Making Ends Meet: How Much Does it Cost to Raise a Family in California?

Making Ends Meet: How Much Does it Cost to Raise a Family in California?

Researchers and policy makers use the federal poverty line as the benchmark to judge economic well-being. For most purposes, however, the FPL is an obsolete measure in that it fails to take into account issues such as the cost of child care and regional variations in the cost of living. Making Ends Meet: How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Family in California? (30 pages, PDF), a recent study from the California Budget Project, estimates the typical cost of housing and utilities, child care, transportation, food, health coverage, payroll and income taxes, and miscellaneous expenses for four hypothetical California families — a single adult, a single working parent with two children, a two-parent family with two children and one working parent, and two working parents with two children — and attempts to create an improved benchmark for assessing the adequacy of employment opportunities and public policies that address the economic challenges facing working families in the state.