California Budget & Policy Center engages in independent fiscal and policy analysis and public education with the goal of improving public policies affecting the economic and social well-being of Californians with low and middle incomes. Support for the Budget Center comes from foundation grants, subscriptions, and individual contributions.