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2017-2018 Border Health Status Report to the Legislature 


The population of the border region of California, composed of San Diego and Imperial counties, has steadily grown from 2010 to 2017. During this period, San Diego County’s population increased by 8%, and Imperial County’s population increased by 9%, both of which are higher than the statewide increase of 7%. In 2017, the California DOF projected that there were 3,528,080 individuals living in the border region, most of whom were living in San Diego County (n=3,337,456) and a smaller number of whom were living in Imperial County (n=190,624) (DOF, 2018).

The population in California, including the border region, is racially and ethnically diverse. In data from 2016- 2017, Whites made up the majority (45%) of the population in San Diego County, whereas Latinos constituted a large minority group of 36% (CHIS, 2016-2017). In Imperial County, most of the population was Latino (85%), whereas Whites accounted for 12% (CHIS, 2016-2017). As shown in Figure 1.1, in the State of California, Whites and Latinos made up approximately the same proportion, at 38% and 39% of the total population, respectively (Fig. 1.1) (CHIS, 2016-2017).​​

In 2016-2017, San Diego County reported that 5% (74,295 cases) of the population was unemployed, whereas Imperial County reported that approximately 20% (15,131 cases) was unemployed (CHIS, 2016-2017). Statewide, the unemployment rate was 5% (997,286 cases) (Fig. 1.2) (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019).  ​​

In 2016-2017, 32% of San Diego County residents were living below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), as compared with nearly two-thirds (65%) of Imperial County residents and 37% of California residents (Fig. 1.3) (CHIS, 2016-2017).  ​​​

A comparison by race/ethnicity indicated that the Latino population consistently had a higher percent of people living below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level in the California border region. The same result was observed in California statewide (Fig. 1.4) (CHIS, 2016-2017).​​​

In 2016-2017, 43% of San Diego County residents had a college degree or higher, whereas 41% of Imperial County residents had education below a high school diploma. Statewide, 39% of Californians had a college degree or higher, and 17% (n=4,445,000) had education below a high school diploma (Fig. 1.5) (CHIS, 2016-2017).  ​​​

When the percent of college graduates was compared by race/ethnicity, the Latino population, as compared with the White population, consistently had a lower percent of people in the California border region and in California statewide who did not graduate from college (Fig. 1.6) (CHIS, 2016-2017).  ​​​
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