Survey: 40% of Black Women In California Face Financial Limitations
A new 2023 California Black Women’s Quality of Life Survey paints a grave portrait of a group of Black women who are facing instability and financial insecurity due to social and economic pressures. Forty percent of survey respondents reported that racism and discrimination limited their income and earning capacity.
“We are constantly expunged and not uplifted. I am a high-performing individual and cannot get ahead,” a 21-year-old survey respondent from L.A. said. “I don’t have generational wealth, my bills are overdue, I’ve been displaced due to development and gentrification. I don’t have access to quality healthcare, includ[ing] mental health. I am tired.”
The California Black Women’s Think Tank, housed at the California State University at Dominguez Hills, conducted the survey of 1,258 Black women voters across the state. It is the first public project of the policy institute, per CBS News.
Black women represent 51% of the 2.2 million Blacks in California, which has the fifth-largest Black population in the country. Two in five women in the state work more than one job. This includes a whopping 62% who do so because it is “essential” and they would “not be able to make ends meet” without the additional income, the survey states.
“There was little to no help with the long-term effects from Covid. I lost my business and while there was a lot of support for larger businesses, there was little for small businesses, which feed our families. We have been struggling since as the bills continue to climb,” said a 38-year-old survey respondent from Inland Empire.
A previous State of Black Women in California report found that 75% of Black households are headed by single Black mothers and 80% of Black households have Black women breadwinners. However, the latest survey reveals 2 in 5 Black women face challenges covering basic expenses. Eighty percent report struggles with inflation and the rising cost of living, 66% say that managing stress is an issue, 53% are concerned with finding financial resources.
Moreover, women from the Bay Area all reported higher levels of homelessness, violence, and crime than Black women from other regions. The lack of affordability in the area and across the state sheds light on the improvements Black women would like to see for the community. Among other areas, equal pay and the need for affordable housing were the top two.
“Affordable housing. Wages in California to match the quality of living. Not having to earn three times the rent. Being able to afford food and healthcare,” a survey respondent from Central Coast said. “Getting a better job that doesn’t require me to speak Spanish. Not becoming a paycheck away from being homeless. Again.”