County health profile

The County of Santa Clara is situated at the southern end of San Francisco Bay and it has a land area of approximately 1315 miles. It is the fifth most populated Bay County in California. It is attractive to people from all over the world due to its geographical location that allows easy accessibility to natural features. The diverse population is also characterized by high living standards as well as a thriving economy. Changes in the county’s demography have been a common thing in Santa Clara.

There is a need to adopt innovative policies to accommodate the dynamic population in Santa Clara in terms of relevant infrastructures like housing, energy, water and sanitation. Social support services also need to be provided for her population (J. P. Munro-Fraser, 1881). The county’s unique features include the Santa Clara valley, the Diablo Range, Bay lands and the Santa Cruz Mountains. The Diablo Range consists of grasslands, chaparral and oak savannah. Santa Cruz Mountains contain redwood forests as well as active earthquake faults and there are regions that are geologically instable (Leigh Hadley Irvine, 1998).

The North valley region is very urbanized and it is home for approximately 90% of Santa Clara’s population. The South valley is predominantly rural except in Gilroy and Morgan Hill. Here residential developments are scattered. The population of Santa Clara has been increasing tremendously for instance from 1980 to 1990 it recorded a growth of 16% and from 1990 to 2000 the growth was 12%. Projections for 2010 are that there will still be an increase in the population growth although it is expected to be at a lower rate.

Population growth is higher in the Southern valley cities when compared to the Northern cities which include Campbell, Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara, Saratoga, and Sunnyvale. There are diverse cultures and nationalities in Santa Clara ranging from Asians, blacks, native Hawaiian or the pacific Islanders, Hispanics and Latinos. A considerable percentage of people living in Santa Clara are from foreign countries. In 2000 it was estimated that 26% of the population was Asian, 3% Black, 0.

3% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and 17% of the population was of some other race or two or more races. The Hispanic or Latino population comprises 24% of the total population. In 2007, Santa Clara’s population was approximately 1,731,281 which was a 2. 9% change from the 2000 estimates. Children below 5 years contributed to 7. 7% of the total population while those below 18 years were 24. 9%. The population above 65 years of age was 10. 5%. In terms of gender, females comprised of 48. 9% as males made the 51. 1 %. The percentage of whites was 63%, Blacks was 2. 8, American Indian and Alaska native was 0.

8%, Asians 30. 5%. Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders 0. 4% and those with two or more racial orientation comprised of 2. 5%. The percentage of whites who were not Hispanics in 2006 was 39. 1%. 45% of the population spoke the English language at home. In 2004 the median household income was $68,842 and the population living below poverty level was 8. 4%. http://quickfacts. census. gov/qfd/states/06/06085. html Classifying the population by race and ethnicity shows that Native Americans form only 0. 36% of the total population, whites 43. 5%, Hispanics 25. 4%, African American 2.

7% and Asians 25. 8%. Santa Clara has a long history in technological innovations and hence its advancement in terms of economic growth. In 1996 the Silicon Valley companies attributed to 40% of California’s export sales. The county as a whole contributed to over 70% contribution to the regions export earning foreign exchange and leading to improved standards of living. The glory brought about by the overwhelming contribution in exports was however interrupted three years down the line by the slowing of computers and semiconductors as well as other traditional technology sectors.

The sudden demise of Internet related companies also contributed to the reduced economic growth. In the Bay Area as well as in California, Santa Clara is one of the counties with the largest or rather highest personal income levels. In 1999 the county recorded the highest median household income of $74,335 and the median family incomes of $81717 as well as the highest per capita incomes at $32, 795. (www. sccgov. org) According to 2000 census the population enrolled in elementary school from grade 1-8 was at 39. 3% while that enrolled in High school from grade 9-12% was 19. 4 %.

The percentage of the population enrolled in college or graduate schools was 29. 7. In terms of education attainment the population aged 25 and above and with less than a 9th grade education was only 8% an indication of the high literacy levels in the region. Those with no diploma education but with high school education comprised 8. 6% of the total population. High school graduates and its equivalent comprised of 15. 9% while those with college education were 19. 6%. 47. 8% of the population had degree education which consisted of Associate degree 7. 4%, Bachelors degree 24% while graduate or professional degree was 16. 4%.

