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Department of Health Services

A Portrait of Sonoma County

Portrait of Sonoma County

Southwest Santa Rosa community leaders participated in a Freedom Dreamers Circle in May 2022, kicking off community input for a new Agenda for Action (Photo courtesy of On the Margins)

Southwest Santa Rosa community leaders participated in a Freedom Dreamers Circle in May 2022,
kicking off community input for a new Agenda for Action (Photo courtesy of On the Margins)

Portrait of Sonoma County: 2021 Update

The Portrait of Sonoma County: 2021 Update report is a follow-up to the groundbreaking 2014 A Portrait of Sonoma County report.

Taken as a whole, the updated report shows that people in Sonoma County live longer, earn more money, stay in school and earn college degrees at higher rates than in other counties across California and the United States. Yet the report also reveals that health and well-being continues to vary widely for many people and neighborhoods in Sonoma County.

Key Findings:

  • Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and immigrant and undocumented community members persistently scored lower than other populations.
  • The Black community experienced the largest decline in HDI scores since 2014, while scores for Latinos have increased.
  • Latino, Native American, and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Island residents of Sonoma County have the lowest median personal earnings among the major racial and ethnic groups, about $29,000, $29,000, and $26,000, respectively.
  • 69.3 percent of Black youth are enrolled in school compared to 77.1 percent of Latino youth and 87.8 percent of Asian youth.
  • The percentage of students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) — a plan that lays out the special education instruction, support and services a student with an identified disability needs to thrive in school — has increased in the Sonoma Valley Unified School District.
  • While the gap between neighborhoods with highest and lowest life expectancy has narrowed since the 2014 report, people living in the highest-scoring neighborhood, East Bennett Valley, still live 8.7 years longer than those in lowest-scoring Roseland neighborhoods.

Unlike the 2014 Portrait, a new Agenda for Action is being developed in response to the 2021 report and in partnership with the community.

The work is being led by Health Action Together, an independent public-private nonprofit.  Through an equity-centered process, communities most impacted by inequities are identifying their priorities and recommended actions. This shared Agenda for Action will serve as a roadmap to direct institutional, political, philanthropic, and community-based efforts, investments, and resources in Sonoma County.

View the updated Portrait of Sonoma County 2021 report »

More information about the new Agenda for Action and Health Action Together »

The Portrait of Sonoma County 2021 Update report was produced by Measure of America, an initiative of the Social Science Research Council, in partnership with Community Foundation Sonoma County, the Peter E. Haas Jr. Family Fund, Sonoma County Office of Equity, Upstream Investments, and Sonoma County Departments of Human and Health Services. Additional funding support was provided by Career Technical Education Foundation, First 5 Sonoma County, Healthcare Foundation Northern Sonoma County, John Jordan Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Petaluma Health Care District, Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation, Sonoma County Office of Education, Providence St. Joseph Health, Sutter Health, and United Way of the Wine Country.