Poverty in Southern California

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Southern California has for many years been ranked among the regions with the highest rate of poverty in the United States.  I found out that poverty has become a very widespread and dangerous epidemic throughout this region of the country and it greatly affects the essential of the economy such as education, general food security, levels of employment, state of health, and also influences homelessness. Despite the Central Valley of California being so productive in terms of agricultural production, I found out that  the poverty levels have persisted due to the high rate of population increase whereby it has over 6.5 million inhabitants and it is estimated that by 2040, the number will have increased to over 12 million (Mark, 12).

I found out that the high rate of population growth has been attributed to migration in search for better jobs, families, and housing in South California. Poverty is where there is limited capital or money to meet the different personal needs such as basic clothing, housing, and food. The number of people who are under the poverty line in the United States is equivalent to over 44 million. It is stated that a person living in poverty is someone earning below $11, 670 (Mark, 14). My photojournalist project is concerned with a special overview of the general state of poverty in Southern California based on the different interpreted photos that I took during my tour in the place.


This section presents the different photos I took on my survey on the poverty in California their respective interpretations based on my research

Figure 1: A fence post I took from Allensworth town

I took the photo above from

Allensworth town located in Tulare, California. My assessment of the 2010 census revealed that the area has over 471 people with a per capita income of over $7274. I found out that the percentage of people living below the poverty line is over 54%. This town is believed to have been established in 1908 by Lt. Col. Allen Allensworth and he was motivated by the insufficiency of water and the different disputes that were prevailing at that time.

Figure 2: Cropduster markers from Corcoran

The figure above represents crop duster markers that I encountered in Corcoran city located in Kings County of California. My analysis of the 20101 indicated that this area is inhabited by over 24813 people with a resident per capita income of $8635. Consequently, 28% of people are believed to be living below the poverty line. I also found out that the town is one of the most polluted areas in California and United States as a whole which influences poverty levels.

Figure 3: farm worker camp that I took from Alpaugh town

Figure 3 represents farm worker camp that I encountered and the photo was taken from Alpaugh which is located in Tulare County in California. I found out that the area has a population of over 1,026 people. My assessment revealed that the per capita income of the town is ranked at $8427 and consequently 55.4% residents of the area are below the poverty line. I also found out that the area is greatly affected by contaminated water with high arsenic levels as well as other dangerous chemicals. This is a great threat to the different inhabitants of the area.

Figure 4: Homeless camp in Fresno County

Figure 4 presents a photo of a homeless camp that I found in Fresno County in California where the population is believed to be 494,665 as per the 2010 census. I found out that the area has per capita income of about $19752 and the number of people living below the poverty line is equivalent to 24.8%. The area is ranked among the leading and richest agricultural towns in the United States with over $6 billion of crop output on an annual basis.

Figure 5: Shopping cart that I took from Bakersfield city

Figure 5 presents a photo of a shopping cart that I took from Bakersfield. This is a city located in Kern County in California. My analysis of the 2010 census revealed that the area's population is over 347,483. I also found out that the per capita income of the area is around $23,261 and consequently over 19.3% are greatly affected by poverty


My photojournalist project has played a great role in illustrating the nature of poverty in the different areas of California. There is evidence of very high population in the different towns and cities which is consequently increasing greatly. I also found out that the high population which is basically due to migrations has influenced the increase in the levels of poverty where a bigger percentage of people are below the poverty level. This is attributed to the fact that most people are unemployed, some are homeless and others lack the technical personnel to perform different income generating activities, and it has consequently affected the health of most people. My photojournalist project also shows people's state of living based on income levels and how this affects different elements of health, employment, shelter, and food.  My assessment and interpretation of the situation in California give a strong foundation for addressing different issues affecting the people of southern California using the figures provided such as the population figures, per capita income and the percentage of people below the poverty line.


I identified a few mistakes identified in the project most of which were grammatical errors and have all been collected to give a perfect essay.


Mark Bittman, "Everyone Eats There." The New York Times Magazine, October 10, 2012.

September 11, 2023

Social Issues

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Social Problems

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