Latest report on family self-sufficiency is released

The number of families who don’t have enough income to cover the cost of living has decreased since 2011, according to the latest study from Network 2 Work at Piedmont Virginia Community College. The fifth version of the Orange Dot Report tracks households who make less than $35,000 in Charlottesville as well as Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson counties. (read the report)

“The comparable number of families struggling in the region in 2011 was 12,552, which was 21% of families,” reads a summary of the report. “The 2022 number–9,413 families–is a 25 percent reduction in the number of struggling families in the region.”

The report acknowledges that the cost of living has increased since that time, with $45,000 in income used as the figure for a single parent with a child in daycare. 

“In this report, we continue to use the $35,000 income threshold as the break point for defining struggling families to remain consistent with the four prior reports,” the summary continues. 

A chart from the Orange Dot Report 5.0 (view the report)

This is the first time Network2Work is partnering with the Equity Center at the University of Virginia. The report notes racial disparities such as 32 percent of Black families have incomes lower than $35,000 compared to 11 percent of white families.  The main issue is that many professions are not valued. 

“The undervaluing of Black labor has been reinforced through many policies from those we’ve collectively recognized as racially discriminatory—enslavement, Black codes, Jim Crow, Massive Resistance—to ongoing and often unacknowledged choices—a legacy of disinvestment in and displacement of Black communities, the blocking of wealth creation through red-lining and predatory lending, disproportionate contact with law enforcement and overincarceration, disenfranchisement and political demobilization, overt and subconscious negative stereotypes.” 

The report also breaks down the situations in all of the localities. 

A breakdown of household income by race 

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the October 28, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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