2013 County Health Rankings Release

The South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health is assisting the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute in promoting the release of the 2013 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps.  For the third year in a row, the Institute is serving as the state lead in disseminating this information.

Nearly every county in the country is ranked on health outcomes (how healthy we are) and on health factors (how healthy we can be).  According to the 2013 Rankings for South Carolina, the five healthiest counties in terms of health outcomes, starting with most healthy, are Beaufort, followed by York, Edgefield, Lexington and Greenville.  The five counties in the poorest health in terms of health outcomes, starting with least healthy, are Marion, Lee, Marlboro, Bamberg and Dillon.  In terms of health factors, Beaufort ranks as the healthiest county followed by Charleston, Lexington, Dorchester and Greenville.  The unhealthiest counties in South Carolina in terms of health factors are Marlboro, Allendale, Dillon, Chester and Jasper.  To learn more about the South Carolina Rankings, please visit South Carolina County Health Rankings.

“By examining a county’s health on an annual basis, local stakeholders can identify–health trends in their community and establish benchmarks for improvement” said Dr. Megan Weis, IMPH Associate Director of Outreach and Program Development.  “The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps present county-level health and contextual data.  This demonstrates that health extends beyond clinical facilities and is truly present in the areas that we live, learn, work and play.”

Examples of specific measures used to calculate the Rankings include: rates of childhood poverty, rates of smoking, obesity levels, teen birth rates, access to physicians and dentists, rates of high school graduation and college attendance, access to healthy foods, levels of physical inactivity and percentages of children living in single parent households.  This information helps counties see where they are doing well and where improvement is needed to ensure that every community is working towards becoming a healthy place to live.

New measures added for 2013 include oral health, which looks at the availability of dentists within a county.  Drinking water safety was also added as a measure to assess the physical environment.  Also new in 2013 are county-level trend graphs for several of the measures including children in poverty, unemployment and quality of health care.

The County Health Rankings illustrate what’s making people sick or healthy, while the County Health Roadmaps show what we can do to create healthier places to live, learn, work and play.  The Roadmaps are about making changes to improve our health by building connections with local and national partners.  Together people from all different areas, education, transportation, public health, business and more can use the Roadmaps to implement strategies to improve health.  To learn more about the County Health Roadmaps visit the following website Roadmaps to Health.



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