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Local Census data: Young adult numbers increase

But report shows fewer children

The number of young adults living in the city of Spokane has topped 50,000, a number driven by growing universities, a cultural rebound and an affordable cost of living for people just starting out.

The U.S. Census Bureau released new numbers this week that show the 20-to-34 age group now comprises 24.3 percent of the city’s populace.

Ten years ago there were fewer than 44,000 young adults, who made up 22.5 percent of the total population.

While those numbers are growing along with the overall population of the city, there are fewer children.

Ten years ago the city had 54,758 children. They accounted for 27.9 percent of the population.

The city now has 53,773 children, or 25.9 percent of residents.

It’s a trend that held steady across all of Spokane County, where children had comprised 29.1 percent of the county’s population 10 years ago but now account for 26.6 percent.

On the other end of the spectrum, the number of Spokane County residents older than 85 grew from 7,432 people in the year 2000, to 9,369 people in 2010.

The aftershocks of the housing bust and job losses of the past several years did not significantly boost vacancy rates in Spokane County over the course of a decade.

Of the 201,434 housing units in the county when the census was taken last year, 7.1 percent, or 14,267 units, were vacant. Ten years earlier, 6.5 percent of the housing units across the county were vacant.

That’s a better performance than across the state, where 9.2 percent of housing units were vacant.

Nearly two in three homes – 64.5 percent – in the county were occupied by the owner. That’s on par with statewide numbers and yet significantly higher than in the city of Spokane, where 57.6 percent of homes were occupied by the owner.

The latest census release also continues to provide first-time numbers from the city of Spokane Valley.

The data regarding Spokane Valley show that children make up 26.6 percent of the population. Young adults, or those ages 20 to 34, comprise another 20.7 percent of the population, or 18,477 people.

Housing vacancy rates in Spokane Valley were a low 5.9 percent. And 62 percent of homes were occupied by the owner.

Other information from the census included the continued decline of married households. Fewer than half of households – 47.2 percent – in the county were married couples.

The average family size was three people.

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