Living expenses (from Wikipedia)
The popularity of the region, owing both to its mild weather and its cultural and economic diversity, combined with strong anti-growth sentiment (both local and statewide), has led to high housing costs, especially for ownership and for commercial property leases. Owing to the relatively lower costs of outlying housing and limited public transportation, long, expensive, and often unpleasant automobile commutes are common in the region, and these costs tend to trickle down throughout various activities, making many other activities such as dining out, theater tickets, etc. more expensive than in other areas of the country. For only a limited portion of the population have wages kept pace with the increased expenses and many minimum wage earners, even those holding multiple jobs, (and many families with multiple members employed) are classified as "working poor", while the higher incomes necessary for a satisfactory lifestyle in the region lead to higher taxes, especially at the federal level for persons not qualifying for high mortgage or self employment related deductions.
This graph compares the income distribution among Bay Area households to the national level.
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