How healthy is your county? New data shows how your county ranks compared to others in NY

March 19, 2019 08:35 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) - How healthy is your county compared to the rest of the state? The rankings might surprise you.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation partnered with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute to compile the data. Researchers looked at more than 30 factors that contribute to overall health like poverty, education, transportation, housing, and jobs. 

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The study ranked each county in New York state by two categories -- health outcomes, which is how long people live, and how healthy they feel while alive. The data also shows the county's ranking based on health factors like health behaviors, clinical care, and social, economic, and physical environment factors.

Out of 62 counties in New York, here's how counties in the area rank:

- Monroe County ranks 39th in health outcomes and 24th in health factors

- Ontario County ranks 9th in health outcomes and 11th in health factors

- Wayne County ranks 51st in health outcomes and 39th in health factors

- Livingston County ranks 12th in health outcomes and 16th in health factors

- Seneca County ranks 37th in health outcomes and 38th in health factors

- Genesee County ranks 42nd in health outcomes and 29th in health factors

- Orleans County ranks 52nd in health outcomes and 54th in health factors

Dr. Richard Bessner, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, says this year researchers took a closer look at the connection between housing and health.

"When the vast majority of a family's paycheck goes to housing, it leaves little money left for other essentials that contribute to good health such as healthy food, medicine or transportation, and high housing costs can force some families to live in unsafe or overcrowded housing," Dr. Bessner said.

Dr. Bessner says there is no single fix for high housing costs, but he encourages county officials to look at their rankings to determine where they can improve.

"More than 1 in 10 households spend half their income on housing and people with low incomes and people of color are even more likely to be burdened by high housing costs," Dr. Bessner said. 

The data shows racial disparities. Nearly one in four black households spend half their income on housing compared to one in ten white households.

Click here to find out how healthy your county is.


Kaci Jones

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