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Child Poverty in California Sarah Bohn Bay Area Early Childhood Funders February 20, 2014 Portions of this research supported by The Walter S. Johnson.

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Presentation on theme: "Child Poverty in California Sarah Bohn Bay Area Early Childhood Funders February 20, 2014 Portions of this research supported by The Walter S. Johnson."— Presentation transcript:

1 Child Poverty in California Sarah Bohn Bay Area Early Childhood Funders February 20, 2014 Portions of this research supported by The Walter S. Johnson Foundation

2 Child poverty remains high, despite recent turnaround 2 SOURCE: “Child Poverty” PPIC Just the Facts (2013). And author’s calculations from Current Population Survey ASEC

3 Poverty rates are relatively lower in the Bay Area 3 SOURCE: Author’s calculations from Census Bureau, 2011 ACS

4 Official statistics are lacking  Do not reflect many large-scale antipoverty programs  Have not been modified to reflect changes in the cost of living  National effort to design alternative measures began in 1990s –Census Bureau releases “Research Supplemental Poverty Measure” in 2011 –PPIC & CPI release “California Poverty Measure” in

5 The California Poverty Measure is more accurate and comprehensive 5 Family Resources = cash income + safety net benefits – work & medical expenses Threshold of basic needs = food + clothing + utilities + housing (varies by county)

6 Most Californians live in high-cost areas 6 Official poverty threshold: $22,811 Average poverty threshold (family of four) SOURCE: Bohn, Danielson, Levin, Mattingly, and Wimer (2013)

7 Our measure finds more people of all ages in poverty 7 SOURCES: Bohn et al. California Poverty Measure estimates for 2011; official poverty estimates from the California sample of the ACS (2011).

8 Clear role for safety net in reducing child poverty 8 SOURCE: California Poverty Measure estimates for 2011

9 Overall, need-based programs cut the poverty rate sharply 9 SOURCE: California Poverty Measure estimates for 2011.

10 Overall, need-based programs cut the poverty rate sharply 10 SOURCE: California Poverty Measure estimates for 2011

11 A different regional picture based on the California Poverty Measure 11 SOURCE: California Poverty Measure estimates for 2011.

12  8.1 million Californians in poverty –2.2 million more than official estimates  Safety net resources substantially moderate the child poverty rate  Still, safety net resources offset by California’s higher cost of living and by nondiscretionary expenses Our findings alter understanding of poverty 12

13 Alleviating poverty 50 years after the war started  California, the “golden state,” ranks last  California Poverty Measure potential to –Better targeting those in need –Predict how changes will play out –Assess what works, and for whom  Poverty is really a problem of health, development, educational achievement, family formation, opportunity  A key to the puzzle: poverty transitions over a lifetime 13

14 Further information Sarah Bohn


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