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Independent, objective, nonpartisan research
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Poverty & Inequality

More than one in three 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

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photo - Welder
Blog Post · November 23, 2021

Video: Californians and Their Economic Well-Being

Vicki Hsieh

photo - Welder
Statewide Survey · November 2021

PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Economic Well-Being

Mark Baldassare, Dean Bonner, Rachel Lawler, Deja Thomas

photo - Woman receiving COVID-19 vaccine at home
Blog Post · October 12, 2021

Improving COVID Vaccine Equity in California

Shannon McConville

photo - Student In School Cafeteria Line for Lunch
Blog Post · October 1, 2021

Expansions to Food Assistance Could Reduce Child Poverty

Caroline Danielson, Tess Thorman

photo - Mother with Baby Putting Groceries in Car
Blog Post · September 24, 2021

Pandemic Aid Helped Lower Poverty in California

Caroline Danielson

photo - Smoke Clouds from Wildfire in Mountain View, California
Blog Post · September 16, 2021

Unhealthy Air May Threaten Educational Outcomes

Laurel Abowd, Julien Lafortune, Paulette Cha

photo - Houses in Orange County, California
Blog Post · August 13, 2021

California’s High Housing Costs Increase Poverty

Patricia Malagon, Caroline Danielson

photo - Boy Using Mobile Phone for Online Learning from Home
Blog Post · August 10, 2021

The Digital Divide Has Narrowed but Still Affects California’s Children

Paulette Cha, Niu Gao

photo - Old Lady in Soup Kitchen Line
Fact Sheet · July 2021

Poverty in California

Sarah Bohn, Caroline Danielson, Patricia Malagon

photo - Teacher Helping Student
Blog Post · July 23, 2021

In El Dorado County, Early Preparation and Communication Were Key to the Return to School

Laura Hill, Mary Severance

photo - Homeless Tents Beside Skyscrapers in Los Angeles Downtown at Night
Blog Post · July 8, 2021

Californians Want Policies that Close the Gap between Rich and Poor

Dean Bonner

photo - Father and Son Holding Hands Walking
Blog Post · July 1, 2021

Tax Hurdles May Limit Impact of the Expanded Child Tax Credit

Caroline Danielson, Tess Thorman

photo - High School Student in Classroom Taking a Test
Blog Post · June 29, 2021

Geography of College Readiness in California

Cesar Alesi Perez, Hans Johnson, Vicki Hsieh, Niu Gao

photo - Worried Woman Looking at Bills
Blog Post · June 24, 2021

Video: California’s Safety Net in Recession and Recovery

Mary Severance

photo - Young Girl Visiting Pediatrician
Report · June 2021

Health Coverage and Care for Undocumented Immigrants: An Update

Paulette Cha, Shannon McConville

Native American Day Celebration-pixel-ca-dwr-JRC_native_american_day2-3929
Blog Post · June 22, 2021

Ensuring Safe Drinking Water for California’s Native American Communities

Joy Collins, Caitrin Chappelle

photo - Mark Ghaly
Blog Post · June 15, 2021

Video: Reopening California—A Conversation with HHS Secretary Mark Ghaly

Mary Severance

photo - Drying lake effect of extreme weather and heating wave on summer
Blog Post · June 14, 2021

Commentary: How Better Data Can Help California Avoid a Drinking Water Crisis

Alvar Escriva-Bou, Rich Pauloo

Blog Post · June 10, 2021

How Are Unemployed Californians Faring on the Road to Recovery?

Sarah Bohn, Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Julien Lafortune

photo - Worried Woman Looking at Bills
Report · June 2021

California’s Safety Net in Recession and Recovery

Caroline Danielson

Blog Post · June 3, 2021

Video: Californians and Their Government

Stephanie Barton

photo - Filing Glass with Water from Kitchen Tap
Fact Sheet · May 2021

Water Affordability

Caitrin Chappelle, Ellen Hanak

photo - Girl in Front of Line of Adults Packing Boxes with Food
Blog Post · May 24, 2021

Food Insufficiency and School Meals during COVID-19

Caroline Danielson, Niu Gao, Patricia Malagon

photo - Woman Holding a Glass of Water
Blog Post · May 24, 2021

A Look at California’s Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Gaps

Caitrin Chappelle

photo - A Boy Distance Learning and Using Laptop
Blog Post · May 13, 2021

A Year into Distance Learning, California’s Digital Divide Persists

Niu Gao, Julien Lafortune, Laura Hill

photo - Man on Mobile Phone for a Medical Video Appointment
Blog Post · May 12, 2021

How Telehealth Can Bring Equity to Health Care

Paulette Cha

photo - Elementary School Students Wearing Masks and Standing in a Line Outside of School
Blog Post · May 7, 2021

Video: Californians and Education

Vicki Hsieh

photo - Moving Boxes in Living Room of New Home
Blog Post · May 6, 2021

Who’s Leaving California—and Who’s Moving In?

