Census: Colorado poverty rate higher, income lower, fewer jobs since ’07

By BURT HUBBARD
I-News Network

Coloradans have lower real incomes, a higher percent are living in poverty and fewer own their own homes than the year before the recession began in 2007, according to an I-News analysis of new Census figures released Wednesday night.

The analysis also found glimmers of good news:

  • The percent of Coloradans without health insurance is slowly declining.
  • High school and college graduation rates among adults edged up.

The latest economic data came from the 2011 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau for every state and for cities and counties with 65,000 or more in population.
The survey found that median household incomes in the state had declined by about 7.5 percent to $55,387 between 2007 and 2011 when adjusted for inflation.

During the same time, the percent of the state’s residents living below the poverty level rose from 12percent to 13.5 percent and the percent of children in poverty increased from 16.3 to 17.9.
State Demographer Elizabeth Garner said the figures reflect the fact that employment is not expected to return to 2007 levels until 2014 or 2015.


“We’re several hundred thousand more people than we were in 2007 and there are actually
fewer jobs,” Garner said.

Homeownership rates continued to decline with 64.4 percent of Coloradoans owning their own homes last year compared to almost 69 percent in 2007, the year before the recession began.
Those same economic indicators showed little change between 2010 and 2011.

The percent of Coloradans without health insurance has declined over the past three years. The Census Bureau did not start including questions on health insurance in the survey until 2008. Last year, 15.1 percent of the state’s residents said they were uninsured compared to 16.7 percent in 2008.

The drop among children was more dramatic, failing from 13.8 percent uninsured in 2008 to 9.4 percent in 2011.

Garners said part of the drop reflects more people qualifying for Medicaid.
“You get yourself so poor, you actually qualify for Medicaid,” she said.

In addition, more older children are now being covered under their parents’ policies, she said, under health care reform.

High school and college degrees also have gone up slightly since 2007. The percent of adults 25 years and over with high school degrees rose from 88.9 to 90.2 and the percent with college degrees went from 35 to 36.7.

Garner said that also reflects a weak job market.
“If there is a silver lining, it’s if people are unable to get job, they are going back to school or deciding to stay in school,” she said.

The Census data also looked at martial status for Coloradans 15 years and older and found a continuing trend toward fewer married residents and more unmarried residents.

Married Coloradans now make up barely over half of state residents – 50.9 percent compared to 52 percent in 2007. Coloradans who reported they have never married now comprise 30.9 percent of those 15 years and older, up from 29.4 percent in 2007.

Census data on commuting patterns found little changes over the four years between 2007 and 2011. About 75 percent of Coloradans still drive alone to work, 10 percent carpool and 3 percent take public transportation.

Option [Mac] or Control [PC] click here to download an Excel file with all seven categories I-News evaluated. Median Family Income is show below.

Geography

2007 median household income

2010 median household income

2007 median household income in 2011 dollars

2010 median household income in 2011 dollars

2011 Median household income

Percent change between 2007 and 2011 adjusted for inflation

Adams County, Colorado

52110

52711

56539

53713

52325

-7.5%

Arapahoe County, Colorado

58795

57724

63793

58821

56722

-11.1%

Boulder County, Colorado

63257

61859

68634

63034

68637

0.0%

Denver County, Colorado

44444

45074

48222

45930

47371

-1.8%

Douglas County, Colorado

92824

94909

100714

96712

93573

-7.1%

El Paso County, Colorado

55210

51458

59903

52436

54797

-8.5%

Jefferson County, Colorado

64416

63826

69891

65039

64292

-8.0%

Larimer County, Colorado

52046

54154

56470

55183

55219

-2.2%

Mesa County, Colorado

50954

46231

55285

47109

47664

-13.8%

Pueblo County, Colorado

41564

38326

45097

39054

40965

-9.2%

Weld County, Colorado

52133

51956

56564

52943

51059

-9.7%

Arvada city, Colorado

62672

61046

67999

62206

65063

-4.3%

Aurora city, Colorado

46937

50358

50927

51315

49593

-2.6%

Boulder city, Colorado

52759

52618

57244

53618

57112

-0.2%

Colorado Springs city, Colorado

50479

49929

54770

50878

50945

-7.0%

Fort Collins city, Colorado

46867

47752

50851

48659

51676

1.6%

Greeley city, Colorado

38458

42404

41727

43210

42543

2.0%

Highlands Ranch CDP, Colorado

99066

105237

107487

107237

100593

-6.4%

Lakewood city, Colorado

52499

51937

56961

52924

53210

-6.6%

Longmont city, Colorado

55296

52922

59996

53928

58619

-2.3%

Loveland city, Colorado

na

54062

na

55089

46467

na

Pueblo city, Colorado

33650

34415

36510

35069

32742

-10.3%

Thornton city, Colorado

66485

62512

72136

63700

62144

-13.9%

Westminster city, Colorado

58498

60242

63470

61387

61503

-3.1%

Colorado

55212

54046

59905

55073

55387

-7.5%


Editor’s note on the American Community Survey:

The Census Bureau data is from a survey that has margins of error based on the number of people questioned. It includes all states and cities and counties with 65,000 or more residents. Generally, the larger the population, the smaller the margin of error. Dramatic changes in percentages from one year to another in relatively small cities or counties could be, in part , due to the margin of error. The margin of error varies by category of data as well as by the size of the city or county. Separate spreadsheets that include margins of error for 2011 are available on request.

The attached spreadsheet includes figures for Colorado and for cities and counties 65,000 or more in population for poverty, median household income, homeownership, high school and college graduation rates for adults, commuting patterns, marital status and health insurance coverage for

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