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New Report Highlights Cost of Living Gap in San Diego County

"Even three full-time minimum wage jobs doesn't make enough to make ends meet in San Diego County,'' said Clare Crawford of the Center for Policy Initiatives, a San Diego-based advocacy group.

It costs a family of three nearly $63,000 to be self- sufficient in San Diego County, about $10,000 more than three years ago, according to a study released today by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development (see the study in the media box or download here). 

The organization tallied the price of housing, food and health care, as well as transportation costs, child care and taxes, for a family with one adult, a school-age child and a preschooler.

"Even three full-time minimum wage jobs doesn't make enough to make ends meet in San Diego County,'' said Clare Crawford of the Center for Policy Initiatives, a San Diego-based advocacy group.   

Crawford said the federal poverty level is inadequate in high-cost cities like San Diego, and that the Insight Center figures give a truer picture of the necessary family income.   

, she said.   

The report also highlighted income disparity in different regions throughout the county. El Cajon topped the county with almost 30 percent of its population and 36.5 percent of its children living in poverty, more than three times the rate of Chula Vista (the report focused on cities with populations over 60,000, excluding Santee).

The median household income dropped to $59,923 from $60,231 in 2009, and the top 20 percent of households claimed 49.2 percent of all income in the region, with the bottom 20 percent gaining 3.4 percent of the income in the county, according to the report.      

This puts the county's Gini index of income inequality at 45.8 percent, which the report compares to the rates of Uganda and Indonesia, 44 and 37 percent respectively.

A single adult raising two young children would have to make $30 an hour to meet expenses.   

A single adult living alone needs to make more than $29,000 per year to cover all of his or her basic expenses, according to the report, the "2011 California Family Economic Self-Sufficiency Standard.''   

In the last three years, taxes increased 29 percent, health care costs went up 27 percent and child care expenses climbed 22 percent, according to the report.

-City News Service, with additions by Steven Bartholow

bme October 05, 2011 at 03:55 PM
This says that healthcare costs have increased in the past three years. But I thought Mr. Obama said healthcare costs will and have gone down? Yeah.... higher taxes and increased healthcare costs: That's what Mr. Obama's "hope and change" has given us.
Chelsea Sauer October 05, 2011 at 04:04 PM
This all began long before he took office. Not that he's helped matter much, but the cost of living has been skyrocketing for a decade or longer, and these are long term affects caused by things much larger than Obama has any control over...
Jean October 05, 2011 at 04:28 PM
One adult and two children? Where is the child support from the absent father/mother? People should not have children they cannot afford to take care of. Pre-planning is the key. If you have no education and/or job skills that would lead to a salary where you are able to support a family, don't have kids. Most people don't have to live in San Diego or other places that are so expensive. If you research other towns across the country, you might find a place to live that doesn't cost so much and has jobs available that you qualify for. That is the key. Do you have skills and can you pass a drug test? Not all the unemployment is due to the recession. Some are unemployable because they are addicts or convicted felons. Who brought that on the individuals? They have no one to blame but themselves.

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