Community surveys, collection and analysis of statistics about any community are an essential activity in determining the needs of any community. The process also determines the strengths of a society and any other areas that may require improvement. This paper highlights statistical measures on various parameters within Richmond County, Texas. Pertinent statistics are reviewed and various community diagnoses are made in relation to the empirically and statistically observed facts.
Richmond County is located in the southern part of Texas State. Richmond city is the seat of Fort Bend County. The city is located within Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown metropolitan area. The boundaries of the city are joined on side with Rosenberg city and on the other by Sugar Land. The 3.93 square miles city is the seat of Fort Bend County. 0.2 square miles of the county is covered by water, whereas the rest is covered by land.
Subjective Data Analysis
The windshield survey and interviews as well as the secondary data collection showed that there were serious problems of obesity and diabetes among the population. The analysis of certain aspects of some crime categories also showed that there was great prevalence of socio-psychological problems among the families within the county. The key informants expressed concerns about the ability of the health facilities to serve the people effectively and handle emergencies appropriately. There were also concerns about strength of the family as an institution within society. Prevalence of obesity was also witnessed in the survey, even though no one particularly expressed concerns about it.
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Statistical data on any community is essential in determining the community’s dynamics and status. These essential statistical findings help in planning for the community by first understanding its needs. The information is used in making priorities for the community in matters relating to health, education and security. In the survey a number statistical measures was obtained, and these included demographic data, economic indicators, education profiles and morbidity and mortality rates – just to mention, but a few.
Richmond City population stood at 12, 067 in 2011, whereas that of Texas was 25,674,681 in the same year. The change in population in 2011 from the previous year was 3.3% for Richmond City and 2.1% Texas. Age distribution of the population shows that there are 8.2% people under five years, 27% people under 18 years and 11.3% people were aged 65years and above in 2011 (City-Data.com, 2012). The state statistics on the same measures show 7.7%, 27.3% and 10.3%, respectively. Gender distribution in Richmond City shows that there are slightly more males than females. The population percentage of females stood at 47.1% (male percentage 52.9%) whereas the state percentage was 50.4% (male percentage 49.6%), (United States Census Bureau, 2012).
Racial and ethnic characteristics
The racial profile of the population shows that white people make up a bigger part of the population with a percentage of 60.6% and 70.4% percent at the county and state level, respectively. Black people are second with the population percentage of 18% and 11.8% at the county and state levels, respectively. The Asian people follow them closely with a percentage of 1% and 3.8% at the county and state levels, respectively. There are also people reporting two or more races, and these make up 2.5% of the population at the county level and 2.7% at the state level. The white, non-Hispanic population stood at 25.3% and 45.3% at the county and state level, respectively (United States Census Bureau, 2012).
Per capita income for Richmond City stood at $ 17,911 dollars in 2010, whereas Texas’ per capita income stood at $ 24,870 dollars. The median household income in Richmond City within the same period was $ 40,114, whereas that of the state was $ 49,646. People living below the poverty line in Richmond City were 34.7%, whereas the percentage at the state level was 16.8% (United States Census Bureau, 2012).
The percentage of high school graduates for the 25 years and above bracket stands 57.7% in Richmond City, whereas the state percentage is 80%. The percentage of people aged above twenty five with a bachelor’s degree in Richmond City stood at 15.2%, whereas the state levels stood at 25.8% (United States Census Bureau, 2012). The professional or graduate population is 5.2% of the population.
Morbidity and Mortality Rates
The number of births in 2008 was 1137, whereas at the state level the birth rate was 17.3. The infant death rate per 1,000 live births was 4.4 in 2008, whereas the state rate was 3.7. The rate of fetal deaths in 2008 was 5.3, whereas the perinatal death rate was 7.9 per 1000 births.
The adult diabetes rate was 8.8% both at the county and state levels. The adult obesity rate was 25.8% in the county, whereas the state percentage was 26.6%. The low-income preschool obesity rate was 16.2% in the county, whereas the state percentage was 15.7% (City-Data.com, 2012).
The number of murders in Cameron County was 3, whereas at the state level the number was 1407 in 2005. The number of rape cases within Cameron County was 6, whereas the number at the state level was 8511 (U.S Department of Justice, 2012). The aggravated assault cases were the most prevalent within the state and county as 48 and 242, respectively. The number of robberies at the county level stood at 11in 2005, whereas at the state levels was 35,790 (City-Data.com, 2012).
