The report from the Congressional Research Service in Washington concluded Appalachia and the Central Valley were similar in many respects. Both regions suffer from a number of social and economic ills including low education levels and high rates of poverty.
Carol Whiteside, the President of the Great Valley Center called the report "sobering".
When asked if the Valley needed a federal development agency like the well-financed Appalachian Region Commission, Whiteside replied.
"We need a strategy and then money might be helpful or some kind of what I would call 'an extraordinary intervention. But I think that until we're thoughtful about how to do it just throwing money at it isn't the answer."
Several federal and state government programs are devoted to improving life in the San Joaquin Valley, but collectively they receive only a fraction of the resources earmarked for Appalachia. The report was compiled at the behest of the bi-partisan Valley congressional delegation.