Hans Johnson

photo - Tech Worker Wearing Mask at Laptop
Blog Post · April 30, 2021

Bay Area Recovery May Lag without Onsite Tech Workers

Sarah Bohn, Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Julien Lafortune

photo - US Senator Alex Padilla
Blog Post · April 12, 2021

Video: A Conversation with US Senator Alex Padilla

Vicki Hsieh

photo - Waitress Wearing a Mask and Gloves, Disinfecting Tables in a Restaurant
Blog Post · April 1, 2021

One Year Later, Is California on the Road to Recovery?

Sarah Bohn, Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Julien Lafortune

photo - California State Capitol Building
Statewide Survey · March 2021

PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government

Mark Baldassare, Dean Bonner, Rachel Lawler, Deja Thomas

photo - Young Woman Sitting on Stairs
Blog Post · March 24, 2021

The Pandemic Has Highlighted the Needs of California’s Youth

Caroline Danielson, Mary Severance

photo - Mother Giving Daughter a Hug
Blog Post · March 23, 2021

How the Expanded Child Tax Credit Reduces Child Poverty

Tess Thorman, Patricia Malagon

photo - Mom With Daughter Putting Groceries In Car
Blog Post · March 17, 2021

Testimony: Access to Anti-Poverty Programs for Californians in Need

Sarah Bohn

photo - Supermarket Worker Arranging Vegetables and Wearing Mask
Blog Post · March 11, 2021

Multiple Challenges for Women in the COVID-19 Economy

Sarah Bohn, Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Julien Lafortune

photo - Senior Man Using Laptop at Home
Blog Post · February 25, 2021

To Speed Up Vaccine Distribution, Improve Broadband Access among Seniors

Niu Gao, Joseph Hayes

photo - Worried Man on Laptop at Home
Blog Post · February 24, 2021

Black Californians Struggle within a Challenging Job Market

Sarah Bohn, Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Julien Lafortune

Photo - Teacher and students in classroom
Blog Post · February 18, 2021

How Many Districts Have Been Providing In-person Instruction?

Laura Hill, Niu Gao, Julien Lafortune

photo - Electric Power Line Along a Rural Highway in Bridgeport, California
Fact Sheet · February 2021

California’s Digital Divide

Niu Gao, Joseph Hayes

photo - Student Distance Learning from Home
Fact Sheet · February 2021

The Digital Divide in Education

Niu Gao, Joseph Hayes

photo - Restaurant Worker Wearing Mask and Hanging Closed Sign on Door
Blog Post · February 11, 2021

Views of California’s Economy Vary by Race and Income

Rachel Lawler

photo - Leon Panetta
Blog Post · February 2, 2021

Video: A Conversation with Leon Panetta

Mary Severance

photo - Woman Wearing Protective Mask and Gloves, Looking Down and Sitting on Ground
Blog Post · January 29, 2021

California’s Recovery Backslides

Sarah Bohn, Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Julien Lafortune

photo - Teenage Girl Listening with Headphones and Looking at Tablet
Report · January 2021

Assessing Teen Well-Being and Mental Health after the Medi-Cal Expansion

Paulette Cha

photo - Young Boy Doing Schoolwork at Home
Blog Post · January 26, 2021

Are Students Spending Enough Time on School during the Pandemic?

