New Census data show 850,000 county residents living in economic hardship
September 29, 2009 (San Diego)--Poverty in San Diego County shot up in 2008, rising at a much faster pace than in California or the nation. This plunge in quality of life for many San Diegans is documented in U.S. Census data released today.
The data shows that 850,000 county residents--29% of the population--were living in economic hardship in 2008, according to analysis by the Center on Policy Initiatives. That measure, using a threshold double the federal poverty level, is a more realistic gauge in cities like San Diego where living costs such as housing and fuel are higher than the national average, CPI reports.
"The starkest case is that of El Caj on, which has 21% living below the poverty rate (compared to 12.6% countywide)," said CPI director of research Murtaza Baxamusa. "One in five is pretty dire. El Cajon, in terms of poverty, is the worst city in the County...The City of El Cajon really needs to examine their public policies and their investment in people." Even worse, nearly half (46%) of all people in El Cajon are living in economic hardshp, using the threshhold of double the poverty level.