loren Eric Swanson: Quality of Life in Boulder County 2005

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Quality of Life in Boulder County 2005

Every two years the Boulder County Civic Forum (BCCF) publishes a report that "highlights key trends that help measure progress toward--or away from--a vision of healthy Boulder County communities." The BCCF tracks fifty indicators of community health and sustainability in four areas: people, economy, environment and culture / civil society. The full report can be seen at www.bococivicforum.org. The following is a summary of a few key findings:

Demographic Trends

  • 2004 Population 288,380
  • 5% increase since 2000
  • 21% of the population moved last year
  • Average length of home occupancy is under four years
  • 10% of population was born outside US
  • 38% of foreign-born arrived since 2000

  • Median age 35 years (up from 31 in 1990)
  • Age group 45-64 increased 20% since 2000
  • 41% of families include children and 35% of children are Latino


  • Latinos make up 13% of Boulder County population, up from 7% in 1990
  • Language other than English spoken in 14% of homes

Five Trends

1. Declining Middle Class

Income in 2004

  • Boulder County is the 5th wealthiest in Colorado with 140% US median income
  • The median household income is $58684 down 5% from 2002
  • A family of one adult and two pre-school children needs $52,919 to live in Boulder County
  • A full time job at minimum wage, with tax credits earns $14,000
  • 26% or households earn above $100,000
  • 11% of Boulder County households are single parent households
  • 43% of family households headed by single women live below the poverty line

2. Housing Affordability

  • Since 2000, single family home prices increased 40% in Superior and Boulder, 10% in Longmont, and less than 10% in Louisvill and Lafayette
  • The median price for a single family home is $500,000 in Boulder and $235,000 in Longmont
  • To purchase the median priced $500,000 home in Boulder requires an income of around $102
  • Rental housing: Highest rents in Superior and Louisville ($1,100) and lowest in Boulder ($724)

3. Traffic and Commuting

  • Traffic has increased at twice the rate of population growth since 2001, mostly due to longer commutes.
  • 40% of elementary students attend schools outside their neighborhoods.
  • 49,100 people employed in Boulder County (30% of workers) commute in from another county
  • 30,500 residents commute out of Boulder County
  • Average commute time is 22 minutes with over 14,000 residents commuting more than 45 minutes each way to work
  • 73% of county residents drive alone to work, 5% use RTD, 5% bicicle and 7% work at home

4. Access to Health Care

  • 90% of Boulder County residents have health care through private insureance or government programs
  • Employer health premiums increased 14% annually since 2000--five times the rate of wage increases and four times the rate of inflation
  • The average premium for employer-based coverage is $11,400 with the aveage employee share $250 per month

5. Youth Risks and Behaviors

  • Boulder County is home to 15,000 young people between 14-18 years old
  • One in six Boulder County teens (3,300) attempted suicide in the last year, with the highest incidence among ninth grade girls. Boulder County youth's suicide attempts were higher than Colorado (13%) and the US (8%)
  • High School graduation rates for Boulder County youth are higher than Colorado's, with 89% of students who started ninth grade four ears earlier graduating in 2003. 62% of Latinos in Boulder County graduate


Post a Comment

<< Home