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Report: Gap Between Rich and Poor in California Largest in 30 Years

| December 8, 2011
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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty

Well, this will fit in nicely with the Occupy movement’s main talking point: A new nonpartisan study finds the gap between rich and poor in California is now larger than at any time in the last 30 years. The Public Policy Institute report finds that less than half of Californians now live in a middle-class household.

Read the report here.

From the summary:

  • Total income for the median family in California fell more than 5 percent between 2007 and 2009 (the official recession years) and an additional 6 percent between 2009 and 2010.
  • At the lowest income level—the 10th percentile—family income fell more than 21 percent
    in total. At the 90th percentile, family income fell 5 percent.

  • After adjusting for California’s higher cost of living, just less than half—47.9 percent—of individuals were in families that could be considered middle income in 2010.

John Myers has the story on today’s California Report, and this morning Joshua Johnson talked to PPIC economist Sarah Bohn.

“Even though the great recession technically ended in 2009,” Bohn said, “to many families it certainly does not feel like it ended. California families saw declines in their income through at least 2010.”

Bohn said that while household incomes declined across the economic spectrum, declines for low-income families were the largest. “This reflects the long-term trend of how economic gains have not been shared across the economic distribution in California.”

Listen to the interview here:

Related

Category: Labor, Poverty Issues

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