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Does California (and the North State) Get Its Fair Share?

February 1, 2019--For this newsletter map series we focus on federal spending and its relation to economic productivity both across the nation, within California, and within the CSU, Chico Service Region. California is frequently touted as being the largest subnational economy in the world, as the state’s economy surpassed that of the United Kingdom in 2017with a total GDP of $2.8 trillion. The state was also one of the largest recipients of federal spending, with $307.4 billion in total awards in 2017, and also had the largest state population with 39.5 million residents. Since both federal spending and economic productivity are in part functions of total population, we explore at the relationship between population, federal spending, and economic productivity in the maps below. All federal spending and GDP amounts are standardized by their respective state, county, and metropolitan statistical area (MSA) population totals to account for relative population size.

In the first map, below,  we show the amount of federal spending per capita in 2017 for each of the lower 48 states in America, using data from the website. North Dakota was far ahead of any other state in 2017 per capita spending, with $87,319 in total awards, followed by Kentucky in second place with $20,474 and Indiana in third place with $19,504. In contrast, the states with the lowest per capita federal spending in 2017 were Utah ($4,939), Kansas ($6,026), and Georgia ($6,242). California received $307.4B in total federal awards in 2017, but because of its large population it ranked as only the 33rd highest federal award recipient, with $7,774 federal dollars per capita.

In the second map below we show economic productivity per capita by state in 2017 using real GDP data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and population estimates from the 2017 American Community Survey. New York State had the highest real GDP per capita in 2017 with $80,940, followed by Massachusetts ($79,153) and Delaware ($75,328). In contrast, Mississippi had the lowest real GDP per capita in 2017 with $36,653, followed by West Virginia ($40,778) and Arkansas ($40,843). California had the largest aggregate GDP in 2017 ($2.8 trillion), as noted above, but this was partly a function of its large population size (39.5 million). As a result, the state ranked as the seventh-highest with $70,760 in real GDP per capita in 2017.

If we want to think of GDP as a kind of return on federal investment, in per capita terms, then Utah actually had the highest “return” in 2017: the state produced $10.76 in real GDP for every federal dollar spent in the state. Utah was closely followed by Delaware ($10.57) and Illinois ($9.79). North Dakota ($0.80), Kentucky ($2.22), and Indiana ($2.71) had the lowest GDP “returns” from federal dollars per capita in 2017. California, despite its dominant status in aggregate GDP, in fact ranked ninth-highest with $9.10 in real GDP per capita for each federal dollar spent.

We would of course expect different regions of California to vary considerably in terms of both their federal spending needs and their economic productivity. To explore these questions in greater detail, the final set of maps below  project data on per capita federal spending and real GDP for California counties and Metropolitan Statistical Areas in 2017. Yolo County was highest by far in per capita federal spending with $34,158 per person, followed by San Francisco County ($12,076) and Sacramento County ($11,520). In the CSU, Chico Service Region, Sierra County ($9,196), Plumas County ($8,254), and Modoc County ($7,737) ranked fourth through sixth in the state in total federal spending per capita. In contrast, the counties with the lowest per capita federal spending in 2017 were primarily located in the San Joaquin Valley, with the lowest-spending counties being Tulare ($2,779), Merced ($3,044), and Madera ($3,115). The lowest-spending counties in the CSU, Chico Service Region in 2017 were Colusa ($4,023), Glenn ($4,058), and Sutter ($4,106).

Unfortunately, GDP data for 2017 are only available for metropolitan statistical areas (MSA), which comprise either single- or multi-county regions but do not include all California counties. In terms of GDP per capita, the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara MSA generated $137,753 per capita in 2017, followed by the San Jose-Oakland-Hayward region with $105,918 and Napa County with $81,196. In contrast, the Merced MSA ($31,633), the El Centro MSA ($32,978) and the Visalia-Porterville MSA ($33,068) hast the lowest real GDP per capita in 2017. In the CSU, Chico Service Region, the Redding MSA was most productive with $39,111 GDP per capita, followed by the Chico MSA ($35,621) and Yuba City MSA ($34,685).

