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Countywide : Survey Finds Population Getting Older, Wealthier

The county’s population is getting older on the average, ethnically more diverse and wealthier, according to a survey to update the 1980 census.

More women are working, although some may be working less than full time, and more people are traveling fewer miles to work, according to the study released this week.

The telephone survey, conducted last July for county planners, sampled 2,100 households and has a plus or minus 1.3% margin of error, county planners say.

Results indicated that 68% of the 2.13 million people living in the county are between the ages of 18 and 64, up 4% from 1980 census data. This, according to county planner William Gayk, is consistent with the aging of so-called “baby boomers” born between World War II and the 1960s.

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As Asian and Latino populations have continued to grow, the percentage of non-Latino whites has declined from about 83% in 1980 to about 78%.

With the influx of Indochinese refugees, Asians have been the fastest-growing ethnic group, up from 4.5% in 1980 to about 7% in 1985. Latinos jumped a percentage point to about 16% of the county’s population. Because 75% of the Latino population and 34% of the Asian population are under 18, those numbers are expected to continue to rise in coming decades.

The median household income in the county took a significant leap from $22,802 in 1980 to $31,207 in 1985. In 1980, 30% of the households surveyed had incomes of less than $15,000 a year. In 1985, 17% of those surveyed had incomes of less than $15,000. The margin of error in income data was plus or minus 2.2%.


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