California has long been praised as the most racially and ethnically diverse state in the country. That treasured diversity, however, is in danger.
For nearly three decades, our research team at Oakland’s Insight Center, in partnership with the Center for Women’s Welfare at the University of Washington, has used census data to analyze California’s costs of living — including housing, child care, transportation, utilities and taxes. Every two years, we compile this data into a report we call Cost of Being Californian, using a tool called the Family Needs Calculator, which maps and analyzes economic stability by race and gender for households in all 58 California counties.
Over the years, our report has documented the rising tide of inequality in California. But 2020 was particularly startling to us.