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The Self-Sufficiency Standard for California

The Family Economic Self-Sufficiency Standard (Self-Sufficiency Standard) measures how much income is needed for a family of a certain composition living in a particular county to adequately meet its minimal basic needs. It is based on the costs families face on a daily basis – housing, food, child care, out-of-pocket medical expenses, transportation, and other necessary spending – and provides a complete picture of what it takes for families to make ends meet, contrary to the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)

How much is enough to make ends meet in your county?

  • To see the Self-Sufficiency Standard for your county and which families are struggling to make ends meet, use the Self-Sufficiency Standard Look-Up Tool.
  • To view the methodology for the Self-Sufficiency Standard for California, click here.
  • To download the full data tables for the 2014 Self-Sufficiency Standard for California (e.g. minimum income levels by county and family type), click here. (Excel, 1.8MB)
  • To download the full data tables for the 2012 Self-Sufficiency Standard for California demographic analysis (e.g. number and percent of households with incomes below the Self-Sufficiency Standard), click here. (Excel, 770KB).