Index Offers Well-Being Scores for Five Distinct Clusters of Californians
California ranks 12th in the nation for the well-being of its residents, but health and wellness factors vary widely among different socioeconomic groups, according to a report from the American Human Development Index, California Watch reports (Lin, California Watch, 5/17).
For the report, called "A Portrait of California," researchers scored state residents on factors such as health, education and income using a 10-point scale, with 10 being the best score possible.
Researchers then divided Californians into five distinct socioeconomic clusters based on their well-being scores (Walters, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 5/17). The report noted that:
- Well-educated entrepreneurs and professionals live in "Silicon Valley Shangri-La," which represents 1% of Californians and received a well-being score of 9.35;
- Affluent workers live in the "Metro-Coastal Enclave," which represents 18% of Californians and received a well-being score of 7.92;
- Middle-income suburban workers live in "Main Street California," which represents 38% of Californians and received a well-being score of 5.91;
- Blue-collar and low-income workers live in "Struggling California," which represents 38% of Californians and received a well-being score of 4.17; and
- Impoverished residents of certain Los Angeles and San Joaquin Valley neighborhoods are the "Forsaken Five Percent," which represents 5% of Californians and received a well-being score of 2.59.
The report proposes several actions for the state to boost the well-being of its residents. To improve the well-being of the "Forsaken Five Percent," researchers recommend:
- Improving educational equity;
- Promoting healthy behaviors;
- Reducing the segregation of residents; and
- Stabilizing housing costs.
In addition, the report recommends reducing the gender gap in earnings for the "Silicon Valley Shangri-La" cluster (California Watch, 5/17).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.