Analysis of Data
Analysis of the community’s physical and recreational facilities during the windshield survey showed that there were no sufficient sports and recreational facilities. Except for a few school-based facilities, there were no sufficient public playgrounds that could allow the youth and young children to engage in physical activities that could possibly contribute to their health. A few parks observed in the county were sparse and there were significant sections of the county that could not access these parks for recreational activities. The situation was notably worse in the heavily populated areas, where there seemed to be no sufficient space for recreation. The findings show that the situation may be the reason behind high rates of observed obesity and diabetes. Obesity and diabetes are correlated in nature and their prevalence could be aggravated by lack of exercise (Aznar & Luis, 2010). An observation of the emergency department showed that the department was congested and heavily burdened. This was due to three accidents that had occurred in the same day. Further analysis revealed that there was a shortage of health facilities in relation to the population’s needs. The road transport in the county was found to be perfect, and the accidents were more of a problem of the weather and not the transport network.
Security was not a big problem because the rate of reported crimes was relatively low compared to the state level. Additionally, the interviewed people expressed no great concerns about crime. However, some aspects of the reported crimes were worrying. For example, a high number of rape and assault cases were found to occur within the family set up. This raises concerns about family institution and the strength of marriages.
Response to the Interviews
Allan Morris, a practitioner at the local emergency department expressed concern about the limited health facilities’ capacity to handle emergencies: “In spite of the fact that our local population is relatively healthy in relation to other populations in the state, I am concerned about our ability to handle emergencies. Our emergency departments are limited in terms of personnel and facilities, and I fear in case of a bigger emergency it may be challenging to effectively offer services”. 8/16/2012.
Conrad O’Connor, a local primary health specialist expressed concern about a few health facilities available per certain portion of the population: “Our health facilities do not match the population’s needs and this can be exemplified by the low bed capacity that we have in most of our facilities. Potential rise in health challenges may render us incapacitated and unable to help our population the future if nothing is done”. 8/16/2012
Ashton Brian, a local police officer expressed concern about the rise in assault cases, especially those resulting from domestic violence: “The state of security is worsening due to a rise in assault cases. This is also a case of greater concern for our local families because most of these cases also occur in homes, and they involve family members. The rate of rape cases may not be alarming, but the worrying trend is that most of the rape cases are committed by people well known to the victims within the family and friends network. This is worrying because the trend seems to be threatening the marriage institution in our community”. 8/15/12.
Risk of Obesity
The observation made during the survey showed that most youths were obese. This was confirmed by the statistical review, which showed that the adult obesity rate was 25.8% in the county, whereas the state percentage was 26.6%. The low-income preschool obesity rate was 16.2% in the county, whereas the state percentage was 15.7%. This challenge can be greatly attributed to the lack of physical facilities for physical exercise and practice. The poor observation of dietary intake evidenced by the high prevalence of fast food makes the situation worse when coupled with lack of exercise (Stunkard & Wadden, 2004). Perhaps this problem also explains the high rate of diabetes, which is a condition linked to obesity (Aznar & Luis, 2010). That could be a serious problem considering the fact that there are a high number of uninsured people that do not have health covers.
Risk of socio-psychological problems
The high observed rates of assault and rape cases within families indicate a socio-psychological health problem in the society. The rates imply that the family cohesion and values may be breaking down, and this may be a big threat to the family institution. There is a need for public forums within institutions and public setups that can address issues of the family relations. Counseling would perhaps offer the best solution to the family matters. Religion is also known to play a role in this field. As such, it would be necessary for the religious organizations and institutions to help in improving associations and relations in family.
Summary and Conclusion
The assessment of Richmond City statistics shows that the community is relatively healthy in relation to most conditions’ prevalence. However, obesity seems to be the biggest challenge among the population, and especially among the youth. The problem was also linked to a high prevalence of diabetes, which primarily results from obesity. The threat also poses a challenge in cardiovascular health. Long term obesity is linked to the cardiovascular problems. As such, the society may find itself in future problems with regard to cardiovascular health. Notably, the health facilities were found to be in a wanting state, because the bed capacity was low, the ability to handle emergencies was limited because the emergency departments in most of these facilities were ill equipped with few personnel and physical facilities. As a matter of recommendation, there is a need to increase the health facilities’ capability to handle emergencies and increase the bed capacity. Additionally, there is a need to develop sporting facilities for the public so as to provide physical exercise opportunities, which could greatly reduce obesity and associated conditions (Aznar & Luis, 2010).