County births show increase

April 21st, 2010 by Ken

 Annabel Kirschner, a demographer, has joined the Thurston County extension office of Washington State University. 

She has released her first paper concerning births in Thurston County.  I’m not certain how useful the information is, but it is interesting.  Here are some highlights of her research.

Between 1990 and 2003, the number of births in Thurston County hovered around 2500.  At that point they began an upward trend and by 2008 had reached 3000 births.

Part of the increase was probably due to increases in active duty positions at Ft. Lewis.  Between 2003 and 2008, the number of positions on base increased from 19,400 to approximately 28,600.  Projections indicate these numbers could continue to rise.

Just as the county’s population is becoming more diverse, so too are the newborn infants.  In fact, it is these births that are helping propel increasing diversity.   Since the age structure for all diverse groups is younger than that of the white population, there are more women of child bearing age in diverse groups.

The percentage of births to African American mothers increased from 2 to 4 percent of all births, while births to native American mothers increased from 2 to 3 percent.  Births to Asian mothers rose from 6 to 9 percent and births to Hispanic mothers (which may be of any race) rose from 6 to 10 percent.

Teen mother births declined from 10 to 7 percent.  Births to mothers aged 20-24 remained stable at 25 percent while births to mothers older than 24 rose from 62 to 68 percent.

Dr. Kirschner’s report contained information on single mothers, smoking and drinking and pre-natal care.  A full copy of the report is available by calling the Thurston County Extension Office at 867-2189.

Posted in Government, History, Informational, The Real News

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