Ten Facts About California

(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.

About Richard K. Green 102 Articles

Affiliation: University of Southern California

Richard K. Green, Ph.D., is the Director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate. He holds the Lusk Chair in Real Estate and is Professor in the School of Policy, Planning, and Development and the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.

Prior to joining the USC faculty, Dr. Green spent four years as the Oliver T. Carr, Jr., Chair of Real Estate Finance at The George Washington University School of Business. He was Director of the Center for Washington Area Studies and the Center for Real Estate and Urban Studies at that institution. Dr. Green also taught real estate finance and economics courses for 12 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was Wangard Faculty Scholar and Chair of Real Estate and Urban Land Economics. He also has been principal economist and director of financial strategy and policy analysis at Freddie Mac.

His research addresses housing markets, housing policy, tax policy, transportation, mortgage finance and urban growth. He is a member of two academic journal editorial boards, and a reviewer for several others.

His work is published in a number of journals including the American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Journal of Urban Economics, Land Economics, Regional Science and Urban Economics, Real Estate Economics, Housing Policy Debate, Journal of Housing Economics, and Urban Studies.

His book with Stephen Malpezzi, A Primer on U.S. Housing Markets and Housing Policy, is used at universities throughout the country. His work has been cited or he has been quoted in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek and the Economist, as well as other outlets.

Dr. Green earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned his A.B. in economics from Harvard University.

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