The Mission’s Place Amongst California Neighborhoods

A new study released by the American Human Development Project compares the different regions, cities, and neighborhoods in California by their quality of life. A Portrait of California uses the Human Development Index, a composite measure made up of health, education, living standards, and income indicators (on a scale of 1 to 10), to paint a picture of 5 very different Californias where the Bay Area reigns.

California ranks 12th in the nation in terms of quality of life, but also contains the largest range of different living standards compared to other states. Of the 233 census neighborhoods, 11 of the Bay Area neighborhoods rank in the top 20.

Much like the rest of the state, starkly different living standards exist within the Bay Area, and within San Francisco.  Of the San Francisco neighborhoods, the Marina, Chinatown and North Beach placed the highest (9th in the State) scoring 8.27 on the Human Development Index. On the opposite end of the spectrum lie Hunters Point and McClaren Park at 4.99 on the scale, the lowest ranking SF neighborhood, but still only 140 out of 233 California neighborhoods. And what of the Mission district? It ranks 21 out of 233, with an overall score of 7.96. Here is a breakdown of the various Mission statistics and scores:

  • Average life expectancy:  80 years
  • 8.1% have less than a high school diploma
  • At least 64.5% have a bachelor’s degree
  • 100% of 3-24 year olds are enrolled in school
  • Health index score:  5.83
  • Education index score:  9.26
  • Income index score: 8.79
  • Approximately 37.6% of renters spend more than 30% of their income on housing
  • Approximately 14.8% of adults over the age of 65 live in poverty
  • Approximately 11.4% of children live in poverty

The study further ranks the well-being of ethnicities in each Metro area; Asian Americans fare the best in San Francisco, scoring 7.93, just above Whites with 7.89. The scores drop dramatically for Latinos and African Americans, scoring 4.93 and 4.81, respectively. San Francisco itself ranks as the highest city on the Human Development Index, scoring 6.97.

Download the full portrait of California here, and visit the project’s website for more information.

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