Blog & Update List

Did you know there are over 150 different community indicators on Grant County Trends - each updated throughout the year? But which ones, and when?

This issue of the Grant County Trends blog lists the most recently updated indicators on the Grant County Trends website.  

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Recent Updates

In PEOPLE:

Population of People of Color

For 2022 Census estimated that half of Grant County’s population are now People of Color. That represents an increase of the overall share in 2010, when it stood at 43%. With the current share, Grant County is more diverse than the average for both the U.S. and the state.

The Hispanic/Latino population currently constitutes 44% of the total, followed by Two or More Races, at 4%.

In ECONOMIC VITALITY:

New Business Applications

A strong economy is one where entrepreneurs flourish. Start-ups are important to bringing new goods and services to a regional economy as well as replacing business that are closing. New business applications largely capture the formation of start-ups.

Since the start of the pandemic, new business applications in Grant County have surged. In 2022, the number stood at 910; in 2019, 561. Since that year, the growth rate of new business applications has outpaced that of Washington state.,

Number of Food & Beverage Manufacturers

By the headcount, manufacturing is the 3rd largest sector in the Grant County economy. Over half of all manufacturing jobs are held by those in food processing or beverage manufacturing.

As of 2022, there were 36 firms in the county engaged in this activity. Together, they constituted 5.5% of the total number employed by County firms and organizations, far more than the 1.5% Washington state average.

Number employed and the unemployment rate

The number of county residents with a job has recovered from the pandemic, reaching a new high in 2022. But the number slipped a bit in 2023 – to 45,750.

The average unemployment rate in the county in 2023 was 5.4%, by far the lowest on record. However, it remains elevated compared to U.S. and Washington state unemployment rates.

In EDUCATION:

Public high school, on-time graduation rates

The four-year, or on-time, high school graduation rate among the seven county districts with high schools has not regained its pre-pandemic peak of 86%. For the most recent school year, 2022-2023, the county average was 81%.

This result is lower than the Washington state average of 84%. And unlike Grant County’s public schools, the Washington rate is currently at its highest rate on record.

In EDUCATION CONT.:

Share of the Adult Population with Some Exposure to Community College Education

The U.S. Census provides annual estimates of the highest level of education achieved by Grant County’s adult (25+) population. This indicator tracks the share of Grant County residents who either hold an Associate’s degree or have taken some community college coursework.

The estimates for 2022 show that about one third of all residents fall into this category of education attainment. While lower than the share of nearly 37% observed in 2021, this share puts Grant County at higher rates than in the U.S. or Washington state.

In HEALTH:

Number and Rate of the Uninsured

Without healthcare insurance, it is hard to maintain good health. Insurance doesn’t guarantee access to a healthcare provider, but it’s necessary in most cases.

Census estimates put the number of county residents without healthcare insurance in 2022 at nearly 13,000, or 13% of the total population. While this is the lowest number and rate since 2018, the profile isn’t nearly as promising as it was in 2016 and 2017. The county rate, too, is far above the uninsured rates of the U.S. and Washington.

In HOUSING:

Median Home Resale Price

The “middle” value of prices for existing homes sold in Grant County was $332,000 at the end of last year. That represented a decline from $373,000 in mid-2022. Nearly six years before, the median price stood at about $200,000 in the county.

Despite the run-up in prices, Grant County offers prices of existing single-family homes that are far lower than the state median and lower than any major metro area in Eastern Washington.

Housing Affordability Index for All Homebuyers

A housing affordability index (HAI) is a ratio of income to housing costs. In this measure, developed by the Washington State Real Estate Center, the HAI tracks the median price of existing homes sold to the median household income of Grant County. The index is constructed so that the value 100 implies that the median-income household pays 25% of its income on the home purchase. A value below 100 implies some level of non-affordability.

The most recent (Q4 2023) value of the All-Buyer HAI in Grant was 85. Two years ago in the same quarter it was 133. Grant County is still more affordable by this measure than the state of Washington, but not by much.

Housing Affordability Index for 1st-Time Buyers

A housing affordability index (HAI) is a ratio of income to housing costs. In this measure, developed by the Washington State Real Estate Center, the HAI tracks the price of existing homes sold at 85% of the median to household income at 70% of the median. The index is constructed so that the value 100 implies that the median-income household pays 25% of its income on the home price. A value below 100 implies some level of non-affordability.

The most recent value (Q4 2023) of the 1st-time Buyer HAI in Grant County was 60. Three years prior the value was 122.  Grant County is no longer affordable for this important segment of the market.

list updated 04.11.24

New Whitman County Trends Website

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The new Whitman County Trends website has just launched, with nearly 100 indicators to track areas such as education, housing, public health and safety, and economic vitality. The website, like its counterpart here and for other Washington counties, has been designed to present data readily accessible to people in local communities. Trends sites are used by schools, businesses, non-profit...

 

Graduating Interns

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In this issue, we say goodbye to four graduating interns. They have accomplished so much over the past year at the institute. Left to right, they are:  Laura Velasquez-Neal (mechanical engineering), Jessica Phan (Visual Communications Design), Angelica Cortes (Data Analytics) and Miranda Carmona (Economics). Angelica and Miranda have each received the Frances Houston medal, awarded to 20 graduating seniors for excellence in academics. All four will do well wherever they go.

 
 

The full list of indicators on Grant County Trends can be found here.