Tuesday, April 03, 2012

County Health Rankings

Usually, rankings of health status by geography are minimally interesting or useful. That's because demographics, not geographics, determine health. County Health Rankings is different because it lifts the veil on the socioeconomic characteristics that determine health. This interactive site lets you compare the health of counties in a state and see the characteristics that determine their status.

For example, Allendale County ranks worst in health among South Carolina's counties. Residents of Allendale are almost three times more likely than the average American to die prematurely--that is, before age 75. The characteristics of Allendale are those linked to poor health: a low level of education, 25 percent without health insurance, 19 percent unemployed, and every restaurant a fast-food establishment.

Source: University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

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