San Francisco families need to earn $127,000 just to make ends meet, study finds


Twenty-five percent of Franciscans do not earn enough income to meet basic needs, according to a new study.

United Ways of California released study similar to a factor called the Real Estate Price Measure, which estimates the amount of income a person needs to make ends meet in California.

In California in general, nearly one in three people struggle to cover daily needs, the study found, with Black and Latino households disproportionately affected. The number of 3.5 million families – 2.5 times more than the number of California who fall below the poverty line according to federal government standards. Basic needs include rent, transportation and health care, among others.

Of those 3.5 million households, 97% have at least one working adult. More than half of these households have children under the age of 6.

The situation in San Francisco is similarly stark. The study found that 76,737 homes lie below Real Estate Price Measures, 98% of which have at least one working adult. A family of four in the city (two adults, an infant, a school-age child) would need to have more than three full-time, minimum wage jobs just to achieve economic stability, the study found. It is estimated that a family of four would need to make $ 127,332 per year just to meet their basic needs.

It’s no secret where much of San Francisco’s income is going: 28% of all households in the county spend more than 30% of their income on housing. Transportation, taxes and food were also high prices for the region.

The study further breaks things down by neighborhood. In the historically Black neighborhoods of Hunters Point and Bayview, 47% of homes live below the real cost measure. In comparison, that number is 18% in the Inner Mission and Castro neighborhoods.


“This study shows that many more families working in California are struggling to face living expenses than official estimates, and identifying significant differences between what it costs for families and their children to live with dignity and such actually earn, ”said Peter Manzo, president and CEO of United Ways of California, in a statement.

“This new perspective should be the measure by which we set our priorities, and the study is a wake-up call for local community partners, civic leaders, the business sector, and elected officials that much more needs to be done to help families by only survive, but actually thrive. “

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