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New website monitors Kootenai County statistics | News

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New website monitors Kootenai County statistics
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New website monitors Kootenai County statistics

Where does your county excel when it comes to health and economy? A new website launched for Kootenai County shows the good and the bad of the region with the use of statistics. It's called Kootenai County Indicators.

With the help of a staff data analyst and interns from Eastern Washington University’s economics department, you can learn that Kootenai County had a lower birthrate among teens compared to the rest of the United States. That number is even lower than the rest of the state of Idaho.

That’s not the only statistics you can read. You can learn that Kootenai County has only 1.5 law enforcement officers per 1,000 residents compared to the 1.7 officers statistic per 1,000 residents in the state.

This is the seventh county indicator website started by Eastern Washington University. They already have six based in Eastern Washington including Spokane County. Project manager Anna Halloran says the indicator websites are meant to democratize data and make sure it’s available to anyone who is interested in it.

“Businesses have used indicators to make financial decisions and relocation decisions,” Halloran said. “Health indicators have been used by organizations to gage where effort should be to improve health.”

The indicators even help grant writers put together stronger grant proposals and have it backed up with concrete data for their projects and programs.

In Spokane County, Halloran says the indicators helped launch Priority Spokane and several community leaders used it to determine what kind areas need focus in Spokane.

“Spokane has a pretty poor graduation rate and that was pretty apparent in the indicators. Since then, Priority Spokane has been working on improving those efforts. Over time those graduation rates are improving,” Halloran said.

Most of the data only includes statistics that only go until 2009 from the Idaho Bureau of Statistics, but Halloran added that the 2010 data is expected any day now.

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