A Portrait of California 2014–2015

If California were a country, it would rank thirty-fourth in the world by population and eighth by the size of its economy—big enough for a seat at the G8. But that’s not the whole story. Inequalities in health, education, and earnings divide California communities, often in ways that challenge conventional north-south and inland-coastal divisions in the state. Measure of America’s A Portrait of California 2014–2015 uses the Human Development Index to tell us how people across the state are doing. By sorting county, town, and neighborhood clusters, this update of the original 2011 report identifies “Five Californias,” each with its own distinct well-being profile, and makes plain the need to address the future of the state in two ways: by preventing problems from taking root in childhood and by helping parents.

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