Wealth gap grows in San Diego, report says
By Phillip Molnar
Also published in Los Angeles Times
If you feel left behind in San Diego’s economy, you’re not alone.
The gap between the have and have-not’s in San Diego was the ninth-highest out of 100 cities between 2011 to 2016, said a report from Bloomberg.
The news service’s analysis of the Census Bureau data compared households in the top 20 percent to the bottom 20 percent. San Diego had one of the biggest widening gaps — going from No. 49 on the list to No.9.
In the five years studied, the gap between the San Diego average household income in the top 20 to the bottom 20 was $43,000. The nationwide average gap was $31,000.
An income gap isn’t always bad, provided everyone’s wages are going up, but in San Diego the problem is that people on the lower end are being hurt by housing costs, said Wayne Winegarden, a senior fellow at the San Francisco-based Pacific Research Institute.
He said San Diego’s dramatic increases in housing costs, at least in part fueled by its high-paying life sciences industry, means people in weaker industries may struggle to keep up.
“The cost of living is going up, reflecting what is happening in the good parts (of the economy),” he said. “But, you have a lot of industries that aren’t doing as well.”