Ten Facts About California

By Oct 25, 2009, 6:08 PM Author's Blog  

(1) Family of four median income in California ranks 15th among the states. Regardless of how income is measured, in California it is somewhat above average, but not extraordinarily so.

(2) Among the 50 states, California ranks 4th in per capita spending; add DC, and it ranks 5th.

(3) Per capita spending on K-12 education is about average.

(4) California’s high school graduation rate is 10th from the bottom.

(5) This can be explained partially by the fact that California leads the nation in foreign born population.

(6) But even after controlling for foreign born population, educational attainment in California is average.

(7) California’s incarceration rate is a bit above average, but not extraordinary by US standards.

(8) California relies less on property tax revenue to finance its government than the average state. Economists generally find the property tax to be less distortionary and unstable than other types of taxes.

(9) in 2005-06 (the last year for which I have data), California had more net business creation than any other state. After scaling for size, California’s business creation was comparable to Texas’.

(10) California relies disproportionately on Information Technology and Professional and Technical Services for employment. These are high paying jobs that require a well educated labor force.

For pictures, go here. Thanks to Matt Moore for research assistance.

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