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Published September 24, 2019

THE VIEW FROM MY SEAT

Survey shows how much we make, spend and know in Brazoria County

By Ernie Williamson / The Bulletin

Do you know the average Pearland resident spends 33 minutes traveling to work?

Want a shorter commute? Move to Freeport. The average worker there spends only 15 minutes getting to work.

This information comes from the American Community Survey (ACS), an ongoing survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. Not to be confused with the upcoming decennial census, the ACS regularly gathers information on ancestry, citizenship, education, income, migration and disabilities.

The information is used to help both private and public sectors allocate funding, track shifting demographics, plan for emergencies and learn about local communities.

The Census Bureau sends out the survey to 295,000 addresses each month, or about 3.5 million per year.

QuickFacts resulting from the survey provide a fascinating snapshot of life in Brazoria County and its cities.

AGE: Brazoria County has 26.5 percent of its population under 18 and 11.8 percent of its population over 65. Freeport is younger. It has 34.7 percent of its population under 18 and only 6.1 percent of its population over 65.

GENDER: Females in Brazoria County, unlike Harris and Fort Bend counties and the country as a whole, are in the minority, making up 49.5 percent of the population. That is partly driven by Freeport, which is 48 percent female.

GROWTH: Since 2010, Brazoria County has grown by 18.2 percent. This is more than Harris County (14.8 percent) but less than Fort Bend County (34.7). Not surprisingly, Pearland at 31.2 percent leads the growth in Brazoria County.

POPULATION CHARACTERISTICS: Foreign-born persons account for 13.1 percent of the county’s population. Pearland is 15.9 percent foreign-born while Angleton is 6.4 percent foreign-born and Alvin is 9.9 percent foreign-born.

TECHNOLOGY: 90.9 percent of the county’s houses have a computer, and 81.3 percent of our households have a broadband Internet subscription. Lake Jackson has higher computer use (92 percent) and Internet use (84 percent) than the county as a whole.

HOUSING: Countywide, the median value of owner-occupied housing units is $164,300. The median monthly rent in Brazoria County is $1,012. Pearlanders pay more in rent ($1,272) while Freeport renters pay less ($742).

INCOME: The county’s median household income is $76,426. This is more than Harris County’s median household income ($57,791) but less than the median household income in Fort Bend ($93,645).

MIGRATION: People apparently like where they live in Brazoria County. Slightly more than 88 percent of us are living in the same house as we did a year ago.

EDUCATION: 87.5 percent of us in the county over age 25 are high school graduates or higher. Also, 29.7 percent of us have a bachelor’s degree or higher. This is about the same as the U.S. (30.9).

HEALTH: Almost 7 percent of us countywide under 65 have a disability, but 14 percent of us under 65 don’t have health insurance. Nationwide, 10 percent of the population lacks insurance. In Freeport, 38.1 percent of residents lack health insurance.
LANGUAGE: In 26 percent of the homes in the county, a language other than English is spoken. That is well below Harris County (43.7). Within Brazoria County cities, it’s 16.9 percent in Angleton, 21.2 percent in Lake Jackson and 27.5 percent in Pearland. A language other than English is spoken in more than half the homes in Freeport (53 percent).

(Ernie Williamson welcomes reader input. Please contact Ernie at williamsonernie@gmail.com)