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Enriching Activities: Notes & Sources


Confidence interval (also called "error bar") is the range of values that includes the true value 95% of the time. If the confidence intervals of two groups do not overlap, the difference between groups is statistically significant (meaning that chance or random variation is unlikely to explain the difference).   

King County regions: The geographic boundaries of the four King County sub-regions (North, Seattle, East, and South) are defined by the aggregation of ZIP codes.

Race/Ethnicity: Federal standards mandate that race and ethnicity (Hispanic origin) are distinct concepts requiring 2 separate questions when collecting data from an individual. "Hispanic origin" is meant to capture the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of an individual (or his/her parents) before arriving in the United States. Persons of Hispanic ethnicity can be of any race. Communities Count's terms for racial/ethnic groups are derived from those used by the U.S Census Bureau in 2010.

  • Communities Count terms:  Hispanic, Non-Hispanic, White Non-Hispanic, Black, American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN), Asian, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (NHPI), White, and Multiple Race (Multiple). Persons of Hispanic ethnicity can be of any race and are included in other racial categories. Racial/ethnic groups are sometimes combined when sample sizes are too small for valid statistical comparisons of more discrete groups. 
  • 2010 Census terms: Hispanic or Latino, Not Hispanic or Latino, White alone (Not Hispanic or Latino),  Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, White, Some Other Race, and Two or More Races.


Participation in 9 Types of Activities in King County Regions (2011) 

Statistical Significance: Unless otherwise noted, any difference mentioned in the text is statistically significant (unlikely to have occurred by chance).

Trends:  Apparent decrease in participation due to change in survey sampling method.  Participation in enriching activities appeared to decline between 2007 and 2011.   However, most of the apparent decline was due to a change in the way the 2011 survey was conducted. Rather than just contacting residents on landline telephones, we broadened the sampling technique to include random-digit-dial phone contact and address-based mail contact, and added an internet response option.  This produced a more representative sample which, when compared to those sampled with the 2004 and 2007 (phone only) methods, reported lower participation.  If we compare participation scores of respondents interviewed in the same manner (landline telephones) in 2004, 2007, and 2011, active participation in King County showed no significant changes over time. For more detail, see About Our Data: Survey Mode Effects.

Data Sources

King County data on Enriching Activities are from the 2011 Communities Count Survey, with comparisons to 2004 and 2007 Communities Count surveys.  Respondents came from a random sample of all King County households.  Due to the limitations of surveys that rely exclusively on landline telephones, in 2011 Communities Count used a mixed-mode survey involving both random-digit-dial phone contact and address-based sampling for mailed questionnaires, with an internet response option as well. Phone interviews were conducted in English, Spanish, and, upon request, a few additional languages. Possible limitations of this kind of survey include: (a) people who do not have a telephone or a permanent address are missed; (b) people who do not speak English or Spanish may not participate; (c) people who have less education and lower incomes tend to be under-represented.

Other Sources

City Health Profiles provide demographic and health information for 25 geographic areas in King County – mostly large cities (e.g., Seattle, Bellevue), groups of small cities (Bothell/Woodinville), or combinations of cities with nearby unincorporated areas (e.g., Renton/Fairwood). Each report has seven sections:

  • Demographics
  • General health status
  • Leading causes of death
  • Health risk factors and chronic diseases
  • Injury and violence-related mortality
  • Maternal and infant health
  • Access to care and preventive services

Maps of King County covering a wide range of topics can be accessed at  Maps most immediately relevant to Communities Count are under the headings of Community data & demographics, Public health, and Environment & natural resources, but other maps should be useful as well (farmers markets, transit routes, walking and biking routes, parks, traffic counts, etc.).

Quotes:  Communities Count interviewed 32 King County parents or guardians raising at least one child younger than 6 years of age.  We reached out to communities of color, recent immigrants, and residents with limited English proficiency to achieve a broad range of racial, cultural, and socioeconomic diversity. We interviewed both families with very low household income and those who earned up to median income (about $68,000 for a family of four in 2010). Family structures included single-parent households, couples living in consensual unions, married couples, and extended families. We also interviewed social service providers from agencies such as Crisis Clinic, Hopelink, Multi-Service Center, and Child Care Resources, as well as staff from community colleges that offer worker retraining or similar programs to help King County residents find jobs. We use fictional names to ensure confidentiality.