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Report Finds Poverty In Bay Area Doubles Government Estimates

OAKLAND (KCBS) – A new report finds the number of people living in poverty in the Bay Area could more than twice what federal statistics suggest if the higher cost of living in California is taken into account.

While the federal poverty line for a couple raising two children is set at $22,350, the formula used to calculate the California Self-Sufficiency Standard finds the same family would need about $70,000 to make ends meet in the Bay Area.

The report released Tuesday by the Insight Center for Economic Community Development in Oakland in essence redefines what it means to be poor or economically secure, said president Roger Clay.

“The federal poverty line actually is very inadequate. It’s sort of outdated,” he said.

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

The standard uses the cost of housing, food, child care, health care and transportation in each California county to arrive at a local cost of living typically far higher than the federal standard widely used to allocate state and federal money.

View The Self-Sufficiency Standard For California By County

Clay urged government agencies and charities to take advantage of more specific data provided by his organization to better serve those in need.

The report found child care costs rose 22 percent and health care costs climbed 27 percent since 2008.

But the greatest increase was in taxes. On average, California households were paying 29 percent more to the IRS than they did three years ago.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Mark Seelig

    Caleefornia is consistently rated THE WORST BUSINESS CLIMATE STATE in America by Forbes and Chief executive magazines. Businesses are wise to move the operations and their jobs to business-friendly states like Texas.

    Caleefornia is no place to start a business nor raise a family. It is a case-study in PROGRESSIVE governance and destruction, dispare and poverty that ALWAYS results. Next stop for Caleefornia’s “PROGRESS” = becoming Detroit

    • Terrill Sarter

      We’ll see, people like you have been saying that junk for as long as I can remember and yet…California is still the number 1 economy in the United States.

      and Texas? Really? Hell is coming back to claim that state. I think I’ll stay with the great weather and awesome countryside.

      • Piers Sutton

        Don’t mistake economic output for general prosperity of the populace.

  • Melissa

    I came to the Golden State from the Midwest. While some things make the cost of living higher here, some things are also cheaper. It costs much less to heat and cool your home in this Mediterranean climate. Also, it costs much less to clothe yourself: Wool socks and ski jackets are optional. The cost of buying fresh fruits and vegetables is actually lower here, especially when you count the neighbor who gives you peaches from their tree. :) And next is helath care. Given the lovely climate, people walk more and do not have as many illnesses related to sedentary lifestyles. Also, flu and cold viruses take advantage of people who stay indoors a lot. I have fewer colds and flus (hence more productivity) than when I lived in a colder state.


    that’s why I recycle! don’t laugh! it puts a whole tank of gas in my car every two weeks!

  • jay nelson

    California ranks as one of the healthiest states to live in. We have 5 cities in the top ten healthiest cities to live in San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento and Orange County

  • martifr

    Taxes go up because there are fewer high-paying jobs remaining in the state to pay the taxes.The folks who remain pay the taxes. Besides, CA is bankrupt. There is no more money. CA has run out of other peoples’ money.

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