Santa Clara’s population aged 5-20 years with disabilities was 6. 5%, 21-64 year old and with disabilities was 16. 4% while the population aged 64 and above and with disabilities was 39. 3%. (factfinder. census. gov). The manufacturing sector was the largest sectors in Santa Clara according to 2006 statistics. It recorded an average wage per job of $124,555. The per capita income adjusted for inflation grew by 25. 6% between 1995 and 2005. The counties labor force in 2006 was 834,317 while the average wage per job was $124,555. The unemployment rate was 4. 5. Transportation & Warehousing contributed to 2% of all jobs in County.

The per capita income established in 2005 was $51,112 and the median household Income was $76,686. The poverty rate as at 2005 was 8. 4. (www. stats. indiana. edu). Health care coverage in Santa Clara for adults is affected by race and ethnicity. For the Whites the coverage rate is 93 %, African Americans or Blacks is 85%, Hispanics is 68%, Asians and 90% is 90%. Among the middle and high school students the rates of attempted suicide classified in terms of gender for males was 6% and females 11%. Whites had a rate of 5%, Hispanics 11% and African Americans also recorded 11%.

Asians had 7% while Native Americans had twice this rate. In the period between 2000 and 2005 the birth rate declined by 7. 4% and whites registered the greatest or maximum decline at 22. 6%. African American were second as they had a 13. 3% decline. Asians and Pacific Islanders had a 9. 3% and Hispanics had a 5. 2% decline. Birth rates among teenagers between 15 and 19 years vary across races and ethnicity. From 2000 to 2005 the birth rates fluctuated from 70, 60, 65 and 62. Whites and Asians in that period had the same birth rates at 9, 8, 7 and 5. African Americans had 20, 15, 20 and 20 at the span of time.

The infant mortality rates also vary with time as well as race and ethnicity. African Americans had the following trend from 2000 to 2004; 9, 15, 3, and 13. Hispanics had a rate of 6, 4, 5. 5, 5. 7 and 5. 7. Asians had 3. 9, 2. 7, 2. 6, 3 and 4. Major causes of hospitalization are pregnancy, child birth and puerperium which had a rate of 17. 5%. Newborns and neonatal conditions at the period prior to prenatal period is the second major cause of hospitalization at 17. 2 %. Circulatory system diseases and disorders constitute 12. 4 % while digestive system diseases and disorders were at 7.

4%. In 2005 the total number of hospitalization was 184, 42 (http://factfinder. census. gov/home/saff/main. html? _lang=en). Major communicable diseases include Chlamydia infections which in 2005 were 5767 at a SCC rate of 331. 6. Gonococcal infections were 1046 counts at the rate of 60. 1. Hepatitis B carriers’ counts were 225 at the rate of 127. 9. Hepatitis C both chronic and acute count was at 1235 at a rate of 71. Salmonellosis count was at 360 and at a rate of 20. 7. Tuberculosis TB was at 228 and at a rate of 13. 1 while Aids was at 157 at a SCC rate of 9.

Asians and Pacific Islanders report the highest rates of TB cases while African Americans report the least cases. The annual cases of gonorrhea since 2001 to 2005 were as follows, 546, 499, 726, 1041,998 and 1046. The annual cases of Chlamydia from 2001 and 2005 were 4107, 4378, 4643, 5549, 5278 and 5758. The annual reported cases of syphilis since 2002 to 2006 was 30, 55, 42 and 53. Mortality rates vary with age and ethnicity. In 2000 to 2004 Whites recorded the following rates were estimated to be 750, 700, 650, 620 and 600. Hispanics had approximately 500, 450, 400, 550 and 550.