If we once again calculate per capita real GDP “returns” on federal spending for California regions where MSAs and counties overlap, the San Jose region MSA is once again dominant with a whopping $24 dollars in real GDP per capita per federal dollar spent in 2017. San Jose is followed closely by Napa County / Napa MSA with $20 real GDP per capita. The lowest “return” is seen in the Sacramento region MSA, with roughly $1 in real GDP for every federal dollar spent in 2017, followed by the Yuba City MSA with $3 in real GDP per capita for each federal dollar. The other two MSAs in the CSU, Chico service region (Chico and Redding) each produced $7 in real GDP per capita for each federal dollar in 2017.

These maps amply demonstrate that economic prosperity and the need for federal spending are highly unevenly distributed both across the country and within different regions of California, and that the benefits created by extreme productivity in some areas are perhaps necessary to provide for the needs of those in less well-off areas. The question of whether or not an area gets its “fair share” of federal support, relative to its productivity, is perhaps better framed as a balancing act between different regions, where the surplus of one can ideally be used to supplement the needs of another.

Percent High School Graduates Meeting State Balanced Assessment Standards

For December's Map of the Month, CED examines newly released standardized testing data from the California Department of Education, known as the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA). We focus here on high school seniors, and use data on the proportion of seniors who either met or exceeded SBA Mathematics standards for 2017. To view additional maps focusing on the SBA Language Arts and Linguistics assessment results, please follow this link.

California Foreign Birth Populations

Have you ever wondered about the various immigrant groups have settled in the North State, and some of the forces that brought them here? For October's newsletter, the CED examined the most common countries of origin for the foreign-born population across California and in the CSU Chico Service Region. Emigrants to the United States have always been highly differentiated in terms of their motivations for leaving their countries of origin, the circumstances of their departure, the amount and types of resources they are able to bring with them, and their political and cultural reception once in the United States. Such variation in migration and reception circumstances has been particularly pronounced throughout California's state history, and has contributed to the substantial diversity of immigrant communities in the North State and elsewhere. Please click here to view maps of Yuba, Sutter and Butte County's foreign born population data.


Agriculture, Healthcare, and Manufacturing Employment

For September's newsletter, the CED went outside of our service region to look at the economic change in three industries over a ten year span from 2005 to 2015 in the western United States. The Western United States, for the sake of this study, was any state west of the Mississippi River, which includes 22 states. We looked at the employment size of major industries based on common NAICS code groupings and decided to look further into agriculture industries, manufacturing industries, and healthcare industries. We then took a ten-year percent change, based on employment size in each grouping, for each of the 22 states from 2005 to 2015. We compared a Western US average to a California average to see how our state has been faring in these industries compared to the rest of the Western US.  

Public School Average Annual Spending Per Pupil

For August's Map of the Month, the CED examined per-pupil spending by county for 2016, as well as the percent change in spending from 2006 to 2016 to examine how public school spending changed during the recession. While the rural counties of our region are typically characterized by lower costs of living compared to the rest of the state, this effect may be offset by larger transportation and administrative costs for school districts that serve students in sparsely populated areas.


Manufacturing and Agriculture Location Quotients, 2016

Our Map of the Month for July focuses on the location quotients for two of the North State's major industries, manufacturing and agriculture. A location quotient is a metric used to describe the degree of concentration of a particular area in any given industry. Location quotients can be used both as a measure of economic concentration but also as a measure of business diversity and risk, counties with high location quotients in just a few sectors may be more vulnerable with economic change due to fluctuations in a single industry.


California DUI Arrest Rate, 2005-2014

In our newsletter for June, the CED examined driving under the influence arrests per capita using statistics from the California Deparment of Justice. Despite our higher-than-average arrest rates, the CSU, Chico Service Region has actually seen a significant decrease in the amount of DUI arrests over the last ten years in comparison to the state average. 


California High School Dropout Rates, 2012-2016

For the month of May, our map of the month series takes a look at high school dropouts in California. Time periods included in this report are 2012-2013, 2013-2014, and 2014-2015. For each time period the CED represented data of drop out numbers, enrollment, and dropout rates.

Smoking in California

For April's map series, the CED looked at the counties of California that may be most affected by Proposition 56, which went into effect on April 1, 2017. This proposition increased the tax on tobacco products from $0.87 to $2.87, and changed the tax's revenue allocation to support existing state healthcare programs. To study the effects of smoking across California counties, we looked at each county's overall percentage of residents who smoke, as well as each county's mortality rate from lung cancer.


