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PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Economic Well-Being

Mark Baldassare, Dean Bonner, Alyssa Dykman, and Rachel Lawler

With support from Irvine, in December 2020 the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) released the PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Economic Well-Being. The survey is PPIC’s first Statewide Survey focused on the topic of economic inequality and mobility. Key findings from the survey include:

  • Four in 10 Californians living on low incomes (households with annual incomes under $40,000) saw their hours or pay reduced in the past 12 months, and the same number cut back on food to save money.
  • Nearly two out of three Californians believe children growing up today will be worse off financially than their parents.
  • More than eight in 10 Californians say racism is a problem in the US today, including 71 percent of African Americans who say it is a big problem.
  • A majority (80 percent) of Californians believe it is important for employees to organize to protect themselves, but only three in 10 employed adults say they have such opportunities at work.
  • More than two-thirds of Californians say the gap between rich and poor is widening, and seven in 10 say that racial and ethnic discrimination contributes to economic inequality in this country.

The PPIC Statewide Survey delivers nonpartisan, objective, advocacy-free information on the perceptions, opinions, and public policy preferences of California residents. The survey is conducted regularly throughout the year in the key areas of government, the environment, K–12 education, and higher education.




Also in December 2020, with support from Irvine, PPIC published their report Income Inequality and Economic Opportunity in California which looks at the effects of the downturn on California’s labor market in the context of growing income inequality.