New Report Ranks the Health Of Ohio's Counties
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released its annual county health rankings,, March 19. The report rates the health of nearly every county in the nation and shows that much of what affects health occurs outside of the physician’s office.
According to the Foundation, the three healthiest counties in Ohio are Geauga, Putnam and Deleware. The three at the bottom include Jackson, Lawrence and Scioto.
The Rankings examine 25 factors that influence health, including rates of childhood poverty and smoking, obesity levels, teen birth rates, access to physicians and dentists, rates of high school graduation and college attendance, access to healthy foods, levels of physical inactivity, and percentages of children living in single parent households.
This year's report showed a number of significant national trends:
- While rates of premature death are at the lowest level in 20 years, the unhealthiest counties still have people dying too early at rates more than twice that of the healthiest counties.
- Child poverty rates have not improved since 2000, with more than one in five children living in poverty.
- Violent crime has decreased by almost 50 percent over the past two decades.
- The counties where people die too early and don’t feel well either mentally or physically have the highest rates of smoking, teen births, and physical inactivity, and more frequent stays in the hospital that could have been prevented.
- Teen birth rates are more than twice as high in the least healthy counties than in the healthiest counties.
The online report includes interactive maps and county-level trend graphs detailing changes over time for several measures, including children in poverty, unemployment, and quality of care. To see the rankings, go to www.countyhealthrankings.org.