Niu Gao, Laura Hill, Julien Lafortune

photo - Cafeteria Worker Wearing Mask and Cleaning Outside Table
Blog Post · January 25, 2021

Commentary: An Equitable Recovery for California Requires Two Key Strategies

Sarah Bohn, Dean Bonner, Vicki Hsieh

photo - Woman Wearing Mask and Waiting for a Job Interview
Blog Post · January 22, 2021

Looking Ahead to California’s 2021 Labor Market

Sarah Bohn, Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Julien Lafortune

photo - Mother and Children Playing Ball Outdoors
Blog Post · January 21, 2021

Creating a Safety Net for Immigrant Communities

Shannon McConville

cover shot of California's Future publication
Report · January 2021

California’s Future

Ellen Hanak, Laura Hill, Hans Johnson, Caroline Danielson ...

photo - downtown Los Angeles
Report · January 2021

California’s Future: Economy

Sarah Bohn, Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Julien Lafortune

photo - student in classroom
Report · January 2021

California’s Future: Education

Laura Hill, Hans Johnson, Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Niu Gao ...

photo - young girl
Report · January 2021

California’s Future: Safety Net

Caroline Danielson, Shannon McConville, Paulette Cha

photo - Delta
Report · January 2021

California’s Future: Water and a Changing Climate

Ellen Hanak, Caitrin Chappelle, Lori Pottinger, Jeffrey Mount

Blog Post · January 11, 2021

Where We Stand

Mark Baldassare

photo - Girl Distance Learning with Tablet
Blog Post · January 6, 2021

Commentary: To Help Address Learning Disparities, Boost Internet Access for Low-Income Students

Niu Gao, Julien Lafortune, Laura Hill

image - Sunrise over California
Blog Post · January 5, 2021

Looking Forward

Mark Baldassare

photo - Mark Baldassare and Ana Matosantos
Blog Post · December 18, 2020

Video: A Conversation with Cabinet Secretary Ana Matosantos

Stephanie Barton

photo - Man in Car Wearing Mask and Picking Up Box of Food
Blog Post · December 17, 2020

Video: Income Inequality and Economic Opportunity in California

Mary Severance

photo - Mother Giving Daughter a Hug
Blog Post · December 16, 2020

Californians’ Outlook Is Bleak as Low-Income Families Struggle

Dean Bonner, Vicki Hsieh

photo - Woman Examing Machine Part
Blog Post · December 11, 2020

Broad Support for Job Training and Child Care to Boost Recovery

Dean Bonner, Vicki Hsieh

photo - US Capitol
Blog Post · December 10, 2020

Federal Action—or Inaction—Will Shape California’s Recovery

Sarah Bohn, Dean Bonner, Vicki Hsieh, Julien Lafortune ...

Statewide Survey · December 2020

PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Economic Well-Being

Mark Baldassare, Dean Bonner, Rachel Lawler, Alyssa Dykman

video · December 9, 2020

Income Inequality and Economic Opportunity

Sarah Bohn

photo - Inland, Southern California
Blog Post · December 8, 2020

Tackling Regional Disparities in Economic Opportunity

Sarah Bohn, Dean Bonner, Vicki Hsieh, Julien Lafortune ...

photo - Cashier Scanning Products at a Grocery Store Wearing a Mask
Blog Post · December 8, 2020

The Economic Toll of COVID-19 on Women

Sarah Bohn, Dean Bonner, Vicki Hsieh, Julien Lafortune ...

photo - Man in Car Wears Mask While Receiving Box of Food
Report · December 2020

Income Inequality and Economic Opportunity in California

Sarah Bohn, Dean Bonner, Julien Lafortune, Tess Thorman

photo - Man at Kitchen Sink Looking Out Window
Blog Post · December 7, 2020

Will This Recession Deepen California’s Economic Divide?

Sarah Bohn, Dean Bonner, Vicki Hsieh, Julien Lafortune ...

photo - Elderly Man in Hotel Room
Blog Post · December 4, 2020

What Lessons Can Be Learned from Project Roomkey?

Shannon McConville

photo - Dad Carrying Son on His Shoulders in Park
Report · December 2020

The Importance of CalFresh and CalWORKs in Children’s Early Years

Caroline Danielson, Tess Thorman, Sarah Bohn

photo - Filling Water Glass at Kitchen Sink, Pixel CA DWR
Blog Post · November 30, 2020

Addressing Water Affordability in Urban California

Caitrin Chappelle

photo - Woman Grocery Shopping during Coronavirus Pandemic
Blog Post · October 21, 2020

CalFresh during the Pandemic

Caroline Danielson

photo - Downtown Phoenix, Arizona at Dusk
Blog Post · October 12, 2020

Ensuring Water Equity and Utility Solvency: Lessons from Phoenix

Caitrin Chappelle

photo - Homes in Orange County, California
Blog Post · September 17, 2020

Renter Protections and Foreclosure Risk in the Era of COVID-19

Daniel Tan

photo - Young Woman Wearing Mask and Looking Out Window
Blog Post · September 11, 2020

