Did you know there are over 170 different community indicators on Skagit County Trends - each updated throughout the year? But which ones, and when?
This issue of the Skagit County Trends blog lists some of the most recently updated indicators on the Skagit County Trends website.
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0.1.2 Median Age of the Population – Skagit is older than many counties
This measure locates the “middle” year of all the ages in Skagit County: half the people are above the number, half are below.
As one can readily see, the median in the county is far above the median in the U.S. and Washington state. The 2022 estimate from Census is 42.1 years, compared to 39.0 for the U.S. and 38.4 for Washington. Further, Skagit County has shown an older skew of its population since the start of this indicator, in 2005.
0.3.1 Average Number of People per Household – slightly lower here than in the state and nation
Household size is usually related to family size. Families of 3 or more will push up the number. However, it is also connected to unattached adults. That group might consist of several students sharing a home, pushing the average up. But I might consist of adults, either young or old, living alone, bringing the average down.
For 2022, Census estimated the average size to be 2.5 people in Skagit County. This is slightly below the values for Washington (2.55) and the U.S. (2.6). Over the past 15 years, average household size in the county has remained fairly constant.
In ECOMOMIC VITALITY:
2.5.3 Total and Share of Youth Living in Poverty – a decline in 2022
The Federal Poverty Level (FPJ) varies each year by family size and over time by annual cost-of-living adjustments. If a household has income at or below the FPL, it is said to live in poverty. This measure estimates all those children (0-17) who find themselves in those households.
For 2022, Census estimates the number of young people living in poverty to be about 3,800, or 14% of the Skagit County population of ages 0-17. This is the lowest number and rate since 2019, but still above recent years such as 2016 and 2018.
In POPULATION HEALTH TRUST:
10.3.5 Total Opioid-Related Deaths – have recently doubled
Included on this list of “poisoning” are illegal substance, such as heroin, and prescription drugs.
Pandemic years 2020 and 2021 took their toll in many ways. In this concerning area of public health, the rate of opioid deaths doubled from the three-year, pre-pandemic average. In 2021, the most recent year for which we have data, the number of deaths was 24. The rate, expressed as deaths per 100,000 residents, has climbed dramatically since the start of the century. Due to the relatively small population involved, the Skagit County rate has fluctuated around the Washington average but has generally a bit higher.
The American Community Survey from the U.S. Census provides estimates of the educational profile of a community, based on a person’s highest degree attained. Counted in this indicator are Associates degrees (AA) and courses taken without degree completion at a community college.
2022 estimates for Skagit County reveal that a high percentage of residents fall into this category. About 11% report an AA degree while 34% have had some coursework at a community college. These rates are somewhat and far above the rates for all Washington and the U.S., respectively. This has been true over the past 15 years as well.
3.5.3 Share of the Adult Population with At Least a Bachelor's Degree – relatively low but climbing
The American Community Survey from the U.S. Census provides estimates of the educational profile of a community, based on a person’s highest degree attained. Counted in this indicator are people holding a Bachelor’s degree or higher (Master’s, Ph.D. or a professional degree).
For this category, the 2022 estimates place Skagit County considerably below the U.S. and Washington averages. About 30% of the residents held these degrees, versus 36% for the U.S. and nearly 40% for Washington state. The combined shares here, however, have climbed over the past 15 years from approximately 23%.
5.4.4 Residents without Health Insurance – low and little change recently
Good health depends on several factors, but one of them is access to medical providers. Access to providers is linked to, although not entirely determined by, the possession of health insurance. (Sometimes, even with insurance, it’s difficult to see a provider.)
The 2022 estimates for Skagit County by Census put the number of residents without any form of health insurance at about 8,300, or 6.4% of the population. This marks little change from 2021 and the second-best year ever, after 2016. The rate here is, and for several years has been, marked lower than the U.S. rate. Currently, it is about equal to the Washington rate.
5.4.5 Shares of the Uninsured Population by Age Groups – lower than the U.S. but higher than Washington averages
Census offers annual estimates of Skagit County’s residents without health insurance, be it private or public. This indicator offers estimates for two age groups: youth (under 19) and working adults (19-64).
Given Washington state’s years-long commitment to providing healthcare to children, that is, before the advent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the estimated uninsured rate for the 0-18 group for 2022 is, not surprisingly, low, at 3.4%. This is a bit higher than the years following the implementation of the ACA, but not by much. The county rate is quite close to the Washington rate and consistently below the U.S. rate.
The estimates for the working adult population are substantially higher, however. In 2022, the rate was about 10%. This placed it lower than the U.S. rate and higher than the Washington rate. Since 2011, the rate has fallen precipitously.