California Human Development Index
A Portrait of California, 2014-2015 is a new report by Measure of America that measures how Californians are doing in health, education and income — the building blocks of a decent life and the core focus areas of United Way's community impact work.
A Portrait of California applies the American Human Development Index which tells the story of how ordinary Americans are doing over time, using indicators from the U.S. Census’ American Community Survey and other reputable sources. These indicators include life expectancy at birth, educational attainment, school enrollment, median personal earnings and more. In addition to viewing this data at the state, regional, county and neighborhood level, we're also able to see them through the lens of gender, race and ethnicity.
Some highlights from A Portrait of California, 2014-2015 include:
- Over the past three decades, California’s gross domestic product (GDP) has increased by 123%. However, the income of the typical California household has only increased by 7% in the same time period.
- A person born in California today is expected to live 81.2 years, more than two years longer than the national average. However, California experiences a Latino paradox where Latinos outlive whites by 3.6 years despite having lower educational levels and lower rates of health coverage.
- While nearly 31% of Californians have at least a bachelor’s degree, 18.5% of Californians have less than a high school diploma (or equivalent). Only the state of Texas has a worse high school completion rate.
Common Good Forecaster
United Ways of California is proud to partner with United Way Worldwide and Measure of America in launching the Common Good Forecaster, a human development tool that illustrates how educational outcomes are linked with social and economic indicators.
Click here to see how improvements in educational attainment can improve life expectancy at birth, crime rates, unemployment and more in your local community.
To view the Common Good Forecaster on mobile devices, you can also text FORECASTER to 50503.
About Human Development
The American Human Development Index measures three areas that most of us would agree are the basic building blocks of a decent life: health, education and income. The index is modeled on the approach taken by the annual United Nations’ Human Development Report, which has now been instituted in nearly 200 countries.
Founded by the Pakistani economist, Mahbub ul Haq, the international human development report has been released by the United Nations Human Development Programme regularly since 1990. The Human Development Index was developed by economist Mahbub ul Haq and incorporates the “capabilities approach,” best articulated by Amartya Sen, the Nobel Laureate economist. Under this approach, human development is defined as the process of enlarging people’s freedoms and opportunities and improving their well being. It shifts attention from material measures of economic growth (such as gross domestic product) to focus instead on how people are doing, what capabilities they have and what they can become.
In 2006, Measure of America, a project of the Social Science Research Council, developed the American Human Development Report to measure how the United States is doing in health, education and income. Since that time, Measure of America has released numerous national, state, county and thematic reports on American Human Development.
Click here to download California’s previous human development report, A Portrait of California, 2011.