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The graying of Snohomish County emerges in a public health report

A new report from Snohomish Health District presents demographics about aging in the county

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – Snohomish Health District rolled out the third of four reports that uniquely address quality of life concerns of older county residents. “Creating an Aging-Friendly Snohomish County. Series III. Demographics of the Aging Population” resulted from collaboration between the Senior Consortium of Snohomish County and the local public health agency. Highlights of the data:
  • The county’s population 50 years and older increased by 52.2% between 2000 and 2010; people 50 years and older will constitute one-third of the county’s population by 2015
  • One-quarter of people 65 and older lived alone in 2010.
  • Females 65 and older made up 22.3% of all single-persons households but represented only 5.8% of the population.
  • Households headed by someone 65 years or older had a median income of $39,356, substantially lower than the county median income of $63,188. 90% of these households received Social Security income.

Demographics draws its data from the US Census Bureau and the American Community Survey. The first report, Voices from the Community: Focus Groups, reflected input from focus groups comprised of elders ages 50 through 91 at senior centers throughout the county. Health District staff next interviewed 13 community leaders in Snohomish County about their views on issues related to older adults and aging, titled Voices from the Community: Key Informants. All three reports are available for download at A future report is planned to address health care access for older adults, and elder-specific health data including the prevalence and incidence of diseases, health-related behaviors, and use of preventive services.

“Our county’s aging population is expected to increase by 160 percent between 2010 and 2030,” said Dr. Gary Goldbaum, Health Officer and Director of the Snohomish Health District. “We need to prepare a supportive community now by understanding the needs of those residents to age in place with dignity and independence. Older adults are vital to our community. By creating a healthier community for our elderly, we are creating a healthier community for all of us.”

Established in 1959, the Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. Discover more about the Health District at