How much does where you live impact your health?
The findings of the annual County Health Report underscores the ongoing theme of privilege in our society, as great discrepancies were apparent not only based upon location, but racial, socioeconomic, and other factors as well.
The report findings were summarized in five general categories:
- The increasing number of babies born at a low birth weight (defined as less than 5.5 pounds). This number, which summarized statistics from 2016, saw 8.2 percent of babies born below that figure—a 2 percent increase from 2014. In all 50 states, black babies had the highest percentage of low birth weights.
- The differences in social and economic opportunities based upon location included statistics such as one in every five youth in low-performing counties being unable to graduate high school in four years.
- Segregation in terms of residence provides a link between the poor performances, with black residents in small metro and urban communities facing the greatest barriers to health.
- Child poverty rates, which remain higher than pre-recession years, particularly in rural areas and those areas with a greater number of people of color.
- The best news, perhaps, was the continued decline in teen birth rates among all racial groups and locations.
A full copy of the report is available here.