SAN DIEGO (KGTV): A new study from the Public Religion Research Institute paints a grim picture of people struggling to make ends meet in San Diego.
The study polled more than 3,300 people across the state. It says 45% of San Diegans fall into an auspicious category: people who work full time and still struggle with poverty.
The study looked for income levels below 250% of what the US Census Bureau considers the local poverty level. While it doesn't provide an exact dollar amount for that, the study's author says that percentage seemed to be the tipping point for people who could or could not withstand a financial emergency.
"In this group, a majority of them say they would have a difficult time even coming up with $400 for an emergency expense," says PRRI CEO Robert Jones. "About 4 in 10 say they have put off going to the doctor or cut down on meals to save money. So these are people who are really living right on the edge."
At 45%, San Diego falls near the middle of California regions when looking at working people who struggle to make ends meet. On the low end, the Bay Area had just 27% of people in that category. Los Angeles was at 49%. The San Joaquin Valley had the highest percent at 68%.
Jones says things like the cost of housing, gas and other necessities in San Diego stretch people's budget to the breaking point.
"What the survey shows is people working very very hard feel like the deck is stacked against them in a number of ways," says Jones.
Other numbers showed a loss of faith in the American Dream, especially in California.
In San Diego, 60% of people think it's harder to achieve the American Dream in California than in other parts of the country. 52% of people surveyed say they don't think they'll retire, or they will have to wait until after they're 65 to do so.
And 68% of the people surveyed say they'd tell young adults to leave the state to find better opportunities.
You can read the full report at the PRRI website.