Childrens Report Card

Sacramento County Childrens Coalition

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Self-Sufficiency Wage

Sacramento County, like the nation as a whole, is experiencing a growing gap between the upper and lower ends of the income scale. Those with the highest levels of education continue to make gains, while a greater percentage of those with less than a college education struggle to obtain jobs that can pay a self sufficient wage. Unfortunately, a higher percentage of families with children are living in poverty (more than 1 in 6), and generational economic mobility remains a challenge.

Basic Family Budget

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Why is this important?

  • Self-sufficiency is the income level at which a family can be sustained without relying on income supports or public assistance.
  • A stable source of income is critical for individuals and families to lead healthy, secure, self-sufficient lives.
  • The inability to maintain self-sufficiency forces individual sacrifices that threaten the health and safety of the family and community.

How are we doing

  • Working 40 hours a week, the head of a single-parent family with two children would need to earn an hourly wage of $25,79 to meet basic needs in Sacramento County.
  • Working 40 hours a week, each parent in a two-parent family with two children would need to earn $14.84 per hour to meet basic needs.
  • This compares to minimum wage ($8.00 per hour) and the median hourly wage in Sacramento County of $19.56.

Family Income by Family Type

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Why is this important?

  • Children raised in single parent family households are much more likely to grow up in environments in which the family was unable to earn a self-sufficient wage.
  • Married couple families earn, on average, more than double what single-parent families earn.

How are we doing?

  • In Sacramento County there are approximately 175,000 family households with children under the age of 18.  Of those:
  • 62% (108,976) are married couple families
  • 11% (18,278) are single-father families
  • 27% (47,633) are single-mother families
  • In Sacramento County 70% (41,235) of single-parent families with children under 18 earned less than $50,000 annually, and 32% (18,440) earned less than $20,000 a year.

Families in Poverty

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Why is this important?

  • Children in single parent households are more than three times as likely to be raised in poverty than children raised in married couple families.
  • On average, children raised in poverty experience poorer life outcomes in a variety of areas including educational attainment, criminal behaviors, and birth outcomes.

How are we doing?

  • An estimated 31,000 families live below poverty in Sacramento County.
  • 17% of families with children under 18 live below poverty (up from 14% in 2007)
  • The percent of families with children living below poverty is higher in Sacramento County than in the state (16%).
  • Single-parent families are 3 times more likely to live in poverty than two-parent families.

Families in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity

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Why is this important?

  • A study by the Economic Mobility Project found that four-fifths of children who were raised in very low income families never earned more than the median income over the course of their lives, suggesting that poverty maintains strong generational ties.
  • Without substantial systemic changes, the great poverty-related disparities will persist.

How are we doing?

  • African American and Hispanic families are 2 times more likely to live in poverty than white families in Sacramento County.
  • Nearly 30% of all single-parent families for all races/ethnicity's live in poverty, however, single-mother families are particularly hard hit.  44% of Hispanic single-mothers, 40% of African American single-mothers, and 36% of Asian single-mothers live in poverty with their children.

Median Income by Educational Attainment

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Why is this important?

  • The transition from a manufacturing to service economy has placed increasing importance on the value of academic education.
  • As the proportion of “knowledge-based” jobs continues to rise, the need for advanced education will become even more critical.
  • Sacramento County, like the nation, is experiencing a growing gap between “upper” and “lower” classes, with educational attainment playing a leading role.

How are we doing?

  • Between 2007 and 2011 the median income decreased for all levels of educational with the exception of those with either a Bachelor's or a Graduate/Professional degree.
  • Those with only a high school diploma saw the largest decrease in salary, more than $4,000 a year or nearly a 15% reduction.
  • Overall, annual salary decreased by more than $1,000 for all individuals in Sacramento County.

Educational Attainment

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Why is this important?

  • As we continue to shift to a knowledge based economy, college and post graduate education will likely be minimum requirements for most jobs that will pay a self-sufficient wage.

How are we doing?

  • While Sacramento County has a higher percentage of high school graduates (85%) than is found statewide (81%), it has a lower percentage of residents who have obtained a Bachelor's degree or higher.  (27% compared to California 37%)
  • The percent of the population 25 and older that has received a Bachelor's degree or higher has increased slightly in Sacramento County from 25% in 2000 to 27% in 2011.

Public Assistance

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Why is this important?

  • Relying on some form of publicly funded assistance – whether work/income, food, or health related – indicates that an individual has insufficient resources to meet even their most basic needs.

How are we doing?

  • The number of unduplicated individuals receiving public aid or assistance has increased by 30% since 2006.
  • More than 409,000 Sacramento County residents relied on some form of publicly funded support in 2012.  This amounts to 28% of our population.

Data Source for Basic Family Budget: California Budget Project

Data Source for Median Income, Poverty, Educational Attainment: U.S. Census Bureau

Data Source for CalWORKS, CalFresh, Medi-Cal recipients:

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 13:17