Unemployment in King County has plunged from peak of 9.6% in early 2010 to only 4.5% in October of 2014. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Except that poverty hasn’t budged. As this month’s update of poverty data shows, 12% of King County residents of all ages and 16% of children under the age of 18 still live in poverty — exactly the same rates as in 2010. Because more people live in King County now than in 2010, though, these percentages include about 20,000 more residents in poverty. Updated data on poverty by race/ethnicity show a similar lack of improvement. Especially troublesome is the finding that more than 1 in 3 Blacks in King County was living below the Federal Poverty Threshold in 2013 — a significantly higher rate than that of almost all other racial/ethnic groups. While beneficial to many, our county’s “economic recovery” is decidedly uneven.
Do you sometimes wonder where Communities Count gets its information, or which indicators are available by specific geographic breakdowns (school districts, cities, ZIP codes, etc.)? Detailed background information on sources is always available in the Notes & Sources sections of every Communities Count topic and subtopic. But now you can go to the new Metadata page to find, in tabular form, each topic’s indicators, data sources, geographical breakdowns, and year of most recent update – all in one place.