It costs a family of three nearly $63,000 to be self- sufficient in San Diego County, about $10,000 more than three years ago, according to a study released today by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development (see the study in the media box or download here).
The organization tallied the price of housing, food and health care, as well as transportation costs, child care and taxes, for a family with one adult, a school-age child and a preschooler.
"Even three full-time minimum wage jobs doesn't make enough to make ends meet in San Diego County,'' said Clare Crawford of the Center for Policy Initiatives, a San Diego-based advocacy group.
Crawford said the federal poverty level is inadequate in high-cost cities like San Diego, and that the Insight Center figures give a truer picture of the necessary family income.
, she said.
The report also highlighted income disparity in different regions throughout the county. El Cajon topped the county with almost 30 percent of its population and 36.5 percent of its children living in poverty, more than three times the rate of Chula Vista (the report focused on cities with populations over 60,000, excluding Santee).
The median household income dropped to $59,923 from $60,231 in 2009, and the top 20 percent of households claimed 49.2 percent of all income in the region, with the bottom 20 percent gaining 3.4 percent of the income in the county, according to the report.
This puts the county's Gini index of income inequality at 45.8 percent, which the report compares to the rates of Uganda and Indonesia, 44 and 37 percent respectively.
A single adult raising two young children would have to make $30 an hour to meet expenses.
A single adult living alone needs to make more than $29,000 per year to cover all of his or her basic expenses, according to the report, the "2011 California Family Economic Self-Sufficiency Standard.''
In the last three years, taxes increased 29 percent, health care costs went up 27 percent and child care expenses climbed 22 percent, according to the report.
-City News Service, with additions by Steven Bartholow