GPT Task 1
Western Governors University
GPT Task 1
Community Description and Data Interpretation Orange County, California is approximately 791 square miles and spans 42 miles of Southern California coastline. Los Angeles County lies to the north, San Diego County to the south, and Riverside County to the west. The very first settlers, known as the Juaneño and the Gabrielino, came to live in Orange County a thousand years ago. Fishing, hunting, and gathering were the primary way of life. In 1769, Spanish soldiers and missionaries came to Orange County to colonize the area and to establish a chain of missions and forts. Grazing cattle, horses, and sheep paved the way until about the 1830s. In 1821, Mexico and Spain separated and Mexico claimed California as their own. The Mexican government and the missions were secularized, and they authorized land grants of up to 44,000 acres to Mexican citizens. The United States and other countries utilized the pacific coast as trade vessels bringing in supplies and goods, which boosted the economy. Cattle ranching were a primary source of economic growth during this time as well. By the end of the Mexican War in 1848, Mexico surrendered to the United States and California became a state in 1850 ("Orange County Historical Society - Orange County, California," n.d.). In 1859, the very first town founded in Orange County was Anaheim, and vineyards were planted and the town was built on making wine. Towns such as Garden Grove, Tustin, Orange, Santa Ana, and Westminster soon followed suit. Railways were built to accommodate the growing economy and commercial ships came into Newport Bay bringing in goods from up and down the coast. The huge economy boom led to the formation of Orange County on August 1, 1889 ("Orange County Historical Society - Orange County, California," n.d.). By the mid 1950s, citrus growth and oil wells was the primary source of economic growth in Orange County. But soon new housing tracks and state highways began to develop and most of the citrus crops and farms began to dissipate. However, businesses such as Hughes Aircraft and Disneyland opened bringing major economic prosperity to the county. The increasing population equated to more and more jobs in hospitals, restaurants, and retail stores. By the 1960s, Southern Orange County began to grow and cities such as Irvine, Mission Viejo, and Laguna Niguel has lead to an influx of million of residents. Today, Orange County is the home to over three million people ("Orange County Historical Society - Orange County, California," n.d.).
Population/Economic Assessment Orange County has a population of 3,114,363 people with males making up 47% and females making up 53%. According to the United States Census Bureau, there are approximately 3807.7 people per square mile. The average family size is 3.01%, with the average household income being $75,566 ("United States Census Bureau," 2014.). The unemployment rate in 2013 was 6.2%, compared to the nationwide rate of 7.3%. This represents a slight decrease from 2012’s rate of 7.7%. The percentage of households below poverty level was 13.4% in 2009, and the percentage of people receiving public assistance in Orange County is 10.7% ("Orange, California (CA) Poverty Rate Data - Information about Poor and Low Income Residents," n.d.). There has been a declining trend of homeless people living in Orange County since the recession of 2009 hit. At that time the estimated number was 21,479 and in 2011 the number had dropped to 18,325. Today, there is approximately 12,700 homeless people living on the streets of Orange County, but this does not include “couch surfers”, people sleeping on other people’s sofas and/or in motels (Montero, 2013). It is determined that proper health care services is most important when trying to maintain good health in a community. Approximately 84% of adult residents of