Earlier this summer, United Ways of California released Struggling to Stay Afloat: The Real Cost Measure in California 2019, a new financial stability report that focuses on the financial challenges of working families. Unlike the official poverty measure, which primarily accounts for the cost of food adjusted for inflation, the Real Cost Measure incorporates the costs of housing, food, health care, child care, transportation and other basic needs for a more accurate measure of self-sufficiency.
Today, we are glad to release new legislative profiles to accompany the release of the study. These profiles illustrate the percentage of households below the Real Cost Measure by neighborhood cluster. Neighborhood clusters, or public use microdata areas as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, are contiguously consolidated neighborhoods with at least 100,000 people, and are more statistically accurate than other geographic boundaries such as zip codes or census tracts.