Research shows that where you live is the most significant indicator of health. People living in healthy communities have lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and are more likely to live a healthier life. (Cal Endowment – Neighborhoods http://www.calendow.org/neighborhoods/). Research also shows that the social indicators of health are a strong predictor of population health.
A healthy community is a safe community, where families can be physically active and have access to healthy food, clean water, and clean air. A healthy community has safe, affordable housing, and employment opportunities for residents. Indicators in this chapter address many of the social indicators of health, including economic indicators, as well as the physical environment.
Tuolumne County had 265 residents suffering from homelessness in 2015, a decrease from previous years
The poverty rate for all persons living in the foothill area (14.7%) is less than the national average of 15.6.
The poverty rate for children living in the county (17.7%) is less than the national average of 21.9%
From 2013 to 2014, Tuolumne County had a decrease in property crimes Tuolumne County had a higher level of high school graduates than the state and national averages
Tuolumne County has a higher adult literacy rate than the state and national average
The county’s voter turnout was higher than the statewide turnout
In Tuolumne County, 29% of renters spend over 50% of their income on rent
Tuolumne County has 1,737 people receiving SSI in 2014; this is 3.2% of the population; this is the highest in the foothills, and similar to the state’s 3.4%
The average per capita income for Tuolumne County is $26, 063, which is lower than the state and national average and lower than the per capita income for Amador and Calaveras Counties
The unemployment rate in Tuolumne County is 6.5% in July 2016; this is higher than the state and national average
From 2013 to 2014, Tuolumne County had a significant increase in violent crime Tuolumne County has a higher rate of arrests for DUIs as compared to neighboring counties and the state
Tuolumne County had a lower percentage of residents with bachelors and advance degrees
The county has a higher rate of households receiving supplemental nutrition assistance than other foothill counties
Tuolumne County median home value is similar to foothill counties, higher than the national average, lower than the state average
Food Security ^
- Tuolumne County and Amador County both had similar rates of students eligible at 40%.
- Of the foothill counties, Calaveras had the highest percentage of students eligible for free or reduced price meals.
- The lower table shows that 4,970 households (or 9.1%) received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) payments during 2014. During this same period there were 4,849 households (or 90.9%) with income levels below the poverty level that were not receiving SNAP payments.
- Of the foothill counties, Tuolumne County had the highest percentage of households using SNAP, 9.90%.
- However, 2,203 households below the poverty line in Tuolumne County were not receiving benefits.
- Tuolumne County had 265 residents suffering from homelessness in 2015, a decrease from previous years.
- Amador and Calaveras counties also saw decreases in the number of people suffering from homelessness, many probably due to the 2015 Butte fire.
- The federal department of housing and urban development oversees the data collection for community surveys of homelessness. This is done through a volunteer effort, and on a limited basis, which may lead to skewed data. It is the largest data collection available on this topic, and as it is conducted in multiple communities, it is useful for comparison.
- Tuolumne County median home value is similar to foothill counties, higher than the national average, lower than the state average.
- In Tuolumne County, 24% of residents rent a home. This is lower than the state and national average.
- In Tuolumne County, 29% of renters spend over 50% of their income on rent.
- The majority of rentals in Tuolumne County are between $750-1,500 a month.
- Safe housing is essential to health. Access to safe housing is addressed here by assessing median home values and the cost of renting a home.
- The poverty rate for all persons living in the foothill area is less than the national average of 15.59 percent.
- The poverty rate for children living in the foothill area is less than the national average of 21.9 percent.
- An average of 13.35 percent of all persons lived in a state of poverty during the 2010 – 2014 period.
- An average of 10.2% of seniors in the state were living in poverty.
Supplemental Social Security Recipients ^
- Supplemental Security Income recipients are aged, blind, and disabled people who have little or no income, and receive benefits to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.
- Tuolumne County has 1,737 people receiving SSI in 2014; this is 3.2% of the population; this is the highest
Living Wage ^
- The average per capita income for Tuolumne County is $26, 063, which is lower than the state and national average and lower than the per capita income for Amador and Calaveras Counties.
- The living wage shown is the hourly rate that an individual must earn to support their family, if they are the sole provider and are working full-time (2080 hours per year).
- The unemployment rate in Tuolumne County is 6.5% in July 2016.
- This is higher than the state and national average.
- Labor force, employment, and unemployment data for each county in the foothill area is provided in the table below. Overall, the area experienced an average 6% percent unemployment rate in April 2016.
- From 2013 to 2014, Tuolumne County had an increase in violent crime. Amador and Calaveras counties had decreases.
- From 2013 to 2014, Tuolumne County had a decrease in property crimes. Amador and Calaveras County also had decreases.
- Crime rates are reported as Uniform Crime Reporting rates and are the number of crimes per 100,000 people.
- Feeling safe at home, work and play is essential to enjoying a high quality of life. Sociological literature is replete with examples of an improved sense of wellbeing, a willingness to engage in social interactions and neighborhood activities when residents feel secure. All of these variables have a direct impact on health.
- Tuolumne County has a higher rate of arrests for DUIs as compared to neighboring counties and the state.
- As motor vehicle accidents are a major cause of injury and death, we evaluate the number of collisions reported in the county.
- Substance use is a major contributor to safe transportation and a major contributor to injury and death by motor vehicle accidents, so we asses rates of arrests for driving under the influence.
- For people with no other means of transportation, access to a public transit system is an important component of health. Access to transit is particularly important for people with physical disabilities.
Traffic Collisions between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2013:
- 1195 total traffic collisions
- 1635 total killed or injured victims
- 35 killed victims
Notable Primary Collision Factors:
- 14% under the influence of alcohol or drugs, 28% unsafe speed
- 57 traffic collisions involving pedestrians (no bicyclist)
- 59 pedestrians injured
- 3 pedestrians killed
- 12 pedestrians injured age 19 or younger
- 5 pedestrians injured age 65 or older
- 223 traffic collisions involved motorist age 15-20
- 244 traffic collisions involved motorist age 65 or older
- 2014/15 Fixed Route Average Daily trips: 328
- 2014/15 Dial A Ride Average Daily trips: 146
- 2015/16 TRIP Program average rides per month: 90
Education Attainment ^
Educational Attainment shows the distribution of educational attainment levels. Educational attainment is calculated for persons over 25, and is an average for the period from 2010 to 2014.
- Tuolumne County had a higher level of high school graduates than the state and national averages.
- Tuolumne County had a lower percentage of residents with bachelors and advance degrees.
- Tuolumne County has a higher adult literacy rate than the state and national average.
Air and Water Quality ^
- Clean air and clean water are essential to health. Here we assess the number of days exceeding state and national standards for air quality. Overall, the quality of air in Tuolumne County generally meets state and national standards.
- Drinking water safety is highly regulated and monitored for biological and chemical contaminants. All public water systems must report biological and chemical contaminants to the California Drinking Water Program. Annual quality reports are available for all major water systems serving the county. Of note, many residents in Tuolumne County rely on private wells for drinking water, and homeowners are responsible for the regular monitoring of private well drinking water. It is recommended that private well owners test their water for biological and chemical contaminants at least every two years.
Civic Participation ^
- The county’s voter turnout was higher than the statewide turnout and equivalent to Amador and Calaveras Counties’ turnout.
- Voter registration and participation are indicators for how thoughtful and active a community is. It often shows how engaged the population is in current local, regional and national issues.