Marin County is known for its natural beauty, but it is also known for its affluence. However, the level of affluence is not equal for all residents. A new report commissioned by the Marin Community Foundation (MCF) and executed by the American Human Development Project of the Social Science Research Council illustrates a large disparity between different groups of residents when measured by the American Human Development Index (HD Index).
The highest HD Index ranking for communities in Marin is Ross, which is 90 percent white, with a composite index of 9.70; the Canal area of San Rafael, which is 76 percent Latino, scores the lowest, at 3.18, below that of West Virginia, the lowest-ranking state overall. Using this scale to measure the comparative well-being of racial groups in Marin, the highest HD Index is for Asian Americans (8.88) and whites (8.44), with a wide gap between those groups and African Americans (5.72) and Latinos (5.17).
Other findings included in the press release:
- While 88 percent of white children are enrolled in preschool, only 47 percent of Latino children are.
- In Marin, as across the nation, the schools whose students have greater needs tend to get fewer public dollars. Furthermore, low-income children, who would benefit most from high-quality preschools, are least likely to be enrolled in one.
- The typical female worker living in Marin earns nearly $14,000 less per year than the typical male worker—a larger earnings gap than the one for California ($10,217) and for the country as a whole ($11,179).
The American Human Development Project has been measuring the well-being of America using the HD Index since 2008; however, A Portrait of Marin County is the first time the analysis has been applied to a specific county.