Brunswick is a coastal town in Glynn County, Georgia, with beautiful architecture and plenty of green areas. The total population is 16 256 people, according to the 2019 U.S. census (Quick Facts, 2019). Brunswick is an old city that got its name in 1771 and was established as a city in 1856. Although Brunswick has a small population, it is an important spot for the U.S. national trade. The Port of Brunswick accepts about 10% of cargo ships that export and import goods. Besides, Brunswick is a famous tourist attraction for its parks, rivers, and historically attractive downtown. This paper aims to assess the Brunswick community, particularly in terms of community health and healthcare facilities availability.
The Population of Brunswick
Brunswick is located on the Atlantic coast, very close to the southern border of Georgia with Miami. The closest city of over 50,000 is Jacksonville, FL, and the nearest city of over 1 million is Philadelphia, PA. The distance to the north of Florida is 40 miles, and to the south of South Carolina is 80 miles. The western boundary of Brunswick city is determined by Oglethorpe Bay, the East River, and the Turtle River. The town’s southern border is matched with the Brunswick River, and the eastern border with the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in the Mackay River. There is a Brunswick Golden Isles Airport near the central business district of the city.
The population of Brunswick is mostly heterogeneous, but there are some common trends, including lower prices for living compared to those throughout the U.S. On the other hand, scientists note that the city is still struggling to recover from the Great Recession of 2009 (Mathews, 2016). Noteworthy, the percentage of residents living in poverty in 2017 was 39% (Brunswick, Georgia, 2017). The estimated median house income was $ 26,190 in 2017, compared to $ 22,272 in 2000 (Brunswick, Georgia, 2017). This tendency speaks of a slight inclination towards household capital accumulation, primarily because in 2017, the estimated income per capita was $ 21,067 compared to $ 13,062 in 2000. Therefore, despite a well-developed infrastructure consisting of numerous educational facilities, churches, places for entertainment, and medical centers, there is a significant percentage of people who cannot take advantage of these benefits. Besides, some communities, like Native Hawaiians and Asian people, have the highest rate of residents living below the poverty level, suggesting that these groups deserve special attention in getting adequate healthcare.
Demographics of the Community
According to the 2019 U.S. census, the Brunswick community has the following race ratio. There are 37.6% of White people, 56.6% of Black or African American people, 0% of American Indian and Alaska Native people, 1.8% of Asian people, 0.2% of Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders, 2% of people with roots from two or more races, 9.8% of Hispanic or Latino people, and 30.4% of White not Hispanic or Latino people. The edges of the city determine the boundaries of the population since the community of Brunswick city is being studied.
The age distribution of the population is the following: 8.9% of community members under the age of 5; 26.4% under the age of 18; 15.5% of persons 65 years and older. The median resident age as of 2017 was 38.3 years, compared to 36.8 years in Georgia and 35 years in 2010 (Brunswick, Georgia, 2017). The female population is 56.5%, compared to 51.4% in Georgia and 50.8% U.S. average. The general characteristic that determines the Brunswick community is that it consists of people who permanently live in the area. At the same time, community members may work elsewhere. The city has a daytime population change due to +9,107 or +56.0% commuting since many people from neighboring communities work here. According to the statistics, the mean travel time to a job for Brunswick community members is 20 minutes (Brunswick, Georgia, 2017). It means that the community members mostly work within the city boundaries.
The community is mostly educated, and there are many primary, secondary, and higher education facilities in the area. Noteworthy, 82.0% of community members have a high school or higher education, 15.6% have a Bachelor’s degree, and 6% of Brunswick residents have a Graduate or professional degree (Brunswick, Georgia, 2017). However, there are 10.2% unemployed people in the community. 79.3% of households own a computer, which is 9% lower than the U.S. average, and 63.5% of households have a broadband Internet subscription, which is 16% lower than the U.S. average (Quick Facts, 2019). The population has a slight tendency to grow since it added about 1000 people or 6.3%, compared to the 2010 census. There are 11.6% of people with disabilities under age 65 years, and 27% of people without health insurance under age 65 years, which is a substantial amount (Quick Facts, 2019). A similar indicator for Georgia is 15.5%, and for the U.S., it is 9.5%.
