Our Human Development Index

Apr 06, 2015
Our Human Development Index
From the desk of: 
Kenneth Harwood
Solvang Chamber of Commerce

   Human Development Index (HDI) refers to combined measurement of (1) life expectancy at birth, (2) educational achievement, and (3) individual personal income. Quality of Living Index ordinarily would include measurements of other items such as public safety and clean air. HDI measures three aspects of quality.

   Santa Barbara County has an HDI of 5.16 on a scale of 10. Here is how we compare with some other places.

   Our HDI is above those of Kern County and the United States, while it is below those of San Luis Obispo County, California, and Ventura County.

  Our HDI is among those of 39 percent of Californians who are in Main Street California, with scores of 5.00 to 6.99. Notice that the other county scores above are in that range, except for one. Kern County is a part of the 42 percent of Californians who are in Struggling California, with scores from 3.00 to 4.99. Main Street California and Struggling California include 81 percent of Californians.            

   One Percent California includes the highest scoring one percent, Elite Enclave California includes the next 15 percent, and Disenfranchised California the lowest scoring 3 percent. These three groups make up 19 percent of Californians.

   Marin County, just north of San Francisco, has the highest HDI of 48 counties in California at 7.45, placing it in Elite Enclave California, where scores are between 7.00 and 8.99. Lake County in northern California has an HDI of 3.39, which identifies it as a part of Struggling California. No county is in One Percent California, and none is in Disenfranchised California, although some clusters of neighborhoods are in the top category or the bottom one.

   The HDI of the United States hovers just above the boundary between Main Street and Struggling. California as a whole is Main Street.

   Please see online A Portrait of California 2014-2015: California Human Development Report for details.
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