Donate
PPIC Logo Independent, objective, nonpartisan research
Image for

Poverty & Inequality

More than a quarter of Californians live in or near poverty, and the longstanding divide between rich and poor poses a major challenge for our state and nation. PPIC builds understanding of what economic disparities mean for households and communities, while highlighting policies that can broaden opportunity and increase well-being.

Recent Content

View All →
photo - Woman Carrying Her Baby and Clothes Shopping
Fact Sheet · May 2024

California’s Cash-Based Safety Net

Caroline Danielson

photo - Man Using Laptop at Home
Blog Post · May 15, 2024

The End of Affordable Connectivity?

Joseph Hayes, Eric Assan

photo - College Student Listening to Lecture
Blog Post · May 14, 2024

Does Transfer Reduce Regional Enrollment Gaps at CSU and UC?

Cesar Alesi Perez

photo - Elderly Man in Hotel Room Looking out Window
Blog Post · May 1, 2024

Taking Stock of California’s Capacity to House its Homeless Population

Cesar Alesi Perez

photo - Nurse in Training Checks Patient's Pulse
Blog Post · April 30, 2024

Testimony: Enhancing California’s Wage Data Can Help Improve Its Economic Future

Sarah Bohn

photo - Child Helping Parent with Shopping
Fact Sheet · April 2024

California’s Nutrition Safety Net

Tess Thorman, Patricia Malagon

photo - Closeup of stethoscope on patient's chest
Blog Post · April 18, 2024

California’s Medi-Cal Expansion Is Lowering Poverty among Undocumented Immigrants

Patricia Malagon

photo - Box of Food at Foodbank
Fact Sheet · April 2024

Income Inequality in California

Tess Thorman, Daniel Payares-Montoya

photo - Teenager Doing Paperwork
Blog Post · April 9, 2024

Are California’s Foster Youth Claiming the State’s New Tax Credit?

Caroline Danielson

photo - Mother Working on Paperwork at Home and Holding Baby
Blog Post · April 4, 2024

Are Eligible Undocumented Immigrants Claiming the CalEITC and Young Child Tax Credit?

Tess Thorman

photo - Woman Holding Credit Card and Using Laptop at Home
Blog Post · April 3, 2024

As Internet Usage Grows, Californians Are Concerned about Online Security

Joseph Hayes

photo - Electric Power Line Along a Rural Highway in Bridgeport, California
Fact Sheet · April 2024

California’s Digital Divide

Joseph Hayes, Eric Assan, Niu Gao

photo - Bunks in a Homeless Shelter
Blog Post · March 21, 2024

An Update on Homelessness in California

Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Cesar Alesi Perez

photo - Elementary Schoolboy in Classroom Sitting at Desk and Having Trouble with a Test
Blog Post · March 13, 2024

Learning Recovery for Homeless Students Lags behind Other High-Need Groups

Brett Guinan, Julien Lafortune

photo - People in Line with Shopping Carts Waiting To Pay at Megastore
Blog Post · March 12, 2024

Testimony: Most Californians Are “Pretty Happy” but a Growing Share Are “Not Too Happy”

Mark Baldassare

photo - Mechanical Engineers Making Repairs
Blog Post · February 29, 2024

California’s Economy—Past, Present, and Future

Sarah Bohn

photo - Woman at Apartment Door Activating Alarm as Leaving
Blog Post · February 27, 2024

California’s Renters

Eric McGhee, Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Hans Johnson

Virtual Event · February 23, 2024

Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government

photo - California State Capitol
Statewide Survey · February 2024

PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government

Mark Baldassare, Dean Bonner, Lauren Mora, Deja Thomas

photo - Los Angeles skyline in downtown showing office buildings and traffic
Blog Post · February 22, 2024

Video: California’s Economic Future

Mary Severance

photo - Elementary Students at Desks in Classroom
Blog Post · February 21, 2024

Testimony: California’s K–12 Digital Divide Has Narrowed, but Access Gaps Persist

Niu Gao

photo - Father Walking Young Son to School
Blog Post · February 20, 2024

Chronic Absenteeism in K–12 Schools Remains Troublingly High

Emmanuel Prunty, Laura Hill

2024 Speaker Series on California's Future — In-Person and Online · February 14, 2024

California’s Economic Future

photo - Mothers Meeting Their Kids and Walking Them Home from the School Bus in Rural Neighborhood
Blog Post · February 14, 2024

Learning Recovery Is Uneven for Urban and Rural School Districts

Saayili Budhiraja, Thomas Pearson, Emmanuel Prunty, Niu Gao

photo - Pedestrians in Downtown Los Angeles
Report · January 2024

Priorities for California’s Economy

Sarah Bohn, Vicki Hsieh, Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Jenny Duan ...

photo - Nurse Using Stethoscope during Medical Examination
Blog Post · January 31, 2024

The Affordable Care Act Has Expanded Community Clinics in California

Shalini Mustala, Shannon McConville

Explainer · January 2024

Making Sense of California’s Economy

Sarah Bohn, Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Julien Lafortune, Vicki Hsieh

photo - Los Angeles skyline in downtown showing office buildings and traffic
Blog Post · January 10, 2024

What’s in Store for California’s Economy?

Sarah Bohn

photo - Nurse Checks Heartbeat of Patient in Doctor's Office
Blog Post · January 3, 2024

In First-in-Nation State Law, All Low-Income Residents Qualify for Medi-Cal

Paulette Cha, Patricia Malagon

photo - California Poppy Bloom on Grass Mountain Trail, Santa Barbara County
Blog Post · December 14, 2023

2023 Year in Review

Tani Cantil-Sakauye

photo - Women Examining Shopping Receipt at Home
Blog Post · December 12, 2023

Video: Understanding the Reach of the California Earned Income Tax Credit

Mary Severance

photo - Aerial View of Suburban Residential Homes in Bakersfield, California
Blog Post · December 7, 2023

Many California Renters Remain Financially Stressed

Hans Johnson, Eric McGhee

Virtual Event · December 7, 2023

Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government

photo - California State Capitol
Statewide Survey · December 2023

PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government

Mark Baldassare, Dean Bonner, Lauren Mora, Deja Thomas

photo - Elementary Age Girl Using Digital Tablet in Classroom
Blog Post · December 4, 2023

How Have California School Districts Used the Emergency Connectivity Fund?

Joseph Hayes, Niu Gao

photo - Student phot - Writing on Board with Teacher in Elementary School Math Class
Blog Post · December 1, 2023

Commentary: On California Funding Formula’s 10th Anniversary, Celebrate Progress but Double Down on Fairness

Julien Lafortune, Bruce Fuller

photo - Woman Looking at Camera Surrounded by Other People in Profile
Blog Post · November 30, 2023

Most Californians Say Racial Bias Is Linked to Economic Inequality

Lauren Mora

photo - US Flag Waving in the Wind
Blog Post · November 27, 2023

Is the American Dream in California Dying?

Dean Bonner

photo - Mother and Daughters at Check Out Counter
Blog Post · November 16, 2023

Video: Californians and Their Economic Well-Being

Mary Severance

photo - Women Examining Shopping Receipt at Home
Report · November 2023

Understanding the Reach of the California Earned Income Tax Credit

Tess Thorman

photo - Women Examining Shopping Receipt at Home
Policy Brief · November 2023

Policy Brief: Understanding the Reach of the California Earned Income Tax Credit

Tess Thorman, Mary Severance

photo - Caregiver and Senior Woman Holding Hands
Blog Post · November 10, 2023

Video: Health Conditions and Health Care among California’s Undocumented Immigrants

Stephanie Barton

photo - Mother and Daughters at Check Out Counter
Statewide Survey · November 2023

PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Economic Well-Being

Mark Baldassare, Dean Bonner, Lauren Mora, Deja Thomas

photo - Grandmother Serving Food to her Granddaughters at Dining Room Table
Blog Post · October 24, 2023

A Look at Demographic Differences in Poverty across Regions in California

Patricia Malagon, Caroline Danielson

photo - Old Lady in Soup Kitchen Line
Fact Sheet · October 2023

Poverty in California

Sarah Bohn, Caroline Danielson, Sara Kimberlin, Patricia Malagon ...

photo - Dishwasher Working in Restaurant Kitchen
Fact Sheet · October 2023

The Working Poor in California

Sarah Bohn, Caroline Danielson, Sara Kimberlin, Patricia Malagon ...

photo - Man at Home Holding Device on Telehealth Appointment with Doctor
Blog Post · October 17, 2023

Telehealth Usage among Low-income and Undocumented Californians

Shalini Mustala, Paulette Cha, Patricia Malagon

photo - Young Girl Receiving Flu Shot from Doctor
Blog Post · October 10, 2023

School Vaccination Rates Vary across California

Shalini Mustala, Shannon McConville

photo - Man in a counseling session
Blog Post · October 2, 2023

Low-income and Undocumented Californians Struggle with Mental Health

Patricia Malagon, Paulette Cha, Shalini Mustala

photo - Welder Using Torch in Factory
Blog Post · September 19, 2023

Wage Growth Is Struggling to Keep Up with Inflation

Jenny Duan, Daniel Payares-Montoya

photo - Elementary age student working on tablet at table
Blog Post · September 18, 2023

Did Pandemic Aid Narrow the Digital Divide?

