In part one of this article, several aspects of Shoshone County reported in the newly released U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey from 2012-2016 were examined. Hitting on the issues of education, industries, and a little bit of income first; we now move on to take a look at what the rest of the survey has to offer.
Picking up with industries, Shoshone County’s income statistics don’t match up well with the state averages.
The median income of households in Shoshone County in 2012-2016 was $37,449. This can be compared to the state number of $49,174. Bear in mind, this is not the median income of an individual resident, but rather the income of households. This median income number can be partially explained by the county being hit by several national and local recessions in the last few decades that decimated mining, the area’s primary industry.
Shoshone County also falls short in comparison to the state average regarding the percentage of households that fall below yearly earnings of $15,000 (18 percent to the state’s 12) and go above $150,000 (2 percent to the state’s 6). Once again, this can be partially chalked up to the disappearance of the mining industry in the Silver Valley.
Even with these lower-than-average income numbers, Shoshone County does show a decent overall poverty rate (18 percent to the state’s 15), but does sport an ugly 26 percent of children under 18 below the poverty level (compared to the state’s 19 percent).
Concerning children and family here, the survey shows that 208 grandparents lived with their grandchildren under 18. Of these grandparents, 69 percent of them had financial responsibility for their grandchildren (compared to the state’s 40 percent). Compare this estimate with earnings figures such as 43 percent of the county’s households receiving income from social security and 23 percent receiving retirement income, and you can surmise that times are tough for many grandparents in our area.
The survey also paints a rough picture for single mothers as well. Sixty-one percent of the households in the county are made up of families — 49 percent of those being married-couple families and 12 percent falling into the category of “other families.” Of the other families category, 4 percent were female householder families with no husband present and children under 18 years. Diving deeper, 46 percent of those female householder families had incomes below the poverty level. A woman’s median earning for full-time year-round work in the county is $30,452, whereas a male’s clocks in at a substantially higher $46,899.
With this earning inequality (a trend common all the way up to the national level), the uphill battle a single mother has in the county is apparent.
On a more positive side, though, the survey indicates that Shoshone County has respectable numbers in the health insurance and housing cost categories.
Among the civilian noninstitutionalized population, 85 percent had health insurance coverage and 15 percent did not (compared to the state’s 86 percent insured and 14 percent not). Children take a hit again as 16 percent had no health insurance coverage (compared to the state’s 7 percent). This is consistent with the higher than average child poverty rate reported earlier in this article. Sixty-eight percent of those who had insurance had private coverage and 31 percent had public coverage.
A positive note for those looking to attract people to our area, Shoshone County’s housing cost numbers are notably lower than the rest of the state. The median monthly housing costs for mortgaged owners was $940, nonmortgaged owners $311, and renters $647 (compared to the state’s $1,179, $345 and $764, respectively).
The county also has an estimated 28 percent of owners with mortgages, 13 percent of owners without mortgages, and 43 percent of renters spending 30 percent or more of household income on housing.
To see the full profile, visit https://www.census.gov/acs/www/data/data-tables-and-tools/narrative-profiles/2016/