COVID-19’s Toll on Mental Health

Daniel Tan

photo - Lunch Bags in Cardboard Box
Blog Post · September 9, 2020

Providing Meals for School Children as COVID-19 Persists

Niu Gao, Caroline Danielson

photo - Mother and Toddler Grocery Shopping
Fact Sheet · September 2020

The CalFresh Food Assistance Program

Caroline Danielson, Daniel Tan

photo - Child in Front of Electric Fan
Blog Post · August 17, 2020

When a Lack of Air Conditioning is a Public Health Threat

Lori Pottinger

photo - Multifamily Low-Rise Residential Row Buildings
Blog Post · August 7, 2020

How COVID-19 Could Deepen California’s Housing Crisis

Daniel Tan

photo - Homelss Tents Beside Skyscrapers in Los Angeles Downtown at Night
Blog Post · June 19, 2020

For California’s Homeless, CalFresh Is Essential Part of Safety Net

Caroline Danielson

photo - African American father holding young son
Blog Post · June 3, 2020

Racial Disparities Are Widespread in California

Sarah Bohn, Magnus Lofstrom, Lynette Ubois

photo - Girl in Front of Line of Adults Packing Boxes with Food
Blog Post · May 28, 2020

Tackling Food Insecurity among K–12 Students during COVID-19

Caroline Danielson, Niu Gao

photo - Apartment Building in Mission District, San Francisco
Blog Post · May 12, 2020

Overcrowded Housing and COVID-19 Risk among Essential Workers

Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Paulette Cha

photo - Mother with Her Children
Blog Post · April 24, 2020

Many Low-Income Families Left Out of Federal Stimulus Benefits

Tess Thorman, Caroline Danielson, Sarah Bohn

photo - Measuring Blood Pressure
Blog Post · April 17, 2020

Race, Health, and the Risk of COVID-19 Complications

Daniel Tan, Paulette Cha

photo - Grocery Store Worker
Blog Post · March 31, 2020

Essential Workers and COVID-19

Sarah Bohn, Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Julien Lafortune

photo - School Age Girl
Blog Post · March 26, 2020

Feeding Children When Schools Are Closed for COVID-19

Caroline Danielson, Niu Gao

photo - Maid Making Bed In Hotel
Blog Post · March 20, 2020

How Will the Coronavirus Affect California’s Economy?

Sarah Bohn, Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Julien Lafortune

photo - Restaurant Cook
Blog Post · March 19, 2020

The COVID-19 Crisis Is Affecting Low-Income Workers

Caroline Danielson

photo - Restaurant Kitchen Worker
Blog Post · March 4, 2020

Interactive: Many Californians Live in or Near Poverty

Tess Thorman

photo - Woman Paying at Store Cash Register
Blog Post · January 30, 2020

Concerns about Poverty and Income Inequality Are Running High

Rachel Lawler, Lynette Ubois

photo - Customer at Grocery Store Checkout
Fact Sheet · January 2020

Income Inequality in California

Sarah Bohn, Tess Thorman

photo - Woman Worried about Bills
Blog Post · December 17, 2019

For Many Californians, Poverty Is One Minor Expense Away

Tess Thorman

photo - Homelss Tents Beside Skyscrapers in Los Angeles Downtown at Night
Blog Post · November 21, 2019

Interactive: Californians’ Views on Homelessness

Alyssa Dykman, Vicki Hsieh

photo - Rio Vista California 1997 Flood from Pixel CA DWR
Blog Post · November 13, 2019

Addressing Inequality in Flood Risk

Lori Pottinger

photo - Father and Son Hugging
Blog Post · October 25, 2019

Video: Poverty and Opportunity in California

Steven Bliss

Photo of child with Mom
Blog Post · August 13, 2019

Video: Understanding Poverty in California

Tess Thorman, Jenny Miyasaki

photo - Preschool Teacher and Students
Report · June 2019

The Impact of Expanding Public Preschool on Child Poverty in California

Caroline Danielson, Tess Thorman

Blog Post · April 17, 2019

Leveling the Playing Field in College Admissions

Hans Johnson, Sarah Bohn, Marisol Cuellar Mejia

Blog Post · February 19, 2019

A Snapshot of Homelessness in California

Marisol Cuellar Mejia, Vicki Hsieh