Healthy Whatcom Publishes Community Health Snapshots based on 2018 Survey Results

How does health vary across Whatcom County? Our participants have assembled “snapshots” that look at the health of our community based on where people live in the county. These snapshots dive into health and well-being in each of the county’s seven school districts. 

Some of our key findings & points of consideration are listed below:

  • While Whatcom County is predominantly white (80% on average), this is not equally true in all communities. There are larger percentages of American Indian/Alaska Natives in the Ferndale, Nooksack and Mt. Baker school district areas; a greater percentage of Hispanic/Latino individuals in the Nooksack Valley school district, and a higher percentage of Asian individuals in Bellingham and Blaine. Overall, younger generations are becoming more racially and ethnically diverse, a statistic particularly noticed by school and early learning professionals.
  • Some key health outcomes, including rates of death due to heart disease, cancer, and traffic fatalities, are statistically better in the Bellingham and Lynden communities.
  • Rural residents have voiced that the lack of employment opportunities, grocery stores, healthcare and social services, as well as limited transportation options to access such amenities, have a negative impact on quality of life and individual health.
  • Residents in smaller communities, such as those in the Mt. Baker, Ferndale and Nooksack Valley school districts, report that helping one another is a community value. At the same time, isolation can be a challenge for those living in more rural areas, particularly for older adults and individuals with limited mobility.
  • Mental and behavioral health, including drug and alcohol use, lack of treatment options, and youth depression and anxiety, are common topics of concern.
  • Homelessness and the affordability, availability, and quality of housing are shared concerns throughout all Whatcom County communities.

Read the Executive Summary

For the full documents pertaining to each school district, download and read the Community Health Snapshots below: