Benton-Franklin Trends
Benton-Franklin Trends
Eastern Washington University
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WELCOME

With this website, we hope to serve the informational needs of Benton and Franklin Counties. The project's steering committee, composed of leaders from various segments of the two counties, believe that a comprehensive set of facts about our community will help decision-making in both private and public settings.

The indicators have been chosen through a process engaging community leaders with subject experts. They represent our residents' current preferences for what is important to measure, subject to available data sources.


ABOUT US

The Trends of Benton and Franklin Counties, in south central Washington; are presented by a coalition of interested parties. The steering committee included the following organizations: Benton Franklin Health District, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Port of Benton, the Three Rivers Community Foundation, and the Tri-City Herald. The information contained among these many indicators offers residents and visitors alike a comprehensive view of our community.

Our specific goals are to:

  • Inform, based on the best-available data
  • Measure progress
  • Focus community attention on key issues
  • Ultimately, inspire broadly shared action

Our process has been deliberative and inclusive. To arrive at the current set of indicators, we engaged focus groups around eight of the ten categories on the site. This involved nearly 150 community leaders and subject experts. Their votes determined the choices of indicators you see in each category.

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OUR HOME

Benton and Franklin Counties lie in south central Washington. Currently, nearly 275,000 people call the two counties home. The third largest metro area in the state, it has also recently been the fastest-growing one. Major economic activities are agriculture, agricultural manufacturing, research at a national energy laboratory, remediation of nuclear waste, and tourism. The population of the two counties has become increasingly diverse over time. The counties boast Columbia Basin College and Washington State University Tri-Cities. It is also the home of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). PNNL performs over $1B per year in research volume. Staff files one invention disclosure per day, and one patent is granted to PNNL per week.

Separated by the Columbia River, the two counties sport different collective personalities but are united around the common goal of making the quality of life here even better.


Benton Franklin Map

FEATURED TREND

0.3.5 - Share of the Population Age 5+ who don't speak English at Home: The number of non-English speakers captures the number of immigrants and also provides a rough snapshot of the assimilation process. In Benton and Franklin Counties, where non-Anglo ethnicity is high, this indicator becomes more critical to track and understand. An increase in this share of total population correlates to a higher number of recent immigrants as well as to a larger number of immigrants whose language preference remains their mother tongue.

Although maintaining one’s original culture is very important, the share of non-English speakers in an area has consequences for private sector decisions, and for governmental and community programs. It also has consequences for the public sector, such as in education, where schools must accommodate non-English speaking students.
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