Sonora, CA — Beginning a series that looks at the Tuolumne County Profile 2012 Community Indicators Project, our focus is on demographics and health indicators.
The Sonora Area Foundation contracted with the Center for Economic Development at California State University, Chico to create the study. It aids the community in assessing the needs of Tuolumne County.
To begin with, the study found that, “The trend in decreasing population since 2003 has mostly been caused by decreasing net migration.”
Over the past 10 years births in Tuolumne County have averaged about 450. Deaths average 600 per year. The information comes from the 2010 U.S. Census.
Most people moving into the county were reported as from Stanislaus or Calaveras Counties. In 2007 Tuolumne County lost the greatest amount of people, 277. 173 people moved away in 2010.
Overall the profile states, “Tuolumne County is currently home to 50,530 non-incarcerated people. Over the past ten years, population increased to a high of nearly 52,400 in 2006, then declined with the economic recession and continued to decline during the slow recovery.”
The report states 2012’s population has fallen below the 2001 population, however, there has been a 13 percent increase over the past 10 years in the 18-24 age group. The greatest migration losses are in the 5-17 year-old group, down 20%, and 40-54 year-olds down 36%, over the past 10 years. Tuolumne County has nearly double the percent of its population age 55 and over, than the rest of the state.
Going along with the demographic information, Cancer and Heart disease were found to be the leading cause of death. The percentage of deaths from cancer are one percent higher than the state average and two percent lower than the state average for heart disease. Cause of death statistics are used as indicators to determine if environmental or other issues are a problem.
Tuolumne County has lower Medi-Cal beneficiaries than the rest of the state. In 2010, 15.8 percent of the population in Tuolumne County were beneficiaries of Medi-Cal benefits, or 8,146 people. The rate in the rest of the state is 20 percent.
Teen pregnancy is an indicator, considered because teen mothers and their babies face increased risks to their health and economic status. The state average has been at nine percent for the past eight years. Tuolumne county’s rate increased to 12 percent in 2007, and dropped to seven percent or 33 births in 2009.
Tuolumne County’s high school dropout rate was highest in 2008-2009 than it has been in 17 years. 133 students were reported as dropping out. In the 2009-2010 school year 77 were reported. The percentage of dropouts remains lower than the California average drop out rate. The rate has increased from a low of 2.7% to a high of 5.7%.
The Sonora Area Foundation paid for and published this project, click Community Indicators Project to view the entire 2012 Tuolumne County Profile.