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18 Percent of Southern Californians Live in Poverty

The figure is a 69 percent increase since 1990, three times the rate of population growth.

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Getty Images

More than 3 million people in the six-county Southern California region — 18 percent of the total population — lived in poverty in 2012,  it was reported Thursday.

The figure represents a 69 percent increase since 1990, which is nearly three times the rate of population growth in the same period, according to Southern California Association of Governments economists quoted by the Los Angeles Times. One in four children were living below the federal poverty line, the newspaper reported.

The findings generally track earlier studies, including one released in September, showing more than one in four Los Angeles County residents and as many as 22 percent of all Californians live in poverty, according to The Times.

Economic advisors to the Southern California Association of Governments, a planning agency, said the region's economy has begun to grow since the Great Recession ended in 2010 but described the recovery as "slow, uneven and inconsistent," The Times reported.

About 800,000 residents remain unemployed, and although unemployment levels have dropped, none have returned to the low rates that prevailed before the Great Recession. Los Angeles County, for example, may not fully recoup recession-era job losses until 2020, according to analysts quoted by The Times.

Future job opportunities in construction, healthcare, finance, logistics and manufacturing show promise, the advisors said, The Times reported. But they said a growing educational achievement gap between Northern and Southern California residents threatened the recovery.

— City News Service

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