Economic Opportunity

Providing Californians of color equitable access to real economic opportunities is essential for all Californians to thrive.

Why Economic Opportunity matters for racial equity:

Families of color are at a significant disadvantage compared to White families, who have accumulated wealth over generations due to racial discrimination in employment, housing, and access to government services. The pandemic exacerbated those inequities and brought economic opportunity to the forefront of public attention as millions of low-income Californians of color have struggled to make ends meet, secure stable shelter, obtain quality food, and pay for utilities.

What we find:

The data on economic opportunity showcases that communities of color are disproportionately suffering from structural barriers that impeded their ability to thrive. Black, Latinx, and American Indian / Alaska Native Californians disproportionately had lower wages and lived in poverty.

Key Takeaways.


Economic Opportunity

Learn More about our Methodology

Policy levers:

To significantly move towards racial equity and better economic performance, the state of California and counties must provide community members with a guaranteed basic income, universal broadband access, and quality jobs. It is also vital for youth of color to be connected to schools and, once old enough, employment opportunities. Localities that are rural or have smaller populations especially need these policy interventions. As we shift from pandemic response to recovery, we must direct resources to remedy the underlying inequities that created a foundation for COVID-19 to devastate the economic welfare of communities of color. Meaning, in addition to shoring up inequities in our system of public health, we must direct investments to the root causes of systemic oppression — such as access to affordable housing for low-income people, permanent supportive housing for those of us who are unhoused, quality food and schools, and guaranteed basic income. Another necessary solution is closing corporate property tax loopholes, which led to a deep divestment in education and public services.

Put Data to Use

Learn how you can take action to eliminate racial disparity and use RACE COUNTS data to advance social justice.

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