Orange County 2007 Community Indicators

While at the Hall of Administration last Tuesday I picked up a copy of the book entitled “Orange County 2007 Community Indicators.” Inside it’s 70 pages are some very revealing facts ranging from a county profile to income polarization, migration trends, housing, education, community health and public safety.
Some excerpts follow:

POPULATION GROWTH. “Between 1990 and 2000, the average annual rate of increase was 1.8% and from 2000 to 2005, the average annual rate of change was 1.5%. While the county is still growing, Orange County’s rate of growth slows each year. Between 2005 and 2006 the county grew a record low of 0.8%.”

“Orange County is no longer a major destination for the 49 states and more people are moving out of Orange County to other California counties than moving in.”


“Orange County’s population is becoming significantly older as a result of young adults migrating out of the county and the simultaneous aging of Baby Boomer residents. Recent Census data shows the number of residents between the ages of 25 and 34 dropped by nearly 12.7% between 2000 and 2005, or nearly 59,000 people in five years.”


“when the gap between the rich and poor widens, resulting in more high and low income families and fewer middle income families–may contribute to increased economic and geographic segregation.”


“Overcrowding and Homelessness”

“Some families must share housing to cope with the county’s high housing costs. The result is overcrowding conditions that place strain on personal relationships, housing stock, and city and county infrastructure and services. When sharing housing is not an option, or other factors like foreclosure, financial loss or domestic violence come into play, the next step can be homelessness.”

In response to No Child Left Behind, school districts now report the number of children identified as homeless. “According to the definition used in the law 11,642 Orange County children were identified as homeless in 2005/06. Using the same data source but applying the HUD definition of homelessness, 1,891 were homeless and 9,747 children were identified as living doubled-or tripled-up (defined as two or more families living at one address).”

OK Larry. So what does this all mean to us? We are in a catch 22. Living in Orange County is not cheap. We all have choices to make. As property owners we hear Realtors promoting “location, location, location” as to valuations of our homes. And if you think it’s expensive to live in Orange County than perhaps you should check out Manhattan or San Francisco. We are not alone. My family is here by choice, and we suck it up as we face the higher costs of living. While most of us would like to have our children living nearby as they leave the nest it is not the responsibility of our government to place restrictions on housing which trigger many of the topics found in this booklet. i.e. youth exodus, gangs, academic performance, etc.

About Larry Gilbert