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Poverty and Income in the City of San Diego

San Diegans Left Behind

Most families still worse off than before the recession

Key Findings

  • Flat Household Income: Despite local improvements in the prior year, and much hailed increases in household median income at the national level, San Diego households’ median incomes were stuck at $67,871 for 2015.
  • Persistent Poverty: For the third year in a row, 15.6% of all City of San Diego residents (212,994) lived below the federal poverty threshold. Poverty rates remain higher than the pre-recession rate of 12.1% in 2007.
  • Children in Poverty: Nearly one in every five children (19.7%) in San Diego were living below the federal poverty line. This translates to 55,482 children in 2015, over 10,000 more than in pre-recession 2007.

Figure 1: Change in Median Household income and Regional GDP, 2007-2015

Chart: Change in Median Household income and Regional GDP, 2007-2015
Change in Median Household income and Regional GDP, 2007-2015

Nationally, median household incomes grew significantly in 2015. While household income in the City of San Diego grew in the prior year, the 2015 data shows local household incomes were unchanged at $67,871. Both national and San Diego median household incomes are still approximately 4% below the pre-recession levels of 2007. Meanwhile, the value of all goods and products produced in the San Diego region (Regional Gross Domestic Product) exceeded the 2007 level by 3% in 2014. Based on state level GDP growth, we project San Diego GDP was 9% higher in 2015 than the pre-recession level.

Figure 2: Poverty and Race by Ethnicity

San Diego City Poverty by Race and Ethnicity, 2015
San Diego City Poverty by Race and Ethnicity, 2015

Figure 3: San Diego: Children, Poverty & Economic Hardship

San Diego: Children, Poverty & Economic Hardship
San Diego: Children, Poverty & Economic Hardship

Nearly 40% of all children live in economic hardship

 

Black and Latino children are 3 times as likely to live in poverty as White children. Approximately a third of Black children (33.9%) and Latino children (31.2%) live in poverty, compared to 8% of White children and 6.7% of Asian children.

Figure 4: Household Income Inequity

Figure 4: Household Income Inequity
Household Income Inequity

Deep inequality persists in San Diego:

  • More than half of all income in the city went to the top 20% of the City’s households, while the bottom fifth of households received only 3% of the income.
  • The very top 5% of households received 21.6% of all income.

Figure 5: Poverty Rates in the Cities of San Diego County

Figure 5: Poverty Rates in the Cities of San Diego County
Poverty Rates in the Cities of San Diego County

Figure 6: The 6 Lowest Paying Industries in the City of San Diego, 2015

Figure 6: The 6 Lowest Paying Industries in the City of San Diego, 2015
The 6 Lowest Paying Industries in the City of San Diego, 2015
Written by
CPI San Diego
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Written by CPI San Diego