2013 Orange County Indicators Show Where We Shine ($$$) and Need Improvement ($$$)
Half of Orange County's adults own smartphones, nearly a third of our young adults have no health insurance and most nonprofits here make do with less than they have in the past. Those findings are in the 2013 Orange County Community Indicators report issued Thursday that found gains in key socioeconomic indicators, life expectancy and renewable energy use--and nagging family poverty, housing and food shortages and educational achievement gaps.
The County of Orange, the Children and Families Commission of Orange County and the Orange County Business Council partnered to present the report, which has been presented annually since 2000. The introduction notes various agencies and nonprofits rely on the findings to set goals for clients. You can read the full 2013 report here:
Some key findings:
- Half of Orange County adults own a smartphone, compared to 46 percent nationwide. Orange County has a slightly higher rate of ownership than Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
- 30 percent of young adults, defined as being from 18 to 24 years old, do not have health insurance. Countywide, 17.3 percent of all residents are uninsured, compared to 15.1 percent of the national average and 18.1 percent of the statewide average. Hispanic residents are the race or ethnic group most likely to be uninsured (30 percent), while 40 percent of those with less than a high school education are uninsured. Despite programs geared toward insuring young children, still 6 percent of children ages 5 and under are uninsured.
- Most nonprofit charities are working with fewer resources. Between 2000 and 2010, median total revenues for all Orange County nonprofits dropped by 14 percent.
- A majority of jurisdictions that participated in questions about wireless coverage reported that it is either "very good" or "good" in their respective communities. Still, 58 percent were aware of coverage gaps, and fully 77 percent agreed that wireless coverage and signal quality are important for disaster preparedness. But the opinions were mixed when it came to erecting new cell towers: 62 percent of the jurisdictions said their residents hold negative views, while 38 percent believed their residents would support new towers.
"Each year, the Community Indicators report allows Orange County to take stock of where we are on a wide range of important issues and how we are faring compared with other regions," says Michael M. Ruane, the project director who oversaw this year's report, in a statement from the partnership.
"The county's distinct geographic regions, wide range of economic drivers, and cultural and ethnic diversity paint a fascinating and instructive portrait of areas where we shine, and other areas that still require considerable our collective focus, creative energy, resources and resolve."
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Orange County, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.