UPDATE: ‘Valley is lagging behind’ ran in the Oct. 26 edition of Vida.
Welcome to the San Joaquín Valley, which a recent report dubbed ‘The Forsaken Five Percent’ of California.
Here, a Latino resident lives an average of 81.2 years – about a year longer than the average Californian, but less than Latinos in other areas.
Here, 28.4 percent of adults have never completed high school, and just 16 percent have a bachelor’s degree.
Here, the median personal earnings for Latino adults is $18,000, more than $10,000 less than the state’s median personal earnings, of $30,000.
These facts – and many more – are available in ‘A Portrait of California,’ a report published in May by the American Human Development Project. (They are the authors of ‘The Measure of America,’ which found that the country’s 20th Congressional District – located here in Valley – ranked last among the country’s 435 districts in terms of well-being.)
The report takes 233 neighborhoods and counties in the state, and analyzes them by life expectancy, access to knowledge, and median personal earnings. It shows disparities throughout the state, but also within regions like the Valley.
To many residents, grassroots advocates, and reporters like me, this type of information, sadly, is no longer shocking. But it certainly underscores the need for continued collaboration, advocacy, and – in my case – reporting.
- To see how your community fares in this report, visit www.measureofamerica.org/california.
Read more about ‘A Portrait of California’ – and its implication for Valley Latinos – in next week’s edition of Vida.