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Capital University News, California State University, Sacramento

April 19, 2004

Report highlights wide disparities in
Greater Sacramento Region

Full report (pdf)

A new report by a researcher from California State University, Sacramento and the Community Services Planning Council features a series of GIS maps which graphically depict local challenges such as pockets of poverty, low-performing schools and imbalances in government services.

The goal is to help community leaders meet future needs in the eight counties of the Greater Sacramento Region (El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba).

The report, “A Regional View of Social Disparities,” was produced by CSUS public policy professor Rob Wassmer and the Community Services Planning Council, with assistance from a grant from the Great Valley Center. It features 44 maps – supported by tables and other references – that help leaders “see” the region’s social and economic disparities.

“Different jurisdictions in the region face different health and human service needs, and have varying levels of resources to address those needs,” Wassmer says. “Ongoing population growth, for instance, means greater demands for new infrastructure. We’ll need 840,000 new housing units, and that could consume nearly half a million acres of land currently in agricultural production. Policies to address these regional challenges are unlikely to be accomplished through local jurisdictions working alone.”

Some highlights from the report include:

  • Population in the eight-county Region is expected to grow from 2.84 million in 2000, to 4.27 million by 2025 (about 50 percent)
  • Population growth is expected to occur at the fringe of existing population centers. In 25 years, current densely populated areas will be larger.
  • Public schools with high standardized test scores (a 700 on API) are nearly all in Placer and El Dorado counties, and the northeastern corner of Sacramento County. There are some pockets of high achieving schools in southern San Joaquin, Sutter and Yuba counties.
  • Persons between age 65 and 84 has increased nearly 21 percent in the last ten years, and the group of people 85 or older has grown by nearly 60 percent. The percentage of seniors will grow from 11 to 35 percent in the next 50 years – an “age wave.”
  • There is rich ethnic diversity in some community pockets, but only San Joaquin and Sacramento counties have a race/ethnicity distribution as diverse as the state as a whole.
  • K-12 students who are English language learners are most likely to live in Yolo, San Joaquin or Sacramento counties.
  • One in four children lives in a single-parent household. Sacramento County has a high percentage of single-parent families (31 percent), while the percentage of married parent families is highest in Placer County (80 percent).
  • Only El Dorado and Placer Counties show personal income greater than the state as a whole. Sutter, Yuba and Yolo counties have higher poverty rates than California as a whole.
  • Counties with the greatest demand for human services also have the least per-capita tax revenue. The more affluent and sparsely populated counties tend to generate higher per-capita tax revenue.

Full report:

For more, contact Katrina Middleton of the Community Services Planning Council at (916) 447-7063 ext. 306, or Rob Wassmer at (916) 278-6304. Media assistance is available from CSUS public affairs at (916) 278-6156.


California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •
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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •