Oct 13, 2023 - News

San Francisco Latinos' poverty rate higher than overall population's

Photo of a street intersection with a colorful mural of the word "Mission"

The corner of 24th and Shotwell streets in San Francisco's Mission District — which has a large Latino population — in December 2020. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images

The percentage of Latinos in San Francisco living in poverty has dipped in the past decade, though by a much smaller margin compared to California overall, new census data shows.

Driving the news: In San Francisco, 13% of Hispanic residents were living in poverty as of 2022 compared to almost 14% in 2010. The city's overall poverty rate dropped from just under 12% to around 10% during that same time frame.

  • A 2017 survey of households with children in the Mission found that 90% of respondents, who were mostly Latino, earned less than $50,000 annually.

Meanwhile, nearly 15% of California's Hispanic residents were living in poverty as of 2022 compared to well over 20% in 2010.

  • California's overall poverty rate is now 12%, a decline from roughly 15% in 2010.
Data: Census Bureau; Chart: Alice Feng/Axios
Data: Census Bureau; Chart: Alice Feng/Axios

The big picture: Nationally, nearly 17% of Latinos — 10 million — were living in poverty in 2022.

  • That's well above the nation's overall poverty rate of 11.5%, but below the 2021 Latino poverty rate of over 25%.

Between the lines: Economic security is often precarious for Latinos in part because of their exclusion from high-wage jobs as well as immigration status, which can prevent access to many government benefits.

Zoom in: In San Francisco, several Latino organizations have taken steps to address economic insecurity in the community.

  • The La Raza Community Resource Center partners with San Francisco-Marin Food Bank to distribute weekly groceries for free to over 1,000 low-income Latino families with children per month.
  • Centro Latino provides supportive services, including assistance with government benefits and subsidized housing, to economically disadvantaged elders, families and adults with disabilities.
  • Calle 24, which in 2014 successfully advocated for the Board of Supervisors to establish the Latino Cultural District in the Mission, offers financial and legal assistance to businesses while working to promote a variety of Latino establishments.

What they're saying: Poverty is one of the most pressing issues facing Hispanics in the U.S., says José Jurado Vadillo, a research economist at the Seidman Institute, Arizona State University.

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