Asians had 450, 430,400,410 and 400 while African Americans had 780, 800, 600, 750 and 720 (Liao Y, Tucker P, Giles WH, 2004). The ten leading causes of death include heart diseases which accounts for approximately 27% of the total deaths. Malignant neoplasm is second and it accounts for 25% of the total deaths. Cerebrovascular diseases account for 8%, chronic lower respiratory diseases 5%, influenza and pneumonia 4%, unintentional injuries including motor vehicle collisions 4%, diabetes mellitus 3%, chronic liver diseases and cirrhosis 2% while suicide or intentional harm attribute to 1% of the total deaths.

Across racial orientation cancers, stroke and heart diseases are the major causes for adult deaths. 45% of deaths cases among the young people between 15 and 24 years are due to unintentional injuries but 20% of the deaths of people between 15 and 24 years old are attributed to suicide. 24% of deaths of young adults’ between15 and 24 years old from the Hispanic origin are due to homicide. Falls and poisoning are the major causes of unintentional deaths across people of all ages. However falls affected those over 65 years while poisoning affected the younger people.

For infants suffocation was a great cause for their demise. Drowning was also a considerable cause for deaths among the children aged 1 and 4 years (Mensah GA, Hanson CM, Koplan JP, Richmond J, Rios EV, Satcher D, 2003). Approximately 11% of the adult population in Santa Clara smoked. Hispanics recorded the highest percentage at 13 followed by whites at 12%. There have been changes in the trends of smoking over the years. Daily smokers for instance reduced by 105 from 1997 to 2005 although those who do not smoke daily increased from 10% in 2003 to 13% in 2005. Acquisition of disease varies across races.

In Santa Clara County, Latinos are 20% more likely than whites to be infected with HIV/AIDS. Again, Latino and Asian children are 35% and 25% more likely than whites to have experience with dental caries. Latino children are also about 15% more likely than white children to have no dental insurance. There is clear lack of Latino physicians and surgeons despite the fact that this would be a step forward in promoting equality in accessibility of health care. There is one general hospital in Santa Clara which has approximately 327 beds and about 237 affiliated physicians and surgeons.

There are also numerous dentists, optometrists as well as other medical specialists. However there are numerous hospitals and clinics across the county that facilitates the provision of health care services be they mental, medical as well as public. The hospitals include Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Saint Louise Regional Hospital, Regional Medical Center of San Jose, O’Connor Hospital, Kaiser Permanente – Santa Teresa, Good Samaritan Hospital, El Camino Hospital and Community Hospital of Los Gatos (Boatrice L. , Bea L.

, 2004). The fertile soils in Santa Clara promoted the agricultural activities. Crops grown included wheat and grain. However other crops like vegetables, flowers and fruit vineyards were also abundant. To facilitate easy mobility the county has a well developed road, rail as well as air transportation system. The system is set in such a way that it allows for flexibility as the time schedules set are very convenient as well as reliable. References: Overview for Santa Clara County, CA. Retrieved on 19th April 2008 from http://www. stats. indiana.

edu/uspr/a/usprofiles/06/us_over_sub_pr06085. html Community economic profile. Retrieved on 19th April 2008 from http://santaclaraca. gov/pdf/collateral/EconomicProfile. pdf US Census Bureau. Santa Clara County, California. Profile of selected social characteristics. Retrieved on 19th April 2008 from http://factfinder. census. gov/servlet/QTTable? _bm=y;-qr_name=DEC_2000_SF3_U_DP2;-ds_name=DEC_2000_SF3_U;-_lang=en;-_sse=on;-geo_id=05000US06085 Boatrice Lichtenstein, Bea Lichtenstein, 2004. Santa Clara. Arcadia Publishing. Santa Clara American FactFinder.

United States Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2008-04- 19 from http://factfinder. census. gov/home/saff/main. html? _lang=en J. P. Munro-Fraser, 1881. History of Santa Clara County, California. Alley, Bowen Harvard University. Leigh Hadley Irvine, 1998. Santa Clara County, California: California Lands for Wealth,Board of Supervisors of Santa Clara County. Mensah GA, Hanson CM, Koplan JP, Richmond J, Rios EV, Satcher D, 2003. Are health disparities on the public health agenda? Where? Ethn Dis. Liao Y, Tucker P, Giles WH, 2004. Health status among REACH 2010 communities, 2001-2002.