Changes in Our Town and Our Students

Post date: Apr 24, 2011 8:23:21 PM

We've all noticed the increasing poverty of our fellow Bartians and consequently our students. The Bartlesville Regional United Way has released a major report which quantifies the changes we have observed anecdotally. Below are some highlights; click on a chart to enlarge it.

Flat Population Growth

Since 2000 Bartlesville's population has only risen from 34,256 to 36,068, or 5.2%. (And the 2010 Census gives a figure of about 35,700.) Projections show a future population trend as flat as a prairie.

Losing Adults at a Crucial Age

Oklahoma is losing adults between the ages of 34-47, crippling our economic growth and tax revenues.

Bartlesville Has More Older Folks

In Washington County 17.5% of the population is 65+ while the percentage in Tulsa County is only 12.1%.

Many Students Qualifying for Free-and-Reduced Lunch

Over half of our elementary school students qualify, although we have the lowest rate in Washington County.

Differing Family Environments

Children of different races have very different likelihoods of growing up in a non-traditional household. Notice how much more likely an Asian American child in Washington County is to grow up in a married household (85%) than an African American child (51%), with over 40% of African American children growing up in a household headed by a female. But Hispanic families fall into almost identical category percentages as Caucasians.

More Households Headed by Only a Female

Overall, the percentage of households with children headed only by a female has exploded in the past 20 years from 14% to 24%.

Single-Headed Households Have Much Lower Income

The median household income for male-headed households with children is half that of married-couple households, and that of female-headed households is even lower.

More Teen Moms

The percentage of teenagers giving birth in Washington County rose from 10% in 1980 to 15% in 2008.

Many More Single MomsIn Washington County, the percentage of women giving birth who were single has risen from 6% in 1980 to 38% in 2008.

Unemployment Could Be WorseThe Great Recession we have lived through in recent years is shown in rising unemployment here in Bartlesville, but happily the overall rate remains low and has not even reached the rates we saw in the recession of the early 1990s.