Local news

Report shows local counties’ income and demographic numbers

Spokane County has a higher percentage of single men and single women. Kootenai County a higher percentage of married couples.

Kootenai County residents are more likely to have been born in another state, although Spokane County has a higher percentage of residents born in another country.

Kootenai County residents are a bit older and a bit whiter. In Spokane County, where the average age of residents is 36.4 years, 9 of 10 Spokane County residents are white. In Kootenai County, the average age is 38.1 years, and the ratio of white residents is closer to 19 of 20.

These numbers are not from the 2010 census. The first details from that once-in-a-decade head count will be released next week. These are contained in the latest American Community Survey, a detailed breakdown of cities and counties compiled over the last five years by the U.S. Census Bureau, which this week is releasing income and demographic numbers for some of the nation’s smallest communities.

Along with the breakdowns for the counties, and the bigger cities such as Spokane and Coeur d’Alene, the survey can now estimate the population of Rathdrum has jumped, from 4,816 in 2000 to an estimated 6,448 last year, of which 5 percent are Hispanic. The town of Millwood has grown from 1,649 in 2000 to 1,796 last year, and the average age went down, from 40.2 years to 37.9 years.

And there’s more information about more places than most people can imagine.

The ACS is an ongoing project that each year asks a sliver of the American population a longer set of questions, then compiles them over time and extrapolates the data to give a snapshot of the nation as a whole and its many parts.

Some of the highlights:

• The ACS estimates Spokane County had 439,385 people in 2009; Kootenai County had an estimated 131,548 people.

• One in 3 men and 1 in 4 women in Spokane County have never been married. It was closer to 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women in Kootenai County. The percentage of divorced and separated men and women is about the same in the two counties, roughly 1 in 8 men and 1 in 7 women.

• Just under half – 49 percent – of the 181,768 households in Spokane County consist of married couples; in Kootenai County that’s more like 55 percent of the 52,146 households.

• Both communities were relatively stable, with 4 of 5 residents living in the same household as a year ago, and more than half of those who had moved had lived somewhere else in the same county.

• About 1 person in 7 in each county is a veteran.

• Less than 1 in 10 adults in either county quit school before getting a high school diploma. An estimated 17.4 percent of Spokane residents and 15.7 percent of Kootenai residents have a bachelor’s degree; about 10 percent of Spokane residents and 6 percent of Kootenai residents have a graduate or professional degree.

• The overwhelming majorities – 93.4 percent in Spokane and 96.3 percent in Kootenai – speak only English at home. In Spokane County, those who speak some other language are divided fairly evenly between Spanish and other European languages; in Kootenai, they’re twice as likely to speak Spanish as any other language.

• Among those born in other countries, about a third of Spokane’s foreign-born residents came from Europe and a third from Asia, while 15 percent came from Latin America and 10 percent from Northern America. In Kootenai, about a third came from Europe, 27 percent from Northern America, 23 percent from Latin America and 10 percent from Asia.

• German was the most common listed ancestry in both counties, followed by Irish and English. In Spokane, Norwegian is No. 4, followed by “American”; those two are reversed in Kootenai.



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