The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has released their latest County Health Rankings, which ranks each county of every state via a number of health factors, health outcomes, policies, and programs. The County Health Rankings use a number of resources, including the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the American Community Survey, and other data provided by the CDC.
Health Outcomes is a measure of a person’s length of life and quality of life. For the first time in New York, the top-ranked county in overall health outcomes is Saratoga County, with Nassau and Rockland counties rounding out the top three.
Bronx County came in 62nd, with Sullivan and Cattaraugus coming in at 61st and 60th, respectively.
Health Factors include health behaviors like diet and exercise, access to and quality of clinical care, social and economic factors like income and education, and the physical environment, like housing, air quality, and water quality.
For overall health factors in the state of New York, Nassau County comes in at number one, with Putnam and Westchester at 2nd and 3rd respectively.
State vs Nation
The County Health Rankings also compare the state of New York with the United States. Overall, the state of New York compares favorably to the United States in health behavior. Examples include:
- Lower percent of adults who are current smokers
- Lower percent of adults with a BMI higher than 30
- Much higher percent of the population with adequate access to locations for physical activity
New York also compares favorably to the rest of the United States in the percentage of the population under 65 without health insurance, with New York at 12% and the U.S. at 17%.
Looking at the Social and Economic Factors category, New York compares both favorably and unfavorably. New York has a higher percentage of adults ages 25-44 with some post-secondary education and a lower number of deaths due to injury. However, New York also has a slightly higher unemployment rate, higher income inequality rate, and a higher number of reported violent crime offenses.
In the Physical Environment category, the news is mixed. New York ranks favorably for the percent of the workforce that drives alone to work, but has a high percentage of a commute over 30 minutes (if driving alone). New York also has a high percentage of households with overcrowding, high housing costs, and/or lack of kitchen or plumbing facilities.
For more information and to view more interactive data, please go to http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/.