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New report shows many Californians face cost of living struggles

Posted at 2:08 PM, Oct 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-17 17:08:09-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A new report highlights the difficulties many Californians are facing in trying to keep up with the costs of living in the Golden State.

Nancy Sasaki, the CEO of United Way of San Diego County, said the numbers don’t lie, which is why she believes something has to be done to fix this.

“That doesn't bode well for our community, it doesn't bode well for our future. And it's definitely a struggle we really need to be addressing,” Sasaki said.

The United Ways of California just released its annual Real Cost Measure study for the state, and the report found 3.7 million households fall below what’s necessary to live in California. Of that, 97% of households that are struggling, already have one person living there who’s working full time.

Sasaki said the cost for living in San Diego County, and across California, has jumped up, making it difficult for people to bounce back from the impacts of the pandemic.

“It's not like people are just sitting around trying to figure out how to make ends meet. They're working; they're working hard to do well for themselves for their families and they struggle,” said Sasaki.

And that’s why organizations like the United Way are stepping up to try and curb this reality by starting early -- specifically focusing on the success of elementary school-aged kids. For example, by making sure kids in third grade end the school year reading at the third-grade level.

“If they don't make that number, they are four times more likely to drop out of high school and not graduate. And 75 percent of those without high school degrees aren't making enough to survive in this county right now,” added Sasaki.

To read the full Real Cost Measure report, visit