Crime Changes in California, 2009-2015

For March's newsletter map, the CED performed a deep-dive into county-level crime data to shed light on changes in crime rates and the potential effects of recent public safety legislation on rural northern California counties. Between 2009 and 2015, crime rates in most California counties did increase relative to national averages, with the highest increases felt in rural parts of the state. While it is important to remember that correlation does not always imply causation, this time period does coincide with the passage of Assembly Bill 109 and Proposition 47, two controversial measures aimed at reducing state prison populations. 


Average Water Storage Capacity for State Reservoirs, 2017

With a near-unprecedented rainy season still in full swing, this month's map highlights the water storage capacity levels for our state reservoirs as of February 6, 2017.


Median Gross Rent as a Percentage of Household Income, by County, 2015

We at the CED, would like to wish you all a very happy new year! January's map highlights median gross rent as a percentage of household income by county for the year 2015.


California Sales and Use Tax Rates by County, 2016

In the spirit of the holiday shopping season, December's map highlights this year's sales and use tax rates by county. All counties within the CSU Chico Service Region maintain the standard tax rate of 7.5 percent.


Veterans Living in Poverty by County 2015

In honor of Veterans Day, November's map highlights map highlights veterans living in poverty by county for the year 2015. Overall, the state's percent of impoverished veterans is 7.5%  while the CSU, Chico Service Region is much higher at 9.6%.

Age-Adjusted Breast Cancer Mortality Rate by County, 1999-2014

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the map for October highlights the age-adjusted rates of mortality due to breast cancer by county for the years 1999 to 2014. 

Bachelor's Degrees within the STEM Fields, 2014

This month's map highlights degree holders with a bachelor's degree or higher in a field related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Overall, 22.7% of bachelor's degree holders in the state held a degree in STEM fields while the CSU Chico Service Region held a larger percentage of degree holders with a degree in STEM at 25.5%.

Net Migration By County, 2010 - 2015

This month's map highlights average net migration by county for the years 2010-2015. While California's coastal and urban areas continue to see positive net migration, most rural counties have been experiencing losses from migration over the past five years. 

Percentage of Local Employment Based on Travel and Tourism Spending By County, 2015

This month’s map highlights counties whose economies are most strongly dependent on tourism by mapping the number of jobs associated with travel-generated earnings for the year 2015. Throughout the state, coastal and mountainous counties had the highest concentration of tourism related jobs whereas counties in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley’s had the lowest concentration.

NEW FEATURE! View our first ever interactive version of this month's map!

Educational Attainment in the North State

Adults in the CSU, Chico Service Region are more likely to have completed a high school diploma than the average Californian, but less likely to have completed a 4-year college degree.

Political Party Affiliation in California

While popular media and conventional wisdom in California is often focused on the perceived cultural and political differences between northern and southern portions of the state, these maps highlight the more relevant political divide that persists in our state - between coastal, mostly urban portions of the state and inland, mostly rural portions of the state. Read More.


Timber and Trash: A Look at Natural Resources for Earth Month

The timber as a percentage of all natural resource and agricultural production map shows how vital timber production is for many northern California communities. The waste disposal sites by facility type map shows how communities throughout the state are affected by waste management. Beyond allowing us to visualize how waste might be moving from our State’s larger population centers to more rural disposal sites, it also suggests a lack of options for specialized sites such as green waste or chipping and grinding facilities within our region. Read More.


Agricultural Employment and Irrigated Cropland in California

 It is important to note that overall agricultural land use is much greater in most locations, as this figure does not include lands irrigated by private wells or fields not requiring irrigation. Statewide, San Joaquin County has the highest amount of its land area dedicated to irrigated croplands at 53.1 percent, followed by Stanislaus County at 44 percent. Counties on the westward (drier) side of both the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys tended to have the highest amounts of land area dedicated to irrigated cropland. Within the CSU, Chico Service Region, irrigated croplands accounted for a high of 41.1 percent of land in Sutter County, followed by 26.1 percent of land in Colusa County. With much of this irrigation dependent on reservoir storage and withdrawals from the Sacramento and Feather rivers, a strong rainy season and a return to normal snow packs in the Sierra and Coastal Range will be especially important to those counties. Read More