Thursday, May 11, 2017

New report shows quality of life in Spokane County lower for minorities, poor, unemployed

Posted By on Thu, May 11, 2017 at 11:22 AM

Where you live, how much money you make and what your health is like are among factors that contribute to your quality of life, which can vary drastically in Spokane by neighborhood and demographic.

A new report by the Spokane Regional Health District, based on 3,334 survey responses solicited from the community in 2015, shows that "When it comes to quality of life in Spokane, some have it better than others."

The health district announced the Quality of Life report's publication on Thursday, May 11. The first-of-its kind document can be downloaded in parts on the health district's website.

The report is "a holistic look at the health and well-being, comfort, and the overall lived experience of individuals locally — indicates marked disparities between different groups. Spokane's quality of life was lower among blacks and American Indians and Alaska Natives; among the poor; among the unemployed; among residents of certain neighborhoods; and among those who were less healthy."

The report is broken into five major categories:
  • Social capital: how socially connected you are
  • Citizen satisfaction with county and city government and infrastructure (think schools, fire and EMS, roads, jobs)
  • Public safety
  • Physical health and health behaviors
  • Mental health
Among some of the findings:
  • More than half the people who responded from the Edgecliff/West Central/Riverside, Hillyard/Whitman, and Logan/Chief Garry neighborhoods experienced food insecurity, meaning they reported cutting a meal size or cutting one or more meals out per month or more because they didn't have the money for food.
  • Countywide, 24 percent of people had cut or skipped a meal at least once a year for lack of money
  • "71 percent of people who indicated having poor mental health had not received counseling or treatment in the last 12 months."
  • "Smoking was higher among 20- to 39-year-olds, blacks and American Indians/Alaska Natives, people with incomes less than $25,000, unemployed people, and residents of certain neighborhoods; again showing marked disparities between different groups in Spokane." 
  • Overall, 58 percent of people who live in Spokane rated the quality of life as excellent or very good.
The survey will be conducted again this summer, with plans to release that data in 2018.

Read the full report here.

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About The Author

Samantha Wohlfeil

Samantha Wohlfeil covers the environment, rural communities and cultural issues for the Inlander. Since joining the paper in 2017, she's reported how the weeks after getting out of prison can be deadly, how some terminally ill Eastern Washington patients have struggled to access lethal medication, and other sensitive...