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"Haves" vs. "have nots" object of new report

Affluent communities such as Los Altos and Los Altos Hills continue to rate highly when it comes to education and health. For their neighbors, it’s another story.

The American Human Development Project, in partnership with several United Ways, released “A Portrait of California,” a report detailing the large disparities among Silicon Valley residents in the areas of income, education and health.

The report, released two weeks ago, uses the Human Development Index to rank California residents’ circumstances against key benchmarks, categorized by demographic, geographic and other distinctions. The index is calculated using government data that is weighted equally to arrive at a composite score, with 10 as the highest score.

“It’s no surprise that some residents in Silicon Valley are doing very well while others are barely making it,” said Carole Leigh Hutton, president and CEO of United Way Silicon Valley. “This report quantifies the huge gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ and it’s not a pretty picture.”

The report divides Santa Clara County into population clusters of approximately 100,000 residents each and provides Human Development Index scores in the areas of income, education and health, as well as related data for each of the clusters.

The population cluster that includes Los Altos, Mountain View and Palo Alto scored a 10 on the education index, while East San Jose scored a 2.8. The disparity was smaller in the area of health, with Los Altos, Mountain View and Palo Alto scoring an 8.61 on the health index and North San Jose scoring a 5.61.

The data show much higher levels of poverty in some areas, demonstrated by the percentage of seniors and children living below the federal-poverty level. In Los Altos, Mountain View and Palo Alto, 5.8 percent of seniors live at poverty level, compared with 15.8 percent in East San Jose. In Los Altos, Mountain View and Palo Alto, 3 percent of children live below the federal-poverty level, compared with 27.9 percent in North San Jose.

For the full “A Portrait of California” report, visit www.measureofamerica.org.

For more information on United Way Silicon Valley, visit www.uwsv.org.

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