Reference:  Swanson Note #1

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Starting with data, Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce finds that 40 percent of undergraduate students are active in the workforce (30 or more hours per week) along with 76 percent of graduate students. I apply these percentages to WWU, where there are about 1,000 graduate students, leaving about 14,000 undergraduates. The Georgetown figures generate about 5,600 WWU undergraduates in the workforce and 760 WWU graduate students, for a combined total of 6,360.

Second, The U.S. Census Bureau (“Quickfacts”) reports that there are 89,865 households in Whatcom County with a median annual household income of $70,011 (in 2021 dollars). 

Third, data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) show that, on average, college students who are dependent on parents for support had an annual independent income of approximately $8,500 in 2015. 

Moving on to the other assumptions, I assume that 70 percent of the 6,360 WWU students who are active in the workforce also live off campus and on average are two to a housing unit, which results in 2,226 (where 2,226 = .70*6,360/2) student “households” in Whatcom County. Those living on campus are in “Group Quarters,” and therefore not counted as households. Without these student households, there are approximately 87,639 (where (89,865 – 2,226 = 87,639) “non-student” households in Whatcom County.

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