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Census Bureau Finds Regional Poverty Differences In CA

Pedro Javier Jiménez / Flickr

Pedro Javier Jiménez / Flickr

Households in the San Francisco metropolitan area earn the second-highest median incomes in the nation, and about $20,000 more than households in the Los Angeles area, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau survey.

In San Francisco, the median household income is more than $80,000 a year.

The survey also looked at statewide and regional poverty rates. It finds poverty has continued to decline in California each year since 2012, although it remains above pre-recession levels.

"We’re certainly headed in the right direction," says Alissa Anderson at the left-leaning California Budget & Policy Center. "Actually, last year’s drop in the official poverty rate in California was the largest we’ve seen during this economic expansion."

Anderson says the official rate can be misleading, particularly when comparing regions of the state.

The survey finds the Central Valley in California has some of the highest rates of poverty in the nation, with lower rates in urban areas.

"When you factor in living costs, we actually find poverty tends to be lower in the Central Valley," Anderson says. "Poverty is much higher in urban areas and along the coast. And the biggest factor there is the very high cost of housing."

The Census Bureau released another report earlier this week which found California has the highest poverty rate in the nation when considering cost-of-living.

Ben Bradford

Former State Government Reporter

As the State Government Reporter, Ben covered California politics, policy and the interaction between the two. He previously reported on local and state politics, business, energy, and environment for WFAE in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Read Full Bio 

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