County-by-county healthcare rankings

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March 26, 2014 2:56:04 PM PDT
A new report ranks the healthiest and unhealthiest counties in each state. Philadelphia falls very low on the list.

GET THE RESULTS FOR YOUR AREA: Visit counyhealthrankings.org

If you look at our area, Philadelphia County comes in as 67th -- last on the list. That means it is the most unhealthy according to this report.

Chester County was 2nd healthiest, Montgomery County was 5th, Bucks County was 10th and Delaware County was 41st.

The rankings are based on a number of factors and overall, they give us a reliable snapshot nationwide on health trends both good and bad.

Taking a stroll down Kelly Drive on a nice day might make you think Philadelphians are pretty healthy. But according to the annual report by County Health Rankings, Philadelphia County is the least healthy of all counties in Pennsylvania.

The report illustrates how where you live affects your health.

It's not based just on obesity rates, it takes into account many different factors.

"Everything from the conditions we were raised (in) as children, whether or not we exercise, have access to healthy food, quality health care and live in safe homes and neighborhoods," said Abbey Cofsky, of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Philadelphia is the poorest of the 10 largest U.S. cities, so there's no doubt that's playing a role.

But there is some good news.

In Philadelphia:

  • Adult smoking rates have dropped significantly
  • Adult obesity has stabilized
  • Violent crime is down

These are all steps in the right direction to creating a healthier habitat. Overall as a nation, the report found that teen birth rates are down 25% since 2007. Also, the rate of preventable hospital stays is also down about 20%.

But, there are several areas to work on:

  • 1 in 5 households is overcrowded - Which makes it difficult to cook and clean
  • More than 1/3 workers have long commutes - Which contributes to inactivity and exposure to air pollution
  • Many areas face food insecurity or lack of access to healthy food
"No matter where a county ranks, everyone can do more to improve," Cofsky added.

Having this information, even though it may seem a bit depressing, shows what we need to do to improve and it also shows us how far we've come if you look at some of the earlier reports.


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