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Geography of Child Poverty in California

This interactive map highlights local variation in poverty among young children age 0–5 across California. It also shows demographic traits and family resources, as well as factors that can affect poverty, such as parents’ education and employment, cost of living, and the social safety net. Our analysis uses the California Poverty Measure, which—unlike the official poverty measure—accounts for variation in the cost of living and the cash value of social safety net benefits. Our aim is to help policymakers and other stakeholders think strategically about how to target resources. The PPIC report Geography of Child Poverty in California provides more detail on this topic.

The map presents local, regional, and statewide data. To examine local variation, we use Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) designated by the Census Bureau; each of these areas contains at least 100,000 people. Regional data correspond to nine regions across the state.


SOURCE: Data Set – Child Poverty and Related Factors by Region and Local Area, 2011–2014.

NOTES: The California Poverty Measure is a joint research effort between PPIC and the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality. The map shows data for young children age 0–5; “n/a” indicates that the estimate is suppressed due to imprecision. All dollar amounts are calculated as medians, standardized for a family of four, adjusted for inflation, and presented in 2014 terms. Our analysis of family resources includes benefits from the following safety net programs: CalFresh (California’s food stamps program, known federally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP); CalWORKs (California’s cash assistance program, known federally as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF); General Assistance (GA); the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); the federal Child Tax Credit (CTC); Supplemental Security Income (SSI/SSP); federal housing subsidies; the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and free or reduced-price school meals. For more information about the data used in this research, see Technical Appendix A.


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Geography of Child Poverty in California
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