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Select Populations

If our community is to achieve equity and opportunity for all people, it is important to notice not only how the community as a whole is doing, but how sub-populations are doing. ​CAN has selected six populations for which we track data and, where available, specific outcomes for the CAN indicators. These populations may face a greater risk of poor socio-economic health status and well-being.​

Click on categories below for data, information on the barriers faced by these populations, local collaborations that are working to help out, and recommendations for changes to improve lives and increase equity and opportunity.

Following are some of the key challenges facing vulnerable populations and some of the local collaborations working to address these challenges.

children & youth

Graph showing children & youth as a percentage of the total population in Travis County from 2006 - 2013

In 2013, 33.8% of Travis County residents were under the age of 25. While the actual number of children and youth has increased, the percentage of the overall population has remained relatively stable over the past eight years, ranging from 33.8% in 2013 to a high of 37% in 2008.

For more information, including additional data, key issues that affect children and youth, and local efforts to improve the well-being of children and youth, click here

Ready by 21’s Community Dashboard provides additional data and information on children and youth in the Greater Austin area.

For additional outside research and reports related to children and youth, please click here.

immigrants

In 2013, Travis County was home to 201,668 foreign-born residents. Foreign-born residents are vulnerable to negative outcomes on a number of indicators. Foreign-born Travis County residents are more likely than non-foreign-born residents to have low-incomes, limited English proficiency, and lack health insurance. Depending on their citizenship status, foreign-born residents may face barriers to accessing certain government programs, as well.

For more information, including additional data, key issues that affect immigrants, and local efforts to improve the well-being of immigrants, click here.

For additional outside research and reports related to immigrants please here.

Older Adults

A health practitioner administers care to an aging patient

Travis County is home to a large and growing population of older adults. In 2013, 91,108 individuals over the age of 65 resided in Travis County, making up about 8% of the total population. Since 2009, the over 65 population in Travis County has grown by 29%, and, according to the Brookings Institution, the Metro Area was home to the nation’s fastest-growing pre-senior population between 2000 and 2010. As the population has grown, it has diversified as well, necessitating the provision of culturally and linguistically proficient services. Individuals over 65 experience numerous challenges, including deteriorating health; loneliness, isolation, mental health, and substance use issues. Many seniors prefer to remain in their own home or to live with a family member as they age. Providing in home-services and supports to caregivers who aid older adults with daily tasks has been highlighted by the Aging Services Council of Central Texas as a priority for the Austin area.

For more information, including additional data, key issues that affect older adults, and local efforts to improve the well-being of older adults, click here.

For recent research reports related to older adults, click here.

people with a criminal history

People with a criminal history face many barriers when attempting to reintegrate into society. The Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable, citing work by the National Employment Law Project, estimates that about 70 million nationally, or just under a third of the population have a criminal record. Locally, between 2,500 and 3,000 people convicted of a crime in Travis County are released from incarceration each year. A criminal record can have an effect on an individual’s later life, regardless of whether they spent any time in jail or prison. Criminal histories make it difficult for individuals to find both housing and employment. Furthermore, individuals with a criminal history may have difficulty finding mental health or substance abuse services. Additionally, many ex-offenders face challenges with debt and regaining proof of identification and a driver’s license.

For more information, including additional data, key issues that affect people with a criminal history, and local efforts to improve the well-being of people with a criminal history, click here.

For additional outside research and reports related to people with a criminal history please click here.

people with disabilities

A mother caring for her disabled child

In 2013, there were 110,447 people with disabilities residing in non-institutional settings in Travis County. About four in ten of these individuals have more than one type of disability, and nearly one quarter of veterans have a disability. People with disabilities tend to face low levels of educational attainment and employment, along with low-incomes. The lack of affordable housing linked to transportation presents a substantial challenge to independent living for people with disabilities, as does the limited availability of supportive community services through the state. Furthermore, state cuts to the Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program have limited the community’s ability to identify early and provide services to children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Furthermore, caregivers face challenges navigating support systems, particularly the transition from ECI to school-based services, and school-based services to adult support services.

For more information, including additional data, key issues that affect people with disabilities, and local efforts to improve the well-being of people with disabilities, click here.

For additional outside research and reports related to people with disabilities please click here.

veterans

A soldier wearing camoflauge

 
In 2013, 6.2% of Travis County residents were veterans. Although the veteran population is projected to decline, an increasingly large share of veterans are female. Many veterans are also married to other veterans or are single parents. Therefore, many veterans need services that support family well-being, including safe, affordable housing and quality, affordable childcare. Area service providers work with veterans and their families to navigate complex federal systems and ensure that they receive all benefits to which they are entitled. Other local efforts aid veterans in coping with mental health and substance use issues, as well as deterring interaction with the criminal justice system. Local providers have also collaborated to provide services that decrease the number of veterans experiencing homelessness.

For more information, including additional data, key issues that affect veterans, and local efforts to improve the well-being of veterans, click here.

For additional outside research and reports related to veterans, please click here.