Information Gathered through the Observation
Europeans first inhabited the Brunswick city area in 1771, and many buildings from the 19th century can be found in the city center. These are picturesque architectural structures two or three stories high, the facades of which are painted in bright, cheerful colors. The central streets of the city are wide enough with broad sidewalks. More remote areas of the city are located next to the park and recreation areas. The city has a host of tourist attractions, including the several hundred-year-old Lover’s Oak Tree in Old Town, Richland Rum production, Pinball Palace, “Ritz” Theater, Sidney Lanier Bridge, Old Brunswick City Hall, Glynn Academy, and Port of Brunswick. Park areas include several squares, Howard Coffin Park, Selden Park, Brunswick Landing Marina, and Earth Day Nature Trail. To the west, the city is bordered by St. Simons Island, with its numerous weekend opportunities.
There are no steel or coal plants in the area; the only Brunswick Cellulose paper plant is located far away from residencies. The quality of water is good, with some exceptions, featuring lead and copper contamination. There are ten certified drinking water stations with no contamination, serving 32,000 people, with the “Brunswick” station serving 30,997 residents (Brunswick, Georgia, 2017). Other job opportunities include Southeast Georgia Health System’s Brunswick campus employing 1,522 people, educational and medical centers.
There is plenty of neighborhood hangouts, including cafes, restaurants, and Pinball Palace. Brunswick Transit system, a non-profit community transportation system, coordinates public transportation for Brunswick County residents. However, 87.7% of citizens mentioned that they use cars, which means that public transit is insufficient. There are also numerous taxi transporting companies, including the one renting limos. Streets and sidewalks are clean and spacious, with many road signs and pedestrian crossings. There are also plenty of stores, including Cypress Mill Square shopping mall, King and Prince Seafood Corporation, auto parts, flooring, marine, vine, embroidery, flower, and drug stores.
Besides, there are many grocery stores, compared to the Georgia average. People around the community and well dressed, clean, and neat; the community areas are clean as well; there are not many billboard and media displays. Besides, there are places for worship, including nine Christian Churches of different denominations. There are numerous healthcare facilities in Brunswick, including four hospitals, four nursing homes, three dialysis facilities, and two home health centers. Educational facilities include the College of Coastal Georgia and seven colleges and universities with over 2000 students near Brunswick. There are also three public and five private high schools and numerous elementary and middle schools.
In light of the above, it can be concluded that the Brunswick community has a sufficient amount of income per capita and is well educated. On the other hand, distressing statistics show that 39% of households reported living below the poverty level, among which 14% – below the 50% poverty level. Scientists notice that the people of Brunswick have struggled hard since the financial crisis of 2009 (Mathews, 2016). Notable, Brunswick showed the lowest percent change in real GDP, concluding a list of fourteen state cities with similar population size, indicating a -8.6% drop from 2009 to 2014 (Mathews, 2016). The city also ranked sixth in the country with the largest percentage decrease in real GDP.
As mentioned above, 27% of people under age 65 years do not have health insurance. Considering the expensive medical services, about a third of the population is deprived of receiving quality medical services, even though such a large number of medical centers are concentrated in the city. Besides, despite a sufficient number of shops, recreational areas, and hangout places, the town has public transport problems. Therefore, there is a need to develop government programs offering free health insurance for people living below the poverty level and not having the insurance. Besides, there is a possibility that patients who do not own a car will have difficulty in reaching hospitals. In this regard, the government can organize a home-based nursing and medical care program or find solutions for the transportation problem.
Among the advantages or strengths of society, one can single out a good ecology level, including the purity of water and air, in the absence of massive industry factories. The region is also famous for its recreational spaces, including marine and on-land touristic spots. Therefore, residents of Brunswick city can freely spend time in nature, or near water, which positively affects health, especially mental health and nervous system. Finally, the city has many opportunities for public education, which contributes to the well-being of the community members.
In addition to direct medical assistance, the state could also invite the city to participate in government projects aimed to revive the economy in selected cities and states. Higher wages would reduce poverty and allow more people to have access to quality health care. The town needs a short-term and simple economic reform, as the region presents many employment opportunities and unemployment rates could not be called striking.
Thus, the Brunswick community was assessed in terms of demography, community health, healthcare facilities availability, and economic opportunities. Statistics from the 2019 U.S. census were used, as well as data provided by the City-Data.com website. In the course of data analysis, it was found that the urban community needs programs to support populations without healthcare insurance. Besides, there is a need to invite the city to take part in the program reviving the economy since the relatively low level of salaries has led to more than a third of the urban population living below the poverty level.
Brunswick, Georgia. (2017). Web.
Mathews, D. (2016). Elusive recovery: the Brunswick MSA since the Great Recession. Web.
Quick Facts. (2019). Web.