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Census: More divorcees, bigger homes in Spokane Co.

Compared with the rest of the country, more Spokane County residents live alone and more are divorced.

More grandparents are raising their grandkids. More of us live in big homes, but fewer live in very expensive ones.

And a lot of us have five minutes more a day, on average, thanks to our shorter commutes.

Those are some characteristics gleaned from the newest batch of Census figures released today. The series of surveys between 2005 and 2007 provide the first statistical portrait since 2000 of mid-sized areas like Spokane and Coeur d’Alene.

A lot of the stats reinforce well-known themes about the Inland Northwest: Families here earn less money, on average, than they do nationally. The population is predominantly white and changing slowly. The poverty rate here is higher than the national average – and those economic difficulties intensify within the city limits of Spokane, where the poverty rate is 18 percent, compared with the national figure of 13 percent.

But the new estimates include a lot of other information about housing, employment and social characteristics of people in the community.

In the greater Spokane area, there are fewer housing vacancies and more houses built before 1950 than the national average. More people walk to work here than nationally, and more work from home.

In the Coeur d’Alene area, more people than average are married and fewer walk to work.

In both areas, the percentage of big houses – those with seven or more rooms, or at least five bedrooms – is well above the national average. But the proportion of homes worth more than a half-million dollars here is below the national average.

Here are some of the statistics for the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene Metropolitan Statistical Areas from the new survey.

Median family income

Spokane – $56,939

Coeur d’Alene – $51,631

U.S. – $60,374

Percentage of population that’s white, non-Hispanic

Spokane – 89 percent

Coeur d’Alene – 93 percent

U.S. – 66 percent

Percentage of residents who work at home

Spokane – 4.7 percent

Coeur d’Alene – 6.4 percent

U.S. – 3.9 percent

Walk to work

Spokane – 3.1 percent (about 6,397 people)

Coeur d’Alene – 2.1 percent

U.S. – 2.9 percent

Vacant housing units

Spokane – 6.6 percent

Coeur d’Alene – 10.9 percent

U.S. – 11.6 percent

Houses with seven or more rooms

Spokane – 38.7

Coeur d’Alene – 29.5

U.S. – 28.4

Percentage of families living below poverty rate

Spokane – 14 percent

Coeur d’Alene – 12 percent

U.S. – 13 percent

Percentage of single-parent families with children age 5 or younger headed by women in poverty

Spokane – 47.5 percent

Coeur d’Alene – 50 percent

U.S. – 45.5 percent

Percentage of households that are married couples

Spokane – 48 percent

Coeur d’Alene – 54 percent

U.S. – 50 percent

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