Public health is measured by things such as number of premature deaths, prevalence of certain diseases, habits of a population, and cost of healthcare. County Health Rankings & Roadmaps compiles detailed data each year about the health of each county within the United States. They recently ranked all of the counties in Pennsylvania, taking into account many measures. Their research will help to improve health throughout our state, as well as throughout the entire country. Below we’ve listed the 15 unhealthiest counties according to their data;
head over to the complete study to read more about their methodology or to look at the results for yourself.
15. Wyoming County
The rate of child mortality is higher in Wyoming County than it is in the rest of the state, at 66.1 childhood deaths for 100,000 children. 16% of residents could not see a doctor due to cost.
14. Jefferson County
Last year, premature deaths in Jefferson County accumulated to 7,350 years of lost life, as compared to the state average of 6,926 lost years. Over one-forth of adults smoke here.
13. Schuylkill County
One-third of adults in Schuylkill County are physically inactive, and 19% drink excessively. 82% of residents drive alone to work.
12. Lackawanna County
Above see a post card from 1908 that depicts coal waste being burned in Scranton. Today, residents of Lackawanna County face 19 drug related deaths per 100,000 residents, which is higher than the state average of 15.
11. Carbon County
One-fourth of Carbon County residents get drinking water from a source with health violations, which is drastically higher than the state average of 8%.
10. Luzerne County
14% of Luzerne County residents face severe housing problems, while 81% drive by themselves to work, which contributes to poor mental health and also increases the risk of an automobile crash.
9. Susquehanna County
31% of adults in Susquehanna County smoke, which is much higher than the state average, and 14% of residents are uninsured.
8. Cambria County
Last year, premature deaths in Cambria county accounted for 8,048 lost years of life. 17% of residents here are in poor or fair health.
7. Lawrence County
The air pollution in Lawrence county is worse than the state average, although it has zero drinking water violations.
6. Elk County
Health care costs in Elk County are slightly higher than the state average and median household income is slightly lower. Rates of diabetes are slightly higher here than the state average.
5. Greene County
One fourth of Greene County residents are in poor or fair health, conditions exacerbated by physical inactivity and excessive drinking.
4. Fayette County
Premature deaths in Fayette County accounted for 9,277 lost years of life last year.
3. Forest County
Air pollution in Forest County is higher than the Pennsylvania average, as are long and lonely commute times.
2. Sullivan County
Nearly a fourth of Sullivan County residents smoke, and physical inactivity is on the rise in past years.
The most popular destination in Pennsylvania is also its unhealthiest. Premature death in Philadelphia county contributed 10,000 years of life lost, as compared to a Pennsylvania average of 6,926 lost years of life. 23% of adults smoke and one third are obese; 16% of residents are uninsured, and 36% of children live in poverty.
What do you make of these findings? What do you think should be done to improve the overall health of our state? Share in the comments below.