Darriya Starr, Joseph Hayes, Niu Gao

photo – School Classroom with Blackboard
Blog Post · August 17, 2023

Video: Funding Education in California

Stephanie Barton

photo - South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Restoration Project, from US Army Corps of Engineers
Blog Post · August 15, 2023

Fostering Fairness in Flood Risk Management

Sarah Bardeen

photo - Young Woman Looking at Bill with Calculator and Laptop on Table
Blog Post · August 2, 2023

After a Three-Year Hiatus, Californians Will Resume Student Loan Payments Soon

Jacob Jackson

photo - Technician Connecting Cables and Wires in Server Cabinet
Blog Post · July 27, 2023

Video: Bridging California’s Digital Divide

Vicki Hsieh

photo - Woman Looking at Shopping List in Grocery Store
Blog Post · July 12, 2023

Federal Work Requirements Are Changing for Some CalFresh Participants

Tess Thorman, Caroline Danielson

photo - Asian-American Girl Choosing Food in Supermarket
Policy Brief · July 2023

Policy Brief: Tracking CalFresh Participation among Young Children

Tess Thorman

photo - Drone Shot of California State Capitol with Setting Sun and Tower Bridge in the Distance
Blog Post · July 6, 2023

Video: A Conversation with Former Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon

Mary Severance

photo - Couple Working on Financial Paperwork Together at Home
Blog Post · June 29, 2023

Californians Hold Mixed Views on Their Personal Finances

Rachel Lawler

photo - Young Girl at Home on Computer Doing Homework
Fact Sheet · June 2023

Student Achievement on California’s K–12 Assessments

Iwunze Ugo, Emmanuel Prunty

photo - Three Students Walking to Class on California the State University Northridge Campus
Blog Post · June 20, 2023

College Enrollment Is Holding Steady among First-time Students at UC and CSU

Hans Johnson, Jacob Jackson

photo - Silhouette of College Graduate Climbing Steps
Fact Sheet · June 2023

Student Loan Debt in California

Jacob Jackson, Darriya Starr

photo - California State Capitol
Blog Post · June 15, 2023

Video: Californians and Their Government

Vicki Hsieh

photo - Paramedics Taking Patient on Stretcher from Ambulance into Hospital
Blog Post · June 12, 2023

Mounting Concerns about Safety Net Hospital Closures

Shannon McConville

photo - Child Eating an Apple and Sitting on Floor of Community Center
Blog Post · June 8, 2023

Keeping Students Fed When School Is Out

Caroline Danielson

photo - California State Capitol
Statewide Survey · June 2023

PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government

Mark Baldassare, Dean Bonner, Rachel Lawler, Deja Thomas

photo - California State Capitol Building in Sacramento
Blog Post · June 5, 2023

Californians’ Racial Attitudes and the Reparations Task Force

Mark Baldassare

photo - Female Student Studying in Library
Blog Post · May 23, 2023

College Gender Gap Starts Early and Extends across Races

Hans Johnson, Daniel Payares-Montoya, Marisol Cuellar Mejia

photo - Traffic in Front of California State Capitol Building
Blog Post · May 16, 2023

Improving Lives through Public Policy

Tani Cantil-Sakauye

photo - High School Student Reading Paper in Front of Laptop at Home
Blog Post · May 3, 2023

Financial Aid Applications for College Increase after New Law

Jacob Jackson

photo - Father Holding Young Son as They Pick Fruit at Grocery Store
Blog Post · May 2, 2023

Pandemic-Era CalFresh Expansions Lifted Many Families Out of Poverty

Patricia Malagon, Tess Thorman

photo - Food Bank Volunteers Boxing Food for Distribution
Blog Post · April 25, 2023

California’s Farmworkers and Their Children Are Vulnerable to Food Insecurity

Paulette Cha

photo - Grandmother and Granddaughter on a Video Call with a Digital Tablet
Blog Post · April 20, 2023

Video: Achieving Universal Broadband in California

Vicki Hsieh

photo - Father Doing Financial Paperwork with Son on Lap
Blog Post · April 19, 2023

Midway through California’s Extended Tax Season, Low-Income Filers Are Claiming Larger State Credits

Tess Thorman

Flooded Township of Pajaro, pixel ca dwr 2023_03_12_KJ_0069_Pajaro_Levee_Break_Drone
Blog Post · April 12, 2023

Storms, Floods, and COVID-19 Have Worsened Long-standing Farmworker Housing Challenges

Paulette Cha

photo - Patient in Waiting Room Completing Paperwork
Blog Post · April 11, 2023

As Medi-Cal Enters a Post-Pandemic Phase, Keeping Eligible Californians Enrolled Is a Key Concern

Caroline Danielson, Shannon McConville

photo - Senior Woman at Home Receiving Healthcare
Blog Post · April 6, 2023

Video: The Impact of Health Insurance on Poverty in California

Mary Severance

photo - College Students in a Partially Empty Classroom
Blog Post · March 31, 2023

Declining Higher Education Enrollment Could Widen Inequality in California

Daniel Payares-Montoya, Tess Thorman, Joseph Herrera

photo - Grandmother and Granddaughter on a Video Call with a Digital Tablet
Report · March 2023

Achieving Universal Broadband in California

Joseph Hayes, Niu Gao, Darriya Starr, Amy Gong Liu

photo - Grandmother and Granddaughter on a Video Call with a Digital Tablet
Policy Brief · March 2023

Policy Brief: Achieving Universal Broadband in California

Joseph Hayes, Niu Gao, Darriya Starr, Amy Gong Liu ...